POST WRITTEN BY: Young Entrepreneur Council
YEC is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs 40 and younger.

With over 50% of the working population working in a small business, according to U.S. government statistics, entrepreneurs are a vital part of the economy. They provide new millions of new jobs and put money back into the community. But not all of these entrepreneurs are successful.

Many entrepreneurs find themselves in trouble during the first year, with cash flow problems that they can’t seem to rectify in order to save their business, or unfocused offerings that do more to damage a reputation than help it grow. It is mistakes like these that can cost a business owner their livelihood and cause them to close their doors for good.

To help avoid these kinds of avoidable errors, 10 members of Young Entrepreneur Council, below, share the biggest mistakes they’ve ever made as an entrepreneur, as well as how they can be addressed. Here’s what they had to say:


Photos courtesy of individual members.

  1. Not Asking For Help
    I think a common mistake is not asking for help when you need it. I know I’ve fallen into this trap, as well. When you are an entrepreneur, your business is your baby, but you can’t be everywhere and do all things. You need a team you can trust and mentors to guide you. – Jennifer Buonantony, Press Pass LA L.L.C.
  1. Overusing Personal Capital
    Not having a limit on the amount of personal capital we were willing to use to help our company launch. This caused us to dip into our retirement, saving and funds for daily living. This is a big no-no. My suggestion is to set a limit and stick to it. As you see your runway shortening, try and raise capital outside of family and friends to support your growth. – Jilea Hemmings, Best Tyme
  1. Lacking Focus
    It’s easy as an entrepreneur to get distracted by all the different things one could be doing. Keeping tabs on limited resources and focusing those well is so incredibly important. – Ti Zhao, Kip Health
  1. Treating Your Business As A Hobby
    One of the biggest mistakes I have made as an entrepreneur when first starting out was that I didn’t treat it as a business, but more as a hobby. Coming from a family that did not have an entrepreneur in it, nor were there any entrepreneurs in my circle, I did not understand the power of being an entrepreneur. Being consistent and focused makes a huge difference. – Jacqueline Marrano, Marrano Solutions, LLC
  1. Saying ‘Yes’ To Every Opportunity
    I used to say yes to every opportunity that came my way, and I was in a habit of always launching a new service. This cost me depth and quality. Now instead of trying to make a lot of mediocre things for a lot of people, I aim to make the highest quality things for very specific people. – Michael Cazayoux, Working Against Gravity
  1. Not Believing In Yourself
    One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made as an entrepreneur was not believing in myself. I was always looking for someone with more experience to guide me with their knowledge and opinion instead of trusting my own decisions. Although it’s great to have mentors and advisors, always seeking out others instead of believing in yourself will limit your potential and slow you down. – Leanne Beesley, Coworker, Inc
  1. Not Getting Expert Legal Advice
    In the early days, I didn’t have much money and decided I would be OK without double checking with legal. That silly oversight cost me more time, energy and money than hiring someone to advise me. While I did learn an incredible amount from the mistake, it did slow things down significantly. – Stephen Brett, Inmusik Inc.

Read more in The Importance of Updating Your Policies and Compliance Terms

  1. Spreading Yourself Thin
    Learning to say “no” is something I learned pretty late in my entrepreneurial journey. One feels like conquering the world on day one and doing everything possible to make it work. Advice from mentors and my own mistakes along the way made me realize the importance of identifying the one thing with the highest impact and to keep doing it with razor-sharp focus to achieve large and sustained success. – Dhruvil Sanghvi, LogiNext
  1. Doing Something You Don’t Love
    My biggest mistakes were caused by doing something I didn’t truly love. Do what you love, and all mistakes will be your life education! – Mikhail Kokorich, Momentus Space
  1. Trying To Know All The Answers
    Easily, my biggest mistake was not asking for help early and often enough. That cost me so much time. I think that if I could go back and start over, I would’ve put a lot less pressure on myself to know all the answers and be perfect. Asking for help may seem difficult, but in my experience, people actually like helping each other and are willing to make the time. – Giorgina Gottlieb, Squelch

POST WRITTEN BY: Young Entrepreneur Council
YEC is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs 40 and younger.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/05/15/10-big-mistakes-every-new-entrepreneur-needs-to-avoid/#33c4067e22e6