What is the most common mistake first-time entrepreneurs make?

photo: mymarketingthing.com
Most first-time entrepreneurs don't validate their assumptions as quickly and frequently as they should. 

Most people start their research online, then they talk to a bunch of people and as soon as they have their "first brilliant idea" - they isolate themselves and rush to "finish" the product. That's a big mistake. 

I encourage people to prepare and present a sales pitch to actual customers, pretending the product is ready, even before a prototype is ready. Asking people for casual opinions is all well and good but asking them to pay for it - is the real moment of truth. It often removes months of wasted effort in developing things that "seem logical but no one wants to pay for". There is a big difference between useful and getting paid for something useful (and the answers often surprise everyone). 

Most people don't reach out early and often because of the following reasons: 
  • They are excited about their brand spanking new idea and want to "finish" it as soon as they can (much like binge watching on Netflix)
  • They receive initial criticism and of course they don't like it, so they start to avoid talking about it
  • They consider their idea to be extremely valuable and likely to be stolen
  • They find it hard to articulate the value and most people don't like to sell anyway
Unfortunately, there is no alternative to "putting yourself out there". It is very much part of "showing up for work". Either you do it yourself or find a partner who does it for you.

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