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(#004) How to setup your startup to fail! – Top 7 Mistakes entrepreneurs make

In recent years I have met many entrepreneurs and those who dreamed of becoming one.
In these years (from 2016 to now) I have seen people succeeding with their efforts and hard work, but also ruining their lives. I want to give you some examples* of how you can build your startup to fail and ruin your whole life by going bankrupt.

*These examples are based solely on what I have seen, not on statistics or scientific research.

  1. You don’t have a business plan.
    Chances are high that you have no idea how to write a business plan because you thought anyone could become easily successful overnight. This is the most common mistake I’ve seen so far. Having a degree in business administration or some management studies alone doesn’t mean you really know how to run a business, or that you even have the personality it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. Many people who naively quit their full-time jobs to become their own boss as soon as possible so they can make a lot of money, do so without a plan. This is the worst case scenario in my opinion! If you don’t strategically plan your path to self-employment, you are doomed to ruin your life. So please get help from someone who knows how to do this.
  2. Big ego.
    You have a big ego and believe you will be the next Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. Although you haven’t yet produced a useful product that will change the world with your so-called start-up, you already see yourself on the cover of the Times magazine, not to mention the cover of Forbes magazine … Also, the only reason you want to become an entrepreneur is to have the fancy “CEO” title and the fame!
  3. Lack of sales skills.
    You might have a great idea or product, but you don’t know how to present your idea to investors! ouch I have seen many pitches mostly given in English, yes, even in Frankfurt (Germany) most pitches are given in English, not in German. So knowing English is an absolute must! It is perfectly fine to be an introvert. In this case, you need someone who complements your skills and loves presenting ideas to investors. This way, you can avoid awkward pitches. If you are an extrovert but not used to presenting your ideas in front of investors, you need to practice your presentation skills if you have never done so before. Nothing is worse than a boring pitch or presentation.
  4. Spreading negativity.
    After every little setback or mistake, you spread a huge amount of negativity. Instead of learning from your mistakes, you only become depressed. Mistakes are a part of life. If you don’t learn from them, but become extremely anxious, you are definitely not start-up material.
  5. Not a team player.
    You think that building a business is a one-man show or a one-woman show. In my personal opinion, this mentality is the best way to burn out! So first find at least one other person, or in best case 2 or 3 people, who will build a startup with you and believe in your idea or product. You don’t have to do everything by yourself either, delegate the tasks you may not be qualified to do, to people who know what they are doing, for example if you don’t have experience with financial topics, delegate those tasks to someone who likes working in that field and has solid experience.
  6. Afraid of taking risks.
    You have great ideas and a wonderful product! wow That’s great! The only problem is that you’re too afraid to take risks. You think more about what could go wrong than what could be a great success. The solution: you need a mentor or a co-founder for discussing your ideas and fears and see if the risks are really as big as you think they might be.
  7. Money will solve your problems… no it won’t…
    You think that your product is the most innovative and best on the planet and that no other person has founded something so supernatural! In reality, you haven’t sold a single piece of your product, or you haven’t sold enough, so you can’t live off your earnings! But since you are stubborn and believe that money could solve your problems, you keep putting it into your business and end up taking on a huge amount of debt that you will never be able to pay back when you have to declare bankruptcy!

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again,

this time more intelligently.” 

Henry Ford
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