What Not to Do as An Entrepreneur | Part 3: Be the Boss

You’ve made it to Part 3—congrats, you are a rock star entrepreneur!

Have I mentioned that it takes an adult about 21 times to hear something and retain it? Well, I know that I haven’t said it 21 times, so here is a recap of what we have covered: do not co-own; there can only be one CEO, do not get desperate and make impulsive decisions, do not hire the cheapest; do not hire based on price period, do not do all the work yourself, do not go too big too soon, do not build it until you’ve sold it, do not avoid investing in advanced education, and do not avoid paying yourself.

So far, we have covered hiring and the money. Now, it is time to really be the boss. These tips may be the toughest to actually implement. This is the real stuff that someone has to do, and that someone is you! Let’s dive in! 

Do not send your opinion in an email or text.

Why did I have to learn this lesson the hard way?! Near the opening of Be Inspired Salon, I began collaborating and cross-promoting with other related businesses (massage, nails, nutrition, skin, etc.). At one of our meetings, a representative from another partner organization was basically a hot mess. They were really rude to others during the meeting, and instead of focusing on the company they were there to represent, they mostly focused on their side business; it was embarrassing to witness. Just imagine my road rage on the way home from that meeting.

After the meeting, I emailed their boss with a laundry list of reasons why we could not work with them—because of that individual. Subsequently, that company let her go. About three weeks later, I was served. The individual sued me for defamation of character. Yeah, it was way too late to recall that email! Although the legal side of things worked out, I learned the importance of face-to-face communication.

Following that debacle, my attorney got real with me and said: “Kati, you got a mouth on you, and you need to stop it.” I suppose a D personality does come with its downsides. He explained that if I have an opinion to share, I need to grow up and have a real conversation. Communicating face-to-face or on the phone fosters greater sensitivity, and you really are less abrasive—this was a great lesson to learn. 

Do not get lazy on the details.

Another perk of being a D personality type is that I really enjoy the big picture/vision of the company, but am not so fond of dealing with the details. One day I was given the challenge of cutting our business expenses by 6%. Challenge accepted!  I dove into last year’s expense report to see what areas we can cut. There are two times to spend money—to get new customers or to keep the customers you have. 

While tediously examining the details, I kept finding charges that I didn’t recognize. After some investigating, I learned that TWO of our old merchant service companies were never successfully cancelled when we switched to a new service. The person who was responsible for canceling the old service never did, and I had been paying for two services every month for nearly two years. It was such small amounts that I didn’t notice it when I looked at our overall financial reports. Two years of being nickel and dimed really added up. I was out the money without any leverage for reimbursement. By the way, I learned this lesson about a week ago, so you are never too good to make mistakes. Take it from me, don’t ignore the small stuff!

Do not get prideful, your ego will screw you out of your potential.

Okay, okay, I can admit that sometimes it seems like I have an ego problem. Even though I’m confident, I can be borderline cocky, and need to continually check myself. I know that having an ego and/or being prideful can really turn people off.  As a result, I’ve lost out on amazing relationships.

So, how do you address this? My business coach handed me the book: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith. This book helps you identify unconscious behaviors that are getting in the way of your success. Typically, when you’ve reached a higher level of success, the one thing that is getting in your way from getting to the next level is your behavior. Personally, I learned that not all my opinions need to be shared; people won’t be like me—they can still be amazing regardless; I still have so much to learn—more maturity that needs to take place; words are powerful—how and what you say can make or break someone’s soul. What behaviors will you uncover? 

Do not listen to the people who haven’t done it.

You will encounter a lot of naysayers. When I say a lot, I mean a lot! But they haven’t done it, so they don’t know. How many of you with children have gotten parenting advice from people without any children? Then, you get the point here.

There are people with all the advice in the world, but they haven’t taken one entrepreneurial risk themselves! Instead of listening to your cousin who took one business class during undergrad, find the people who have done it and done it better than you. Then, surround yourself with those people. After all, you are who you hang out with. Find your dream team.


Now that you have read all of my What Not To Dos, write down your three biggest takeaways. These could be the biggest surprises, the most relevant suggestions for your life, or the most challenging for you. Bookmark this series, save your notes, and revisit them annually! You will always find a new application from past advice.

Do you have other ideas to share? Comment below!