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  • Writer's pictureWade Myers

The Single Biggest Mistake Entrepreneurs Make When Starting Up

Q: What is the single biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when starting up?

Single Biggest Mistake =

Entrepreneurial Passion > Careful, Rational Analysis

I’ve been there. More than once. On every startup I’ve been involved in.

Nearly all entrepreneurs will make huge mistakes whenever their entrepreneurial passion and zeal outweighs or overshadows or overpowers their ability to slow down and carefully and rationally analyze what is happening. And then reorienting as necessary.

We get blinded by our passion. We overlook obvious issues. We are certain that we will overcome. “It will be HUGE!” rules our minds.

We will over talk employees, co-founders, or advisors. We speed up our cadence. We increase our volume. We don’t listen. We don’t want to know. Don’t even try to show us the financials or the burn rate. We will just raise more money. We are about to close a huge deal. Don’t burst our bubble. It might kill our culture. It might kill our special vibe. What if employees lose their mojo? We must keep believing! We must keep trying!

If you are in this place – STOP IT! You are about to fail…

You need to learn what fighter pilots learned when dogfighting. When your heart is pounding like the North Atlantic surf, when your life hangs in the balance on each split second decision, when you’re taking in new information and making decisions at Mach II, you learn to follow what’s known as “Boyd’s OODA Loop”:

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. And then repeat. Over and over again at Mach II.

The trick is to do all four steps. Entrepreneurs in high gear tend to fail in the first two steps of Observe and Orient. We tend to keep drinking our own Kool-Aid instead of being open to changing up our plan or process based on reality and based on changing conditions.

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