Post written by Young Entrepreneur Council. YEC is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs 40 and younger.
Making mistakes is a part of life. While this may be true, the fewer entrepreneurial mistakes you make, the better for your bottom line. After all, business missteps can be detrimental: The wrong hiring decision or partner can have a severe impact on your operations, as can making rush decisions or not developing your network.
To help you avoid tense meetings and sleepless nights, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council share the biggest mistake they made as an entrepreneur, in hopes that it might save someone else from making the same kind of misstep. Here is what they said to avoid:
Making a Bad Hiring Call
Always try to hire the right people. If you can’t find them or they don’t exist, invest the resources to grow them to the level you need them to be. In the same note, be wary of when your company has outgrown the people it currently has, and do not be afraid to change. – Jeremy Gave, The Metiss Group
Not Paying Enough Attention
On multiple occasions, I didn’t pay enough attention to the controls needed to properly execute a true partnership amongst founders. Just like good fences make good neighbors, good agreements enable founders to manage their relationships in a way that is mutually beneficial for all involved. Inevitably, “stuff” will happen, and having the proper contracts in place is paramount. – Brett Maloley, Ladder
Working For Free
Don’t give away your expertise for free, even when the upside looks appealing. It’s very important to believe in yourself, even if things look really difficult. – Jacob Alexander, Kono Store Corp.
Failing to Properly Develop Influencer Relationships
I did not understand the importance of networking with influencers. I kept trying to help out the little guys. What ended up happening was that I also fell into the mud alongside them. My recommendation is to stay away from helping the tiny businesses until you get big enough to be able to actually help them. While you are a tiny fish, work with bigger fish. – Rafi Chowdhury, Chowdhury’s Digital
Trying To Do Everything
You know you could do everything, but that isn’t the point. The point is doing things that drive value in your organization. You’re only one person, and things are going to go wrong. Your job is to put out the fires that crop up and to make sure that things go “well enough” to reach your goals. Find people you can trust to do important things — they will go a long way. – Shingo Lavine, Ethos
Picking The Wrong Partners
As an entrepreneur, it’s paramount to build an organization bigger than yourself in order to scale and be successful, and for that you need the right partners, with the right vision, values, work ethic and passion. Picking the wrong partners can be deadly for your venture, especially during the earlier stages. If it’s not working out, you have to be very quick and decisive. – Nathan Candaner, JobzMall Inc.
Underestimating Human Connections
Don’t underestimate the power of the human relationships in your work. Whether it’s the spouse you come home to each night, the team you’re building, the co-founder you’re working with, the clients you pitch, or the partners who help you build it, that is the foundation. I’ve never found a more useful investment than the time I put into building those relationships and safe connections with. – Andy Hagerman, The Design Gym
Making Rush Decisions
Starting a company is hectic and requires quick decision-making, which can lead to hasty initial hires or partnerships. Avoid this by surrounding yourself with smart, trustworthy people who complement your skill set and who are prepared to build your vision for the long haul. Make sure to set expectations from the get-go, and address issues as soon as they arise. You’ll thank yourself later. – Joe Gardner, VentureDevs