Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Biggest Mistakes

Posted by Eleanor Rae Carman /June 25, 2015 / Advisors, Entrepreneurial Advice, FounderTalk, Hot Topics

Ask any entrepreneur and they will tell you they’ve made a lot of mistakes (and the ones that don’t are lying). But the key to success is learning from these mistakes so you don’t make them again and of course, getting right back up. We asked several successful entrepreneurs from places like Hotel Tonight, Docstoc, Opower and Opsmatic to share their biggest mistakes in hopes of learning how we can avoid similar situations in the future. Based upon their responses, mistakes seem to fall into 1 of 3 categories: your psyche, not taking action and hiring. Here’s what they said their biggest mistakes have been:

Psyche “Mistakes”

“Fear.” - Philip RosedaleFounder, High Fidelity, Inc. & Second Life

“Letting opinions cloud your purpose.” - Scott LewallenFounder, Grindr

“Trusting by default.” - Jay AdelsonChairman & Founder, Opsmatic  

“Not believing in myself was the biggest mistake I made as an entrepreneur.” - Sam ShankCofounder/CEO, HotelTonight  Tweet this

“Spending too much time worrying about competition and not enough time making what I’m building amazing.” - Brenden MulliganFounder/CEO, Cluster Labs

“Thinking that entrepreneurship was the most meaningful part of my life.” - Mick HagenFounder,, Spatch, & Mainframe

Waiting Too Long Mistakes

“My biggest mistake as an entrepreneur was waiting too long to start.” - Jason NazarFounder,  Tweet this

“Not pivoting soon enough.” - Peter KazanjyFounder, TalentBin 

“Waiting to see if a problem would resolve itself.” - Joshua FormanCofounder, Inkling 

Hiring Mistakes 

“Hiring too fast and firing too slow.” - Dan YatesCofounder/CEO, OPOWER

“Hiring bad fits.” -John BattelleCofounder/CEO, NewCo, Federated Media, Web 2.0 Summit, Wired

“Getting the wrong people on the bus was the biggest mistake I made as an entrepreneur.” - Hooman RadfarPartner, Expa & Founder, AddThis  Tweet this

Mistakes in entrepreneurship are inevitable. Just know you’re not the only one making them, learn from others and don’t be afraid to correct them.

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