Young Upstarts

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5 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Do


by Pratik Dholakiya, Co-Founder of E2M and MoveoApps

Most of the time, we’re told about the qualities that great entrepreneurs possess and the things they do that make them successful. However, incomplete knowledge can be dangerous, which is why it is equally important to know what great entrepreneurs do not do. Sometimes, avoiding or skipping certain habits and characteristics can help.

That said, ditching bad habits and embracing good ones is easier said than done. Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are a few common things that most successful entrepreneurs tend to avoid.

Here are six things successful entrepreneurs certainly don’t do:

1. Ignore Work-Life Balance.

In a demanding career such as entrepreneurship, one can’t afford to ignore work-life balance. We understand that as an entrepreneur you live to do what you love the most, i.e. work. But, if you are becoming too busy to grab a decent meal or see your family or roommates once in a while, it’s time for some introspection.

Though most entrepreneurs are workaholics, highly successful ones never ignore self-care. They know the importance of working hard, but they also know that you can’t make the best decisions if you’re feeling burned out. And this happens a lot if you keep ignoring work-life balance. Being more aware of your physical and mental health will result in improved personal and professional relationships, increased productivity, and decreased stress levels.

2. Try to Do It All.

Though entrepreneurs are supposed to wear multiple hats, doing it all yourself is a huge mistake. Time management is the most critical element of entrepreneurial success. If you keep doing it all by yourself, you will end up completely exhausted and overstressed. Further, the additional burden of doing everything by yourself will keep you from doing what you do best.

As an entrepreneur you may not have the time to do everything yourself. You can hire part-time employees or outsource some of your routine tasks such as bookkeeping, copywriting, and legal paperwork and contracts. When putting together a team of full-time employees, make sure to hire people with strengths that counterbalance your weaknesses.

3. Make Excuses for Their Mistakes.

Taking personal responsibility for one’s mistakes is a sign of a real business leader. If you are someone who points fingers at someone else when things go south, it’s time to change your mindset. If you make a mistake and screw up, you have to own it. Identify the cause of the problem and move forward to correct it rather than waste time dwelling on it. A true entrepreneur knows that making excuses is only going to delay achieving the end goal.

4. Not Have a Backup Plan.

Nobody wants to start a business thinking it will fail, but sometimes things may not go the way they are supposed to. An entrepreneurial career is replete with factors you simply can’t control. That’s why successful entrepreneurs have a backup plan.

Entrepreneurship is full of twists and turns such as delayed payments, contracts falling through, and shipping issues, among others. So, as an entrepreneur, you need a contingency plan for everything from your revenue stream and the supplies to financial records and customer data. Remember, highly successful entrepreneurs use a backup plan to ensure the most critical elements of their businesses keep running even if things go sideways.

5. Delay or Put Things Off.

Running a business is not about perfection, it’s about setting goals and achieving them. The first thing you need to learn as an entrepreneur is not to delay or put things off. If you sit around waiting for perfect conditions, you will be wasting a lot of money and invaluable time. Having imperfect conditions is a common problem every entrepreneur has to face from time to time; you are not alone. So, buckle up and stop delaying decisions, whatever the reason may be. Remember, in most cases, making an instant decision based on your gut instincts is a lot better than procrastinating a decision.


People often tend to study what highly successful entrepreneurs do rather than noting the things they don’t. However, by learning about what entrepreneurs don’t do, you can start off your entrepreneurial journey on the right foot. The above five tips will help you discard habits that are detrimental to an entrepreneur’s growth. Try them now! We would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.


pratik dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full service digital marketing agency and MoveoApps, a mobile app development company. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Entrepreneurship and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, and other major events across Asia. He has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica three years in a row.


This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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