22 Self-Sabotaging Behaviors That Lead To Entrepreneurial Extinctions
Last Updated 9/21/18
I frequently come across entrepreneurs who are making extremely poor business decisions. It’s quite obvious that these self-inflicted wounds are undermining their businesses, stunting their long-term growth potential and may even kill their business altogether.
With 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start a business failing within the first 18 months, the statistics are already not on your side. Creating a business is hard enough as it is, so we shouldn’t be making it unnecessarily harder.
If you want to avoid an entrepreneurial meltdown and join the ranks for the 20% of entrepreneurs who successfully launch and maintain a business instead, here are the 22 habits to avoid.
- Don’t read (or listen) to books and applying lessons from those books: Not reading books is a self-sabotaging behavior in and of itself. But it may be even worse if you take the time and effort to read but fail to apply any of the lessons to your business. My advice – after reading each book, have at least one actionable takeaway that you immediately implement in your business. Need a place to start? Here’s a list of my top 14 Best Ever apartment investing books.
- Isolating yourself: Because teamwork makes the dream work. You literally have a better chance of winning the lottery than you do launching and scaling a business by yourself. If you are going to isolate yourself, you might as well start buying your lottery tickets now.
- Close-minded towards new business practices: With more competition and technology than ever before, what worked for your business last year may already be sub-standard 5 times over. So, if you aren’t open to change, your business will go the way of the dinosaurs.
- Don’t like to apply new learnings to your business: It’s one thing to be open-minded toward new business practices and ideas. It’s another to actually take action and apply them to your business.
- Don’t quickly test things out and kill it if it doesn’t work: Don’t have an obsessive relationship with new business practices and ideas. If it improves your business, great. If not or once it stops, have the awareness to identify that fact and discard it like you would a stale piece of gum.
- Don’t attend seminars, meetups, conferences, mastermind groups, etc.: Don’t be a basement dweller or spreadsheet millionaire. Get out of the house and meet other entrepreneurs face-to-face.
- Don’t model your success after someone who has “been there, done that” before you: Success leaves clues. And you need to be an expert investigative detective.
- Don’t invest more in yourself than you do in your craft: Relationships, tools, software, money strategies, basically everything in your business will come and go, but as unfortunate as it may be, you can’t get rid of yourself. So, wouldn’t it be great if the one thing that’s always there was a Golden Tool rather than just a tool?
- Don’t think you can learn something from anyone: Interesting fact: There are over 16 million books in the Library of Congress. Still think you’re a know-it-all? It would be delusional to think you know everything or even 0.1% of everything. Don’t let an inflated sense of your knowledge be your downfall.
- Aren’t easily reachable to your team members: Because if you aren’t easily accessible to your team members, you’ll likely be even less accessible to your customers.
- Don’t have perspective when life hits you with a sledgehammer: Whether it’s in your business or in your personal life, major disasters, failures, and setbacks are guaranteed to present themselves. The life vest that will save you from drowning is keeping your “why” in perspective.
- Don’t have a vision for where you are going: Not only will your “why” help you and your business survive the future sledgehammer attacks, but it will also direct your decisions and actions, pulling you closer and closer towards your desired outcomes.
- Don’t connect with people in a meaningful way: Surface-level relationships are not satisfying. Moreover, deep meaningful connections enable reciprocal, value-add relationships where both parties help each other achieve their business goals.
- Don’t want to give before you get: Selfishness sacrifices long-term growth for seemingly short-term wins. Whereas selfless contribution results in short-term satisfaction (because let’s be honest: giving feels good) and 10 to 100-fold payback over the long run.
- Aren’t a person who stands by your word: Psychologically, people can easily forget when you met a commitment, but they will NEVER forget a lie.
- Simply say you will add value: There’s nothing worse than the person who is a servant in words but a greedy pirate in action. If you’re going to talk the talk, you must walk to walk, because actions speak louder than words. Proactive add value, and then you can talk about it later.
- Don’t prioritize relationships over everything else: Since you can’t build a business on your own (see #2), forming and maintaining relationships should be the foundation of the majority, if not all, of your business decisions.
- Don’t put in the consistent work, day in and day out: You are rewarded in public for the massive, consistent action you take in private.
- Trip over dollars to pick up pennies: Prioritize your time so that the majority of your effort is directed towards the money-making activities. Don’t spend all of your time on the $10/hour or $100/hour tasks while neglecting the $1000/hour tasks.
- Let challenges overwhelm you: They always come as entrepreneurs. If you act as if a challenge or failure is the end of the world, then that will be your business’s reality.
- Aren’t the most resourceful person you know: You should be able to solve any problem yourself or have the ability to find a solution. Anything less and your success is restricted.
- Don’t know your competition can replace you: Don’t obsess over your competition to the point of paranoia. Instead, let it be a motivator that keeps you evolving and at least one step ahead.
What else should be added to the list? What are deadly business mistakes you see entrepreneurs making?
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