Stop Lying To Yourself: Here’s Why You Keep Failing At Entrepreneurship
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” ― George Washington
I…have at some point been guilty of each one of these…
1. You Don’t REALLY Know How Things Work
I use to work on independent films not long after I moved to Chicago. I had no background in film-making, and I definitely didn’t have a film degree (Marketing major). I met a director while taking a film class provided by a local tv network and he told me that he’d give me a job on his film. Well…I ended up working as the Assistant Director (as which I was a hot mess) on the film after completely fabricating the resume that I sent to his production manager.
Years later the production manager, a dear friend of mine today, told me over drinks one evening that it was obvious to her that I had no experience as soon as I stepped on the set. We had the biggest laugh.
Yep. The 20-something year old Simone actually thought she could fake her way as an AD through an ENTIRE film production-and yet be the best AD there was! Like I said, a hot mess.
Understanding how things work in your industry is pivotal in so many aspects of entrepreneurship from knowing where to network and who the “big players” are, to adjusting successfully with changes in its landscape in order to continually provide true value with your products/services.
2. You Throw In the Towel Too Quickly
If you’ve read any memoirs, watched any “fat cat” interviews or biographical films of successful people you’ll find that it rarely, if EVER, happened overnight. It’s human nature to want instant gratification. We want a lean body, but don’t want to go to the gym, or eat a balanced diet(here its those damn Maxwell Street Polish stands that do me in). We crave to be learned, but don’t want to pick up a book or go to cultural events, and flick the television right past documentaries to reality tv.
And last but definitely not least, we want success, but are deterred once we meet an obstacle that we didn’t anticipate. People who get on in life are typically no smarter, definitely not superior, and don’t have any true secrets that are worth the millions of dollars self-help gurus charge for seminars…they just KEEP GOING until they reach their goals.
Follow through with your ideas and watch how opportunities began to open up.
3. You Don’t Own Your Crap
It’s not always easy to accept responsibility when outcomes are less than stellar, and it can be even more challenging the worse things are. No one wins ALL the time. And I think this concept explains the schadenfreudish nature of today’s culture. People want (and need it seems at times) to know that others aren’t perfect either, which is why people love seeing train wrecks on television or crave the latest celebrity mishaps.
I’ve always found the latter particularly interesting because celebrities are usually forced to own their crap because the entire world is watching…and God forbid Twitter puts them through the ringer. It takes courage to admit to mistakes, or to change your views on something.
And believe me I’m speaking from experience. When I was younger I simply NEEDED an excuse for why I failed at something, or why I missed a deadline. The reality of facing my shortcomings meant that I’d have to dust off that mirror of perfection that kept my ego intact-No Bueno.
What I found was that once I started raising my hand to my mistakes, I understood that they were the seedlings needed for my tree of personal growth. Say “NO” to excuses…and drugs of course.
4. You Half-Ass Things
If you’re looking to start a business and you give anything less than 100% just stop because you’re only setting yourself up for failure. Far too often we’ll give everything that we have to our job or to the projects of other people, but won’t shoot for the stars with our own goals. I’m sure that social pressure plays a part in this-we don’t want to be embarrassed (or called out) for our sub-par efforts.
But if we don’t challenge ourselves to be the “best of the best” with our entrepreneurial efforts, surely there’s another soon to be, ass-kicking, ten-toes in entrepreneur who will emerge in our life (or in our online news feed) and point a flashlight at our 50 cent efforts. Over the years I took note that people who are truly motivated to achieve something are working on it everyday, or at a minimum 5 days a week-it’s almost like an obsession.
There’s no way around it, You MUST do the work in order to see the results.
5. No One Knows You
As millennials continue their world domination be assured that competition in every single industry known to man will only get more real. Today’s 20 and 30-somethings have a greater sense of entrepreneurship than any generation before us. That coupled with fact that they’ve grown up in a digital era where marketing can be mean the mere click of a button as oppose to days and weeks of old-school, door-to-door selling, translates into more players in the arena.
If you want your startup to survive in today’s world you absolutely have to put your best foot forward with spreading the word about your business, or risk getting lost in the sauce. All product and no promotion is…No-Bueno.
6. You Take S***** Advice From Others
People, without realizing it, offer up horrible advice all the time-and for various reasons:
a) You’ve asked them for their opinion and they simply provide it. Question asked, question answered-and without much thought sometimes.
b) They’re listening to you ranting about something or voicing a roadblock that you’re experiencing, and being that they care about you they instinctively want to solve your problems for you. (We all have at least one “Dr. Friend”)
c) They’re know-it-alls and can’t bear the thought of hearing a problem that they can’t solve.
d) They’re projecting their own failures and limiting beliefs upon you, and many times they just don’t know what you know.
If I’d listened to even 30% of the advice that I’ve received in my lifetime I wouldn’t have accomplished most of the things that I set out to do-and I’d undoubtedly be BEYOND miserable.
I’m not in any way implying that advice should be avoided completely, but I do believe that we have to be cautious of who we seek it from.
Wait! Don’t go yet!!
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