Maybe you’re just putting together your business plan, or maybe you’re doing well and reaching your financial goals as an entrepreneur. But at any point during this arduous process, you might get caught up in thought patterns that don’t serve you well.
Maybe these types of thoughts have always been in you, or maybe they’ve developed as you’ve grown through the process. No matter what, you need to ditch these thoughts because they may ruin your business — and your life.
It already takes a certain type of person to succeed as an entrepreneur. You’re driven, not scared of going off course, and you believe in yourself. These are all great traits in moderation, but too much of any one can make you feel invincible — and you’re certainly not. Here are five more thought patterns that might just ruin the greatest startup in your region.
1. “I got one big client, so I’m set.”
Putting all your eggs in one basket, especially when it comes to revenue stream, is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Even if you have a multi-year contract and the requests or orders are flooding in, you never know when that might stop.
Maybe the contracted firm files for bankruptcy, decides to go in another direction, or otherwise thinks it’s better to break the contract than fulfill it. Always assume clients are temporary, and work on diversifying your revenue stream at all times.
2. “I’ll hire my friends, so it’ll never feel like I’m at work.”
Everyone knows how that turned out for Mark Zuckerberg and his college best friend. A business can more easily destroy a friendship than make it stronger, even if one of your friends is the best fit for the position.
It’s similar to borrowing money from friends, except you have the added stress of working together day in and day out. Unless you’re already partnered, such as when you’ve got a mutual invention, it’s best to keep your personal and professional life separate.
3. “I can take a vacation next year.”
Never put off vacations, sick days, or holidays. It’s very unlikely your current obsession needs to get done right then, especially when you’ve planned days off and let your clients know in advance.
Stress not only harms your health, but it also ensures you’ll perform under capacity when you are in the office. You might not have the cash flow in the first few years for a real vacation, but at least schedule an occasional long weekend when you do nothing work-related. If you have a significant other, this just might save your relationship.
4. “Where else can I cut corners?”
Making frugal and sound financial decisions is a trademark of a savvy entrepreneur, but there’s a limit. You can’t let quality suffer, whether it’s the product or the level of customer service you provide.
Is it worth it to save a small percentage by lowering the quality, even if most customers won’t notice? Probably not, and you’ll be better off forming a company known for taking pride in what it does.
5. “It’s all about the money.”
Money is a great thing, and it’s fantastic when you start turning a profit and being able to enjoy all that work you put in. However, if money is your only goal when starting a business, you’re going to crash and burn.
There’s still a need for work-life balance, and it’s even more important that you enjoy what you do rather than make a lot of money at it. After all, if you only work to live, what’s the point?