EntrepreneursMost entrepreneurs start out with great optimism because they perceive in their minds a visionary product or service that could revolutionize some facet of work, life, industry or medicine. First time entrepreneurs embark on this journey with lots of energy and motivation that propels them to step out into this high-risk endeavor. However, most entrepreneurs are not aware of the “Unknown-Unknowns.” These are the things they don’t know…that they don’t know.  Unknown-Unknowns are harder to fix when you don’t recognize there are critical entrepreneurial problems looming ahead.

I am a firm believer of the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt (or Groucho Marx–whomever really quoted) “Learn from the mistakes of others because you will never live long enough to make them all yourself.”  I believe the title “Seasoned Entrepreneur” is really a subtle reference to individuals who have accumulated the most battle scars during their entrepreneurial journey–and survived to tell about it! I would like to share some of these lessons because there are many pitfalls for entrepreneurs, but most of them are avoidable with careful planning and advanced knowledge. I have narrowed these mistakes down to seven of the most common categories.

  1. Unclear Goals: Not knowing where you are going and not recognizing the difference between a Method and a Goal.
  2. Misaligned Technology with a True Market Need: You find yourself possessing a technology solution that is in search of a problem to solve.
  3. Poorly Planned Corporate Entity and Agreements: These foundational legal problems impact your future ability to raise capital and grow.
  4. Failing to Fully Leverage your “Human Capital”: There are unrecognized and untapped resources available that you need, but you are not utilizing.
  5. Poor Capital Management and Fundraising Strategy: Your capital raises are not timed to occur after reaching a value-enhancing milestone, thus impacting investor interest and valuation.
  6. Not Knowing When or How to Pivot or Reinvent Your Business Model or Product: Missing critical external queues and failing to take advantage of “serendipity.”
  7. Short-term Perseverance and Limited Vision: Misaligned internal motivation which ultimately leads to a self-limiting enterprise.

 

I’ll post more about each of these topics in the upcoming weeks.

Updated:

As i promise I have started posting step by step about the Mistakes of Entrepreneurs:

  1. 1 of 7 Common Entrepreneur Mistakes: Unclear Goals
  2. 2 of 7 Common Entrepreneur Mistakes: Misaligned Technology with Market Need
  3. 3 of 7 Common Entrepreneur Mistakes: Poorly Planned and Conflicting Agreements
  4. Entrepreneurial Mistakes 4 of 7: Failing to Leverage Untapped Human Capital Resources

© 2015 Craig Shimasaki