2 Avoidable Mistakes That Cost Us 420 Days
The question isn’t if you should work harder or work smarter (the answer is both). The real question is which one you should do first.
Time is everyone’s biggest asset, especially for 3 teenage entrepreneurs with little business experience and the burning desire to succeed. Unfortunately, our passion led us down the path of working hard before working smart.
October 16th, 2015
This was the day my partners and I started our first Google Doc for our company Binapro. At first, it was simply for organizing our thoughts. Then we kept expanding more and more on that doc. Here’s where we messed up.
Mistake #1: Ten Page Idea With A One Page Strategy
Building upon your idea is extremely fun. You think about adding this feature and that feature. You’re going to create the best thing the world has ever seen!!!
Realization: Creating the best thing the world has ever seen IN YOUR HEAD is a piece of cake. It’s in the execution of your idea that matters. It’s about what gets you from point A to point B.
In Hindsight: You need the outline but keep it at just that. Your idea will change so drastically by next week that listing every possible feature you can is a complete waste of time. Figure out the immediate “Next Steps” that will further your project along. Strategize from point A to point B. Then take action!
Estimated Time Lost: 90 days
Mistake #2: Researching Competitors More Than Resources
Before executing ANYTHING that you don’t specialize in, research ways to do it better, easier, and cheaper.
Realization: Let’s just look at this logically.
Scenario 1. Spend 6–12 months building your website (you have to learn coding first).
Scenario 2. Take 10 days to research everything under the sun about the obstacles that lay ahead. Chances are you’ll find a solution that shockingly decreases the time spent in Scenario 1.
In Hindsight: We spent SO MUCH TIME trying to find a developer. We had 1, then lost him. Then we found another and lost him. When you don’t have a ton of money, finding a key team member who’s in it for the long term is rare.
If we just spend a few days scouring Google, we would have found Bubble.is, a revolutionary visual programming framework that we used to build Binapro. NO CODE INVOLVED.
Never underestimated the evolution of technology, supply of free tools, and plethora of valuable knowledge.
Estimated Time Lost: 330 days
February 6th, 2017
Finally, after 480 days, we officially launched Binapro! Now the real work begins…
Of course we made more than just 2 mistakes. All startups have failures, some bigger than others. However, being aware enough to learn from them and maneuver effectively is the challenge.
Don’t just analyze these 2 specific mistakes. Internalize the overall concept. Before you run towards your destination, you have to know where it is. Work smart BEFORE working hard and save yourself about 420 days.