7 things entrepreneurs are not allowed to tell themselves if they want to succeed
- I must never fail
- I need other people’s approval
- It’s all someone else’s fault
- I don’t want things to change
- This entrepreneur life is too insecure
- I’m scared
- I quit
1. I must never fail
It’s easy to slip into the mistaken mindset that you just cannot fail. The fact is that you’ll face failure in a variety of forms during your entrepreneurship journey. The same applies to failure as it does to complaining (which we’ll get to shortly). You just have to move on. There’s no value in looking back.
Of course, having both self-confidence and general confidence in your idea is important – but it needs to be mixed with the understanding that from time to time you will fail, and you’ll have to pivot. But if you see it simply as part of the overall process, it’s less likely you’ll feel down when failure comes, and you’ll be in a better place to pick yourself up and keeping moving.
2. I need other people’s approval
If you chase the approval of others, it’s not going to help you achieve your goals. This doesn’t mean you ignore solid advice and even seek out peers and mentors who can help you. But it’s also important to remember that there will always be people who shoot down your ideas. If you prepare for that, it won’t be such a shock when it comes.
So just be careful who you listen to, and make sure you’re ready to ignore anything that doesn’t have your company’s best interests at heart. The whole point of starting your business is that you’re the boss, so once you have gathered the views from the people you care about, it’s down to you to make the call – regardless of whether everyone approves or not.
3. It’s all someone else’s fault
Any kind of complaining just slows you down. It causes unnecessary stress and the fact is that you’re going to run into challenges on a regular basis. The question is how you respond. So complaining in general isn’t productive and neither is blaming someone else.
Think of it this way: if one of your employees makes a mistake, remember that everyone makes mistakes and it was you who hired them in the first place. Work with them, help them, educate them, then move on.
The great entrepreneurs embrace their own mistakes, truly own them, then move on as quickly as possible.
4. I don’t want things to change
Everything is always changing and there is simply nothing you can do about it. Your company is changing, the industry is changing, and the economy is changing. The good news is that startups, by their very nature, are agile. So embrace that and remain light on your feet – ready to change as the situation changes in front of you.
Embracing change also comes into play if you need to refine the direction of your business or even change your product/service in a substantial way. There is nothing wrong with a calculated reaction to changing circumstances when it ultimately benefits your business.
That doesn’t mean making rash moves, but it does mean remaining open to the possibility of changes in direction if the circumstances present themselves.
5. This entrepreneur life is too insecure
There will be a moment when you leave your day job to concentrate full-time on your new company. It’s a scary moment, and the entrepreneur needs to be equipped for this kind of uncertainty. This is a big test of whether you have the right personality for this kind of venture, because living with insecurity is going to be part and parcel of this new life.
Remaining both positive and realistic is key. But in the end, simply accepting the nature of the entrepreneur life, with all the insecurity it brings, is going to be fundamental in terms of how you cope with this type of working life. In the end it’s about acceptance that at times there will be this underlying sense of insecurity – and being okay with it.
6. I’m scared
There’s no avoiding the feeling of fear, the question is what you do with it. The key thing to remember is that even the entrepreneurs who make the headlines also feel fear, it’s just that they have learned how to process it, even harness it, for the greater good of their business.
Talking to your friends, peers, mentors can also help. Chances are, they have been through something similar (or perhaps even worse) and from them you can get that feeling of not being alone.
Ultimately, fear can lead to bad decision making. But if you’re handling it correctly (rather than pretending it doesn’t exist at all) you can manage it, cope with it, and continue to drive your business towards success.
7. I quit
If you give up, you’ll never know what could have been. Pretty much all of the world’s great entrepreneurs have found a way around giving up. In other words, yes they have failed, often hundreds and hundreds of times, but they have always figured out how to change, how to pivot, how to keep going.
Rejecting the ‘I quit’ moment means that you understand that it’s going to be a bumpy ride, but by just continuing to move forward, you open up the opportunity for good things to happen.
So this really separates entrepreneurs from everyone else – it’s having failures and setbacks, but never quitting. Never giving up. That is the one thing that truly unites all entrepreneurs – the ability to dust yourself off and get back on your feet. From the brand-new entrepreneur to the seasoned pro, it’s this drive to keep going that really matters.