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why startups fail

The 7 Biggest Mistakes When Starting a Business

The 7 Biggest Reasons Why Startups Fail

Starting your business can be a dream-come-true or your biggest nightmare. Your success will come from the decisions you make, and just one mistake can be enough to sink your ship.

I’ve made some nasty mistakes along the way to building a 7-figure business. Unfortunately, I can’t go back and change things. But, the next best thing I can do is help you avoid the mistake I made.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, avoiding these 7 big mistakes will ensure that you put yourself on the road to success.

1. Not being fully committed

One of the quickest ways to fail is to enter into business half-hearted, and not be willing to put in 100%. If you have an attitude or a habit of just doing enough to get by, then you’ll be in trouble.

Aiming for a standard and not just a goal means pushing for an “A” and not just a passing grade. Success comes not just with achievement, but with excellence.

Pour your heart and soul into your new business as if your life depended on it. Be prepared to make big sacrifices, but remember the rewards will make it worthwhile.

Related: Launching 5 Million Dollar Businesses In 1 Year – A Project Overview

2. Partnering

why startups fail

A big mistake that I originally made was starting a business with a partner due to fear. I sold my truck for $17,000, moved to Poland with some guys I had just met, determined to build a new life for myself.

When I arrived, guess what? I failed in spectacular fashion!

For three months straight I tried to crack my first affiliate marketing campaign. I burned through thousands of dollars trying to dial into a profitable conversion flow. My financial situation was spiraling out of control and I didn’t know if I’d recover. I was terrified.

When the opportunity came up to partner, I jumped all over it for the wrong reasons — I saw it was a crutch and lifeboat to save me, and we both ended up drowning.

Partnerships should be based on mutual value. Each person having unique skills that compensate for one another’s weaknesses. For example, I have strengths in development but score low on problem-solving. My project manager, on the other hand, is a master at fixing things.

When building your team or looking to partner, being able to achieve combinations based on mutual strengths will strengthen your business.

3. Ego

Don’t let your worst enemy in business be yourself. Being confident in your business is a necessity, but achieving a little bit of success and thinking you’re the god of business is one of the worst mistakes a young entrepreneur can make.

An overgrown ego will cloud your judgment and skew your decision-making. It is breeding ground for arrogance and disrespect. I’ve seen normal men turn into cartoon characters once the million dollar mark has been hit. Don’t let it happen to you.

Humility is one of the most important and respected traits for success.

Related: The 5 Steps That Took Me From Hating My Life to Building a 7-Figure Dream Business

4. Counting your chickens before they hatch

why startups fail

It doesn’t count until it’s in the bank account. Remember that.

When my former company started to make money, we immediately rented a BMW 5 series, moved to Marbella, Spain, and stayed in a 5 thousand euro a month mansion. Rather than use the profits to grow the business exponentially, we chose immediate gratification and failed to capitalize.

I fought tooth and nail against the decision but I was outvoted. The business suffered. I sat by in disapproval as my colleagues spent our hard earned money on unnecessary expenditures.

Always invest your profits back in your business and be a baller when you’re actually a baller.

5. Over-analysis

One of the most common problems new entrepreneurs face is analysis paralysis: the effect of being bombarded with so much information on how to perform a task that you fail to even start.

Stop trying to become a master of your business before you even start it.

You will learn ten times as much by actually going through the process and taking actionable steps day after day. Researching your business and learning about your industry is absolutely essential, but make sure to take action along the way.

Wait until you hit a roadblock before you research further and then smash through it like a beast.

Related: How To Build Your First Website For Less Than $200 – Business Idea Generation

6. Ignoring necessary paperwork

why startups fail

The days of agreeing to a contract based on a handshake are well behind us. It does not matter how well you know someone or how long you’ve been friends. You’ll be surprised how people change once you make a million dollars.

Protect yourself and your business. It is crucial that you have the proper shareholder agreements in place if an unpleasant situation presents itself.
Get on top of legal paperwork and have documents signed as soon as possible. This is absolutely crucial guys, I have personally learned this lesson the hard way.

7. The fear of saying No

Once you gain success in business, you’ll have plenty of people knocking on your door. Helping others and giving back is a wonderful thing; it has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life. That being said, you cannot help everyone. It is crucial to pick and choose your battles. Your time is the most valuable resource; once wasted, it cannot be bought back.

Look over your schedule — be honest with the amount of time you can give to others. If you always say “Yes” and bite off more than you can chew, you’re killing your own business and health. And ultimately, you’re less effective and valuable to everyone around you.

Adam Howell is a high school dropout turned serial entrepreneur. He successfully launched 5 startups in a single year which have been featured on Fox, Business Insider, Huffington Post, PC Mag and more. After traveling to 15 different countries he now calls Thailand home and teaches others how they can do the same.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for the insights. I’ve been thinking about starting a company and have been debating with myself whether or not to bring on a partner. I know folks that have really grown their companies by bringing on partners and companies that have been torn a part by internal struggles. What’s the best way to determine if a potential partner is a good fit?

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