I have been working as a content writer for the past two years, and in this stint of two years, I have worked with a lot of startups. And working with them has always been quite a learning experience. Working with first-time founders and entrepreneurs made me realize how lonely it can be to be a founder or entrepreneur despite the misperception that it's glamorous.
When people ask that one piece of advice to be an entrepreneur, that's hard because there is not a silver bullet. There is no tablet or magic potion that can transform you.
But yes I can surely share my thoughts on the initial thoughts you should have before you officially become an entrepreneur. Here's a list of initial things you should focus on. Start with these few when you start your business journey:

1. Do a Hard homework- Don't ignore the many hard things that you're advised to do before starting out. Doing some of these hard things initially will make the rest easier (including advice on hypothesis testing with potential customers before you commit to your startup, etc.).

2. Make sure you enjoy what you do- Do this only if you have an edge (any edge) and thus only if the startup is at an intersection between what you are good at (your edge) and what you enjoy doing. Because this is very, very hard, you definitely shouldn't do it if you won't enjoy it over the long term. This is sometimes hard to get for new founders but heeds this advice - it is true, and you will thank yourself later.

3. Are you solving a real problem?- Think first whether you are solving a real problem (unless you are the next Steve Jobs, be very careful not to follow Steve Jobs' statement "they don't know what they want until you show it to them"). What many of us initially don't want to hear is that our idea does not matter. It's too bad but it's true, the idea is not the tip of the spear, but the problem is (and thus your idea must solve it well).

4. Is the problem personal? - Think also whether you have hands-on personal experience with this problem. If you do, then you may have that edge, and you have deeper insights than someone who is just randomly starting a business.

5. Find a great team - This is often said but not always heeded. And it's very hard to do so ask for advice on how to define "great" for the roles you need and how to interview and screen for them. Smart + Works Hard is a baseline of what you want.

6. Check out and have an estimate of your market size- Analyze your market size or Total Addressable Market (TAM). Unless you are building a lifestyle business, you need a large market - this ensures you can scale and also allows for some mistakes which you will inevitably make as a first-timer - i.e. there is room for error. If you haven't done a TAM analysis, just ask people on Quora or ask an MBA for some advice - it's fairly simple to do and sharpens your thinking.

7. Don't be so obsessed with your product- Your product should be just an MVP (btw, it's not an easily measurable thing but read up to assess how you should measure it in your situation) but note that the product does not have to be the best - in fact, in the history of technology, pretty much all successful companies were ones whose product was NOT the best (this is a somewhat controversial point of view, but it's factually true) - so don't try to build a perfect product and instead spend some time thinking about the next point. A lot of investors think it's all about the product and, in fact, will expect as if in early seed stages of your company you should already have a product that is better than other solutions. It takes a few years to build a good product that is actually unique and differentiated - it won't happen right away, but you should be OK with that and focus primarily on identifying how to sell it still, i.e. you can offer better onboarding and consultative support for your customers plus make it less expensive initially as that may be a viable way to win deals away from existing and more complete products. Once you are in a phase of marking a unique product, make sure to Trademark it. An online trademark registration is used to save your brand's intellectual property rights. When the product is yours, and only you feel obsessed with it.

8. Focus on the process of execution- Despite what many don't believe (because they think it's all about a product), the truth is that execution is a very, very real difference maker, a force multiplier, and a competitive differentiation. Despite this fact, most investors will think it's all in the product so when they ask you what your differentiator is, you, unfortunately, cannot tell the truth and say "execution" even if you did 5 successful startups and are the king of execution. It's just one of those rare things you should do well but cannot convince investors that this is the reason you achieve a $1B+ exit (even after that, nobody will believe that it's execution... but it typically is, and most successful companies are great due to the execution). There is more to execution than meets the eye so you should ask successful entrepreneurs about it.

9. Don't shy away from competition- Don't let competition scare you away. This is hard advice to understand or heed when you are a first-time founder. There is always competition. However, you should first analyze the competitive environment carefully. If you have an edge and if the competition doesn't solve the problem as effectively as you've assessed and the way you can solve then there may be an opportunity here. Also, note that many investors obsess about competition. They pass on many deals because they are so worried about competition but it's a totally wrong way to think about it and many of them miss the point (majority in this cohort of investors haven't been in operations and don't have a hands-on experience in building companies) - the truth of the matter is that it's not competition that kills startups in 99% of the cases. Y-Combinator's Sam Altman said it best: "Competitors are a startup ghost story. 99% of startups die from suicide, not murder." This doesn't mean that competition is not a risk - it is. But it's typically not the reason many companies die especially when there is an experienced management team operating in a big market.

Author's Bio: 

Shanker Rungta is an experienced blogger specialising in startups, intellectual property and lifestyle. Outgoing, spunky and practical is what describes him the best. He hopes to experience new things every day in the life and contribute something to this world through humanity. The more knowledge you have about yourself, the more effective your life and career decisions will be.