I’ve invested twenty years of my life delving into the mindset of entrepreneurs around the world. I’ve learned an incredible amount about founders and myself as well. Whether my client lives in Paris, Sydney, or New York City, they aren’t exempt from the most common mistakes, limiting beliefs, or unhelpful habits that keep entrepreneurs from reaching their goals.
Here are the issues I see most often; however, I could list many more! If you recognize any of these tendencies in yourself, you should first know that you’re not alone! The second thing to know is that your business can and will grow if you conquer the inclinations that hold you back.
1. STOP ignoring your numbers.
Numbers are the one thing in life that tell an accurate, consistent story. If your business is struggling, it is certainly easier to ignore the financial facts, but number anxiety and avoidance only create a deeper abyss between you and your success. I’ve had clients who can’t even tell me what it costs to run their business or how much money they have in the bank. There is no shame in this; I get it, but unawareness of these facts is damaging, and the pain of not knowing is usually more profound than the truth behind your numbers.
Bite the bullet. Hire a bookkeeper or accountant and get your books in order. Organizing and understanding your numbers will give you a roadmap for your next steps and help you understand where to put your focus.
2. STOP doubting yourself.
Confidence is at the core of success; self-doubt is your greatest saboteur. It’s natural for confidence to ebb and flow, but if you get stuck in a loop of negative thinking and a lack of confidence, it will undoubtedly hold you back. So what if you fail at something? That’s how we learn and gain wisdom. Have the courage to fail and put the lion’s share of your focus on your many positive achievements.
3. STOP holding on to employees who don’t perform.
You believe it’s easier to have a warm body than to take the time to locate, hire and train a new employee, right? That belief is so, so wrong! I’ve worked with many business owners who’ve made this mistake. When they finally agree to take the leap and let go of an underperforming employee, they berate themselves for not doing it sooner. If the employee is well-meaning, it is even more difficult because now the entrepreneur feels terrible about letting them go. Most people don’t know that if a team member can’t keep up for any reason, they are as unhappy as you are. Release them, free yourself from a damaging situation, and you will both be much happier.
4. STOP accepting clients who are not on brand.
An essential part of your brand is knowing your ideal client. If you’re not clear on that, it would be wise to make it your next priority. Market only to that niche, and don’t step outside of it because you need the money because fear-driven decisions will always backfire. These clients will cause problems, you may not be able to meet their expectations, you won’t enjoy the work, and it will consume more time, keeping you from your ideal clients.
5. STOP avoiding growth strategies.
If you’re putting out fires, working on non-revenue producing tasks, and engaging in what we call, productive procrastination, you will notachieve revenue-generating growth. Such procrastination is usually a consequence of confusion, uncertainty, and fear, not a condition. Your first step is to separate revenue-generating action steps from tasks that are not the work of an entrepreneur. If you must do these other tasks (that’s a whole separate issue), schedule two hours of uninterrupted time to dedicate to them as often as needed throughout your week. Spend the remainder of your day, once again uninterrupted, being an entrepreneur. No excuses, no procrastination.
How can you gain clarity and find solutions to the issues that stand between you and your dreams of further success? It’s unlikely that you’ll do it alone. The good news is you can absolutely make it happen.
Most people believe it’s about buckling down, determination, and struggle. It doesn’t have to be this way. Hire a great coach. Work on yourself first, then your business, not the other way around. It’s your mindset that’s holding you and millions of other entrepreneurs back from the ultimate dream of freedom and happiness. And that, my friend, can be resolved.