The harsh but the sad truth is…
Entrepreneurs fail. Even the ones with great ideas fail.
It doesn’t matter how unique or exceptional or smart your idea is, but it isn’t enough because an idea doesn’t guarantee results, but how well you execute it does.
Because whether you succeed or fail depends more on how you are giving life to the idea and the idea itself.
A great idea can bite the dust when poorly executed, while a not-so-good idea can succeed when implemented correctly.
Because execution is everything and success usually comes after numerous starts, adjustments, pivots, collective efforts, and commitment to cross the finish line.
And that’s where many entrepreneurs fail even when they start with a fantastic, groundbreaking idea.
It’s hard to accept because we all believe we are good at executing our ideas.
Unfortunately, we aren’t.
It might sound bitter, but you need to accept if you are serious about succeeding an entrepreneur.
I’ve spoken to tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, both successful and otherwise, and I’ve seen it always comes down to executing the idea.
But execution is a broad term, and it means a lot. It will make sense if we can drill a bit deep down, right?
That’s what we are going to do in this email.
We are going to discuss the five areas where entrepreneurs go wrong with execution and eventually fail.
#1: They don’t know what it takes to succeed
Don’t get me wrong. Most entrepreneurs know they need to put a lot of effort to succeed, but they don’t know what it really takes to succeed.
For example, to succeed as a business, you need to come up with the right idea, validate the idea, build an MVP, get your first customers, launch the product, get your 1,000 customers, and scale your business.
But how much effort is required for that is what you don’t know.
For example, It might take a week to validate specific ideas and might take a month or two to validate some other ideas.
You can validate some ideas with an online survey, and might need to meet a lot of people and ask the right questions, comb through the answers, and read between the lines to validate some ideas.
But, first, you need to define what success is and how you will measure it, and that’s where many entrepreneurs lose. They don’t know what to measure, how to measure, and how much effort is required to get there.
#2: They don’t know how to balance things
People who fail usually stay on the extreme ends. They either work hard or slack. They do too many things or nothing at all, and they feel motivated one day and lose hope the other day.
It doesn’t work.
Entrepreneurship is like running a marathon.
It’s a long one, and you cannot start fast, lose steam in the middle, and fail to reach the finish line. You need to run fast enough and also preserve the energy to reach the finish line.
You have to celebrate each milestone, no matter how small it is, and yet remain glued to the ultimate goal.
You have to get up after a fall, quickly assess what caused it, and move forward.
That’s where people lose it. They either get excited when they win small or depressed when they fail.
#3: They follow what’s popular, instead of what they’re good at
This is a no-brainer.
After Facebook, hundreds of people wanted to build a social media platform even if they didn’t have the experience or expertise to build one.
After Flipkart, so many people started an e-commerce business even if they didn’t have a clue as to what e-commerce is.
And the list goes on. Even you might have seen a few of them.
Do you know what happened to all of them?
They all failed.
It’s like you decide to start a restaurant in your locality because the neighborhood restaurant is doing great.
You can’t because before starting a restaurant, you should know a thing or two about running a restaurant and making it profitable. Otherwise, you’ll bite the dust.
As an entrepreneur, contrary to the famous advice, you shouldn’t ask, “What do people want?”
Rather you should be asking, “What is it I know better than others that my market is missing and people would be interested in paying for it?”
Because that will take you close to success than following a trend that you have absolutely no idea about.
But many entrepreneurs miss that one while starting, and it leads them to failure.
#4: They don’t know what they don’t know
As much as you know what you are good at, you also need to know what you don’t know. It’s critical to your success, and failure to recognize your dark spots will lead you to crash for sure.
For example, you could be a great developer, but if you aren’t exactly good at UX, you’ll end up building a product with poor UX. It could cost you everything.
You could be great at selling, but if you terrible at time management and prioritizing deals, you’ll fail.
You should know what you don’t know so that you can find someone suitable to do those jobs for you while you focus on your strengths.
It’s not just critical; it’s the thin line between your success and failure.
And there is another side to this.
People get too comfortable with things they know. They get to the stage where they believe they got it all figured out because they have plenty of experience.
Don’t do it.
Because the moment you start believing you have got it all figured out, you’ll stop listening and learning, and start making decisions based on assumptions.
You’ll stagnate, and it’ll lead you to downfall.
Be grounded and humble, and keep your mind always open to learning. It’ll help you grow.
#5: They don’t stay in their lane
Being an entrepreneur and founder gives you a lot of freedom—freedom to stay on course or go off-course. And that’s where things go wrong.
People start doing things even if those are beyond their expertise simply because they can.
For example, if you have no idea about designing things, you should avoid suggesting color choices to your designer.
If you don’t know much about advertising or marketing, you should avoid picking your marketing channels or suggesting them.
But people cannot resist getting their hands dirty and have an opinion.
Because they are the founders, they feel entitled and start putting their suggestions and recommendations on things they don’t know much about.
Where do people go off-course? The moment they try to do what isn’t their primary skill set, merely because they can.
And that takes them to a downward spiral.
Those are the top five areas where entrepreneurs go wrong when it comes to executing their ideas and fail even when they have a fantastic idea.
Remember, entrepreneurship comes with lots of responsibilities, and one of the most significant responsibilities that comes with it is how you are executing your idea, choosing what to do and how to do.
You can choose not to make these mistakes.
You can choose to succeed or fail.