There are a few things in life that I wish I never spent a single penny on. Remember satellite radio, what a waste of money that was.
As I think about it, there were a few things as an entrepreneur that I invested in I wish I didn’t spend the money. That’s ok; the real value came from the lessons learned, even if they came at a bit of expense.
Starting my first business
In the startup, growth hacking world there’s a term frequently used called the wantrepreneur or someone who wants to own a business but doesn’t do anything that comes with being in business. For example, they may go and print business cards, find office space, buy a new computer, etc., but never put effort into the most important thing such as look for clients. They incorporate the business, apply for an expensive trademark and do nothing actually to be in business of making money in exchange for a product or service. Not to mention validating the idea to see if it is even a viable business model.
Not saying that I was a full-blown wantrepreneur, but I did make a few wantrepreneur-like-actions when starting my first business. Probably spend money on a bunch of junk that wasn’t needed. Like t-shirts, business cards and incorporations that pretty much didn’t help me make any money or even enhance my brand. Probably could have spent more time validating portions of the business that had the most potential for growth and revenue as well. Eh, I was 20-something…
Write off as a learning expense.
Either way, the first-hand lessons learned from trying something new provided me with invaluable knowledge that I have applied to numerous other projects and startups. Each new startup business providing me with new experiences and helping me become a bit more successful each time.
Learn from your mistakes, but don’t keep making the same mistakes.
In my mind, that first business was a success, but I can’t say it was a cash cow, or I probably wouldn’t be writing this post. The success came from the lessons learned, contacts made and skills achieved in the process. That goes to say, don’t start a business to make costly mistakes. Take time to educate yourself how now not to make common startup mistakes and get help/inspiration from others who are successful.
More to come on this.
Any ideas or advice you can share on your mistakes and success? Please leave a comment.