Recently we talked about the most common pitfall in building a business which is thinking that your great idea, your aha moment, or your product is all you need to be successful. There are other pitfalls to be aware and beware of.
1. Not expecting obstacles
A common mistake made by failing entrepreneurs is believing that the process of building a successful business is an easy one. It is foolish to think that you will not encounter mistakes and setbacks along the way.
Part of being a successful entrepreneur is learning how to overcome obstacles. We talked about three hurdles that many people have to jump over when just considering starting a business: I don’t believe I can, I don’t have enough time and/or money and the third, I don’t know how.
Once you decide to start a business, there are other hurdles such as not knowing who to trust to help you or not knowing the financial systems you need to have in place. These and so many other small things can overwhelm you if you aren’t careful.
If you are not prepared to make mistakes and experience failure it is advisable that you do not become an entrepreneur because it is guaranteed that you will have hurdles, challenges, mistakes and failures along the way.
2. Failing to work from your strengths
Every human being has their strengths and their weaknesses. It is important that you are honest with yourself and with others, about what you are good at and what you are not.
In business it is important to play to your strengths. Your strengths are your business tools that you should take full advantage of.
If your business requires a particular set of skills that you don’t possess, find someone that can fill this gap, or reconsider if the business is the right one for you.
Many failing entrepreneurs make the mistake of wasting countless hours improving their limitations instead of working from their strengths. If you don’t know what your strengths are, ask the people who are closest to you or ask a teacher or find a mentor who can help you figure out what your strengths are.
3. Not picking your niche based on your passions
It is just as important to pick a business that is not only potentially lucrative, but one that you are passionate about.
If your chosen niche does not excite you in any way, your ability to build the business will suffer. Most of your behavior is a function of how you feel, and if you do not enjoy working on your business, you will soon be unmotivated and lose interest.
Albert Schweitzer, humanitarian, theologian and doctor, born 1875 said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success! If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Finally if you choose or have chosen the path of an entrepreneur, make sure you enjoy challenges because there are certainly going to be many of them as you begin to build your business. The quote below sums up the importance of enjoying the journey, more than the outcome of your efforts:
“We don’t sing to get to the end of the song. If that were so, the fastest singers would be the best and composers would only write finales. We don’t dance to get from one place on the floor to another.” Alan Watts, philosopher, 1915-1973.
The journey of the entrepreneur can be a highly rewarding one. Entrepreneurs have the potential to create a business that allows them to live the lifestyle of their dreams. However like any worthwhile pursuit, there will always be obstacles and set-backs to overcome.