The E-Commerce Column

Attention Startup Owners: Don't Do These 5 Things

As we have seen over the past few years, entrepreneurs are the new rockstars. 

Life of an entrepreneur looks glamorous from afar: building a business from a garage, casual work environment, long nights with your co-founders, building something from nothing, and then ringing the closing bells on NYSE trading floor after you’ve taken your company public and made a billion dollars overnight.

However, the journey can crush the spirit of even the most dogged optimist. How you overcome the obstacles is what separates the great startups and the many failed attempts at entrepreneurial gold. 

I've compiled the following list of the Top-5 don'ts every entrepreneur running a startup must know.


5) Expect Success Overnight

Life as an entrepreneur, building a startup, can be a long and daunting journey, so you should expect this from day one. It's not going to be easy, and you're going to have to sacrifice long hours while neglecting personal relationships. However, great sacrifice yields great rewards. If you want your startup to reach your dreams, you must understand that success is going to come overtime.

4) Ignore The Outside World

Although it may appear that you must devote all your personal time into your startup, many entrepreneurs forget that their business will not be successful if they spend it operating within a bubble. Yes, you will be spending long hours in your office, but one must not forget to neglect the outside world. You, as an entrepreneur, need to understand that your market will be changing daily, so it's up to get out there in the "real world" to continuously make market analysis on a regular basis. 

3) Stop Improving

As an entrepreneur, this should be embedded in your mind. However, many startups fail to follow this principle. There are always improvements that can be made, so there should never be a reason to cease improving your product, business, human resources, etc. A business that fails to improve/innovate won't be around very long. I reference Blockbuster a lot, but they're a prime example of what happens when you fail to improve your current business practices. 

2) Ignore History

As the founder of a startup, this practice is placed on your shoulders. You need to constantly evaluating your business as well as other successful and unsuccessful businesses, so you can avoid repeating their costly errors. If you don't learn from history, than you're bound to repeat it. Don't be another failed startup, learn from the decisions many entrepreneurs have already made.

1) Give Up

NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP!!! A quote I have heard a lot in the startup community is, "do you remember that guy who quit? Me neither." Although times may seem tough and unbearable, you have to keep pushing through. Startups are like roller coasters, so it's critical to continue to push forward and overcome every obstacle placed in front of you. The prize at the end of the journey is worth more than the "what ifs" ten years later.

About the Author

Will StrohlWill Strohl

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