Watch your step: These 3 habits are startup-killers

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Having the willpower to start a business from scratch and build it into something valuable is no easy task. This is attested to by the less than 2% of startups that eventually become viable companies. The remaining 98% get blown by the wayside. What makes the difference though, between those that succeed and those that don’t? These are 3 habits that entrepreneurs have observed to be startup killers

Parallel entrepreneurship

This is when an entrepreneur decides to work on more than one startup at a time- as if the resources required to handle one startup are not draining enough. If an entrepreneur tries more than one startup at once, then his resources are going to be split and may end up losing at both ends. It is important to be focused and dedicate your all to one startup at a time if it is to have any chance of success.

“Startups are an all-consuming thing.  It’s hard to split time and passion across multiple ones.  Startups are hard enough as it is, but balancing two at the same time is almost always a bad idea”- Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO, HubSpot

“You have to be completely dedicated to your business. I’ve made the mistake in a past company of not being 100% focusaed and you don’t get where you need to be very fast. When you take on too much, you feel like you’re mitigating risk but in fact you’re just setting your business up to fail.”- Hannah Chaplin, CEO at Receptive.io

A money-centric attitude

It’s obvious that any startup that’s not going to make money for its founder could as well stay in the bin. However, if how to make so much money is all that’s on your mind as an entrepreneur, then there’s likely to be problems. First, it’s very likely, you are not patient enough to work things out properly. Secondly, you are likely to get greedy and shun smart decisions. For example, instead of finding a co-founder with other brilliant ideas, you may decide to stay on your own and keep the profits all to yourself.

“The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is the biggest mistake people make when looking for a spouse. Don’t think about money. Fall in love.”- James Altucher

 “Potential biggest mistake was…not finding a complementary co-founder, believing I didn’t need anyone and being a bit greedy about giving up any equity of my “next Facebook of XYZ” idea”- Mike Karmindro, Founder, TraderMob.com

Letting passion rule

This is almost at the other end from the previous point. While it is necessary to let passion fuel your drive and determination, it is also important to let common sense play its part. Know when to shift gears, when to turn around and when to stop altogether. If not, the likelihood of having a failed startup on your hands will be greater.

“The thing is when you start developing a product you have a vision in mind how people are going to use it based on assumptions. Most of them will be wrong. Your product will pivot, so should your vision, too.”- David Pichsenmeister, Co-Founder of Oratio

“Nearly all entrepreneurs will make huge mistakes whenever our passion/zeal outweighs or overshadows or overpowers our ability to slow down and carefully and rationally analyze what is happening and reorienting as necessary.”- Wade Myers, Serial Inc. 5000 entrepreneur.

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