10 Avoidable Mistakes First Time Entrepreneurs Make

  1. Failing to plan. Many entrepreneurs feel that if they build it, people will come. This isn’t “The Field of Dreams”.
  2. Failing to evaluate co-founders. If your co-founders cannot do their assigned tasks, or even worse, cannot be trusted, then your business is bound for failure.
  3. Working with friends. Friends are just that. Friends. Business and friendship should not be mixed together, as the level of respect is lacking, especially if you talk down on each other.
  4. Not diversifying your skill set. If your partners are all experts in programming and you are also, then who is going to do the operations? Who is going to do the sales? The marketing?
  5. Taking your ego to the work place. Doing this in the work place can be quite damaging. Especially, if you have a big ego. In a startup, it is not “my way or the highway”. Instead, it is, “How can we all work together for the better good?” You are not the most important person in the company. The belief in the vision of where the company is going to go should be much greater than any of the founding partners.
  6. Not testing the market. Not testing the market to see if your product is even a viable option can lead to months, if not years of wasted time and money.
  7. Trying to capture everyone. When you try to get a net to capture everyone, you end up catching nothing. Target certain niches in each campaign.
  8. Being a single founder company. If you’re a single founder you’ll be overloaded with tasks. You have full responsibility of everything. Delegate the responsibility to people who are more capable than yourself.
  9. Putting business expenses on personal credit cards. This is the best way to get yourself into a pile of debt and may end up filing bankruptcy. I did this before, and I racked up a pile of debt at an insanely high interest rate. I had absolutely no clue how to get out of it.
  10. Having delusions on how amazing your idea is. No business is that amazing. No idea will “change the world”. Only hard work and strong execution will. Be humble in your presentations. Do not act as if your idea is revolutionary, because it isn’t.

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.

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