Focus on the big picture every day
Make sure you spend some time thinking about your core business idea every day. Operational concerns have a way of quickly taking up all of your time, and you want to make sure that you don’t spend a week or a month solving a problem that doesn’t really need to be solved. Ask yourself: How are the activities of today advancing my core business goals?
Avoid diversifying too early
Once you achieve a certain level of success, opportunities will prevent themselves for diversification away from your core competency. Avoid these and learn to say no. Early diversification kills many promising startups, because they lose site of their more innovative ideas and start competing with more established, more experienced, and better equipped companies. Stay with your niche until your business is stable and profitable, then start moving into new areas.
Avoid the urge to take business at any cost
Discounts are a great tool for established businesses to bring in new customers, but they don’t work as well for startups. First of all, you probably can’t afford to undercut yourself early on in the life of the business. Second, customers will take these unsustainable prices as your baseline, making it hard to raise prices later.
Hire to fill gaps in your knowledge or skill set
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps you’re great with marketing and product development but have little understanding of law or finance. Whatever your skill set, concentrate on those aspects of the business and find talented people to take over the other aspects for you.
Don’t fear failure
Failure is the one common thread between all entrepreneurs. Chances are your first few businesses will fail. Even if they don’t, you will eventually experience some type of catastrophic failure somewhere in your business career. These are golden opportunities to learn and grow. We become better people and better entrepreneurs through our failures, not our successes.
Lead a balanced personal life
Being an entrepreneur is stressful and time consuming. If you don’t make health and family a priority, you won’t last long. Whatever the deadlines and pressing needs, schedule time to get exercise, eat well, and spend time with your loved ones.