Geniuses don’t often make the best entrepreneurs; it is also important to make smart choices in life. You have probably been bombarded with hundreds of posts on things you must do if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, but nobody tells you about the things you must absolutely never do! If 2020 presented the world with a horde of challenges in the entrepreneurial space, 2021 is expected to be no better. Here are 7 things to avoid as an entrepreneur in the year 2021.
Lose your focus
You set yourself on the path to failure the day you forget what got you into business in the first place. When the initial passion for your business start to wane or you forget how you got the inspiration for your business, you stop caring about your end-users and customers and find yourself unable to address their challenges and queries from a product or service perspective. The key to being a successful entrepreneur is to keep the needs and unique pain-points of your users at the center of how your products and services are developed and delivered. You need to seek constant feedback from customers in order to make sure you are on the right track. Reach out to customers personally and evaluate the success of your products from their eyes.
Want to know if you have the true entrepreneurial spirit? If someone assigns you a task/assignment or if something needs to be done, chances are you would have done it before the deadline. Successful entrepreneurs are swift and proactive. They don’t while away their time on unnecessary things. Instead of fixating on one thing all the time, they wear many hats and look for ways to get more things done in their time. They know their minutes are numbered, which is why they always endeavor to get things done faster. Instead of leaving anything for tomorrow, they believe in doing it today!
Not creating a culture of execution
While optimum planning, hard work, and goal setting are crucial to setting a road map for yourself and embarking on the road to success, it is the element of execution that actually helps you reach your goals. Most of us plan for things incessantly, but procrastinate when it comes to execution. The pursuit of consistent execution is the hallmark of successful entrepreneurs. The only way to fulfill the promises you made to your employees, end-users, and stakeholders by executing on your stated tasks and goals.
The day you forego the quest to learn new things, you will fall prey to stagnation. Either as an individual or as an organization, a successful entrepreneur always assumes that there is something new to be learned. For instance, stick-in-the-mud organizations that are failing to adapt to advancements in technology are going to die a slow-death in 2021. For instance, Traditional accounting firms that are resistant to change and are finding it a hard nut to adapt to a new way of doing business, are going to disappear off the radar. Always stay abreast of the developments in your industry, and ensure that everyone within your company is learning something new.
Take an open-door policy literally
We see a lot of entrepreneurs assuming that an open-door policy means that they have to be available to their team every minute of every day, no matter how busy they are. While it is good to seem accessible and available, you should set aside a time for such distractions. Constant disruptions cost money and time. Not to mention, it can leave you frustrated as an entrepreneur.
No matter how many employees you have working for you, ask them to make an appointment to discuss their concerns. If you get bombarded by an incessant stream of repetitive questions from various employees throughout the day, try to address all concerns in a daily morning meeting. You can also allow for a smaller, mid-to-late afternoon slot, to discuss further problems. The time spent in these meetings will come back to you ten-fold.
Take uncalculated risks
While the best entrepreneurs in the world are risk-takers, they are well-calculated risks. As an entrepreneur, you simply cannot act on whim alone. You can’t dive into something just because your intuition says you should. The smartest people in the world scrutinize every opportunity and look at it from every angle and outcome. They weigh the pros and cons and they are willing to pivot as needed. Before taking a risk, ask yourself how much you are willing to lose to see it happen.
Focus too much on competition
Some entrepreneurs are more focused on what their competitors are doing rather than concentrating on making their own business better. In a saturated market with many companies offering the same products as you are, getting ahead in the rat race can be a “do or die” situation. If you focus too much on competition, you lose your ability to be an innovative and out-of-the-box thinker. While it is smart to keep tabs on your competition, you should also be working on your inner game, making your product and solutions failsafe for customers.