Q: What’s one surprising bad habit that every entrepreneur needs to stop doing?
Trying to push your lifestyle on others. “Entrepreneurs are certainly an interesting breed of people. But more and more, as creating your own ladder replaces climbing a corporate ladder, entrepreneurs are acting extremely evangelical. Accept it. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. Stop trying to make everyone wake up at 5 a.m. to participate in your ‘crazy’ routine. I prefer to keep my ‘differentiator’ on the hush-hush.” Steven Picanza, Latin & Code
Succumbing to shiny object syndrome. “As entrepreneurs and business owners, we always want to be where the action and big money is. In most cases, this can hurt more than it can help. It’s often referred to as ‘shiny object syndrome.’ My best advice is to focus on what you’re good at and keep getting better at it. Spreading yourself too thin and jumping from project to project isn’t good for anyone or their business.” Zac Johnson, Blogging.org
Always creating 50/50 partnerships. “When I talk to new founders, the number one bad habit is 50/50 partnerships. It’s extremely tempting and common, because so many companies are started by two friends and no one wants to have the difficult conversations. Equal ownership has many downfalls, and I have so many horror stories. The most basic issue is it’s impossible to make decisions efficiently when two people have to agree on everything.” Bill Cooke, 3forge
Letting arrogance get in the way of success. “Humility is a necessary stepping stone toward success. Relinquishing control as an entrepreneur can be quite difficult as a company grows in revenue and employees. Always doing it ‘your way’ creates an artificial bottleneck that can be easily avoided. Be critical of all ideas, including your own, in an unbiased fashion to increase the likelihood of success for your company.” Brian Chiou, Enigma Systems LLC
Letting social media be a distraction. “In today’s world, being on social media is a must to be heard (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). However, it’s easy to let a vat of time pass by before you realize your to-do list for the day has yet to be addressed. As such, it results in being more of a distraction. So save the socializing until after the higher priority items on the daily agenda have been addressed.” Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
Being over-sensitive to criticism. “A high-pressure career, where you face potential rejection from shareholders at every turn, doesn’t always lead to thick skins. Driven people are often the most sensitive to criticism. There certainly are comments you can ignore, but as a general rule, you must learn from criticism. There are always things that you can do better. There’s always room for improvement.” Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates
Attending endless networking events. “There are so many meet-ups, talks, gatherings, expos and shows you could attend. Most of these are actively detrimental to your time and to your budget. Some events are worthwhile, but the ones with free food and drink are often hard to turn down. They are not going to stop anytime soon, and the returns diminish fast.” Ben Gamble, Quincus
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