Do you like making mistakes? Erik Bergman made over €50 million before he turned 30 and he made a lot of mistakes to get there. These are 10 very common mistakes that entrepreneurs do when starting their first businesses.
[00:00:00] This is becoming great podcast for people who want to make the world a better place to entrepreneurship. Maybe you think of starting your own business now. Me and Eric, the founder of Great Dot.com, thinks it would be super cool if you did and would think that it would be even super cooler if you succeeded. So here we want to share 10 mistakes that we and I mean most. Eric have made when starting businesses now. Eric have started quite a few different businesses and had a lot of success with his company. Katrina media and managed to make 15 million euros before turning 30. That I think is pretty cool.
[00:00:43] And he’s going to use that money too, with great thought columnist Nick Comfort enough to give away all of its profits to charity.
[00:01:09] Eric, good morning to you. Good morning. My good friend. It’s exciting to be here. You’re looking very excited. Yes, I am.
[00:01:17] The perfect combination of tired and excited.
[00:01:20] That’s usually one I have for my genius who don’t see Emily right now. He looks like a happy golden retriever who’s just waiting to get food. I’m leaning forward if you’re watching this video.
[00:01:30] That’s a good sign. So, hey, let’s get into it. We got 10 mistakes that you have made, and it’s you see our common when starting a business and the first one you have named planning forever.
[00:01:45] What this does mean is that you tried to get married or something.
[00:01:50] Well, I think this one goes down to over thinking and feeling like, OK, is my idea really good enough? Should I tweak it? Should I do something else? And just coming up with a bunch of ideas but never really starting. And the thing is that the first idea you have is probably going to suck. You’re going to fail at that one. But that doesn’t really matter. It’s that just start and you just begin. That’s what matters. Because if you start with that thing, that’s where you learn. So my first three business ventures, I did they failed completely and they failed quickly. But if I wouldn’t have started with the first one, I wouldn’t have started with the second one. You got the idea of the third one or actually started what became to Tina Media later on. So, yeah, the first mistake is just planning forever. Instead of just beginning and getting somewhere.
[00:02:41] So couldn’t you have learned things you learned from starting your first couple of businesses that failed by listening to videos about entrepreneurship? Like I guess someone listening to this podcast right now is doing exactly that. They’re doing research to avoid making mistakes themselves.
[00:02:58] Yeah, you can. You can learn that way. But it’s going to take you longer and you’re not going to learn what’s actually relevant for you because someone who’s made a different set of mistakes is not going to make the exact same mistakes that you did because you have other qualities, other skills, that’s other interests. So by starting on your own party, you will make those mistakes, but you will also get to know people. So, for example, my first business that I did, I did together with a man who I also did the fourth business with. And if I wouldn’t have started the first project with him, I probably would have done something else with someone else. But we learned through that mistake that we worked really well together and can do other things together. So it wasn’t a failure in the sense that I didn’t learn from it. I didn’t bring it forward. It’s just that that specific idea didn’t work. But the networking and the ideas and our time together was still very valuable. And you’re not going to get that from listening to a podcast.
[00:03:54] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And this is another email by me yesterday.
[00:03:58] That’s another e-mail. I had another e-mail. The founder. Well, all the important people in my life on IBM and almost so well.
[00:04:05] I also guess this shows you who you are. You get to see what your strengths and weaknesses are. As an entrepreneur and then you know what to work on.
[00:04:14] Yeah, exactly. See you. If you’re reading something, you can only hear their perspective and if you’re living something, you’ll get a lot more color on that painting. So whenever I describe a failure or describe a story, I can only give you a little piece of that puzzle. But if you’re living it, you will have so many more pieces of the puzzle than you can ever hear in a story.
[00:04:36] Right. So first mistake planning forever, not starting, not getting personal experience, mistake number two, keeping your idea. A secret. Now wasted to some mistakes, someone could steal your idea and turn it into something.
[00:04:56] Theoretically, someone can steal your idea. That’s true.
[00:05:00] But almost all ideas have already been taken and you’re probably just already stealing someone else’s idea with whatever it is that you’re starting.
[00:05:09] And the thing is that at the end of the day, it all goes down to execution.
[00:05:13] So if someone else is going to steal your idea, they still have to do a lot better job than you do. And that’s probably quite unlikely because you are very passionate about this idea. You came up with this idea. You’d much rather do an idea that you came up with yourself. So I believe that the risk of someone stealing your idea, it exists. But the downside of not talking about your ideas is that you cannot get feedback from anyone else. You cannot get anyone else’s perspective on your idea. No one can asks to help you or you cannot find a business partner or anyone that can be along the journey with you. So I think the risk reward of talking about it is so much in favor of talking about it. So if you don’t talk about it, no one can help you. No one can give you feedback. No one can do these things again. No one can steal it, which is a teeny tiny risk. But if you do talk about it. Sure, someone might steal it, but they probably got not going to do it as good as you do anyway. But you can get help, you can get feedback, you can get sponsorships, whatever it is that you need.
[00:06:11] And personally, I believe that.
[00:06:14] So including myself. I kept it secret for a long time and then I couldn’t get help and I see this around me all the time that people are so concerned about someone stealing their idea.
[00:06:25] So a key point here is that the idea or the product is not as important as the execution of it. Yeah. That’s a very good way to network building. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. That leads us into point number three. The networking and that is to not ask for help. Why do you think this is a big mistake?
[00:06:48] So, personally, I struggle with asking for help. It’s scary to ask for help to anyone. It’s like if I feel needy and pushy and like it can feel that I’m cornering someone, like if they don’t help me, they’re kind of risking the friendship. Even just asking someone to like a picture or share a video can feel like I’m kind of taking on something or kind of stealing presents. It’s hard. So I think that’s why people don’t do it. And at the same time, I believe that people want to help. So if there is just if we ask people and we have a good way of asking people, people want to help. And the more people we ask, the more likely it is that someone will help us. So in the beginning, I rarely asked anyone to help me. I tried to do everything on my own. And today, I’m trying to ask as many people as possible to do things to help out. And it’s very rarely let someone says no either. Most of the time they just say, yes, I really want to help you. And they do something. And key is not to ask for two big things, but to ask for small things and preferably finding a give and take situation.
[00:07:56] What do you think, if you were to speculate, is the biggest reason people don’t ask for help?
[00:08:03] I think it’s the fear of being rejected.
[00:08:07] Like, if you’re asking for help and someone says, no, you don’t know what that’s gonna do to the relationship or you don’t know how that’s gonna feel. And you don’t want to put someone in the situation of having to say no.
[00:08:20] Right. So get up there. Practice getting rejection. Go to McDonald’s. Ask for a whopper.
[00:08:27] He’ll do that. I think that’s I think that’s a good solution.
[00:08:32] All right. Number four, focused too much on your own thing. What does that mean?
[00:08:40] So basically, I think that when we starting a business, it’s very easy that we just see our own piece of work that we want to do. So we put on this curriculum by whatever it’s called, you know, and horses have for their eyes its blinders. I think it’s called and we just see our own stuff, which makes it tricky to develop the idea further. And it makes it tricky to get help from others.
[00:09:03] Well, if we instead focus on helping others at a large extent of our time, we’re being very generous with what we’re doing. We’re focusing a lot on the other projects out there as well because we want to help. Then we’ll get to a point where people help us. So I think that the best way of getting help ourselves is to help others. So that’s I share your picture, you share mind and kind of start with helping others. Start with seeing what can I do for them? I think that’s a great way to get started. So a mistake is to focus too much on your own stuff instead of trying to help others. And in that, we’re getting help ourselves.
[00:09:37] All right. So generosity. Now, if you’re listening to this, ask yourself one to ten. How generous are you in your life and how often are you doing things just to help someone else out without asking for something back?
[00:09:52] Oh, that’s tough. No, I need to ask myself that, too. What would you say? No one to ten, how generous am I? I think seven. I’m pretty generous, but not super generous. Six, seven.
[00:10:06] Yeah, and most of the time I have to admit that I have some kind of agenda that I see that this can help me out one way or another.
[00:10:13] I would actually put U.S. higher, but also me. All right. Moving on, number five, which is dreaming too big. Isn’t that a good thing, though? Dreaming big. Like for me, that gets me excitement. It gives me motivation. I get pumped up like I am right now.
[00:10:32] Yeah. I think it’s it’s a good way in a sense, but I think it’s also a very paralyzing way. I mean, I think looking at New Year’s resolutions is a good thing. And it’s a kind of get the perspective that it’s like, OK, there’s a new year now. I’m gonna work out super hard four times a week. I’m going to eat healthy. And on the 12th of January, you’re not doing it anymore. And I think the reason for this is that when we dream too big and we put two big goals, it becomes paralyzing. Like it’s like it’s so, so far to get there that it just feels completely unreasonable. And with fail for that reason, to think dreaming big can be good. But we need to take that dream big and put it into very small first dream so it doesn’t get paralyzing. So instead of setting a goal for the entire 2020 now of working out a lot, we’ve said it for just January and say, OK, we’re just the first week of January and then we kind of celebrate that goal. So when starting a company, instead of thinking, OK, I should build Tesla, which is like a really huge thing, it’s more like, OK, I should buy a little teeny tiny electric car that I can drive around in my room because that means that I’ve actually figured out how to build an electric car. It’s a really shitty example because really hard to build an electric car, but I think you got the idea.
[00:11:51] So could you say it like this then that the big dreams are useful to build excitement and the desire to get going, but if they’re not specific to goals, then they become just vapid and it would paralyze you, like you said, working out a lot. What does that actually mean? There’s no way to follow up on are you actually doing these things regularly?
[00:12:15] Yeah. Think specific and reachable. So if you’re if the goal is work out one week and you start with that, obviously the goal will be to work out the entire year. But if you just set one year, I mean, on the 12th of January, it’s really frickin far to the of further thirty first of December. But if you just set a goal for one month or one week, that means that you can actually get going. And this goes for business as well. If your goal is to make a billion dollars, that’s really frickin long goal. But if your goal is to make one hundred dollars to start with, then you’ve actually proven your business in a way you’ve gotten somewhere. And it’s a lot of excitement. So focus on making a hundred bucks rather than one hundred thousand bucks early on and that would make a big shift in how you’re thinking and to get some smaller rings wins along the way as well.
[00:13:00] Yeah, for sure. All right. Moving on to number six, which is to have an idea that requires things that you don’t have. Why, yes. An important thing to consider.
[00:13:15] So this is a question that I get really commonly is. OK, so I got this idea, but I need money to do this. How do I find the money or I got this idea and I need these people to do this. How do I get them? And my answer most of time is you’re not going to get them because most people have this problem is starting their own business. Their first business never done it before. And they’ve heard about all these big shot startups that raise a million dollars the first day, but that’s just not going to happen. So I think that by being dependent on getting money from someone or being dependent of someone else’s talent is just going to create a huge excuse for not starting. It’s gonna be paralyzing. In the same way as that huge dream had. So if you’re dependent on something else and is your first business, skip that idea and find something else. Because if you don’t have it, you’re probably not going to get it. It’s it’s just going to be like a big reason not to start. And it’s much better than to start with some other idea to prove yourself. And then maybe your second idea. You need money, then you have a possibility of getting it.
[00:14:21] All right. So. If it’s okay to dream that it would be cool if I got financed or if I met these people. But I shouldn’t put that in my strategy and my planning. I shouldn’t be dependent on it. It would be cool if it happened, but not be dependent on it.
[00:14:38] Yeah. You need to be able to get started without it. So maybe you’re going to need that down the line. But if you need that from more or less day one. So if you’re a you’re a 20 year old guy and you want to build an app and you have no development skills whatsoever, you don’t know anything about this. You don’t know anyone, one who knows things about this. And this app needs to have a big reach. You need a hundred thousand users before it gets cool. It’s a dating app or whatever. It’s just not going to happen. Even if you have a really smart idea of how to build this app, people are not going to believe in you. Or at least it’s very, very unlikely. And you’re not going to find that developer that can work for free. At least it’s gonna be very hard. So if you pursue a different dream, whatever that could be. First is like, okay, maybe I can put out ads on the school for dating each other or whatever and get some kind of a track. Gardner Having single dinners or whatever, it’s kind of in the same area, but just start proving yourself and start seeing how can this become something where you’re not dependent? That’s where you need to start.
[00:15:45] And again, get going, get momentum, get started now. Yeah. Let’s move on to number 7, which is starting a legal entity from day one. I’ve done this mistake. Why is this happening? And I’ve done all I’m paid to. I know a painful this.
[00:16:02] Okay. So what I mean with this is starting an actual company. You know, when you register with the government and whatnot is doing that from day one. And the reason why this is a mistake is that a lot of the time you’re not going to pursue this dream. Over time, a lot of time, you’re gonna give up within a week or you’re changing your ideas completely or you’re changing who you’re gonna do this with completely. And to start a company is a big process. It’s expensive. It takes a lot of time. It’s scary. So once again, this becomes this big boulder in your way of just getting started. So I believe in looking at a business as a hobby from the beginning and not trying to start a company until you at least make some money coming in or at least have some clients who know that this is something you want to do. But don’t start that company from day one. Don’t let that be something that’s just stopping you.
[00:16:54] And in my experience, starting a company is difficult, but. Ending a company is even more difficult, at least in Sweden.
[00:17:04] So what happened with you when you were starting this business?
[00:17:07] Exactly what you said. I was very excited at first and then quickly realized I wanted to do something else. And now we have a company that it’s very difficult to shut down. So I was actually kind of lucky because I ended up being able to use that company like a year later, but that was more luck and skill for sure.
[00:17:26] And I think that I’ve done the exact same thing. I started a business with with a guy named It Doesn’t Matter. A guy back in the days.
[00:17:35] And we collaborated for a few months and we set up a company for this. And it took me four years to take that company down. And we could have just. He already had a separate company. I had a separate company. You could just have come to an agreement that, OK, let’s split the profits this way from this different side project. We didn’t need a specific company for it, but we started that company. And it just I think it took us four years to take it down.
[00:17:57] It’s a huge mistake. Don’t do it. Moving on to number eight, which is spending too much time on social media. Is that the thing? It’s this to Eric.
[00:18:10] And I think this goes so I think it’s very easy to get sucked in on the idea of social media is helping me like, yeah, but I’m only watching these inspirational stuff or I’m only doing this and I’m only doing that. And personally, in my experience, that’s just a lie. That’s just an excuse, I tell myself. So what I’ve been doing here is, OK, how can I limit myself from social media to the maximum extent reasonable. And for me, that’s been like I make my Instagram feed really boring. I don’t follow a lot of people just because I want to see what they’re doing. I only follow things that could be beneficial from a business use and I never get sucked into my feed because it’s not interesting. Secondly, I’ve used the Google Chrome plugin called News Feed. Eradicate her for Facebook and it just blocks the feed because to me the feed is what is the most addictive. That’s what’s the heroine of Facebook. And just getting those two things, basically making the feed on Instagram boring and the feed on Facebook not even existing has made a huge difference for me because I think it’s so easy to end up spending 30 minutes, an hour or even three hours on social media every day that could be used to something so much more beneficial.
[00:19:25] That Facebook game is such a time saver. We’re linked to down below. Now, moving on, which is number nine for this is nine fingers focusing on results, not joy. And this one is key, I think, to come from a place of excitement when you work.
[00:19:42] Why do you think this is a mistake focusing on results?
[00:19:48] So what I mean with this one is not that you shouldn’t focus on results at all. But the thing. I believe that if you focus too much on results, you’re gonna end up in a place whereas you don’t enjoy it. You push yourself too hard, you’re working too hard.
[00:20:05] And that’s going to be a reason to give up because you’re just suffering. If you’re enjoying what you’re doing, on the other hand, you might make less money, but you’re not going to need to give up because it’s a pleasurable journey. So I think that if you’re starting a business and you’re already early on feel or this is not fun, it’s just pain. It starts sooner or later, you’re just going to give up. But if you’re early on and you don’t make any money at all, there’s a hey, this is really exciting. This is really fun. I’m learning so much. Bump, bump, bump. Sooner or later, the money is going to come because you’re doing something you’re passionate about. You gotta learn so much. You’re going to develop. You’re going to have a different energy when you meet people. I mean, imagine when you’re meeting people and you’re just so passionate, loving, you’re coming from a place of joy. People are going to work, want to work with you. They’re gonna want to collaborate human on a beat. Want to be in your space. But if you’re coming from a place of all always so hard right now, it’s so painful. Sure. I’m making a lot of money, but it’s just on just rigid and suffering. No one’s gonna want to be part of that. It’s just not how it works.
[00:21:05] And from that stage, you need to use wind power to do things. And everyone has a limited amount of willpower, I believe. But from if you come from passion, it’s so much easier to keep that up for a long time. And also, you learn so much quicker.
[00:21:19] You know, I think it’s key. So now obviously you want to combine the two. You want to combine the two. You want results and joy. But personally, I’ve been in companies, I’ve been running businesses where I’ve been focusing only on the results. And even if I reach high results that year, I’m burning myself out. I’m suffering. I’m in pain. And at the end of the day, that’s a year on my life. I’m not getting back.
[00:21:43] Yeah. And it’s not quite this easy. But the results you get this often are a reflection of the value you offer. And to offer value, you need to have skills and learning skills. And my experience is so much easier when you come from that energy of excitement in my brain thinks just stick. Yeah. Yeah, I can totally relate to that. Moving on, number 10. Focus on learning business instead of people.
[00:22:11] Westerners understood I would have wanted a drum roll because of that one is because he was the last one, so I’m going to drop the bulldozer.
[00:22:19] Yeah, I think that. So what I mean with this one is that I think it’s very common that people who are just starting business are doing a lot of their thing, including myself, focus on only reading business books, only listening to entrepreneurship, podcasts or whatever. Only focus on learning that logic side of things. While business in reality is only humans interacting with each other, that’s what businesses. It’s only people. All businesses are people one way or another. So I think that if you understand business. Yeah, that’s great. But if you understand people, you ultimately understand business. So if you focus on reading the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Was this a more or less the Bible for social interactions? It’s written in 1936 and it’s still today.
[00:23:09] One of the best books I’ve read and you’ll just get an understanding of how can I work with people in a way that I like them and they like me? How can we collaborate smoothly? How can actually get them what they want so they can help me to get what I want? And how can I be a great leader? And these kinds of things are so essential and it goes back to the joy versus results as well. If you understand people, you will enjoy so much more being around people. If you don’t understand people, it’s gonna suck.
[00:23:39] So think that. Focus.
[00:23:42] I would rather focus all my attention on learning people, and I think business will come than the other way around. But this is a mistake. I did totally agree.
[00:23:50] And do you have one more tip for as a way to learn how to get better at people? I have to invite her to my game.
[00:24:00] You go. All right. Where’s the best source?
[00:24:03] The first one, which is the best book I’ve read last year, is Non-Violent Communication by what is his name? Rosenberg. Marshall. Marshall Rosenberg. That book is epic. You’ve got to read it. And number two said YouTube channel that me and Eric really like. Which is called Charisma on command. Now, if you’re watching this stuff, make sure to find a buddy that is into the same thing and watch these videos together and talk about it. It would make you learn so much more than if you just watch it on your own.
[00:24:32] Oh, yeah, that’s a great tip. Watching YouTube videos about people together and then pausing and reflect on things when they say smart stuff.
[00:24:42] So you can talk about situations that the two two of you have been true. Now, that was 10 points and we’re coming up towards the end.
[00:24:49] Now what?
[00:24:53] Why do you say that we’re doing this podcast? We kind of changed the direction a little bit.
[00:24:59] So we’re doing this podcast because we believe that entrepreneurship is a great way of helping the world, but we want to be a part of that. We want to see a world where the rainforest is not burning, where people are not suffering.
[00:25:14] And we believe that running businesses with that kind of goal and that kind of angle is is our best way of doing that. And we want to inspire a lot of others to do similar things.
[00:25:28] All right. So we talked about point number three, not asking people for help. So let’s practice what we preach and preach here. If you found this episode valuable, do you may know someone that is good at business or someone that wants to help people, help someone that is in tragic condition?
[00:25:47] Think of this person, see his kin or her in front of you. Now press this share button.
[00:25:52] Send it to this person and make their day. Did you like this? Please share. It would really help us out a lot. We see you next week. This was fun. It was really fun. Thank you. All right. Sheriff Joe.