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Finishing our discussion on the four common mistakes that entrepreneurs make, today we will introduce the fourth common mistake:  focusing time and energy on things that don’t matter.

Focusing Time & Energy on Things that Don’t Matter

The last of the four common mistakes we’ll discuss is related to the first.  What is the best use of your time as an entrepreneur?  Most people, whether they’re owners or employees, spend far too much time doing things that really have very little impact on the long-term health of the business.  How often do people spend hours making sure the color scheme is perfect on their PowerPoint presentation?  How much time is wasted trying to get spreadsheet columns aligned correctly?  How much time is spent with customers that really provide nothing to the business?  How much time is wasted on email and the internet?  Think about each task you perform throughout the day.  Is this really necessary?  If it passes that test, ask another question:  Am I the right person to perform this task?  Finally, is there a better way?  How much time do you spend each day doing things that really don’t have a long-term strategic impact on the business?

Remember:  Just because something is fun doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best use of your time.   Ignoring strategic issues that are important to your business won’t make them go away.

Hopefully you’ve found something in each of these four areas that’s relevant to your business.  I would challenge you to ask yourself: 

  • Do I lack strategic focus in my business?  What do we want to be when we grow up?
  • Do I understand what it takes to run a business?  What am I prepared to do to improve my management skills?
  • What are we spending cash on?  Are our cash investments really going to pay off?
  • What things that I do are really important?  Which ones aren’t?  Can we just get rid of those?

We’d love to hear from you.  Which of these four mistakes resonates with you?Checklist for small business owners, checklist for entrepreneurs

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