Not Perfect?
When you ask most entrepreneurs how business is going, you’ll get the typical flowery response of contracts, commitments and lots of capital. I’m pretty open about my journey. There have been both shortcomings and successes. You will see the results of my accomplishments in my balance sheet. Let’s talk about my mistakes.

No Plan

Sometimes you get so busy you forget to plan. Organize your day, week, month and year. Write down your plans for marketing, sales and research. How much are you going to spend on new products? Attending conferences? Attach a timeline to each task. At the end of the time period, review your plans. Did you achieve your goal? Football players begin each season with a plan for success.  What does your plan look like?

Plan for Your Goals


No Money

You are going to need some capital. I know it sounds bad, but I started my fist company with no money in the bank. That’s right – no plan AND no money. When you don’t have money, it is even harder to get money (business loans). Similarly, it is hard to fill up your car, buy plane tickets or meet with clients when you don’t have money. When you start a company with no money you start a company with massive credit card debt. That’s a bad thing. 

No Follow Up 

Following up with prospects and clients is good customer service. Have a plan (there it is again) for how you will follow up with leads and customers. When I worked for the top tech company in the world, my team had a policy in place to not miss any phone calls, and they would follow up on emails within 1 hour. We also followed up on new leads within 24 hours. Prospects and customers will appreciate the attention. Make sure the process is defined and you (and your team) follow through. 

No Customers

This is the kiss of business death. If you don’t have customers, you won’t make money. If you don’t have customers, you can’t follow up with them. One of my early business mentors asked me on the first day, “Who is going to buy your service TODAY.” Always keep a list of people who are ready to pay you for your service or product. At the minimum, have a plan for acquiring customers. My initial thought was that I had a great idea, and people will start coming to me. That was not the case. 

These are not the only mistakes I have ever made in business; these are just the top four. Everyone is going to make mistakes – business, sports, education. The difference between the person in the corporate boardroom and the one reading about them is the business owner didn’t quit. Remember: “To error is human; to make money is divine.” (my paraphrase) 

Scientifically Speaking, of course.  

Next Week: 4 Forgotten Social Media Platforms