Here we are at the start of a brand new year! Before us is a blank book of 365 pages and everyday we write one page. In the end, how will your story read? Amna Shamim wrote a great article in Entrepreneur magazine, and I wanted to share it with you.
As an entrepreneur, you are your best friend and your worst enemy. You vacillate between believing in your ability to take on the world, making it better as only you can, and doubting your worth, self-sabotaging through procrastination and unnecessary spending. You can make 2017 your best year yet, but in order to do so, you’ll need to let go of a few nasty habits.
1. Having a sense of entitlement.
Yes, you are a special snowflake with a unique combination of skills and vision, but that doesn’t mean the world owes you anything, especially as an entrepreneur. If you want success, you need to make it happen. You want a new client or your company featured in a great publication, then you’d better start hustling to make it happen.
2. Trying to do everything alone.
That said, don’t try to do everything alone. It’s okay to ask for help and advice, and you can even hire someone to take some of the burden off your shoulders. You have a whole network of friends and fellow entrepreneurs who will be happy to help you, whether it’s because you’ve helped them or because they just want to see you succeed. Entrepreneurship is hard enough — don’t make it unnecessarily harder.
3. Trying to be perfect.
Everyone fails sometimes. A successful person is the one who keeps getting up until eventually, life stops knocking her down. Trying to be perfect will keep you from making the mistakes and riding the learning curve that you need to in order to reach success.
4. Comparing yourself with others.
Successful people are meant to be inspirations. Their success can be a potential roadmap to help you avoid the same blocks they stumbled over on their way to the top. You are not supposed to look at them and castigate yourself for not being equally successful. They started and made their way with hard work, and if you focus on the lessons you can learn from them instead of where they are now, you’ll get there too.
Certain parts of your business aren’t fun. You might hate dealing with email campaigns or formatting your website. Not many people enjoy preparing contracts or invoices, but every single step is important and needs to get done. Don’t let procrastination be the reason you’re behind meeting your targets and reaching your goals.
6. Being underprepared.
Whether it’s the result of procrastination or overconfidence, being underprepared can ruin client pitches, client work and your reputation — which, once tarnished, is so very hard to fix. No matter how confident you are that you know your stuff, prepare for everything. Have a “plan B” and a “worst case scenario plan.” You may never need them, but you’ll be glad you have them if you do.
7. Constantly complaining.
Not only is it exhausting to always be miserable, but you’ll turn off other people who might have otherwise wanted to help or work with you. If all you do is complain, you’ll be too busy to see opportunities. You will be so focused on the negative that you won’t appreciate what you do have. If something isn’t right, fix it. Don’t complain.
8. Buying things you don’t need.
While it might be exciting to buy all the new toys, focus instead on ways to spend your money that will get you closer to your dreams. A new computer might be flashy and fun, but the course on Google Analytics or revamping your website might be a better use of your money. Or you could always tuck that money away for a rainy day — they do happen eventually.
9. Thinking you’re not ready.
No one is ever really ready for the big things in life — starting a business, having a baby, etc. You just have to figure out things as you go. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have a knowledge base and a plan, but as they say in programming “if you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Do it now.
There are plenty of things that can be roadbumps in your business. Don’t let the things you have control over be one of them. Fix these bad habits and bad mindsets, and go into 2017 ready to accomplish your dreams.
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