Don’t make this mistake when you startup in business

“Fake it till you make it.” “Wing it.” “Things will fall into place afterwards.” Just some of the expressions you’ll come across throughout your start-up journey. None of them are particularly helpful.

When I first came up with the idea of Work Your Way, I launched it as a print magazine.

I got advertisers on board, lined up the writers, lined up a magazine designer and the local printers.

But to cut a long story short, I completely missed the launch date. It was embarrassingly late. A couple of the advertisers were so annoyed, they pulled out – pulling a whopping £1k with them.

We managed to pull everything together for launch weeks later, and although the magazine has now morphed into this online blog, I’m incredibly proud that we managed to achieve quarterly editions into selected branches of Sainsbury and Morrison’s.

The thing is, I did ‘the research’. But with hindsight, I now know that the print magazine industry is unforgivingly difficult to succeed in unless you’ve worked in a magazine.

In fact, it’s an industry that you can’t just ‘do’ the research. You need full on editorial experience.

It was precisely my lack of experience and not giving suppliers sufficient lead time which led to me screwing up that first edition.

Of course mistakes happen in any industry, and entrepreneurs will readily admit to making many mistakes throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

But even so, it was an expensive mistake that I’ve since learnt from.

Drive, passion and enthusiasm are simply not enough on their own to succeed in business.

You can wing it and get by a little. But in business, things rarely fall into place without proper planning and forethought.

Research, test then test some more.

And surround yourself with the support of experienced business owners who can help you to succeed.


I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.