✋5 Big Mistakes early stage founders make (and how you can avoid)
I've been running private mastermind groups for 3 months now.
2000+ minutes of conversations around building a solo business. With Indie Hackers as well as Content entrepreneurs.
The conversations have revealed some very interesting blind spots in our thinking.
These are common to all solopreneurs, especially when they start out.
And they can also be fixed easily if we are just aware of these blind spots.
These are the 5 big mistakes I've seen most early stage founders make -
1. Thinking too big too early
We all have a grand vision of a business we want to build.
We want to build a million features and make a billion dollars.
But when you're starting you need to go super narrow and target a niche. Build 2-3 features and find paying customers. Trying to go too big early on can mean making a generic product which nobody wants.
2. Not saying NO enough
In the early days we come from a scarcity mindset.
We find it hard to say no to client work as it brings cash flow. But it also takes up all our time.
Or sometimes we get distracted by shiny object syndrome and keep building 1 product after the other while not getting traction on any one of them.
But to succeed you need to focus your energy on a single product. Give it enough time and energy.
Say NO to everything else and spend 2-4 weeks on 1 thing to see if it has legs.
3. Not running enough experiments
A lot of success in life is random.
But we don't let randomness benefit us.
We get stuck with 1 growth channel or 1 feature or 1 customer persona. Even when it doesn’t work or saturates.
You need to run tests at every dimension of your business and find which combination works!
You need data to validate/invalidate a feature idea or a growth channel.
4. Not focusing on distribution
We're all builders. We all feel yucky when it comes to sales.
That's why we obsess over product and ignore distribution
But if you ignore marketing and sales you will never make money.
You're here to do business, not play "FoUnDeR"
That’s why building distribution channels are as important as building features right from day 1.
5. Not knowing who your user is
We often build a product because we love a tech stack, or like the concept of the product.
But we don't actually know what problem it's going to solve. Or who is it going to solve it for.
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting out. You should always have a clear user persona and even a few ideal users who you know.
Or at least you know where they hang out online. This will help you craft the right copy, messaging and positioning for your product.
Thank you for reading 🙏
Hope this gives you some obvious mistakes to avoid with your own business.
If you would like to add more such mistakes, please share in the comments below.
Every week, I share the most actionable insights and inspiring tips from successful Indie Hackers FOR aspiring Indie Hackers. Ideas + Insights + Inspiration for building profitable internet businesses💪
Sign up to Listen Up! IH and join 2000+ spirited Indie Hackers who read this newsletter every week.
PS: Please help me improve this newsletter, share your feedback by clicking any of the emojis below 👇