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11 regrets of successful entrepreneurs

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11 regrets of successful entrepreneurs

If you are an entrepreneur, or aspire becoming one, you are most likely busy putting together business plans, trying to figure out how to make your balance sheet work out, making sure you can make payroll even though cash flow is an issue and so many more daily challenges that can put a major kink into your business. Even when things could not be better you may be way too busy because you have more orders than you can possibly handle, you are most likely still only thinking about the short term issues. The struggle is real and there is little time thinking too far ahead.

Please find below a list of regrets that well-seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders have put together. Read through this list carefully and listen to the messages well. This advice cost some folks dearly and it would be a shame if you would traipse into the some potholes. Notice the common thread that runs through all of them.

  • Make enough time working on your business and not only in your business. Whether it’s fun or extremely stressful you can easily get distracted with your day to day stuff. Always allow for time to ponder and then actively engaging working on your business.
  • There is the small p and the big P. The small p is about your products and services. The big P is all about your magic sauce that makes your whole business tick. Know your why and your what, when, and how will follow.
  • When you pay bonuses pay the taxes. If you can at all swing it financially and from a corporate structure point of view, do this whenever you reward your folks. It is a great motivator and morale booster.
  • Ask more questions. Three “L” words come to mind: Listen, listen, and then listen some more. The answers to all of your important business issues typically reside in the heads of your people. Step one is to ask them and step two is to do something about what you may find out. Watch morale go through the roof if you manage to listen to your folks.
  • Think big enough fast enough. Manage your risks wisely, but never lose on an opportunity to start delivering your ideas. Do not lose momentum.
  • Delegate early and often. Ponder often whether or not there are things that you had better figure out how what you are about to hand off will provide a tempting challenge and make his or her day.
  • Fail quickly if you can. Make decisions quicker. That solely depends on the sacred algorithm that is “fast” – whatever that means to you make this your own recipe for success.
  • You cannot go broke on a deal that you don’t do. Should be self-explanatory, but without risking anything you are unlikely ever ready to be successful. Do not be foolhardy, but once you need to make a decision, make it and totally own it.
  • Provide more value than you charge for. Do you want to create a memorable brand that is seamless and fun to be working for and to do business with? Start by shocking and awing your customers and your team members.
  • The customer is the judge, jury, and the executioner when he is present in the room, but always stand up tall for your team members. Never forget that your team and its members are what make your company so unique and great – wait for the customer to leave the stage (except when they get personal). Then get busy doing your stuff.

The most amazing and ironic things about business leader’s regrets are all about has to do with people. Helping your own people or customers and practicing good stewardship of your resources will make all the difference in the world. One thing that you need to find now is the away time away from all of today’s challenges. What one regret above speaks to you the most and what will you differently from then on?


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3 thoughts on “11 regrets of successful entrepreneurs

  1. The hardest of these for most entrepreneurs,in my experience, is the delegation. The listening isn’t that tough, the follow through can be done. Delegating the follow through, and supporting the employee while they are making mistakes, is tough. I is hard to see someone going through a “learning experience” at your expense!


    • Oh yes, Tom. It takes all we have got not to intervene before the “aha” moment has kicked in. Being a business leader means taking risks though and if we do not invite others to do the same your combined potential will be limited. All the best, Tom.


  2. The hardest of these for most entrepreneurs, in my experience, is the delegation. The listening isn’t that tough, the follow through can be done. Delegating the follow through, and supporting the employee while they are making mistakes, is difficult. It is hard to see someone going through a “learning experience” at your expense! Bu it has to be done if they, and your business, are going to grow.


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