The very characteristics that are the marks of a good entrepreneur can also cause trouble in companies and personal lives. Recognizing and understanding this can go a long way toward preventing problems many entrepreneurs struggle with, says Joan B. Scheel, assistant state director of the Small Business Development Center of Utah in Salt Lake City.
For example, entrepreneurs are notorious for being good at starting but bad at running a business. "That's the difference between the entrepreneur and the manager," says Scheel. "Entrepreneurs have a talent and gift for the creation process, but it takes a manager to organize the details. Entrepreneurs need to either develop their management skills or hire managers to run their companies."
Entrepreneurs are also frequently accused of being too optimistic, which can set them up for failure. Their view of reality gets skewed by their passion for their ideas. "They need to step back and set reasonable goals, and then create a practical plan to reach those goals," says Scheel.
Along with realistic goals, they also need to be realistic about the originality of their ideas. "Entrepreneurs have a desire to create something, and often they think it's new and different when it's actually not," Scheel says. Her advice is to pay attention to what market research and your advisors tell you.
Finally, entrepreneurs can get so wrapped up in their businesses that their personal relationships suffer. "They don't even realize how the business affects their families," Scheel observes. "They need to schedule time every week to look at other issues in their lives and to be with their families and take care of their personal needs."
Small Business Development Center of Utah, (801) 957-3480, firstname.lastname@example.org