Being a successful entrepreneur requires avoiding several pitfalls. Here are seven mistakes you should be careful not to make, according to Mathieu Carenzo, director of IESE's Center for Family-Owned Business and Entrepreneurship (CEFIE), based on his experience working with start-ups.
1) Going it alone.
Don't be afraid if you don't know everything. You should always team up with the best professionals you can afford to expand your scope of expertise.
2) Sticking with your "gut" feeling.
While intuitiveness is important, it's even more critical to analyze your business opportunity in a very systematic way. Stay focused and be realistic.
3) Creating your company in a vacuum.
Starting your own company may be lonely at times, but nothing can inspire you more than sharing your idea with experienced fellow entrepreneurs and experts. Integrate their feedback into your project.
4) Not continuing to learn.
You may be brilliant in a certain area, but you still probably have a lot to learn as an entrepreneur. Keep learning and developing so that you can acquire the personal and professional skills you need to grow your company in the long-term.
5) Focusing too much on the vision
While being ambitious is common among entrepreneurs, launching a start-up is mostly hard work. Keep your head in the sky but your feet on the ground (work, work, work!).
6) Resisting change.
If your strategic direction isn't working, be flexible and prepare to adapt to new information and shifts in the marketplace. Don't be afraid of change.
7) Thinking you are going to get rich quickly.
Be patient because, in most cases, entrepreneurs don't get rich overnight. It will take a long time and you can expect to make lower-than-normal wages for a while. But the many rewards of having your own business can be worth it in the long run.
The CEFIE is organizing events over the next five days in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 15-21. GEW aims to support and inspire a future generation of entrepreneurs all over the world.
At the Barcelona campus, IESE will host daily breakfasts with entrepreneurs, conferences, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, investment forums and the 10th anniversary of IESE's seed capital fund, FINAVES.
The events are an offshoot of IESE's strong focus on entrepreneurship and its goal of promoting entrepreneurial activity in Europe and around the world. IESE carries out research and teaching activity focused on entrepreneurship through the CEFIE, as well as through the Department of Entrepreneurship. It is also home to a highly active MBA Entrepreneurship Club and various investment funds that foster the creation of new businesses in various countries.