“Do you own a business or does your business own you?”

This is the most important question to answer if you are an entrepreneur.

While being an entrepreneur seems like a ‘cool’ thing to do, the reality of most entrepreneurs is very ‘uncool’, be it lack of time, lack of money or even worse, debt on your head, that’s not what you signed up for when you decided to start up!

Here are 5 mistakes you need to be aware of as an entrepreneur:

Ensure you don’t make them if you don’t want to land up in ‘self inflicted slavery’, i.e. lack of time + lack of money + debt & stress.

Mistake #5 – Everything is ‘jugaad’.

While ‘jugaad’ is great, what most entrepreneurs forget is that it is not sustainable or scalable. The key is to do ‘jugaad’ in any area of your business for the first time only. If ‘jugaad’ is what you thrive on to get things done, then be ready to be the slave of your business, where nothing can happen or grow without you. Think & build systems and not ‘jugaad’.

Mistake #4 – I will hire when we make the money…

I know you need money to pay salaries but being a solopreneur is not a great idea at all. Being a solopreneur can be worse than having a job. In a job, you have someone to hound you to get things done and you at least get a salary every month, but if you are a one man army, then you own a job where you have to do the marketing, sales, development, delivery, accounting and administration work, and when you are the one doing everything, typically, the result is close to nothing. Face it! You need a team to handle parts of your business and typically, you make the money when you hire, instead of the notion that you will hire after you make the money.

Mistake #3 – I have hired them… now they better get the job done!

How many times have you made the courageous decision to hire someone, and have then felt a sense of relief after the person is hired, with hopes that he/she will now handle everything, and with confidence that your company is now on its way to growth? And how many times have these hopes come crashing down within the first month? The truth is that hiring and appointing people to do a job is not where your job ends, but it’s where your job starts! The key is to get your new hire to shadow you. You need to spend your time and energy to train your new hires, demonstrate to them what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, watch them do it and give them feedback. If a new hire is not shadowing you, chances are they are spending their time staring at their computer screen, feeling demotivated, wasted, and then pretending to do things when you are around, till you figure out that you do not have a team member, but instead a student who is too incompetent to do what you want them to do, and too scared to tell you that they don’t know what to do and/or how to do.

Mistake #2 – It is only a numbers game…

How do you set business goals? Do you make the classic mistake of setting only a revenue goal for your business?

I call this a classic mistake because the revenue number is like a fruit. And to get a fruit, you need to work on the roots. You cannot sow papaya seeds and expect mango fruit! That’s not how nature works. Also, just setting a high goal and making an action plan to achieve it is not good enough. You need to set goals on building systems in your business and developing you and your team’s capabilities, in order to achieve high goals. Only if you have the right set of capabilities, strategies and systems in place will your actions give you the result you want.

Mistake #1 – I will take the money when we make the money…

Are you smiling? If yes, is that a smile of pain rather than joy? Don’t you get a feeling that you should change your business into a not-for profit considering you go back home every month with hopes rather than cash?

Successful people value their work and pay themselves. Make it a point to pay yourself because the worst trap you can fall into as an entrepreneur is to start being okay with not taking money back home and not rewarding yourself and continuing to work for free. Only when you make paying yourself important, will you make sure to do what it takes to achieve your goals.

If you resonate with this article, I highly recommend you attend the Business Breakthrough Seminar which will give you an insight on how to build a successful business which can even grow without you! … The seminar costs 3,997/- but you could get a free seat to it. To find out how, navigate to www.rajivtalreja.com/book. Also visit our Facebook page.