7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Entrepreneurs

Common Practical Pitfalls for Business Thinkers

Business
Culture
Dan Lee
Dan Lee
Chief Creative Officer

1. ALL RUSH, NO RECHARGE.

There's much to admire about "hustle culture": temporary sacrifices and a bias for speed are necessary to make things happen. 

But without a healthy balance of rest and recalibration, we're prone to overestimate our capacity and find ourselves burnt out, or sprinting in the wrong direction far too long. 

Find the human pace that allows you to perform for the long game.

2. NEVER TESTING YOUR ASSUMPTIONS.

Your instincts are pretty dang good, and maybe you've seen success from trusting them. That's vital.

Still, your preconceptions and biases can be a danger, when it comes to making big decisions around real people and their real buying habits. 

Building your business around untested expectations of your customers — without gathering concrete data — is a surefire way to bomb. 

3. MISTAKING "DISRUPTION" FOR AN ACTUAL BUSINESS MODEL.

It's easy to define yourself as a bold new player just by shaking things up. 

While breaking the status quo is a cornerstone of innovation, it must accompany a more boring process of creating a sustainable new structure.  

Discipline is less fun than disruption. But only one of those can carry you into a strong, consistent future.

4. DEFAULTING TO PLUG-AND-PLAY MARKETING. 

For some, this looks like an undervaluation of branding, design, and advertising, resulting in a lackluster DIY presence that undercuts your expertise. 

For others, it's grasping for the flashiest campaigns that money can buy, and ending up with a lot of style without substance.

In both cases, you're misusing resources and failing to tailor your message to a captive audience.

5. COASTING ON CHARISMA.

The business world is a crowded arena of personality. It's helpful to capitalize on a winsome social presence, especially one you can back with expertise.

But charming leaders left unchecked can quickly become chaotic tyrants, creating unbearable and toxic business environments.

Surround yourself with mentors to keep you in check and focus on building the right team for growth. 

6. LETTING EGO LIMIT THE BUSINESS.

Many entrepreneurs treat their business like their baby, instead of as an evolving entity subject to its competitive landscape, the consumer market, and the core team being built to build it. 

If you find yourself unable to respond to changing tides, or unwilling to delegate roles and responsibilities as the business grows, it may be time to check your ego before you stunt the growth of your company beyond repair. 

7. CHASING EXCITEMENT OVER EXPERTISE.

The slow process of establishing a firm, foundational knowledge base can feel antithetical to the entrepreneurial dream.

As a companion to point 5, charismatic entrepreneurs can be uniquely susceptible to the appeal of thrilling controversies and epic public moments for their sizzle reel — instead of putting in the quiet, often unacknowledged work of learning, iterating, and building a genuine expert position.

Interested in how Only Co. can help you be an effective entrepreneur? Contact us today.
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