Growth5 Blog

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

10 Things Learned from Entrepreneurial Failure

Grace sent me this article yesterday, via inc.com, by Scott Gerber (@askgerber) on the ten things he's learned from failure as a serial entrepreneur. You should check out the article, here are the ten items:
10. No revenue, no business. Period.
The basic idea here is "cash flow, or die."
9. You are not special, a winner, or guaranteed squat (and neither is your business).
Your idea will not walk itself into a conference room and have money thrown at it.
8. How many things can you do perfectly?
Keep it simple and knock that one idea out of the park over and over again.
7. Traditional business plans will bankrupt you.
Short and sweet, then execute. Rinse. Repeat.
6. The worst case scenario is the only scenario.
Two is one and one is none. Have back-up plans.
5. Divide your "lowest" financial assumptions or expectations by 4.
What you are currently forecasting for your first year sales is ridiculous, and will never happen. Plan on it. Also, see #6 above.
4. Strategic partners are not always good ideas.
See marriage / divorce.
3. Proof of concept isn't optional.
The difference between thinking about a business you hope to be up and running one day and being in business.
2. Business growth happens in real time.
The spreadsheet invariably jumps from zero sales to a bunch of sales at some point in the startup timeline. What is happening during that specific time period will determine how long the sales continue to be at zero along the timeline. Plan accordingly. Be nimble, be flexible, listen and adjust to your audience.
1. No matter how successful you are, accept that you will fail again.
Just make sure that during the "again" run, you don't make the same mistakes you made the first time.

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