Living the Entrepreneurial Life Part Two: The Nightmare

Today we take a look at part two of our series, Living the Entrepreneurial Life. In Part One, we put ourselves in the scenario of living the Entrepreneurial Dream. Your goal is to make that dream a reality. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are living a nightmare, the other end of the spectrum.  

As I share this scenario with you, please realize that this is strictly a cautionary tale. The nightmare is entirely avoidable, and the objective here is to help you avoid it.

A Day In Hell

Your people are not engaged, passionate, or concerned about your customers. They show up for their paycheck and can’t wait to go home. You spend your time avoiding them, interacting only when absolutely necessary. 

You meet with your leadership team rarely, and only when there’s a crisis to solve. Roles and responsibilities are unclear, and people trip over each other trying to complete projects. When someone says they are going to carry out a task, most of the time they don’t.

Your customers and clients are frustrated but stay with you because you offer the lowest price in town. As a result, you barely make a profit, so you’re frustrated. Tension is always simmering between you and your customers, and as soon as a better price comes along, they leave without notice. 

You can only pay yourself enough to survive, and there are no profit distributions.

Since you don’t have people you can count on, you are doing half their work, and that means you are forced to work from morning to night and on weekends. You rarely take a vacation and have little to no time for family or friends. Your family is getting fed up because you are never around. When you are, you’re always exhausted and frustrated.

The stress leads to bad decisions and poor health. You have high turnover and you have to constantly train new employees. They don’t respect you, they might steal from you, treat your clients poorly and ultimately damage your brand. 

Sound like fun?

These businesses struggle until their founders ultimately burn out and the business dies or is acquired by a competitor for pennies on the dollar.

This nightmare can be avoided. I help entrepreneurs do it every day. The goal of Entrepreneurial Leap is to help you achieve the entrepreneurial dream – and get there faster, with less heartache.

Eight Critical Mistakes that Create the Nightmare Scenario

What are the mistakes to avoid if you want to live the dream rather than the nightmare? 

First off, you have to assume that you will make mistakes. Everyone does.

Here is a list of the crucial ones, so you will burn them in your subconscious. That way you can take steps to avoid them.

  1. Not having a vision
  2. Hiring the wrong people
  3. Not spending time with your people
  4. Not knowing who your customer is
  5. Not charging enough
  6. Not staying true to your core
  7. Not knowing your numbers
  8. Not crystallizing roles and responsibilities

Now that you’ve seen the nightmare scenario and the eight critical mistakes. It’s important to understand they can be avoided.

Next Steps

Take a few minutes to jot down your thoughts from this scenario. What actions can you take in the next seven days to make sure you avoid living the nightmare?