10 Ways to Suck as an Entrepreneur

| June 13, 2013 | By
10 Ways to Suck as an Entrepreneur

i_love_to_excuse_hat-p148019061519580445enxqh_400It’s easy to suck as an entrepreneur.

Be honest, you've sucked at it too. I know I've committed some of the 10 sins below, but hey, who’s judging.

Here’s a list of 10 pitfalls I see people dive into daily.

#10 - I Can’t Start without Investor Money

I meet entrepreneurs every day with this excuse. Do you know what happens in most investment scenarios? The business owner blows through the cash with little to show for it.

Get out of your house and talk with your target market instead. If you do, you’ll build an audience and guess what, they have money!!! They’ll pay you to offer your product or service.

9 times out of 10 you’re going to be better off without investor money. Why? Because it forces you to get real about your business model and find a way to satisfy your customer. If you can’t satisfy them, you shouldn't be in business anyways. If you can, you’ll dominate and guess what… Some tightly wound VC in California won’t own 30% to 50% of your company.

#9 – I tweet 10,000 Crappy Links a Day

Twitter rocks.

I love it because I get to meet new people every day and see how I can help out. There’s one thing I do hate about Twitter though… all the morons that are trying to game the system. If you’re on Twitter and all you do is send out links, you’re boring. Stop spamming. Stop link-baiting. Stop talking about yourself.

Instead, try what Gary Vaynerchuk did when he tweeted: “How can Help You Today?”

With Twitter, do us all a favor and shut up. Learn to listen to people instead. Use Twitter Search to hone in on conversations with like-minded people and build an awesome community.

That’s it.

#8 – Partners Make Me Feel Warm & Fuzzy

Look I get it.

Being an business owner can be lonely. Nobody gets you, and even worse, nobody is there to bear the burden when something goes wrong.

And something will go wrong.

But don’t start searching for a partner just because you’re tired of dealing with stressful situations all by yourself. That’s the worst thing you can do.

The only reason to get a partner is if he or she brings a skill set to the table that's outside of your expertise, and is desperately needed by your customers.

#7 – I’ll Blow Money on Direct Mail

Direct mail is the worst form of advertising out there.

In fact, most traditional marketing is a total waste of money now. Television, radio and print don't work unless you have a multi-million dollar budget. You're going to need high frequency to stay top of mind. Let’s be honest, the television ad that you spent $5,000 to produce isn’t going to be remembered once they see the M&M commercials.

I still get a kick out of the red M&M thinking that the brown M&M is naked. Anyways, I diverge.

Listen - marketing is no longer about investing huge amounts of cash and hoping that someone notices you. Marketing is dead. Relationships have taken over. More on this when we get to #1.

#6 – I’m Boring Because I’m a Plumber

Stop making excuses about how boring your industry is. We’re accountants at Ignite Spot and we think that’s @#!*% sexy!

I don’t care what you do for a business. There are plenty of people out there that are passionate about it.

#5 – I Operate from my Desk

I love this one. Here’s where I've been guilty in the past.

Listen up. You can’t grow a successful business sitting at your desk.

I used to spend days pouring over Excel spreadsheets trying to figure out which marketing channel I should invest my money into. I would do ROI calculations, forecasts and all the other stuff that accountants do.

It was total crap. I was lying to myself. I was convinced that I was using my MBA skills to create the best business strategy for my company.

The truth was that I needed to get up from my desk and go hang out with my target market.

Once I finally did, we became one of the largest outsourced accounting firms in the nation within 6 months.

#4 – I Don’t Speak Accounting

You don’t need to love accounting, but you better understand it if you're an entrepreneur. It’s the language of business. Would you honestly go to China without having a translation dictionary in hand? I didn't think so.

#3 – I Want to Work 2 Hours a Day

For some reason there’s a myth out there that being an entrepreneur means total and complete freedom.

Let’s pull our heads out of the sand on this one. Running a great company requires the very best of you. Entrepreneurship is hard work, but it’s the most fulfilling work I know.

#2 – I’ll Cut Costs on My Brand

When was the last time you visited peopleofwalmart.com?

I’m always blown away by how some people portray themselves. A first impression is your only impression and those people are definitely making one….

Take the money you were going to waste on direct mail and invest it into your first impression. Make sure that your website, business card, logo, business name, brochure, and every other piece of collateral makes people say, “Holy $#!@ I have to do business with these guys! They've got it together.”

#1 – I’ll Hire a Ghost Writer

If you’re not going to do your own blogging and social media, don’t do it at all.

I know this is going to tick off all the social media experts out there, but I don’t care. Your blog and your social media platform are how you connect with your audience, build relationships and create a community around your company.

I used to have someone ghost write our blog and the posts were so bad, that I couldn't even get through a single article myself. And I was the guy paying for it!

I can hear you right now. You’re saying, but I don’t have time to do all that. Find the time. You've got just as much time in the day as Seth Godin, Bill Gates or even Oprah Winfrey.

Leave a Comment Below:

Let’s get honest with ourselves. Look over the list above and confess you sins below. Which ones are you guilty of and how are you going to fix them? Let me hear your thoughts with a comment below.

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