Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The 7 Deadly Sins of Entrepreneurs

After 25 years of advising entrepreneurs in a dozen countries and having been a serial entrepreneur myself for most of that period, I have compiled a list of the 7 most common "sins" that an entrepreneur can commit.
1. Believing we can do it all. We started the business and no one can do it better than we can..so we do it..all of it.
2. Lack of clear focus. It was being creative that launched our business, so why not keep on creating. I never met an opportunity I didn't like. The result, however, is diminished focus on the few things that are vital to success.
3. Not saying "No." Entrepreneurs are "yes-men." Saying no seems like missing an opportunity so we go everywhere, accept every challenge, speak at every podium, etc. I have a VP of No. You might need one.
4. Hiring what we can afford. If you pay peanuts, don't be surprised if you end up with monkeys.
5. Being too trusting. I don't want to be naive but I don't want to be cheated either. I've been both.
6. Keeping a friend too long. It's easy for entrepreneurs to become "buds" with the few who were there in the beginning and not notice that they can't keep up anymore.
7. Leaving too early. Because we like starting things, it's sometimes hard to hang around long enough to reap the lasting rewards of our creativity.
I said "7." I bet there are "70."

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