In my twenty-two years of advising entrepreneurs on their business development, I have identified several significant - and very common - mistakes than can negatively impact the potential for entrepreneurial success.
These common foibles have nothing to do with having adequate venture capital, a great marketing strategy, or a cadre of the finest knowledge workers. Rather, the stumbling blocks are internal issues that manifest themselves in the business and create havoc for the business owner. Today, I'll focus on the three most critical areas:
- Lack of focus and clarity. Too many goals can be a prescription for disaster. Over the years, I've seen hundreds of entrepreneurs who spend their time, energy, and valuable resources "dabbling" instead of "doing." It's perfectly okay to have myriad interests but, when it comes to your business, strategy is key. Decide exactly what you want, when you intend to have it, and how you're going to get there.
- Working beneath capabilities. Doing what feels safe is not always what's smart. Sometimes success depends on our willingness to grow and push ourselves beyond what we believe we can do. Limiting the scope of your business because of fear of taking risks is never a wise move. What will raising your own personal bar do to propel your business forward?
- Focusing solely on practicality and ignoring the passion. Work without passion is nothing more than drudgery. Making money is one thing, but loving what you do is priceless. If you're not in love with your business, it's time to rethink your priorities. Passion is one of the greatest selling tools around. Love your business and others will, too.