Lessons Every Entrepreneur Must Learn to Succeed

Lessons Every Entrepreneur Must Learn to Succeed - People Development Network
Lessons Every Entrepreneur Must Learn to Succeed - People Development Network

Lessons learned increases your chance for success

You currently work in a successful established company in marketing, sales, engineering, finance, accounting, product development, etc.

The new year is here and you are contemplating a break from corporate life into your own entrepreneurial startup.

You’ve been personally successful and see no reason you and one or more of your equally capable friends can’t do the same for yourselves.

Been there done that, a career of successes and failures.

I’ve learned a few lessons along the way you might want to consider, including these three.

The first of three lessons: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle

You’ve hopefully learned things in the corporate world you’ll need to know in your own venture.

Don’t overestimate the value of what that is or underestimate what it didn’t teach you, starting with this:

All those more or less equally capable people you currently work with have much to do with your success.

You may have a few of them working alongside you in the new venture but for better and worse that will be a very different norm than you’re used to now.

Your ability to do your job as part of a large established team of people tells you nothing about how you’ll do on your own without them.

The obvious support those you work with provide, along with the not so obvious, can mean the difference between you succeeding and failing.

The second of three lessons: The unknowns will kill you!

You’ve planned your startup, right?

You’d be a fool not to; no plan, no chance.

But do you see that plan for what it is?

A house of assumptions, things you assume but do not know to be true.

Job 1 is proving/disproving assumptions as being true or false, updating your plan accordingly.

Be confident but don’t smoke your own dope.

Convince everyone but you that you know what you’re doing.

Continue to make you prove to you that you really do know what you are doing.

The third of three lessons: If you think you’ll be the smartest person in your own company you’re not.

Got that startup title picked out do you?

CEO? Executive Director? Chairman?

Someone needs to lead and since this is your idea that could be you.

Or not.

Having been a successful accountant, marketer, product developer, etc. in someone else’s company doesn’t mean you’re the right person to lead your company.

Knowing what you have been does not tell you’ll be, what you need to be.

Don’t be the blind man leading the blind into darkness.

Ok, four lessons: To thine own self be true.

I encourage self-appointed entrepreneurs, I’ve spent the better part of my career being one.

Throughout that time I’ve learned a lot including nothing more important than how much I didn’t know in the beginning.

If you are fortunate enough to succeed, even a little, it will be because you learned this much sooner than most.

William Matthies
William Matthies founded Coyote Insight in 2000 to help start-ups as well as established companies and brands plan for profitable growth. In 1986 he founded what was to become the largest independent market research/database marketing company in the consumer electronics and high tech fields. By the time he sold The Verity Group in 1997, the company employed 400+ people at its California and Costa Rica offices. Today he serves on corporate advisory boards lecturing frequently at industry events around the world on managing change, strategic planning, and customer relations. William's spare time is spent seeking out experiences that change his perspective, while at the same time having great fun. A few years ago, he visited Russia for a Mach 2.5 flight in a MiG 25 supersonic aircraft flying to 80,000 feet, the edge of space. Want details? Contact him, he'll be happy to tell you about it!
William Matthies