Make no mistake, starting a business from scratch is really hard. And making some startup mistakes is inevitable. However, experience, learning from fellow entrepreneurs, can be a great teacher. Here are some startup mistakes that I’ve made, that may help you avoid the startup graveyard:

  1. I should have started living within my means (Correction, below my means) right at day one of The Courage Group, Inc.  You are going to need the money. Learn to live on a lot less! Avoid the startup graveyard.

3 Ways To Avoid The Startup Graveyard NBC5 Chicago Startup Tips Segment

2. I should not have tried to start another company at the same time as The Courage Group, Inc. Starting and bootstrapping one company is hard enough. But launching two at the same time, incredibly hard. I’m no Elon Musk.

3. I should have written a business plan for The Courage Group, even though I was not trying to get investors or bank loan. I thought I knew everything, don’t need to waste my time. Wrong! Planning can lower the big bumps.

Mark Joerger, founder and president of E7 Success Strategies, spent a lot of time working on his business plan before he opened his energy-management company earlier this year. He got help from Neil Anderson, founder and president of The Courage Group Inc. in Richfield.

4. I should not have signed up for a shared, virtual office for my service business. I thought a fancy official business address would translate into new clients. Wrong! What really matters most with clients is the quality and value of your work. Not just some fancy office. So I shut it down. Worked out of my apartment and local library.

The Courage Group, Inc. first office location, my one bedroom apartment in Westmont, IL.

5. I should not have tried living the same kind of lifestyle that I had once had. While working full-time at American Airlines/American Eagle and Galileo International. Going out to nightclubs, restaurants etc. Ouch financially!

6. I should not have borrowed any money from family. This goes back to downscaling, living below my means, and building up my savings, well below launching the business. Rather than asking fmaily members to help me, when times got tough.

7. I should have worked part-time at FedEx very early on. They offer super, full-time healthcare coverage (and more) for part-time work. For you and/or family. A great place to work for entrepreneurs. Save thousands of dollars in healthcare costs! Not to mention the great workout. No need for a healthclub membership.

8. I should have been more incredibly laser focused on my new business early on, not wasting valuable time. The daily 5 abilities for startup survival:

The 5 daily startup tips for survival

9. I should not have been taking vacations during the first two years of The Courage Group, Inc. Dumb! I should have kept my “eye on the ball.” And not the good times. Vacation dollars spent could have been better used towards building the new business!

10. I should have saved more money before starting-up. But since I never imaged starting a business, I never saved anything. I just blew it. Wrongly thinking that I would always have a nice, steady job and paycheck. That changed quickly, one early morning in Ft. Worth, when American Airlines said adios to me.

11. I should not have taken so much advice from people, who have always worked for someone else. Stay away from negative I should have sought out advice earlier, from someone who actually started a business from scratch. Seek success when starting your own business.

12. I should have hired a trademark lawyer much sooner. I thought I could secure The Courage Group mark myself, save money. A costly error in valuable time and money. Trademark law is not my core competency. And should have raised my hand sooner to get help.



















The Courage Group, Inc.