The post originally appeared on AllBusiness.
As a first-time entrepreneur, taking all the right steps in the beginning is critical to your success in the long run. It’s important to stay vigilant and avoid falling victim to one of the many obstacles in your path that could end your career for good.
Six entrepreneurs from FounderSociety, a network for founders and business owners, share the biggest threats first-time entrepreneurs should avoid if they want to come out ahead.
1. Losing focus
Unfortunately there are many distractions–both inside and outside of your business–that can cause you to lose focus from the target objective. Taking too long to make that first sale, delaying a product release due to feature bloat, exploring any of the hundreds of social media tools before settling on a defined strategy–any of these can seriously hinder a startup in the critical first six-to-twelve months. – Michael Rheaume, SnapKnot Inc.
2. Shooting too high too quickly
When you start working on a company it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially if it’s your first venture. Having great ambitions is a good thing, but in order to accomplish greatness there are smaller steps to be taken. Set an objective that is significant, yet attainable. Once you reach that objective you’ll feel empowered to reach the second objective, and so on. – Tim Grassin, Candy Banners
3. Giving up too early
Don’t quit! First-time entrepreneurs encounter so many obstacles, but so do successful ones. The key is to understand that every problem has a solution, and to be successful you need to push past every obstacle and setback with more gusto and positivity each time. Successful entrepreneurs will never give up, and continue to fight. Be smart, make good decisions, and solve problems. – Mike Sheffer, First Dynamic
Starting something new is inherently difficult; otherwise, it would already exist. You can either have a can-do attitude that enables you to take on challenges and thrive, or you can lose steam and the next challenge will topple over you like a wave. A lot of first-time entrepreneurs think that they need to work on their startup 24/7 when ultimately that is unsustainable. – Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli
As a first-time entrepreneur, you will make mistakes and run into obstacles as part of your learning experience. The mental battles you will incur can be overwhelming and will make you question yourself and perhaps consider quitting. Seek guidance in a mentor and develop the strength to filter out all noise to help mitigate your biggest threat: yourself. – Damon Nam, Verse
6. Thinking it’s easy
It’s easy to go online and read about other entrepreneurs’ success wherever you go. This is because no one likes to talk about the failures and endless hours of blood, sweat, and tears it took to get to where they are today. The biggest threat to first-time entrepreneurs is thinking that success comes easy. – Zac Johnson, Start a Blog