StartupNation's 5 Startup No-No's

We spend a lot of time giving advice on the things you absolutely should do in order to be successful as an entrepreneur. So, bucking the typical modus operandi around here, we figured it was time to focus on the ugly stuff you absolutely should not do. Sometimes, tough love is the best kind of support there is.

And the no-no's are:

1. Writing a business plan before a life plan

This is a fast track to having your business own you instead of you owning your business. Instead, do the important  self-assessment process to ensure you really have all your ducks (and bucks) in a row, then write your business plan.

2. Buying into your own hype

Passion is a key asset for entrepreneurs, but avoid the common pitfall of allowing that emotion to let you make foolish decisions and conclusions. Get real feedback from multiple parties to validate everything you’re so excited about.  Learn more in "Business Growth Strategy:  Don't buy into your own hype"

3. Believing in yourself, only

Leave the super heroes to the kids – avoid trying to do and be everything for your business. Focus your effort on what you’re best at and delegate and outsource the rest. The more you surround yourself with extremely capable people, the more you'll love your work.

4. Doing things how they've always been done

Just because people have done things the same way for eons doesn’t mean you should do them that way, too. Use technology to create efficiencies never before possible. It's a new era and you should embrace all the tools that are available to help you succeed today in unprecedented ways.

5. Committing without Testing

Countless entrepreneurs blow money without knowing that it will yield results. Instead, carefully inch your money out at first. Some of your worst decisions will be made early in the game. As you accumulate expertise and experience you'll start making smarter decisions. So go easy on early, money-intensive commitments.

Common theme across all of these no-no’s? Lack of awareness. So take your game up a notch. Be sure to be self aware through life planning. Be tuned in to the realities of your opportunity, not just the potential. Know your limitations and who to plug in around you. Get smart about new approaches and options. And accumulate whatever market data you can using a minimal amount of money and only with that newfound awareness of what works get more aggressive.

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