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