6 Mindsets that Spell Doom for Entrepreneurs
A few months ago, I received a call from a former colleague and friend. I hadn’t spoken to her in several years, but we have one of familiar wavelength relationships where every time we talk it is as if we had just spoken to each other yesterday. Last we spoke, she had just left her job and started her own consulting business, with the hopes that she would have more control over her time.
“I need your advice,” she began. “I’m not really getting anywhere with this business…I’m not sure I’m cut out to be an entrepreneur.”
In my work and current move to California, I have the pleasure of hanging out with a slew of successful entrepreneurs, some having started multi-million dollar businesses from scratch. As a business owner myself, I am always curious about what makes someone be successful as an entrepreneur. Watching some people thrive and others make little headway, I have concluded from my observations and extensive reading on the subject that there are six mindsets that will hinder your ultimate sustained success as an entrepreneur.
The “When I have time” mindset
Often people begin their own businesses so that they can have more control over their time. I’ve heard people describe wanting to have a leisurely work out in the morning, grab lunch and catch up with friends after that, and work a couple of hours a day before picking up their kids from school in the afternoon. The business mindset they bring to their entrepreneurial endeavor is one of an afterthought; it is more of a hobby to fit into their already full lives and social calendars. While a business endeavor can certainly exist under these circumstances, it is difficult to grow and sustain a sizeable and on-going business with this “hobbyist” mindset and minimal time commitment.
The “Wannabe” mindset
This person talks about starting a business incessantly. He or she attends seminars, reads about it, maybe even creates a website and gets business cards. But when it comes down to pulling the trigger and actually doing the real work of creating a legitimate for profit business plan, marketing strategy, products, and actually making the business happen–he is at a loss. The process of talking about it and incessantly changing the idea and concept in his head is his permanent focus.
The “Big hat, no cattle” mindset
You may have encountered this person yourself. She has a splashy website and beautiful, slick marketing materials. She tweets incessantly about whatever comes into her mind so that people will know that she is out there. She talks about all the things she has done and drops names constantly of who she knows. But when you look behind the curtain, she has little experience and competence in what she is trying to do and has no real products or services to offer. The flashy image itself is the focus—with minimal substance to back it up.
The “All-knowing expert” mindset
This person has more knowledge and expertise than you can imagine. Her degrees and certifications can fill a stadium, and she has deep subject-matter expertise. She relies on that expertise to speak on her behalf and bring clients to her through osmosis—banking on the sheer fact that they should find her because she is so smart. Unfortunatly–they don’t.
The “I don’t do sales” mindset
This person hates marketing and sales and won’t do it or hire someone to do it for her. She relies on past relationships for clients, and refuses to put herself out there as to not appear “salesy” or “pushy”. Result: Her business hits a plateau and doesn’t grow because people don’t know about it.
The “Fragile ego” mindset
This person cannot bear any type of rejection and is in need of constant validation. If no-one responds to his sales email, he chalks it up as failure. If he doesn’t get comments on his blog, he must be stupid. Every step he takes is an ego defining moment, and if the response is not overwhelmingly positive, he gives up. His skin is too thin to sustain the ebbs, flows, and real blows of starting and running a thriving business.
So if you are serious about being an entrepreneur, take a look at the six sabotaging mindsets above.
Do you have one of them?
If you do—perhaps it is time to do some soul-searching about what it is you are trying to do and create. Are you really ready to invest the time, focus, and commitment it takes to create and sustain a successful business?
Lasting success making a living as a for-profit entrepreneur first and foremost takes a business focus and mindset. While passion, great ideas, and expertise are certainly drivers, they do not magically produce revenue. Converting those noble drivers into actionable services or products, creating a real demand for them, and actually selling them are essential if your entrepreneurial endeavor is to be successful.