Connect with us

Entrepreneurs

9 Poisonous Thoughts That Hinder Your Success

Published

on

9 Poisonous Thoughts That Hinder Your Success As A New Entrepreneur

Being a new entrepreneur can be daunting sometimes, with so much to learn and do, as well as the scary prospect of convincing others to pay for something that you haven’t charged for before.

What may come as a surprise though is that your mindset while starting the entrepreneurship journey is just as important as the other skills that you’ll need to learn. It’s important to be aware of some thinking patterns that you’ll need to fight and curb in your efforts to get off the ground successfully.

Look out for these 9 common poisonous thoughts that will try and derail you:

 

1. I’m not good enough

This is a limiting belief common to many many people. At the root of many of our fears and inability to act on our dreams is this belief that we are not good enough. If you remember that most other people are thinking the same thing, it can help you to make a choice to ignore those thoughts and get on with it anyway. Step out and take action. The more you do, the more you’ll actually learn (even through making mistakes), and the better you’ll become at what you do.

You have to just start – like everyone else who succeeded before you. At some point they had to make the decision to just start. So when you find yourself thinking that you’re not good enough to start a business, take the steps you planned that day regardless, and continue as if the thought never occurred.

 

2. The competition is much better than me and so no one would choose my product or service

The great thing about the presence of competition is that it means that there is demand for your product or service – it’s a good sign that the marketplace has decided that there is a need for what you provide!

Even if many customers like your competition, there will be others who are attracted to what you offer and your unique take on what it is you do. Some will relate better to you and what you represent than they do to the competition. So don’t let this put you off.

“Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” – Timothy Ferriss

3. I’ll never ‘get there’

Yes you will and you can. Persistence always beats talent long term. Think of the hare and the tortoise – the classic tale of how slow, steady, but persistent action won out in the end! You can start out with less talent than someone else in your field, and with persistence you will overtake them eventually.

 

4. It’s too hard

Now I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s not hard. It is. But so is not reaching for your dreams. In fact, it’s much harder – because of the pain of regret and the pain of not enjoying the many benefits that come from doing what you’re meant to be doing and doing it well.

Just trying causes growth in you as a person, and for that alone it’s entirely worth it. You will never know what you could have accomplished if you hadn’t tried.

 

5. If I was going to succeed, I would have succeeded already. It’s too late for me

There are so many examples of successful people who found success ‘later in life’. By the time they achieved their dreams, they were older (yes), but also wiser, less concerned about what people were thinking of them, and they knew themselves better. They had also come to a great place of understanding what they truly valued. Colonel Sanders, the man who sold his ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ recipe and franchise rights for $2 million was broke at 65. But he got up from defeat again and through determination and hard work, succeeded in selling his fried chicken recipe – and the KFC franchise business is a household name to this day.

 

6. I don’t have enough experience/knowledge/talent to succeed

Everyone has to start somewhere. Just focus on being better than the people you’re trying to help. There will always be someone who is better than you at what you do (and #1 expert status can be subjective anyway- how to do you measure it? Is it by the number of sales? Is it by the quality of service, again which is subjective? By the number of happy customers? Or by revenue earned?).

There will always be people who don’t know what you know and have less experience than you and can benefit from your help and what you have to offer.

 

7. I’m not the kind of person who succeeds

What kind of person is that? Successful people come in all shapes and sizes and in every personality type you could summon up a list of Myers Briggs personality types! Amongst successful people, there is also no commonality between the backgrounds, education, connections or good looks they possessed before becoming successful. Think about it – you’ll even find that there are many successful, famous actors and actresses who are not conventionally good looking.

The primary difference between successful and unsuccessful people is the way they think. Which is why that is, along with your business skills, one very important part of your personal development that you can continue to work on.

 

8. What would my friends think?

You’ve got to take your friends out of the equation entirely. If they are not entrepreneurs themselves, then in all likelihood they will understand very little of what you are going through anyway. So their opinion, regardless of what it is, doesn’t actually hold any value when it comes to helping you succeed as a new entrepreneur. You don’t want their advice – you’ll want advice from someone else who has been on that journey and can encourage you along the way.

So, in short, to answer the question of ‘What would my friends think?’ – the answer is: ‘Who cares?’ . They are no doubt wonderful people who you enjoy spending time with and care about, but with regard to entrepreneurship, what they think is really not relevant or important to your success.

 

9. There’s too much to do and I’ll never get it all done

There is a lot to do as an entrepreneur, true, but how we think about it is really important. If you focus on empowering thoughts such as, ‘How can I get it all done?’, your brain will actually go to work to find the solutions for you. And one step at a time, you will get it done.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started” – Mark Twain

Here’s to your incredible success as an entrepreneur! Thank you for reading my article!

Sue Sundstrom is passionate about helping you create the work and life you were meant for. She helps entrepreneurs overcome overwhelm by finding clarity, focus and productive solutions. She blogs on mindset, productivity, relationships and more at www.suesundstrom.com; You can find her on twitter @suesundstrom.

Advertisement
11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. My 67 Steps Review

    Oct 26, 2015 at 5:00 am

    This is great. It’s so hard to get these thoughts out of your head. Meditation has helped me a lot. When I discovered that I don’t need to be a “master” at anything before I can teach, it really freed me up to start manifesting what I have always wanted to do.

  2. Hardik panchal

    Aug 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Ya. All of the above are true reasons which hinder our Success. For thoroughly. One if we work for excellent than i think no need to run behind Success. Actually its my personal thought. And way think you

  3. Timo Fischer

    Aug 1, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Definitely had some of those thoughts a while ago, glad that I got rid of them! Through meditation and just deciding to think more positively it’s a choice that you have to make.

  4. Laiza King

    Jul 29, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Number 1 is definitely one thought that hinders alot of people and stops dreams right on their tracks. Thank God I’ve been able to overcome that and I realized that getting passed that venom has helped me become a better person and chase my greatness. Thank you so much for this article.

    • Sue Sundstrom

      Jul 29, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks for your comment Laiza, so glad you enjoyed the article. Great to hear you’ve overcome #1 – it is a very big one and often needs ongoing changing in our thinking.

  5. Dotchamou Zakari

    Jul 28, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Hello, thank you for your wisdom. Being an entrepreneur requires that we totally change our habits and thoughts. By reading your post I can see that you enter in the mind of people who faile as businessmen and you help start up to learn from errors of mindset.
    I want to share these two quotes with the reader of this post
    “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” —Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

    “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.” —Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA founder

    • Sue Sundstrom

      Jul 28, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks for the comments Dotchamou – you’re right, this article is born out of entering into the minds of some of the people I’ve coached who had limiting beliefs and it’s also born out of thinking I’ve had to break out of. I’m passionate about this area – how we can challenge and change our thinking 🙂

  6. Ethan Bridges

    Jul 28, 2015 at 5:53 am

    What Axel said.

    If I’d pick one, it’d be #7 (I’m not the kind of person who succeeds). This is simple, but it could mean someone’s future. I actually heard my Dad say that ultra-success happens to … “those kinds of people.” We’re doing fine, but it just struck me that a limiting belief existed. It only means we can do better than what is happening now. What’s worse is those who hear that statement gets to believe it, without realizing that it’s total nonsense.

    • Sue Sundstrom

      Jul 28, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Hi Ethan, thank you for your comment! I think #7 is common to a lot of people – we attribute some special, mythical aura that ‘those people who succeed’ have, which is just not true at all. They had to work hard & persist & keep going beyond their self-doubt just like everyone else!

  7. Axel Page

    Jul 28, 2015 at 12:59 am

    #8 is very dangerous and is part of the broader issue of people who always compare themselves to their peers, and more importantly, cares too much what others think. Once you become free of outside opinion, you are truly liberated to achieve your goals and desires.

    • Sue Sundstrom

      Jul 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      Hi Axel, I agree, worrying about what others think stops many people from acting in line with what they really want to do (and are talented at doing)…thanks for your comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entrepreneurs

The Secret to Becoming the Most Desirable Person to Do Business With

Published

on

how to attract more business
Image Credit: Unsplash

Marketplace distinction is a very important factor in business today. You might have discovered that several other businesses offer the same or similar solutions that you do. This creates tough competition to get customers.

Being first to the market often gives an initial edge but that doesn’t last as innovation and marketing strategy changes the expectation and taste of customers. Blockbuster Video was once an industry leader but now it is eclipsed and out of business because of Netflix. There was a time Blackberry phones were at the top of the smartphone world as well. Now they have been outclassed in that market.

You must have noticed also that the companies with the best products and services are not always the ones with the best business. In fact, it is a common notion that smaller companies often offer better services than their larger competitors. This perhaps is because of the fact that they have smaller clients and can offer more tailored solutions and customer service. However, the majority still keep rushing to the largest companies in the industry. The common assumption is that the product or service is better, but in several cases, it’s not.

Becoming the company with the best business in the industry depends on how desirable you are to do business with as an entrepreneur. And if the business is a large corporation, the business depends on how desirable the managers and company representatives are as well.

We live in a day and age where clients and customers are emotionally driven towards making a purchase and then create a logical reason to back up their emotions. Nobody buys if the logic says yes but the emotions say no. This is why several companies today are trying to associate their brand with known social vices. You do remember the Nike ad with Colin Kaepernick and the Gillette ad that sparked a lot of discussion on social media. You don’t have to go that far if you don’t want to as there is another way.

“Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.” – Kevin Stirtz

There is a local community I once had to live with. The community was famous for its spiced roasted meat. It was sold on the street by the locals. When people come around to buy from them and speak English, they sell at their usual prices. But if you approached them and spoke their native language, they will be beaming with smiles and you can walk away with as much as a 50% discount. Why? The most beautiful thing to the ears of any person is their own language, especially when they least expect it.

This can be flipped into the business world too. Instead of triggering an emotional downpour on social media, you can target your audience and make them yours. It is the way to become the most desirable person to do business with. Speak the language of your customers.

Below, are the 2 steps to becoming the most desirable person to do business with whether you have a big company or are a one person operation:

1. Identify where your customers are

It’s difficult to know who your customers are without knowing where they are. A smart way to learn where the customers are is to conduct a survey of the customers you have already and find out how they learned about your company. The survey will seek to understand their reason for doing business with you and it might not be what you think.

The survey should also seek to understand what all your current customers have in common. It might be another product or service offered by another company complementary to yours. It might be a certain location. It might be a specific industry. The purpose of this is to pinpoint a waterfall of potential clients.

2. Identify what your customers want to hear

You have probably heard of trigger words. Yes, they do exist but they vary depending on the type of clients or customers you serve. You learn the words by listening to them. The purpose is not to manipulate the customers but to create an emotional connection with them when you talk about the solution you offer them. There are clients who walk away from the solution they need just because they did not connect with the one offering the solution. So make sure you are listening to them and figuring out a way to create an emotional connection.

The decision of the client to do business with you is not hinged on how awesome your product or services are, rather it is based on how well you understand their problem. They are going to know how well you understand their problem with how fluent you speak their language. And that is the secret to being the most desirable person to do business with.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

3 Ways You Can Get Back to Basics While Accelerating Your Business Growth

Published

on

accelerating business growth
Image Credit: Unsplash

Young kids are a living, breathing, walking and talking reminder of how important the basics are. They usually underestimate simple everyday tasks and create new chaos in the process. This creates a real time reminder for themselves, and everyone around them, of how important getting back to the basics are. If you have ever watched a baby try to walk or eat, something you do every day, this is very clear.

A growing business is much like a growing child. Rapid growth during the first few years, independence and confidence as the idea grows into a profitable business, and eventually adolescent rebellion once the taste of success comes in. As a business grows, change becomes inevitable, and can very often be unmanageable and overwhelming.

A business can also experience growing pains. From adding staff, to something as simple as time management, the growth of a business can sometimes be more stressful than the death of a business. Success hinges on adaptability, but it is equally important to take time to recognize what got you started when the business was just an idea.

Here are some of the stages your business may be going through, and the way to adapt and grow effectively and efficiently:

1. The terrible twos

As your company grows, the expectations of it and you will change. You are no longer the new kid on the block with limitless potential. Sticking to your core values and adapting to change becomes a full-time balancing act. Very often this early onset of success allows you to hire more people and expand your reach. Especially in companies experiencing hockey stick growth, you may have forgot to create a corporate culture when it was just a few of you in a garage.

Even if you are in an early stage of your company it is important to document the work you are doing and create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and expectations of every task you are completing alone. Once you hire someone, it will be much easier to train them if you can hand them a document telling them this is how you do it.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. The tween years

People can get so busy working in their business that they forget to work on it. Be sure to notice the borders of your company and plan how to broaden them. As a company now with profits, employees and resources, you’re keeping busier than ever, but not sure what is next. Much like a child still needs their parents for some of the basics like food and shelter, during this stage of business, coaches and mentors are so important. Be sure to surround yourself with people who are where you want to be and learn from them. This is the make or break point for many businesses so make sure you are working and surrounding yourself with the right people.

3. Entrepreneur adolescents

Many teenagers feel like an adult, because physically and mentally they feel like they are there, but socially and economically they are not even close in most cases. Success can be blinding and create this same false positive for a growing company. Success can create a comfortable bubble that can distract from further growth. The comfort can create slip-ups and mistakes. Be mindful, and don’t let progress slow you down.

During this stage of business, coaches and mentors are still a key factor to success. They may not be the same ones you had in earlier stages, but the great thing about today’s market place is you can find someone out there to get the advice and guidance you may need. In this phase it very well can be a peer or someone on the same level. 

So, what can you do about this day to day? Read below:

1. Back to the Future

Go back to old emails, files, photos, and reminisce. Every venture has a beginning. The photos and emails you have recorded and collected can be just as much an inspiration as your current goals and challenges. Make sure you have the TimeHop app on your phone, this will help jog your memory.

2. Get feedback

Talk to clients and get feedback. We get many chances to talk to new clients, but make sure you go back and question old clients to understand their perspective on your work and business. Ask them about the changes they have noticed and whether the same kind of qualities are still there when they started with you.

“No company can afford not to move forward. It may be at the top of the heap today but at the bottom of the heap tomorrow, if it doesn’t.” – James Cash Penney

3. The Social Network

Networking is key as well, both on and offline. Listen to new people and new customers. You will see plenty of new faces along your journey up, make sure you are receptive and accepting of the new kinds of ideas these people bring along with them. Rigidity can kill a business. Make sure you are networking with the right people online via social media. During all stages of growth, it is so important to be networking in person locally, and make sure you get on a plane and go to an event!

Remember, a business is run by people, and as a CEO and Entrepreneur, you are a person. Make sure you keep growing your business, because if you’re not growing your dying.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

3 Strategies for Entrepreneurs to Stand Out Before, During and After Networking

Published

on

networking for entrepreneurs
Image Credit: Unsplash

Oftentimes, entrepreneurs spend a good amount of time networking to create leads and fill knowledge gaps. Networking events and conventions offer a high level of excitement and engagement, but how do you keep the momentum going and stay in front of potential leads without spamming? How do you actually have people follow up with you directly?

Below, I have listed 3 strategies to help you stand out before, during and after networking:

1. Be consistent with your brand on social media, or don’t be on it.

Most people have an online presence, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone without a social media account. Especially those with a product or service to sell. Even if the pictures posted to your social media account are only pictures of you and your dog, those images communicate a brand, and that’s what followers come to expect when they interact with your page.

If you connect with someone at an event, and they visit your social media profile, is your most recent post reflective of who you are? Is it a pillar in your brand? Another aspect to consider is that everyone has their go-to platform, therefore, it is important to be active on multiple social media platforms. That being said, if you are not active on a particular platform, your business and networking prospects can be harmed.

You may want to consider doing away with the social media platform you’re not active on. If you live on Instagram, don’t be on another social media platform that you are not going to put effort into, or consider outsourcing it. The key here is post networking, you want people to see you regularly, and consistently with the same message.

2. Publishing your own book is the modern-day business card.

With today’s technology, many entrepreneurs debate on the need for a business card, and in a networking event, you can apply a variety of techniques both with and without one. That being said, when someone asks the proverbial networking question “What is it that you do?”, handing them an autographed book that tells your story and about your area of expertise is hard to forget.

It gives credibility in your field and positions you as an authority. It’s easier than ever to self-publish your knowledge, and being a published author opens doors. It allows others to know and learn more about you, not unlike the podcast and your online presence, but it also helps take your personal brand and business to the next level. With a book, you also become an expert in your industry, and it paves the way if you have the desire to speak at conferences and/or events adding another level to your networking.

3. Having a course or mastermind will allow you to stand out from the crowd.

With the first two mentioned above in place, people want to connect with you before, after and during a networking event. So how do we keep teaching and networking with them? The book you authored can be turned into an online course. Each chapter offers the chance to go deeper into the material, and therefore go deeper into the brand and business.

It serves as a companion piece for those who read your book, and with the completion of the course or mastermind group, they have the necessary tools to accomplish the goals outlined in your book. Your mastermind can be delivered in several ways. You can do a weekly call with a group and almost run it like a book club.

The other option is through a Facebook group where you do a weekly live explaining the topics in each chapter, and answer questions in the comments. The final option for the busy entrepreneur is to create a prerecorded webinar or online course that can be accessed 24/7 by current and potential clients.

Networking is the key to success for any entrepreneur, but the money is in the follow up. These three simple things give you credibility, allow you to connect with more leads in one session and create a consistent and clear personal branding message for you online. Remember, your network is your net worth.

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs

5 Ways to Find the Time for Self-Growth While Running a Business

Published

on

self growth
Image Credit: Unsplash

Taking time out for self-growth is by far one of the best things a business owner can do to secure a winning future. You’ll be surprised to know how investing in personal growth can contribute to business success. Self-growth boosts creativity, confidence, and motivation. It persuades us to create systems in our personal and professional lives that lead us to success.

Business owners and entrepreneurs have to wear multiple hats and may not always be able to find time to invest in their personal growth. However, self-growth cannot be achieved at random. It’s a continuous process that requires dedicated efforts and time.

Below are 5 tips that’ll help you focus on self-growth, transform you into a better business professional, and steer you towards success:

1. Be a Ruthless Prioritizer

The power of ruthless prioritization cannot be trivialized. Life as a business owner can get so busy that personal priorities and self-growth goals tend to take a back seat.

Business-related tasks and responsibilities can never disappear, but we can definitely plan ahead and prioritize tasks to get organized and make time for ourselves. I like to use Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle to classify tasks and prioritize like a pro.

Master the art of delegation. Trust your subordinates with smaller tasks and gradually delegate bigger responsibilities to them, thereby maximizing productivity and making time for yourself. I often play to my team’s strengths or train them on managing critical business tasks. This leaves me time to focus on personal growth. Effective delegation not only keeps us sane amidst tight deadlines but also helps us focus on ourselves.

Remember to allocate time to the person who matters most – You! Prioritizing tasks will leave you enough time to invest in your creativity, self-confidence, knowledge, health, and relationships.

2. Learn to Say No. Period.

There’s a lot we can learn from Warren Buffet. The American business magnate puts it across in simple words – “Really Successful People Say No To Almost Everything.” The primary reason why modern business owners and entrepreneurs have less self-time is because of their inability to say no when required.

Resist the urge of being wired to the perpetual yes mode. Say no to unproductive tasks and requests that continuously consume your time and energy. This will help you find the much-needed me-time to define life’s priorities and reflect on your personal growth.

Make it a policy not to take business calls on weekends. Let your stakeholders know and respect the fact that weekends are personal time. Similarly, you can design a policy to eliminate late nights at work by forbidding meetings after 6 pm.

Being consistent with this policy will help you overcome the guilt and anxiety that come along with saying no. You not only create a positive work culture, but also make time for self-development.

Further, getting rid of unproductive tasks will free up your cognitive space, allowing you to pursue self-improvement strategies like enrolling for an online course or attending a workshop for small business owners.

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Tony Blair

3. Befriend Technology

Technology has been enabling entrepreneurs and business owners to adapt quickly to the changing business needs, allowing them to make better use of time and resources. For instance, the cloud offers immense flexibility allowing business owners to access data from any location and using different devices. Project management and collaboration tools, such as Trello, Harvest, and GSuite can help you focus on multiple tasks without wasting too much time.

Similarly, email marketing automation tools enable business owners to organize their customers’ email addresses and send targeted emails, deal notifications, and product information in a scheduled manner without having to get into the nitty-gritty.

Besides, modern technology is redefining learning experience for entrepreneurs and business owners. Several online learning platforms are offering immersive educational experience through web and mobile apps. These platforms provide business professionals and busy entrepreneurs learning beyond the classroom by helping them upgrade their skills from any part of the world.

Going tech savvy not only makes life easy but also helps you save time. Using high-tech tools can help you stay on top of your tasks and fuel personal growth.

4. Eliminate Distractions

Many business owners unknowingly waste a huge chunk of their day accomplishing tasks that can be easily delegated or avoided. A study by Inc. reveals that business owners waste a staggering 21.8 hours a week. That’s almost one day lost! Imagine what you could achieve in that time.

Eliminating the common time wasters can significantly increase the amount of time available for self-growth.

Here are a few time-wasters you should avoid to make time for yourself.

Spending Excessive Time Online

A Vertical Response survey reveals that 43 percent of business owners spend 6+ hours per week on social media, surfing websites, emailing, and going through apps. The fear of missing out (FOMO) often compels us to keep checking connected devices, thereby wasting too much time online.

To make time for yourself it’s critical to challenge the dominance of social media in our lives. Block the distraction of the online world using various apps. These apps allow you to block your social accounts and the internet, allowing you to focus on self-development.

Similarly, emails are time-sucking black holes that can cause you to lose focus. Set a specific time of the day to check and respond to emails. Better still, avoid checking emails until you have finished important tasks.

Random Networking

Building relationships is critical for every business owner, however, there’s a fine line that separates networking and wasting time in meaningless socializing. It is easy to lose time in such random networking that does nothing for your personal growth. Therefore, it’s best to avoid such chatty situations. For instance, if you have set time aside to upskill yourself by taking an online course, make sure you wear headphones to focus and keep random schmoozers at bay. Alternatively, don’t shy away from asking the person to get back to you at lunch break or after you have finished the task at hand.

Futile Business Meetings

A business owner is required to keep a bird’s eye view on various business operations. Although meetings help us do just that, it’s important to not waste time on unstructured and pointless meetings. Did you know, American businesses alone waste USD 37 billion per year in unnecessary meetings? Avoid drowning yourself in pointless meetings. If you must attend one, make sure it has a clear agenda, allowing you to reclaim your time for self-improvement activities.

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” – Christopher Columbus

5. Use Idle Time Effectively

Downtime doesn’t always have to be unproductive. Those idle moments when you are traveling or waiting for a customer can be spent doing meaningful activities like recording goals in a bullet journal, social listening, reading a self-development book or a business article, listening to Ted Talks, or learning a new language. Make a conscious effort to pursue value-adding activities during your idle time, thereby fostering personal growth.

Running a business isn’t easy. Most business owners spend so much time and resources in scaling their venture that they are unable to find any personal development time. Use the effective tips shared in this post to make time for self-growth in your jam-packed schedule.

With everything you need to do during the day, how do you find time to get it all done? Share your tips and advice below!

Continue Reading

Trending