While I am not a senior in the entrepreneurial industry, I have had the pleasure to meet with many executives who have shared with me their stories of failures, triumphs and everything in between. Here are a few things I’ve learned on my own, as well as, taken away from my mentors regarding things an entrepreneur should never do:
Most proud, confident business owners are always anxious to share their product or service with the world. As your biggest promoter, you use any event, circumstance or occasion to introduce or share updates of your business to the masses.
While word-of-mouth advertising is a valuable tool in networking and marketing, one must be cautious to not over-promote yourself.
A brief introductory pitch about your company is fine (emphasis on brief). Then, if someone wants to know more, they will ask. Overwhelming people with information can be irritating and make you seem arrogant. An air of humility goes a long way.
Starting your own business often requires long days, stressful nights and meager pay. The amount of endurance and dedication put into creating a successful product is uncanny. Thus, when individuals attempt to offer their opinions of your hard work, it can be immediately translated into criticism and consequently ignored.
What most entrepreneurs don’t realize is, that most times, they are too close to the project and may overlook important mistakes or vital enhancements. Just like every great writer needs an editor, every successful entrepreneur needs an advisor. So, you don’t have to listen to everyone, but I would admonish that you have a few individuals who will tell you the honest truth. The key is to ensure that critiques are also accompanied by suggestions and if you have people who can do that for you, consider yourself fortunate.
Be A Dictator
There’s a fine line between being a boss and being… that other “b” word. No one will support a leader who dominates the total structure and outcomes of the business. Every strong leader knows when to stand firm and when to allow others to take control. One man cannot possibly be skilled at everything. This is why teams are created.
Entrepreneurs should be sure to be team players, not team tyrants. Your staff members and volunteers signed up to support you and your dreams. Be grateful for them and never dismiss their contributions to the business.
Guarding your business is akin to guarding your heart. Both are precious; both can be easily broken. They both must be protected by barriers—passwords, watch dogs, knives, guns – whatever it takes!
Don’t disclose sensitive information to everyone you meet. Just because they seem as if they can help, doesn’t make them automatically privy to all of the details of your business. A wise entrepreneur must show discernment of character among everyone they allow into their thresholds. The most unassuming individual could have the power to destroy your entire enterprise. Be smart. Do research. Guard your heart.