After over 10 years of being an entrepreneur and seeing highs and lows of being on my own, I have seen certain shortcoming that I had to overcome within myself. While speaking to Amit recently, It occurred to me that a LOT of entrepreneurs I have met have repeated the same words that I am writing below, but in different ways.
Here is my attempt to highlight some common issues I see with newbie entrepreneurs (I am not saying young purposefully because it isn’t anything to do with age). Hope these thoughts would help you as an entrepreneur:
a) Hiring Okayish People Because They Want To Work With You
Every entrepreneur who has a little less muscle power (financial mostly) and is a little low on confidence than usual (which is at times because of background) faces this issue. We hire people because they are willing to work with us. You sure need people who will work for you and stick with you, but that doesn’t mean that you should hire people just for that reason. If you admit, there is a slight hesitation & fear in rejecting candidates or looking a bit further before zeroing in on someone. That’s because we feel that this is the best we can get and we can’t afford / retain / deserve someone better at this stage.
I would challenge newbie entrepreneurs to be a little more rigorous in hiring people and don’t be so scared. If you hire out of desperation, you will build poor accountability within the team and you would stress out because you are putting up with poor performance.
b) Not Valuing Your Health & Well Being
Can’t stress enough that THIS IS A GAME. You win & you lose. Both would happen. There is so much silent pain in struggling with your business, to learn what you don’t know and re-do everything every few months. We often lose friends, stop valuing time with family and stop caring for our health and wellbeing. My request would be to stop and think what is important for you? Yes indeed it would take a lot of hard work and some sacrifices for you to make it big. But that need not be at the cost of everything you have. Make hard rules. Give dedicated time to that friend who won’t talk business to you, see what you family expects from you and do the right thing.
And of course, organise everything. Use a calendar, To-Do app, reminders and anything else that helps you keep all the chaotic thoughts and work in order. That would help you not carry your work in your head all the time. At Price Baba whenever a new comer joins, we train her / him using pre-created modules for using calendars, give them a structured and documented demo of our values & culture and even how to write effective emails. Training your team to play by the rules is as necessary is following it yourself.
c) Working With Friends & Family
It is very hard to work with friends and family. As a team when they are working with you and even when you are doing a business dealing with them. Because you like them, they like you and you trust them, it is easy to get started with friend and family. If at all you do so, please see it as a professional relation and treat it that way. This requires a great deal of maturity on both sides and often doesn’t work. So beware.