The way we’ve gotten around that is to always work with somebody on a project before we start handing over significant equity stakes or large sums of money. If the trial project goes well, then talk about expanding the scope of the relationship. Sam Altman from Y-Combinator once said something to the equivalent of ‘a bad hire in the first few employees can be detrimental to a startup.’ I’ve really taken that to heart in my business."
The most painful mistake I see first-time (or inexperienced) entrepreneurs make is that they see others in their industry or niche as competition. This can significantly hold you back, as you may never learn industry secrets and tips, make genuine friends, and more.
Most often when I get pitched ideas from first-time entrepreneurs, I ask how is this different from [x]? Seriously, because it takes so much time and effort to go all-in on a business idea, you might as well wait for a truly great one
Probably the most costly mistake many entrepreneurs make is in choosing the people that they work with or hire. It’s a mistake I’ve made. And it’s a mistake I’ve seen over and over again
Instead, work to come up with a creative solution that costs little to no money. That forced discipline will help you spend less than you make, even when you’re not making a lot. Sometimes capital is necessary, but at some point there must be return on that capital. There’s nothing wrong with taking equity investment, investing for the future, even losing money for a few years. But your plan has to get you back to that simple equation of making more than you spend."
The biggest mistake I see entrepreneurs make is over-estimating the novelty of their big idea."
The reality is that there is no way to know how long it will take or whether it will work at all. So my advice is to approach it with humility, grit and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed, even if that means you have to work really hard for a long time."
Never forget that your business needs to take in more money than it spends. I know that sounds too simple, but so many people lose sight of that. That’s also why so many first-time entrepreneurs over-invest (or spend so much of their time looking for investors) early on.
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