You’re getting closer and closer to having an entrepreneurial career. Life as an entrepreneur is going to be a rollercoaster filled with ups and downs. Not to mention, time will be of the essence.
There’s a saying that goes:
“Lost time is never found again”
– Benjamin Franklin.
Live and breathe by his quote as it is true that time will be limited. You’ll have to be firm and say no to certain things to be more productive.
Just to give you a head start, to save you time and headache, we’ve outlined some things you should avoid doing.
Don’t repeat these 10 mistakes:
1. Trying to do everything by yourself
Do not try this because you can’t. Teams always beat individuals. If you take a look at Lebron James for example, he’s already considered one of the all-time greats. But year after year, he carried his team to the finals and couldn’t win a championship.
He finally became a champion when he decided to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the Miami Heat.
With this example in mind, remind yourself that you’re not a one-man show. You have a team, so please use that team. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
Trust your teammates. Sharing responsibilities with them will lighten your load. It will give you more free time so you can work on keeping your stress levels low.
Do not go down that path alone as it will only lead to exhaustion.
2. Striving for perfection
I’ve noticed that a lot of people are obsessed with being perfect. To be honest, it’s an unrealistic goal that will just distract you from what’s in front of you. Instead, you should strive for progress, not perfection.
A very wise man once said:
“Have no fear of perfection… you’ll never reach it”
– Salvador Dali.
You don’t have to be perfect or do things perfectly. Just make sure that you’re always making progress and taking things step by step. Even small steps mean you’re moving forward.
Be hard-working, stay motivated, and always try to produce good work. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
3. Comparing yourself to others
The comparison game is such a waste of time and will shift your focus to others, not yourself. Sometimes, I find that we’re so fixated on the ability of others, we often compare their best features against our average ones.
When we compare ourselves to others, we forget about raising our own game. Let’s have a reality check. You are in control of your life, so let’s focus on that. Channel all your energy towards being the best version of yourself.
Stop looking at what your friends are doing, what they have achieved, and so on. What matters the most is you and your progress.
If you really can’t stop comparing, then I highly suggest that you compare yourself to who you were yesterday. That’s the only comparison you should allow yourself to make.
4. Soliciting feedback for validation
Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, is a self-made billionaire. And this is what she has to say.
“Don’t solicit feedback on your product, idea or your business just for validation purposes. You want to tell the people who can help move your idea forward, but if you’re just looking to your friend, co-worker, husband or wife for validation, be careful. It can stop a lot of multimillion-dollar ideas in their tracks in the beginning”. -Sara Blakely
It’s true that if you ask your circle, whom you are close to, they probably won’t give you their honest feedback. They’ll always say that your idea is excellent and that you should go for it. Another thing is that they might not be experts in the industry. Thus, they lack the knowledge to give you constructive feedback.
When it comes to feedback, look for it in the right places. And solicit feedback to improve. Not for validation.
5. Having outdated media
Stay on top of the media you’re sharing with your audience. This could be your website, social media accounts, blog posts, and so on.
Having outdated media is a huge mistake. It only resonates negatively. It shows that you are not concerned about engaging or providing the latest news for your audience. It also indicates that your business has not been in operation since the last post.
These are things you want to avoid. You want to be doing the opposite. You want the audience to know that you’re still alive and killing it.
You might be too busy to update everything, but the audience doesn’t need to know that. Being busy is not an excuse. Have someone from your team update the media regularly. All you need to do is monitor and guide them from time to time.
6. Online distractions
Chances are you’ll be online a lot for your work. There’s going to be a lot of temptation from your computer screen and even your phone. The internet is a massive online playground and you’re going to need a lot of discipline to say no.
There is a time for everything. You’ll need to set time aside for work and play.
If you truly don’t have the discipline, allow access only for sites relevant to your work. If you’re using an app that doesn’t require the internet, turn your Wi-Fi off.
Sometimes it’s not your fault. It’s the notifications from your email, social media, and other apps that distract you. Turn these off if you don’t need them. Try to eliminate any possibility of you getting distracted.
7. Targeting the wrong audience
Ideally, you want the whole world to know about you. It would be a dream come true to have everyone in the world buying and using what you have to offer.
But, let’s seriously think about it. Targeting the global population wouldn’t be realistic.
There’s a popular belief that goes:
“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one”.
– Meredith Hill
Be more specific. Think about your ideal customer, superfan, target person.
Focus on their personality and traits:
What do they love and hate?
How old are they?
What are their aspirations?
Where do they hang out online?
When you identify that person, you’ll figure out how to communicate with them. It’ll be so much easier to create relevant content when you know who you want to attract.
8. Unproductive meetings
Don’t be surprised, but unproductive meetings happen everywhere every day. Not only are they a complete waste of time and money, but it just gets you contemplating why we even hold meetings at all in the first place.
Nevertheless, you still need to hold meetings. They’re an effective way to get people together to discuss issues, solve problems, and share new ideas. So if you’re going to schedule them, then you need to make sure that they’re productive and not the other way around.
Having attended a ton of meetings, I have taken note of several factors that lead to unproductivity. Lack of organization, lack of preparation, and distractions are things you should avoid.
Here are some useful tips:
- Keep your meetings small
- Hold meetings when necessary
- Create and share an agenda with attendees in advance
- Be a few minutes early
- Have online meetings whenever you can
9. Disorganized work environment
I tend to see that mess works for certain individuals, especially those in the creative industry. However, if you’re going to be running a startup, this won’t work for you. Do what you can to get rid of the chaos.
A lack of organization just spells out disaster. There will be a loss of time, a negative image for the company, and higher stress levels, which lead to tension within the team.
Let me share a simple example with you. Time spent searching is time wasted. If you don’t do something so simple as to label your files and folders, just imagine how much time you’ll need to find a particular subject. You can picture yourself ruffling through sheets and sheets of paper looking for a needle in a haystack.
Spend a little time to keep your workplace organized. Don’t waste time on the unnecessary. Everyone around you will be happier, including yourself.
10. Ignoring mental exhaustion
Also commonly referred to as burnout, it is a state of emotional, physical, and mental tiredness due to continuous pressure at work. You start to feel overwhelmed, tired and drained all the time.
Signs and symptoms of burnout:
- Loss of motivation
- Sense of failure and self-doubt
- Negative perspective
- Difficulty to express emotions
Here are some ways you can deal with it:
- Find balance in your life
- Take time off
- Make friends at work
- Get plenty of sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Practice a healthy diet
- Drink alcohol in moderation
Do not ignore mental exhaustion. Not only would it hinder your progress and productivity at work, but it would also affect your passion and drive. Another really important thing to note is that it could also lead to serious health issues.
You’re going to be working for a huge portion of your life. Some of you might work longer hours if you decide to embark on an entrepreneurial career.
Time is so precious and it flies by really fast. Don’t allow yourself to miss out on great opportunities and experiences because you got sidetracked.
Along your journey, you’ll also figure out how to manage your time better. But for now, you should try your best to avoid wasting your time on these things.
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