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10 Mistakes First Time Entrepreneurs Make

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

Avoid Entrepreneurship Failure with David & Donni's Ultimate Guide

The Social Proof Podcast

Let's keep it 100. When starting an entrepreneurial journey, some days are up and some are down, but the one constant is that you will make mistakes. There is no need to avoid it so don't even try. Celebrate them because they will make you grow! David & Donni sat down and chatted about some of their early mistakes and how it shaped them into who they are. So, wherever you are both on your journey and right now in your literal environment, grab a cool beverage, a notebook, and get ready to learn from two of the greats.

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10 Mistakes First-Time Entrepreneurs Make

1. Waiting for Perfection

The biggest myth is that perfection is a possibility—it's not. Matter of fact, waiting for perfection will cause people to delay going for their dreams. Realize that no matter how much planning, strategizing is done, being perfect is unattainable. There will never be the perfect time. So, do it anyway.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Do you know what is possible? Achieving excellence. Substitute perfection by doing your best, then watch how things align! Secondly, realize where you start will always be terrible compared to where you will be after a year of steady efforts. Then in two years where you are will be better than year one. Here's the thing: if you don't start, then you'll never see where your pursuit of excellence will take you! Say encouraged and be realistic. You got this!

2. Being Overly Influenced By Other Entrepreneurs You Admire

As you dream and make a vision for your business, you may know entrepreneurs that are further on their journeys. You may share with them what you see and they may not be with it.

Even though they may be in a higher status than you in terms of success, take their advice and counsel but, don't alter your dream too much. Do not be heavily influenced by their thoughts. Realize that your vision for what you want may not align with their opinion, but that's ok, because it's your vision. But, be open to suggestions, because someone who has been in business longer may identify a more strategic way to get your goal because of their perspective. Be open.

3. Not Executing On Ideas Quickly

When you have a good idea, write it down, flush it out, and commit to action. Sometimes we can have a thought, forget it and it's never birthed into reality.

Donni shared that within her phone is a running list of ideas that she has seen in her mind and as time goes on the details of the idea fade and then, worse yet, someone executes on the idea before she does. To solve this, shorten the timeline of when the idea originates in your mind and it becomes a reality. Get it done. Execute.

4. Underestimating The Importance of Understanding Taxes

Sigh. In theory, all entrepreneurs know how important taxes are to business financial health. However, applying the knowledge we know about taxes, sometimes, that's a different story.

Every entrepreneur has heard for each stream of income we make in business, we should take a percentage out and set it aside for taxes. But how often do we actually do that? We really don't realize how important this is until you become a high-level earner and have to pay half of your revenue at tax time. There are both state and federal taxes that must be paid. So, if you make a million dollars years in a year, half will go to the government in taxes.

In hindsight, David stated that had he had more knowledge about taxes, it would have been beneficial. He urges everyone to get the information now, no matter how much revenue you are currently bringing in. There are so many tax strategies as a business owner that not being aware of can be a detriment to your business and livelihood. Become educated.

5. Trying to Do Everything for Too Long

When you first start your business, you are everything in one person! The cameraman, copywriter, blogger, content strategist, operational manager, photographer, and...well, you get the point!

There is nothing wrong with this because we all have to start somewhere, but this should be a temporary thing. As your business and demand grows, hire staff who are experts in the things you are unfamiliar with. If you are used to doing things because you are solo, know this: it will be better to spend your time doing the things that you like to do and are inspired to do! That will be more valuable to your business.

But, do not use creating a team as an excuse to put off work. The hiring of staff and delegating staff is a gradual process and necessary.

David Shands & Donni Wiggins


Pro-Tip- Avoid the Burnout Sometimes we think we are saving money, but we are wasting time by not handing the task off to someone else. Wearing all those hats will lead to burnout. Avoid this at all costs.


6. Coming up With Ideas With Your Friends

A good friend may have the best intentions in the world. But, the problem occurs when ideas are developed together, but the action does not develop beyond the ideation.

Do this instead. Come up with a solo idea and then ask your friends if they are interested in joining the development of the concept with you. That is a more strategic move. If you bring your friends in from the beginning and they don't do their part, then you are stuck. But after you have put in time on the idea and bring them on later and they don't perform, then you can keep moving and find someone else. Essentially, they have not stopped the flow of progress, and your train of progress keeps moving. Presenting them with the strategy and the invitation to get started will gauge their interest and dedication.

Think smarter, not harder.

7. Managing Money Incorrectly

Outside of taxes, managing money and allocating funds is the second most valuable asset to the financial health of your business. Incorrectly mismanaging your business is not a good look. Gone are the days you can save your way to wealth. There are clever and easier way to get it done. Money management via investments is crucial to secure your journey to wealth. Money in the bank is a bigger liability than an asset. Learn to make your money work for you.


Pro-Tip - Learn to leverage other people's money. Lack of knowledge of leveraging other people's money is a costly mistake. Billionaires and millionaires constantly talk about the importance of using business credit and investments to get to the wealth.


8. Thinking That Everything is Working

Realize this. There is always something broken. Know that. Even if you are hitting goals and metrics, as a CEO or business owner, you have to constantly realize that something is always broken. Specifically, always look for ways to improve on what's working and the things preventing you from reaching a higher point of success. The rise to the top won't happen unless you do this. Right now you are effective, but in the future you will thank yourself for the efforts that you do today when you lean into the things that are working well.

9. Thinking Too Small

Being unsure and coming up with small ideas that are comfortable will dim the light of your shine. This applies to your rate, big business ideas and more. Being an entrepreneur means making a calculated approach to the risks needed to scale your business.

An enormous influence on how big your visions is the circle of folks around you. If your friends make 50K for a year, you may be stuck thinking that is the capacity of what you can make. When you are around people, you make six figures a month, then your reality hits differently. Money is not everything, but a growth mindset is.

Second, think of the legacy that you are creating. Really take a moment and think about your future. The benefits of the work you are doing now will have a bigger impact on your family and love ones after you are gone. Consider your efforts and


Pro-tip - Dream big. There is nothing wrong with having small goals, but make sure you have a big vision. Dream. Plan and go for it. Your limit is determined by you. The bigger the vision, the faster the smaller parts will get you there.


10. Not Investing In Marketing Soon Enough

Everything on this list has been major, but this one, number ten, is huge! A successful seven-figure brand can be built without marketing, but it can't be sustained that way. Running paid marketing ads will bring your business to eyes that have never seen it before. Whether you pay for social media ads on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or you are using Google, run ads.

Create a lead magnet, run an ad and then support that community of people generate that engage with your ad. So they grow as you do. Give your community the value they want; it is worth it. Don't sleep on organic marketing. It will get your foot in the door, but to reach levels you've not seen before, create a marketing budget and run ads.



11. Be More Focused on Money

Don't fall into the mindset that making money is not a good thing. Money comes from your business efforts. There is nothing wrong with being driven to make money.


If this blog informed you some way, please share it with someone within your circle. Do you want to watch the entire episode? Click below to check it out!

Entrepreneurs, Social Proof

The Social Proof Podcast

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