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MISTAKE #1: Being a Big Thinker

You’ve heard it before, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Think small. Think about today’s step. Then with each step you take, work on growing and getting better. In due time, you will look up and realize you’re much further along than you could have even seen over the horizon from where you first started.

MISTAKE #2: Being Excited

It’s natural to feel excited about your possibilities and potential, but don’t get carried away. Remember, most entrepreneurs fail not because of market or economic factors, but because of emotional factors. Prepare yourself for what’s ahead on your roller coaster ride, including the negative voices of the people in your life.

MISTAKE #3: Being In Love With Your Product

You started your business because of your great product idea. You are passionate about your product. You have spent countless hours working on it to make it excellent—the best there is. The unfortunate reality is the quality of your product doesn’t matter (that much) to the success of your business.

MISTAKE #4: Being Cheap

Adages become adages because they are true. “It takes money to make money” is a perfect example. In growing your business, there are a thousand ways to spend your money, but there are three that matter most: people, marketing, and personal growth (learning).

MISTAKE #5: Being Like Your Father

And repeating the leadership sins of the past.

If you haven’t looked around recently, the world has changed—dramatically and fast! Because technology has reached several tipping points, we are the only humans who have lived through the transition from a state of linear progress into the speed and pace of exponential change.

MISTAKE #6: Being Amazing

And trying to do it all.

Our culture celebrates those who try to do it all by checking off sprawling lists of tasks every day. We exclaim how busy, stressed, and overwhelmed we are as if it were some badge of honor. It’s not. It’s failure and it will cost you everything—your life, your business, and all of your dreams.

MISTAKE #7: Being Successful

And avoiding failure.

The entire universe is built on duality. Just as you cannot have day without night, up without down, or good without evil—you cannot have success without failure. It’s not possible.

MISTAKE #8: Being Smart

And not seeking the help you need. Michael Jordan didn’t win a single NBA championship (seven seasons straight) until Phil Jackson was the head coach. Then he won three in a row. Kobe Bryant spent four years trying to win a championship to no avail. Then Phil Jackson became the head coach and Kobe won three in a row. Phil Jackson amassed an unprecedented 11 NBA championships. The difference wasn’t the player—it was the coach.

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