Even the most confident entrepreneur has to go through a process of learning. Starting a business isn't an innate skill — it takes weeks, months and years of trial and error. If you are lucky you will make a lot of mistakes right off the bat and learn from them before you get in too deep. Either way, here are a few lessons other entrepreneurs have learned the hard way:
Write a business plan: A business plan is a written description of what your company is, why it exists and who created it. It outlines your organization's past, present and future, telling readers what you plan to do and how. If you don't have one you will find yourself, at some point, flailing around like a fish on a hook. The best way to fail at entrepreneurship is to figure you can wing it. The key to a successful business is strategy, and a strategic plan can help set you on the path to increased profitability and quick growth.
Screen investors: People may tell you that when starting a business investment is everything, but don't make the mistake of thinking that means accepting funding from anyone who offers it. The best investors will share your vision. They know what you want to do with your company, and are looking to back your efforts — not interfere in your work. Avoid investors who try to bribe you into breaking commitments with certain people by offering greater funding, or partake in other unethical behavior. Never compromise your integrity in your dealings. There are honest and trustworthy individuals out there who will be happy to back your idea.
Don't focus on selling: If you are starting a business with a goal of selling when things start taking off — stop. Successful entrepreneurs aren't focused on the exit while trying to achieve their dreams. Build a company that you would like to be a part of for decades, not a company you are itching to leave.