An entrepreneur must walk the line between extremes:
- Too much ego or too little ego
It’s obvious that having too much ego is a sure-fire way to fail. But if you have no confidence you will also fail.
“Arrogance is like salt on a pizza. Too much and you ruin it. Too little and there is no taste.” Moleshiaa
Believe in yourself.
- Not listening or listening too much
Ignoring your partners, customers and staff will lead to failure. But listening to everyone’s opinions will get you nowhere too.
Listen, weigh up all the information, but chart your own path.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle
- Spending too much money or spending too little money
In business, profit is the simplest metric of success. The easiest way to make a profit is to spend less money than you earn.
It follows that spending too much money is directly contradictory to making a profit.
But if you spend too little money, you’re also doomed. There’s a reason for the saying, “Penny wise, pound foolish.”
If you know what you’re doing, back yourself. Spend.
- Micromanage or over-delegate
Micro-management is the path to poor morale. Poor morale is the path to unmotivated staff. Unmotivated staff is the path to micro-management.
No one likes having someone looking over his shoulder all the time.
But you can’t be completely hands-off either.
Regardless of how smart your crew is, you don’t hand the keys to your co-pilot on take-off and doze off for the flight to New York.
In the end it’s your responsibility to get the plane safely from A to B. You can’t do everything yourself, but you can’t expect to delegate every detail either.
- Overly emotional or overly unemotional
Emotion clouds the mind. You need a clear mind, especially in times of crisis.
But no one follows a robot with no emotion.
Emotion leads to passion, and passion is the easiest torch to follow.
- Too many hours or too few hours
Long hours do not guarantee victory. In fact, long hours can sabotage you.
Lack of sleep, marital problems, neglected health, all these symptoms that can lead to you not operating at your mental best.
Don’t work for the sake of working, but just remember, no one ever made it big without putting in long hours
“An entrepreneur is someone who works harder than most people will so that he can live like few people can.”
- Overselling or underselling
Making promises you can’t deliver on will lead to failure. Either the buyer will see through the pitch and reject you, or they’ll take the bait but be disappointed by your lack of delivery later on.
Of course, you’re not doing yourself any favours by under-selling. If no one knows how awesome your product is, don’t be surprised if no one buys it.
Tell people enough to hook them, but leave enough in the bag to blow expectations and over deliver.
In the end it’s all about balance. As an entrepreneur you need to be comfortable with ambiguity, competing priorities and contradicting objectives.
As Johnny Cash said, you gotta walk the line.