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Businesses fail for several reasons. Here are a few to avoid:

1. If you’re starting a business simply because you can’t get a job, make sure you believe in what you’re doing, or you will fail. Believe in your system, your products, services, and uniqueness. And make sure you can do everything online as well.

2. To be a successful entrepreneur, one needs a great vision, ambition, a thick skin, immunity to discouragement, and the ability to live in isolation, and one should have enough capital to provide cash flow when there is no business to meet overheads.

3. Understand that many employees and most bureaucrats don’t like entrepreneurs. They are jealous, they don’t understand us, and they will attack you. Get over it. Get used to it. Don’t take it personally.

4. Trying to do things you’re not good at, or pretending to be good at something when you’re not, is a guarantee of failure. ONLY do what you love and what you are good at.

5. Retaining your “employee mindset” when you run your own business is suicidal. Think like an entrepreneur who doesn’t like holidays because he can’t work. Clock watchers will fail. Employee types never delegate the work, are arrogant, seldom take advice, never attend seminars to gain knowledge in their respective field, and work when they feel like it, instead of consistently. Read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Or they work too hard, trying to do it all themselves, and if they do employ people, they micro-manage them. They burn out and lose interest. And fail. You can avoid years of failure and loss by learning from experts.

6. Selecting the wrong business partners and employees is fatal to a business. You need people whom you respect, like, admire, trust, and enjoy spending time with in order to succeed – someone who shares your values and aspirations, and respects, admires, trusts, and likes you in return.

7. Failure to set yourself apart from your competition: You need a Unique Selling Proposition that makes sense and can be understood by your customers. Don’t be a commodity.

8. Charging too much and giving too little is dangerous. Tight-fistedness and aggression/fear is a clear indication that the entrepreneur has a Scarcity Mentality instead of an Abundance Mentality. Go the extra mile – add value – be memorable. Using collaboration and leverage will allow for this.

9. A Shrinking Market instead of a growing market: starting a Blockbuster Video store is not a good idea anymore.

10. Finally, a lack of flexibility. You have to be able to change, grow, adjust to market needs – fast. Be open-minded and courageous.

BONUS: Want to know what helps us decide whether or not an applicant is likely to be a successful Distributor for our business? I look for excuses: “I’m old, I don’t have a lot of contacts, I’m very busy, etc.” And I look for patterns. Winners find a way, losers find an excuse. You’re never too old to start over; it’s never too late. Ask Colonel Sanders!

Robin Elliott

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