Destructive Habits Entrepreneurs Should Avoid When Starting Out in Business

Entrepreneurs starting out in business like to have their hands on every aspect of their start-up.  It is quite understandable, as many entrepreneurs come into their respective industries usually from a place of passion.  Their passion may drive them to long nights at the office, working hard every hour of every day with little time for themselves.  This kind of attitude can actually lead to some destructive habits and outcomes.

It is crucial to try to avoid such habits, despite the attraction of their short-term benefits.  Here are some 5 simple warning signs to look out for as you progress on your new business journey that may help put better practices in place early.

1. Work Life Balance

Entrepreneurs are naturally under immense pressure from investors, family, or even themselves. This pressure is compounded if their business, product or brand is new and untested.  It requires work to ensure viability from the start to avoid things going wrong.  The pressure and need for success makes ones private life almost non existent or give the feel that time spent on family or relaxation is a waste of time.  Moments spent on personal interests could make entrepreneurs feel their time is better spent on your marketing campaigns, bookkeeping, social media or simply embedded in the business.

The fact is having work life balance and being disciplined in doing so allows time for relaxation whilst supercharging the batteries.  Alternatively, you may become rundown or burnout.  The other issue with overworking is that it may cause a lack of creativity if the total focus is spent looking at documents, numbers or simply strapped to the business.

It is recommended to set aside regular times for those more creative tasks.  Be it going to a movie, theatre, sports activities, games, family or anything that spikes your interest.

2. Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Entrepreneurs, naturally, want to ensure all aspects of their business works at its’ optimum.  They juggle many varied tasks all at once and every aspect of their business is of interest.  They quickly learn the skill of multi-tasking at its best.

Although it may seem like a good idea, they soon realise that a lot of things require and deserve their undivided attention.  It can start small – they may miss details during a small meeting, or a client may remark that they seem disinterested or distracted.  These small things can easily snowball in reduced overall efficiency.  Such situations may result in half the company not knowing what the other half is doing or run the risk of losing valued clients and staff.

It is crucial to focus on finishing one task at a time. If you find that you need multiple things done at the same time, then delegate.  The team is there to support you and learn from you so do rely on them.

3. Micro Managing Staff

Resist the urge to micro manage 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 your instructions.

You’re not going to know everyone on your team as well as you would like.  Some staff may be strangers others you may never see in person as they work remote.  Building trust can prove difficult, no matter how strong staff credentials can be.

4. Being Present

Some entrepreneurs think 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 everything goes exactly according to plan.

As an entrepreneur one cannot be all things to all people and even though it may seem simple to do so it’s simply not.  One cannot physically be in a lot of places at once as the business grows and expands.  It may end up driving you into the ground, burning you out for things that may not have even require your presence or attention.

It may be hard to admit, but parts of a business can and will survive without the business owner.  Having a bird’s eye view across the business as well as tasks that actually require attention, being present and trusting the team to handle the rest is the best direction to take.

5. Long Hours Do Not Always Mean 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. Entrepreneurs may be tempted to do the same in the hope that their 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.