Last year, I was working on a business that I was convinced could be bought by a huge media conglomerate. In fact, before I had a business model, funding, prototype or even a single customer, I was ready to sell the business! Needless to say, the business didn’t work out. My passion was focused on the wrong place. And I’m not the only one. Many entrepreneurs I speak to are looking for an exit strategy much earlier than even their entrance strategy.
I read an article by Mark Cuban many months later and the second line struck me:
- Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love.
- If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.
Who is Mark Cuban? If you haven’t seen him on Shark Tank, or aren’t a fan of the Dallas Mavericks, just know he a billionaire who built his way up. And, yes, in retrospect, that business I was working on was not an obsession – making it an #entrepreneurfail.
From my experience, here is a checklist of red flags to warn you that you may be too interested in an exit strategy too soon:
- You are more interested in selling the business than in creating what your business needs to sell.
- You haven’t talked to a single customer, but are sure that future owners of the business will.
- You are browsing potential investors of the company, before creating a proof-of-concept yourself.
- You don’t want to learn too much industry knowledge since it won’t be needed after you sell the company.
This post and comic were originally created for www.entrepreneurfail.com