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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

5 Ways Entrepreneurs Unknowingly Self-Sabotage

Successful people look for what they do that isn’t working so they change it.

Jacqueline Whitmore

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Sabotage

You’re going along fine, profits seem to be improving, when suddenly something goes wrong. Just when you thought you were on the brink of success, about to make a breakthrough, you hit a roadblock. Yet, it’s not the first time this has happened.

You could chalk it up to fate, but ask yourself “Why haven’t things ever worked out for me?” If you can see a pattern of failure just when you are about to break through to the next level, it might be the problem is you unconsciously sabotaging yourself.

Even the smartest people come up against psychological barriers. Until these obstacles are addressed, your pattern is bound to repeat itself.

Here are some ways you might be getting in your own way on the road to success.

1. You try to do everything without help

Lone-wolf

Nobody can succeed on their own. Every successful person has a support team. Concentrate on the aspects of your business at which you are passionate, and hire talent to assist with the rest. Create a team of trusted advisors or use a business coach. Build a team on which you can rely and stick with what you do best.

Related: The 5 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

2. You’re too distracted to continue learning

If you are under constant stress to churn out your work, you eventually need to take some time off to fine-tune your skills.

The business world and technology are constantly changing, so it’s important to keep abreast of the latest developments in order to remain successful. If your nose is always to the grindstone, you risk missing what is going on around you, and deprive yourself of opportunities to make valuable connections with others.

3. You’re unduly cautious

“Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success,” said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Opportunities don’t simply come to you. You need to be open-minded and vigilant about seeking opportunity and pursuing it. Believe in what you are offering. Show your passion for your product or service. Your enthusiasm is contagious.

Related: Start A Business They Said… It’ll Be Easy, They Said…

4. You won’t act first

slow-tortoise

When you work for others, you can wait to be handed assignments. This is not so when you are the boss. You have to make things happen.

Opportunities come your way when you put in the effort first. However, while opportunities won’t land in your lap, they are manifested all around you. Actively look for opportunities and act on them quickly. Set aside at least an hour each day for prospecting, networking and following up.

5. You settle for mediocrity

Take a close look at the product you are providing and the way you are running your business.

Do you have top-notch values in place? Is your product or service known for its quality? You are known for what you sell and how you interact with your clients and customers, so make sure everything that has your name on it also displays your mark of excellence.

Always put customer satisfaction first, even if you have to subdue your own ego to satisfy a problem.

“Just imagine how much you’d get done if you stopped actively sabotaging your own work,” said best-selling author Seth Godin.

Related: Understanding Your Responsibility As An Employer

You might be your own worst enemy – without even knowing it. See if you can spot any of these self-sabotaging behaviours, then turn yourself around and learn to become your greatest ally.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette coach and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. She is also the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

What Real Entrepreneurs Do When They Hear The Word ‘No’

Are you strong enough to push through early struggles?

Jason Saltzman

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entrepreneur-turned-down

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Jason Saltzman sits down with two founders to hear their stories of perseverence and resilience.

Raul Tovar is the co-founder of WindowsWear, a fashion tech company based in New York City that archives display windows. He moved from Mexico to New York determined to make something of himself and resolved that he would not go home empty-handed.

Jordan Wan is the founder and CEO of CloserIQ, which builds sales teams for startups. He started his business through tragedy – losing his mother and his marriage in the early stages.

You might think these difficulties – whether moving, or being told their ideas weren’t good enough, or working through tragedy – would be enough to make them give up. But they didn’t. They only spurred them to greater success.

Related: How To Start A Business With (Almost) No Money

Click play to learn more.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

(Podcast) Being An Entrepreneur Is Painful

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Nicholas Haralambous

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nicholas-haralambous

Entrepreneurship is fun. But on the whole, running a business is hard. Far fewer business owners succeed than fail. Statistically your business is going to fail. Those are the hard numbers.

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Listening time: 5 minutes

Related: (Podcast) Playing To An Audience Of One

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

3 Dangerous Entrepreneurial Myths You Need To Ignore

This terrible advice won’t actually get you anywhere.

Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneurial Myths

We’ve all heard the numbers about how hard it is to build a long-lasting business. While there are many factors at play to get there, without effective marketing and sales a business cannot survive.

Unfortunately, there is a multitude of dangerous and destructive marketing advice swirling around the heads of vulnerable entrepreneurs. Like vultures seeking their next meal, “gurus” pontificate nonsense that these hard-working business owners follow, only to discover that what they tried doesn’t work.

Often, once the damage is done, it is too late for them to do anything else about it.

If you want to not only survive, but thrive, here is some of the terrible advice you need to start ignoring:

1“You need to be everywhere”

I’m sorry, but how do these people sleep at night without the use of narcotics? “Experts” spew out dribble to make headlines saying you need to get on Snapchat, get on Periscope, do YouTube Live … be everywhere! They’ll say you need to get on this platform or that social media network. Oh, and use LinkedIn Live! And make sure to post on Instagram three times a day and Facebook twice a day. And don’t forget those Facebook Lives. Make sure to do them every day.

Related: The Journey Of Entrepreneurship: How The Tough Get Going

ACK! Just writing that paragraph stressed me out. How the heck are you supposed to be on all of those channels, never mind doing it all effectively, and still run your business? Of course you can’t. And you shouldn’t. (Unless self-torture is your thing, in which case have at it. There are books about that, but I’m not giving any titles because I’d have to Google them and then I’d be retargeted by the ads and that would just be gross.)

It is impossible to spend even half an hour on each major network and still get any work done. Forget about focusing on measurement, profit and return on investment. They don’t mention that on purpose, because then these crazy-pants suggestions would really make no sense. But, then these “experts” would stop making the headlines, so they keep serving up spoiled advice for the poor folk who chow down and then get sick on it.

Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to their plots of deception. Demand strategies that value your time and produce results in a significant and measurable way quickly.

2“It takes money to make money”

cash-flow-management

I didn’t take the easy way out. I am part of a group of scrappy entrepreneurs who have a lot of hustle and heart and little/no/negative funds. I didn’t come from family money, and the big banks certainly weren’t lending to businesses like mine.

The only way I was going to get a big pile of cash was if I won the lottery. And since I’ve only played about four times in the last decade, the chances of that happening were slim. What I had to find was the same thing you most likely want – a solution to predictably bring in customers when there is no marketing budget to play with.

3The Schmo-bags

The worst are who I call the “Ferrari Marketers.” They rent a sportscar for an hour or two, hang out in front of it and then sell us shiny object strategies that they haven’t even used in their own business.

Related: 6 Timeless Strategies That Drive Successful Entrepreneurship

They are abhorrent, hideous and dangerous. Not only are they crooks stealing the money of the people who are seeking a solution from them, but they may prevent really talented people who have a gift/service/product/offer to share that can help someone else from ever reaching them.

Did I mention they suck?

But, once you discover a game-changing system, you are responsible for implementing it. You can’t be distracted by shiny objects any longer.

As Jack Welch says, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

Don’t allow yourself to be enticed or distracted by fads or the “latest and greatest/not greatest” new social media strategy, channel or tactic.

Once you uncover how to truly get results, be strong-willed and stubborn. Repel any idea, strategy or initiative that requires you to keep spending money to make money. If you keep throwing dollars and time at a goal, hoping and wishing that it will work, yet not tracking or measuring the results and scaling accordingly, then you cannot expect results.

Start measuring, tracking and demanding results from your time and money, rising above others and landing in the successful minority that thrives instead of survives.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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