Experience teaches many lessons but most of them can only be learned through mistakes. If you want to get more sales and generate new leads, you have to make mistakes. However, savvy entrepreneurs can avoid that that by learning from those who came before. By listening to older entrepreneurs, you can spot obstacles in the road before they trip you.
These are the 6 key things successful entrepreneurs wish they knew before they started:
1. Don’t create products, solve problems
Most product launches fail. And 42% of those product launches fail because nobody wants the product in the first place. Entrepreneurs need to develop the mindset of creating something that solves problems. Find a problem before you find a product and you’ll find that people warm up to it much faster.
There’s too much competition in the entrepreneurial world of today. People are not going to pick up something because it’s cool or flashy. They want every product they buy to change their lives for the better.
2. Lose the idea of an overnight success story
One of the key signs that you’re not ready for entrepreneurship is you still believe in the idea of the overnight success. Companies like Yahoo in the early 2000s and Amazon in the late 2000s were praised for their quick rise to prominence. What people forget is they were already in existence for at least three years.
Anything that goes viral in the business world likely existed for a number of years previously. And if it didn’t, chances are it’s going to fade fast because it’s just a fad.
Business is hard and if you think you’re going to cruise your way to the top, you’ve got another thing coming.
3. Stop focusing on your weaknesses
Every guide on entrepreneurship will tell you about how you have to keep learning and improving. This is true but shouldn’t be your main priority. Don’t focus on your weaknesses and attempt to bring them up to speed with your strengths. Concentrate on your strengths and make them even stronger.
The gig economy is alive and well, so it makes sense to outsource your weaknesses. By all means, get better at them in your spare time, but you don’t have the time to spend days and weeks learning new skills because you’re too cheap to outsource.
Time really is money in this business.
4. Get the right people around you early
Younger entrepreneurs are driven forward by optimism and copious amounts of coffee. They like to take on everything at once. They only learn otherwise when they reach a wall and crash. It’s a hard lesson to learn. But you can avoid any unpleasant experiences by taking this entrepreneurship lesson to heart now:
Find your weaknesses and consult others to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. So many companies fail because they had the wrong team in place, and just as many failed because they had no team in place.
You don’t even have to employ someone full-time. It could be as simple as bringing someone in to advise you during your journey. Assess your own needs.
5. If you must fail, do it now
The truth about entrepreneurship is high chances of startup failure. This is not something to fear. If something doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. The problem is, you need to have the ability to fail quickly and pivot. Too many entrepreneurs try to see the whole thing through, right to the end, which usually means bankruptcy and depression.
Learn what’s working and find out what isn’t. If what isn’t working could bring down your business, you need to pivot fast. Failing many times over and learning from every experience is what being an entrepreneur is all about.
6. Know your value proposition from the beginning
Your value proposition is what makes your company stand out from the crowd. What are you offering that makes buying from you worthwhile?
You’re here to solve problems and need to know what your product or service does to enhance the lives of others. The sooner you discover this, the better. Without it, you’ll find it next to impossible to sell your products.
Learn early and fail fast
Learning these lessons early will prevent the need to fail fast later. Following these tips won’t stop you from failing, but if you can fail fast and move on, you already have a big advantage over your competitors.
What do you think is the most important lesson entrepreneurs should learn?