Don’t be a Know-It-All

By Chip Wilson

I often speak of the challenges that come along with being a successful entrepreneur today – from work/life balance (no such thing!) to hiring effectively, to mastering your product and its market share. The reason I speak about entrepreneurs with such passion is that I have personally experienced the triumphs and tribulations of this lifestyle for many years now. When I founded my first company, Westbeach, I began with a long list of attributes that I believed would ensure I would become a “successful” entrepreneur – and boy, did I ever miss the mark.

For instance, I believed I could never take a vacation or enjoy any days off; that I had to be in on every single move and decision, because I absolutely had to do it all on my own. I failed to recognize that people love to help someone who is passionate and working hard to accomplish their dream – all you have to do is drop your ego’s need for self-sufficiency and simply reach out. Every successful venture includes a team with well-balanced skills (design, sales, customer, creative, etc.,) which are next to impossible to find in one person alone. Yes, being an entrepreneur means being in the work 24/7, but don’t assume that simply not taking a break or asking for help will ensure success.

If you’re an entrepreneur today, I wonder if you couldn’t sit down right now and list out all the things you too have convinced yourself of; what are the beliefs you hold about being a “successful entrepreneur”? I would bet the farm you’d be writing out a significantly long list (which I would love to read).

Of course, some of our beliefs hold true: that an entrepreneur has to be able to work the 18 hour days, not for the money, but because they have an idea that they need to find out if the world wants as well. But, believing you have all the answers, especially when you’re just starting out, is going to ensure only one thing: that you are your own biggest stumbling block on the road to success. Don’t be a know-it-all entrepreneur!