Social Media has a way of making everyone feel as though they are the gurus of life. Each content creator is vying for your attention and ultimately your loyalty to them, their brand. Of the plethora of content creators I observe, I can say about five percent are genuinely there to assist you in true growth. Their passion is to help others succeed. The rest are there to take your unsuspecting dollars. How many times has someone signed up for an e-book only to be told that the class will offer more information. Like clockwork, people sign up for the class only to be sold another product with more information- the one-on-one mentoring. It is a never-ending cycle. And right before, you loop to the starting point, you realize that a google search could have saved you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
The information is so generic that a person with cognitive deficiencies could have put together a better presentation. It is hard to find a Mahdi Woodard (@mahiwoodard) or Alquincia Selolwane (@AKAnundrum). There are hundreds of real estate gurus, but not many like Kristyn Patterson (@callherkris) who takes you on a transparent journey with each project and explains various funding products available for those that are interested. With so many people giving out misinformation and presenting a façade online, it is quite easy to make mistakes in your entrepreneurial journey.
These are the mistakes that many people make when starting their journey.
COMPARING YOUR JOURNEY TO SOMEONE ELSE
This is the initial mistake. Entrepreneurship looks different for everyone. No two people in the same industry have the same story. Similar? Yes. The same? No. Because you are in the same industry, things particular to the industry happens for everyone. At some point in a consultant’s career, you will deal with a client who does the opposite of what you have advised. Does that mean you and the next consultant should mimic each other? No. It just means you both share a common experience. Always remember, their journey is not your journey.
FAILURE TO DO THE WORK
Another big mistake is that many beginning entrepreneurs are caught up in the end game and not the journey. The journey is where entrepreneurs are made. You learn how to bounce back from failures and create new opportunities. Everything you need to learn to be successful is on that journey, but if you are too busy worrying about the end game, you’ll make a profit, but won’t have the longevity to continue those profits.
IMPROPER STRUCTURING OF THE COMPANY
Initially DBAs seem like the perfect thing to do until you are fighting for your company’s name in the next county/parish over. You get a little smart and file for an LLC with your state and procure an EIN. And that’s great. But there are other corporation filings that may be more beneficial. You have S Corporations, other Limited corps, C Corps, Non-Profits, the list goes on. You also have things like either having a board and filing with your comptroller’s office for your ability to charge tax. And then there are items such as trademarks and copyright for intellectual property including your business name and the written material you may produce.
NOT HAVING A CLEAR VISION
No clear vision means a lot of unnecessary paths taken. If I know I want to make it to LA from HTX, I have to catch a plane out of Hobby at some point. My vision puts the end goal LA. Now if I knew that I wanted to leave HTX, but I had no idea where I wanted to go, I’m thinking about LA, but I heard Phoenix is nice and then there is Seattle. Now, I book a flight, but I make pit stops along the way to these cities, get a few delays out of my control and when I finally make it to LA, I’ve lost the one commodity I can never get back, my time.
NO SYSTEMS OR PROTOCOLS
The biggest mistake that I have seen is the failure for companies to write out employee policies as well as a standard operating procedure for different facets. I met a guy that had a mechanic shop, two to be exact, but he couldn’t tell me why pricing varied by a storefront or what would be the procedure to rectify a disgruntled customer. When you don’t have procedures you have varied outcomes which cause issues later on.