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Every Rookie Entrepreneur Should Avoid Making These 8 Mistakes

Every Rookie Entrepreneur Should Avoid Making These 8 Mistakes

There are new entrepreneurs every year, and a lot of them are making the same mistakes. Running a new business is a daunting challenge, but if you’ve already taken it on you should want to do it right. Here are common errors a rookie entrepreneur makes in the beginning, when mistakes hurt the most.

1. Don’t Sink All Your Savings Into Your New Business

Rookie entrepreneurs shouldn’t think that they have to spend big to make it big. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau is a great book that documents entrepreneurs who invested a hundred bucks or less to launch their business. Heed its advice by not assuming that you need a huge influx of cash in order to make your business a success. For example, a retail store is a huge risk, costing thousands of dollars just to open. It’s a much safer better to sell online at first and work your way up. But make sure you…

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2. Don’t Get Ahead Of Yourself

Entrepreneurs shouldn’t feel the need to grow their business too rapidly. That sense of urgency is all in their heads and spells disaster for a lot of companies that begin with huge potential. Just because you find some success selling stuff online, don’t immediately jump to buying a physical location. Prove yourself a pro entrepreneur by not rushing to the next step, letting your company keep growing at a steady pace until you’re actually ready for that retail outlet.

3. Don’t Step Away For Too Long

Your business is your baby, and you never leave a newborn unattended. Be sure to constantly monitor your business so that you can put out fires as they happen and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. You have to prepare for both the good and the bad by keeping a constant eye on your new company. But, at the same time…

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4. Don’t Work Yourself Into A Coma

One of the most common mistakes of an entrepreneur is to overwork. Yes, you have to be vigilant about your business, but no, that doesn’t necessarily mean working 100 hours every week. If you’re burnt out you won’t be delivering the hot ideas that startups need to constantly be coming up with. Let yourself recharge your batteries every once in awhile. Otherwise, all your hard work might be for nothing.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

As an entrepreneur you’re definitely going to need help, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. Let the people who want you to succeed help you succeed. Friends with the right skills can be an invaluable resource, helping you with the things you need but can’t do yourself.  Have a pal good with web design? Let them design your website! If you think that you’re weak for accepting help, you desperately need to change your way of thinking.

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6. Don’t Forget Your Connections

If you’re a good businessman you have a lot of contacts and maybe a few favors owed to you. When you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, a critical juncture in your career, you should be contacting a lot of those people and cashing some of those favors in.

7. Don’t Give Up Too Quickly

Your business will probably not be a giant success right out of the gate. Expect to be in the red for awhile. But don’t give up too easily, because you could very well make your company soar if you just persevere. A month is probably not enough time to deem your business a success or failure. Keep at it until you can fairly determine if your company has a real shot. If you followed my previous advice you haven’t invested too much in the startup, so there’s not too much risk in keep carrying on until you can get a more definite answer.

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8. Don’t Fear Failure

Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade and fold your hand. Admitting failure requires strength, and if you’re not strong you’ll lose a lot more money than you need to. When you are convinced that things aren’t going to turn around, don’t be afraid to throw in the towel.

Featured photo credit: Brian Wilkins via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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