Surprisingly Destructive Habits You Should Avoid as an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs want to have their hands on every aspect of their start-up. This is understandable, as many entrepreneurs come into their respective industries from a place of passion. Their passion will drive them to spend long nights at the office, working hard every hour of every day. Unknown to them, this kind of attitude can actually lead to some destructive outcomes.
You must avoid these habits, despite the allure of their short-term benefits.
1. All Work and No Play
You’re probably under a lot of pressure from your investors, your family, or even yourself. This pressure is doubled if your product is brand new and thus untested. It needs to work well or at least prove itself viable right out of the gate or it’s all going to go wrong. The pressure and need for success make your hobbies and relaxing seem like a waste of time. Moments spent on your hobbies could be moments seemingly better spent on your marketing campaign or your product.
The fact is that you still need to take time to relax, for two important reasons. The first is that the lack of relaxation will lead to burnout, which can lead to lost days from sickness and reduced output. The second is that creativity actually comes from a place of enjoyment. You may find your creative output limited if you spend all your time looking at documents and numbers.
Set aside time for more creative tasks. Play games, take in a movie or an art gallery, whatever you enjoy.
2. Spreading Yourself Too Thin by Multitasking
Entrepreneurs, naturally, want to make sure that every part of the business works out. Every little aspect is of interest to them. They juggle various duties at the same time, multitasking as best they can.
This seems like a good idea, until you realise that a lot of things require and deserve your undivided attention. It can start small – you may miss details during a small meeting, or a client may remark that you seem disinterested or distracted. These small things can easily snowball in reduced overall efficiency. Those small details might result in half your company not knowing what the other half is doing, or that client turning to another provider because you just don’t seem into it.
Focus on finishing one task at a time. If you find that you need multiple things done at the same time, delegate.
3. Micromanaging Your Staff
You’re not going to know everyone on your staff. The vast majority are going to be strangers. You might never see some of them in person if you use remote staff. You may find it difficult to trust them, no matter how strong their credentials look.
Resist the urge to micromanage every little task, especially for virtual workers. Just because you can’t see them working doesn’t mean they’re slacking off. If you don’t need to give input, don’t bother them after you give orders.
4. Being Present at Everything
Some entrepreneurs think that they’re the heart and soul of the company. It’s their idea, and they may believe that without their presence it will amount to nothing. At every meeting, whether it’s with a client or for a marketing campaign, they’ll be there, showing their dedication and making sure every goes exactly according to plan.
You might be thinking of doing the same. It seems simple when you think about it – you just have to be in a lot of places. It’s worth it, in your head. In practice, however, it turns out differently. Practically speaking, at some point you’re going to have to decide between two things and you may hold up the meeting as they wait for you. You may also end up driving yourself into the ground, burning yourself out for things that may not have even needed your presence or attention.
It might be hard to admit, but parts of your business can and will survive without you. You need to pay attention to the tasks that actually require your presence and attention while trusting your crew to handle the rest.
5. Believing That Long Hours Immediately Means Big Returns
The traditional image of a hard worker is someone who spends their days and nights at work, devoting the entirety of their life to the job. You might be tempted to do the same in the hopes that your start-up will make profits sooner.
Before you do that, take a look at what you can actually get done by staying at work all the time. True, there are some instances wherein burning the midnight oil would actually produce better results, but that isn’t true for every situation. Make sure that if you do spend long nights at the office that they’re going to result in a tangibly improved outcome for that specific task.
An entrepreneur’s success revolves around efficient use of their time and effort. There’s only so much a person can do in one day without running themselves into the ground. Don’t just look at the short-term gains – look at what it can do to you and your start-up in the long run.