This column is authored by Sandeep Maurya, Founder & CEO, Bornbrio
An entrepreneur goes through a lot of uncertainty and is bound to make mistakes on its way to success. It is always easy to preach in hindsight, but to understand the circumstances in which a decision was made. Every mistake is a step towards wisdom and a smart forward looking approach to learning from mistakes is not “oops.” but “ah, interesting.” This boosts the morale while acknowledging the mistake as learning on the personal and professional growth curve. That being said, repeating a mistake is considered as complacence and successful entrepreneurs are never complacent.
Smart entrepreneurs learn from others. When on a mission with unknowns, you might not have all the answers, but learning from others increases your chances of success. Here the 5 most common mistakes that should be avoided by entrepreneurs at all costs.
Working without a Budget
In business, the bottom line matters. An entrepreneur invests significant amount of time and money into building the business. Investments are valued by returns and returns are calculated on basis of a plan where you budget for everything as per plan. Having a budget forces us to make thoughtful choices. A budget is not merely about expenditure; but about opportunity cost of capital. Budgets establish fiscal discipline, while ensuring that the capital is made available to the most attractive investment opportunities. Operating without a budget is like taking a journey without a destination. An entrepreneur without budget is like a ship without a propeller – it is bound to stray. Never ever undertake a venture without a budget.
Entrepreneurs always have a vision where they see an opportunity and create a product to capitalize it. It is usually during the struggle or growth that some lose the sight and compromise. That’s like charting a course to Singapore, but losing sight and drifting away to No man’s land while navigating rough waters. It’s not that you take head on with high waves, but you adjust course to sail through rough seas with destination in your mind. Never ever lose sight of your vision.
Confidence is a must but overconfidence is killing. Whether you are seasoned professional or an amateur, you need to do your homework and prepare for unforeseen challenges. You may be attending a negotiation or signing a partnership deal, unless you have the strategized, you are likely to make mistakes. You may have been luckier but don’t take chances as there’s no substitute for hard work. Do your due diligence and boost your chances to success. You may be the smartest but business in many ways is synonymous with battlefield with competition and unfavorable circumstances playing your enemy. Prepare for the known and take attach the challenges with confidence. Stay away from overconfidence.
Habit of Doing it all Yourself
A good leader knows the art of delegation. You may be willing to undertake it all by yourself, but in doing so, you are setting up yourself for failure. You will not only burn out but create situations that may be detrimental to your success. Remember that you can be at one place and can undertake just one task at any point of time. Businesses are dynamic with multiple fronts. Call for help, hire trustworthy people or outsource, but avoid doing it all by yourself.
Driven by Money and Not Passion
Passion is the single most important asset of an entrepreneur and if you aren’t passionate, then you will never be successful. Money is a byproduct of passion. Your passion defines your mission, mission to do something bigger. Elon Musk’s mission is to conquer Mars and that has driven the success of SpaceX. Henry Ford’s mission was to build an affordable car and that created a profitable Automotive Company.