Saturday 01 November 2014

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When a Founder Hurts his Business

Entrepreneurship is the outcome of an idea.  An idea that is perceived to have enough value that it’s worth going into business for.  There have been many cases where ideas were extremely successful and entrepreneurs enjoyed a life of triumph as a result of their success. There have also been many cases where ideas were a complete failure and entrepreneurs never had the chance to see their business go the way they planned.  In this post, I want to focus on those ideas that never succeeded and talk about the underlying cause of this type of failure.

Many businesses fail because they are started by people who have no business starting one. I know it sounds harsh but it has to be said.  People tend to start businesses without being fully prepared and without proper planning.  They just dream of the success and only focus on the optimistic outcomes without considering the risks and issues that may arise. Now, I’m a strong believer in dreaming and using imagination as a driving force in business, but I am also against the idea of just dreaming of the success and not actually putting the time and effort into truly understanding what running a business entails.  This is often seen in business founders who come up with great ideas but still fail because their lack of knowledge has gotten in the way of their success.

Many times, founders are not business people.  Instead, they are creative-minded individuals such as artists, musicians, computer programmers, designers, inventors, etc.  They are not experienced in business, yet they come up with great ideas that have the potential to succeed if they are carried out correctly. A lot of times, these newbie entrepreneurs  need a sense of direction and need a business person behind them to focus on the actual business-related matters while they focus on the product.  The problem is that founders often get emotionally attached to their ideas and allow their emotions to breed irrational thinking that interferes with business.  They pass up partnership proposals and investment opportunities because they don’t want to feel like someone else is taking away what they worked so hard to create. They also take too long to start because they want to focus so much on perfection that they end up getting burnt out before the business is even established. It’s that type of thinking that sets one up for failure.

Every experienced business owner knows that businesses need people to work.  If one person has to focus on everything, there will not be enough attention going to the individual departments that are essential to a business’s success. My advice to founders who are just getting started in business is to snap out of it!  Wake up and analyze things more logically.  Dream and imagine as much as possible, but take calculated steps to make those dreams come true.  Don’t be afraid to try new things and don’t be afraid to just start and improve the imperfection as you move along.  Like the old adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

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