So, let me guess.
You’re a nice person, you probably always help people and everyone likes you, right?
That’s a good thing, isn’t it?
Yeah, it is… but that doesn’t mean you don’t have some disadvantages…
Most soft hearted entrepreneurs, make some deadly mistakes that can ruin their chances for success…
1. Afraid of Firing Bad Employees
You can’t afford to have bad employees.
Maybe they’re lazy, maybe they don’t fit into your culture, maybe they don’t have good skills or maybe they just don’t listen to clear instructions… maybe all of those.
Perhaps what you could do is give them training and education if they lack skills… but as a tiny low budget startup… you may not be able to afford that… so you’ll just have to let them go.
You’re not a big company and the cost of a bad employee can force you to bankruptcy. So either fire them or go out of business together. It’s your choice!
Just tell them straight up… “I have to let you go.” If they ask for feedback tell them you’ll send it over through email. There’s no other way.
2. Reacting to Calls and Messages as They Come
There’s no way you can ignore them…
When that phone rings or beeps with notifications you just have to answer. It’s an automatic reaction…
But, don’t you have work to do?
You won’t get anything done if you answer everything that comes your way. Not saying you should ignore them… but you should delay them.
Here’s how you can delay them… it’s really simple…
Put your phone on flight mode or mute (not vibrate) and throw it in another room, behind you or face down on the edge of your desk. Of course, the further it is, the better.
Close your Inbox and put the phone off the hook… eliminate anything and everything that vibrates, rings, lights up or beeps.
So, when do you answer those calls and messages?
Schedule it as an event on your calendar preferrably 3 slots a day. Check out Kevin Kruse’s 321Zero system.
Maybe that’s a bit too much… since most of us are used to picking up our phones and checking our inboxes atleast every hour… not 3 times a day.
But you have to accept the fact, that you’re not like eveyone else… you’re an entrepreneur! You don’t have time for these kind of things – you’ve got a startup to work on.
If you’ve got plenty of free time on your schedule… then sure… by all means schedule more time for calls and messages or just do it in your empty time blocks.
3. Not Saying No
Someone asks you for something and you don’t have time for it.
But they were nice… it’s your friend… family member…
You want to say “no” so badly, but out of your control you spit out the word “yes”… Oops…
It’s really hard I know.
You’re busy. You’ve got work to do. Your schedule is full. And people are trying to steal away your time…
Learn how to say no by implementing the 3 hacks found here.
4. Loving Your Business Idea
When you’re too emotionally attached you lose your mind. Your decisions become emotional rather than rational.
I know that feeling…
I love my business ideas too…
But you know what I love more?
I hate wasting time on ideas that don’t work and so should you.
I have a notebook full of ideas… the notebook is just for ideas… here take a look:
Nothing too fancy… but at least I know it’s got several ideas I can work on if one of them doesn’t work out.
You should spend atleast 30 minutes a day brainstorming ideas and jotting down whatever comes to mind in your notebook.
You’ll be surprised at how many really good ideas you’ll get. In fact, go ahead and schedule a daily 30 minute brainstorming slot in your calendar before you move on to the next point.
5. Afraid of Reaching Out
What’s the worse that could happen? Seriously…
The worst that could possibly happen is not getting a reply…
Okay, maybe they’ll say a few un-kind words… but why should you care?
It’s part of life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
Obviously, we’re talking about reaching out to influencers here – not ordinary people.
Influencers get hundreds of emails each day, they won’t reply to most of them because they don’t have time to do so.
For that reason they won’t even remember you, even if you say something stupid… unless they black list you. But other than that, you should be fine sending them another email.
I’ve sent influencers several requests to contribute to my book Undefeated Marketing and almost all of them don’t even remember.
Even if they did remember, it would be for one reason and one reason only…. because they put effort into writing an answer to the question I asked. But, I’m sure they get asked a lot of questions… so like I said… they won’t remember.
I always reach out to influencers to share my articles on twitter. They do share it and then don’t even remember me…
So when I say, you shouldn’t be afraid of emailing influencers, then I really mean it!
6. Depending on People
If there’s anthing I regret, it’s depending on people. I kept my hopes so high and waited for them to deliver what they promised, but they failed.
People will let you down.
The truth is… most people over-promise and under deliver.
Maybe it was your friend who really wanted to help but then find out they didn’t have enough time, because they had blah and blah…
Their excuses do you no good…
So yeah, don’t depend on anyone.
But, stopping there is actually bad advice.
The “don’t depend on anyone” or “don’t trust anyone” advice gives birth to micromanagers. The last thing you want to do is hire someone to do some work but then check up on them every hour. You’ll just stress yourself and waste your precious time.
What you should do is hire the right people. Hire people with a good track record. Don’t hire new people. We live in an online world where freelancers have reviews… read those reviews. The more positive reviews they have, the better.
7. Assuming Others Are Trustworthy
I got scammed several times…
I trusted them… they betrayed the trust.
Actually it doesn’t work like that… I was just plain stupid. I lost my savings that I was going to invest on my first startup.
Shouldn’t have trusted someone I didn’t know.
It happened on Alibaba when a supplier emailed me and told me to pay them through Western Union.
It was such a rookie mistake…
Anyway, make sure you never ever pay anyone without a third party involved… something like PayPal or AliPay would have been safer.
[tweetthis]Never pay a business like you would pay a friend.[/tweetthis]
The truth is… if someone is honest, I don’t see a reason why they shouldn’t want to go through a third party unless they’re hiding something… but maybe it’s the additional fees… in that case you could tell them that you’ll cover them. Better safe than broke!
Things are going to change…
People will still like you, but they won’t walk over you anymore…
Your stress levels are going to be at optimum levels and your startup will be better than ever.
All because you’ve learnt to avoid the pitfalls most soft hearts make.
So get to work…
Because your customers depend on you!
About the Author: Zak Mustapha is the founder of Foolishness File and the author of Undefeated Marketing.