Reasons Entrepreneurs Fail
I see it so many times. People with great ideas fail at executing their vision. There are a lot of reasons overall for failure and failure in itself has many meanings.
Failing at something simply means you didn’t accomplish whatever the goal was BUT when you fail in one aspect, you usually thrive in another or at least learn a life lesson that will later on help you succeed in the future.
If I didn’t have failures in my first business, I would have never been able to start my second business. My shortcomings and the lessons and skills that I learned from them lead me directly to where I am now.
But the type of failure I want to focus on is the type of failure that leaves you feeling hopeless. The type of failure that has you give up on your dreams, those big goals and the overall vision you have for your life.
So many beautiful, smart, kind and talented women give up on themselves before truly giving themselves a chance.
So today I’m going to help make sure that you are not one of those women. Now I can give you all the ingredients but it’s up to you to start the process, believe in yourself and commit to your journey because I can assure you, it won't be easy.
Here are the 10 Reasons Entrepreneurs Fail:
1. Limited Beliefs
A limiting belief is a state of mind, conviction or belief that you think to be true that limits you in some way. This limiting belief could be about you, your interactions with other people, or with the world and how it works.
You will never be able to succeed at entrepreneurship if you’re limiting yourself and your beliefs. Stop thinking small, it’s time to dream BIG! You have to get to the point where you believe you are capable of anything you put your mind to. Think outside of the box. Stop looking at what everyone else is doing and ask yourself…”What do I want to do?” No idea is too big, you simply have to have a vision, believe in, strategize and commit to the smaller goals that will ultimately get you to that big picture vision you have.
Limited beliefs usually aren’t something we choose, it’s something we end up adopting and struggle to get rid of. Limited beliefs can steam from your family and upbringing. If you were raised like me to go to college, get a job and live a normal life, it would be hard to step outside of that because that type of lifestyle was all you knew. You were limiting yourself based on what you were taught and stepping into your own lane, taking risks and doing something new could seem really unfamiliar to you. When something is unfamiliar, it’s normally scary and we tend to stay away from it.
So how do you fix that? You challenge it. You find proof that there are other ways of living. You find the people who have accomplished great success without ever going to college and learn about their journey. You create a list of all the worst case and best case scenarios that could happen if you choose to let go of that limiting belief and chase something bigger. You intentionally break down the limits you’ve set on yourself by understanding that your family beliefs are what they are because of how they were raised, and their parents and so on. Be the one to break the cycle and do something different.
Education plays a major role in forming limiting beliefs too. Whether you’re learning from family, teachers, or friends, they all have an impact on what you adopt as truth. This is because they’re both in a position of authority and constantly sharing information, ideas, and beliefs about how the world works.
Even the absence of education can create limiting beliefs. Someone who has no education or knowledge about something will feel inferior and unable to do something simply because they aren’t qualified. So when kids can’t afford to go to college, they put this limiting belief on themselves that they can’t be successful, happy or rich because they don’t have what it takes but creating a life you want has nothing to do with formal education. There’s always ways to learn and master the needed skills for whatever it is you want to do.
Anytime you want something and you hear that little voice in your head rebuttal you, that’s your limited belief. Turn it off by not allowing it to hold you back from proving it wrong.
2. Lack of Confidence
When you finally kick limited beliefs to the curb, you then have to have the confidence to see your vision through. I’ve mentored so many women who put in the initial time and work into launching a business but because of their lack of self-confidence they end up giving up before they gave themselves a real chance.
Having confidence in yourself and your ability or value you provide to the people you’re helping is a huge factor of whether or nor not you succeed. Do you think I would have this podcast if I wasn’t confident in myself and my knowledge about the things I talk about? No, I would have done the research, prepared to launch and then self-doubt would have talked me into saying “I don’t think I’m ready for this yet, maybe next year.”
If Tyler Perry wasn’t confident in his ability to tell great stories while also making people laugh do you think he would be a successful playwright and movie producer? No, he would still be sleeping in his car or working a regular 9-5 job just to get by.
You have to dismiss the limiting beliefs and allow your confidence to be your driver. You have to believe in yourself, otherwise no one else will.
3. Lack of Knowledge
Once you have let go of limiting beliefs and gained the confidence you need to succeed, you need to be knowledgeable about whatever it is you’re wanting to do.
Imagine trying to promote something you have little to no knowledge of. I see so many people right now trying to be social media managers or social media coaches but they don’t even have their own social media together. How can you help me with my social media if you can’t even help yourself? If your social media looks like crap, you have a low following and no brand identity how could you possibly help me with all of those things?
You are a walking billboard for your brand. If you say you’re a personal trainer, you should be fit, in-shape and active. I should see client transformations, healthy eating and tips for overall health. If you’re a stylist, you should be stylish, sharing tips on personal wardrobe, posting your clients, showing behind the scenes footage, and so on.
Whatever it is you’re wanting to share and offer to the world, you must be knowledgeable on it. If you call yourself an “expert” you should have all the answers. You should be able to articulate what you do, who you do it for and how they can get involved.
There are so many different ways to gain knowledge on your area of focus. There’s books, podcasts, webinars, courses, workshops, events, even internships. Take the necessary time to research these things and get involved in them. DO NOT, I repeat, do not go out here offering services and taking people's hard earned money before you’ve made sure you are completely knowledgeable about what you’re doing and what you’re offering.
The worst thing you can do is launch products or services and give your customers or clients a bad experience because you weren’t knowledgeable about something in your industry.
4. Lack of Skill
It’s great to have the confidence and knowledge to do something but skill is a whole other monster. Skill is the ability to do something well. It’s the thing that makes you considered an “expert” in your field. The best way to showcase your skills is to build a portfolio. Before asking anyone to give you money for a product or service, you have to show proof that the service works or that the product is good.
When I first started my social media company I worked for 3 months pro bono. I strategically picked certain people and brands to offer my services to for free just so I could create a portfolio, gather testimonials and perfect my skills in the process.
This also gave me a chance to receive feedback from my clients so that I could be intentional about perfecting the client experience. By the time I started charging for my services, I was super confident, knowledgeable and SKILLED in the services I was providing.
If you’re thinking of launching a product based business, you would want to offer your products to a group of people who are your ideal audience and have them use the products and provide reviews. This way when someone goes to buy your product, they can see proof that the product is a good buy which ultimately creates trust with your customer.
In this situation, you're not focusing on skill, you’re more so focusing on the quality of your product. Just like a skill, you have to work on perfecting your quality. Choosing the right manufacturer, packaging, delivery system etc. You want to master these things before taking someone's money.
Now keep in mind that as an entrepreneur, you will constantly perfect your skills and products. As more time goes on, you will naturally increase your skillset and the quality of your products. Just make sure you do the necessary work in the preparation stage before accepting payments. Which brings us to the #5 reason entrepreneurs fail….. We will pick back up here next week with part 2 of “Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Fail”.
5. Lack of Preparation
I cannot stress preparation enough. If you do not properly prepare, you are opening the door and welcoming in trouble and stress. 2 things I prefer to live without.
It’s important to properly plan, strategize and execute during the preparation stages of your brand or business. I’ll break each of these down.
- Planning: the process of making plans. So many people try to start a brand or business without even having a logical plan for doing it.
If you do not plan, how can you succeed? Creating your plan is like creating the blueprint for a house that’s being built. Image building a house with no blueprints. You wouldn’t know where to start and halfway through building you’ll realize something isn’t right and probably have to start all over again.
Planning is a process of structuring your long term vision into actionable steps to take to achieve smaller goals to reach the bigger one.
Creating a plan is as simple as creating a to-do list. From start to finish write down what needs to be done. Whether you’re planning the launch of your business, the re-branding of your business, a product or service you’re adding or your business's social media. A plan takes you from point A to point B while keeping you on task, completing the necessary steps in order.
- Strategizing: Your strategy is the HOW of your preparation stage. It’s how you plan on completing each of the things included in your plan.
Your strategy is more detailed than your plan because it includes the necessary steps for accomplishing each of the things on your overall plan. Creating a strategy takes proper research, deep thought, and intentional time management.
Executing: carrying out or putting into effect a plan, order, or course of action.
Once you have your plan and strategies for the plan, it’s time to execute. This step is simply you committing to the plan by doing whatever is needed to complete the task.
Execution: This is what gets you closer to reaching the big picture goal. Once you execute a series of smaller goals, you will reach the bigger one. For every main goal, there are subgoals and those goals are just as important because without them you can’t reach the ultimate goal.
A major issue I see with aspiring entrepreneurs is that they create the plan, have some sort of strategy but get stuck with the final step of execution. I personally think this stems back to having a limited belief and lack of confidence in oneself. Planning is easy because it's hypothetical but actually committing to the plan takes action. If there is any uncertainty, people tend to stop in their tracks and never continue forward.
You have to be able to determine when this happens to you and address it so you can continue to push forward. Also remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Perfection comes with trial and error. Getting started is better than nothing.
6. Lack of Commitment/Consistency
Once you are able to plan, strategize and execute, it doesn’t stop there. This is a constant cycle that you will continue as you build your brand or business. You will always be planning, strategizing and executing. Here is where lack of commitment shows up.
If you’re not completely committed to your brand or business you will lose momentum the moment it gets hard. (which it will get hard). It’s in those moments that you find out just how committed you really are and whether you can continue forward with consistency or if you fall off and end up having to start all over again later down the road.
I see this happen when people aren’t fully aligned with their “why”. When your purpose and passion aren’t aligned with your business or brand, things become unclear as to what you’re doing and why. When this happens, it’s easy to take a break or give up all together.
The important thing is to remember that life's a journey. Your brand and your business has its own journey too. Everything won’t make sense all of the time but there is a way to get through it and come out stronger in the end. That’s consistency. Continuing to move forward even when things are unclear will allow you to find answers to your questions and solutions to your problems.
7. Lack of Authenticity
Stop trying to be someone else or do what others are doing. Young entrepreneurs who succeed do so because they are true to themselves and what makes them unique. They find a niche that aligns with who they are and they master their personal brand by just being true to themselves.
It’s great to do market research and check-out your competitors but you don’t want to become them. You want to stay in your own unique lane finding ways to promote what you offer while remaining true to your authentic self.
Another part of this, especially if you’re trying to build a personal brand is to be open and honest with yourself and your audience. People can tell when you’re being genuine and appreciate when you’re vulnerable. Sharing details about your life that make you relatable is great for building relationships with your community and customers.
Now I’m not saying go on social media and share your personal business with strangers. I’m saying, be intentional about sharing the important factors of your life and your story to the point where you can build a sense of trust between yourself and the people who are apart of your ideal audience.
8. Lack of Support
So many entrepreneurs try to maintain and grow their brand or business alone but it becomes overwhelming, creating self-doubt and stress which ultimately leads to quitting.
It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses so you can properly outsource certain tasks that you’re not good at or that take up too much of your time.
You can also build a team to help spread the word about what you have going on or even set up affiliates who make a commission each time they sell your product or refer a customer who ends up buying-in to your services.
Most importantly, you need emotional support. For most entrepreneurs, this is their first time stepping out on their own and trying something new. Most people don’t have the proper support from family members or friends and need to find outside support.
This could be a mentor, a new friend who shares similar interests and goals or even a spouse who will act as your emotional support through your transition. Whoever and whatever it is, find it because there will come a time when you need it.
The last type of support that’s a game changer is financial support. Most entrepreneurs don’t make a profit within their first year because of the initial investment to launch the business or because of the expense of running the business, branding, marketing, you name it. So how will you sustain yourself?
You have the option of maintaining a full-time or part time job while getting your business off the ground but then this means your time and commitment is split between 2 things. If you’re wanting to give your all to your business, you’re going to need to save enough money to have that freedom to do so.
9. Lack of Systems
Having a business idea is not the requirement for operating a business. On top of having a great idea, you must also create great services or products, a great customer experience, a workflow process and automation for your business and social media platforms.
Once you have a product or service, there has to be a system for which your customer finds out about it, receives more information, makes a purchase and then receives the service or product. There’s a lot to it. You must master this system otherwise your customers/clients will most likely never return or worse, spread bad news about your brand or business.
Something most new entrepreneurs don’t dedicate time to creating and perfecting is a workflow. To put it simply, a “workflow” is how you get work done. It’s a series of tasks you need to complete in order to reach some repeatable business goal.
The key word here is repeatable. A workflow is not a 1 time to-do list. It’s a chain of tasks that happen in a sequence and something that you do on a regular basis.
For example, I have a workflow for my social media. Here is my social media workflow:
1. Create content in batch
2. Organize content calendar
3. Create Captions & Hashtags
4. Automate Posts
Those 4 things must happen in that specific sequence in order for me to master my social media. This happens every 2-3 months for all of our social media accounts.
Automation is essential for entrepreneurs because it allows you to be smarter and make the most out of your time. You shouldn’t be doing tedious tasks everyday like making social media posts or responding to the same questions or manually creating and sending out emails. These things should be created as automated processes. Allowing more of your time to be focused on bigger picture issues.
If you’re currently looking for a system to help you manage your daily to-do lists, checkout Trello! It’s free, super easy to use and it keeps me on track for all my projects, clients and personal brand related tasks.
10. Lack of Awareness/Marketing
Okay, I saved the best for last. Even if you mastered all of the previous 9 steps, no one would know about your brand or business without proper awareness and marketing.
The reason why I teach people how to organically grow their Instagram following is because it’s a FREE way to gain awareness and market yourself online. What you’re doing doesn’t matter if the people who need what you have don’t know that you exist.
This 1 problem can be broken down into so many different categories but to keep it simple, you need great branding, a marketing strategy and a free way to access your target audience. This exact problem is why we created our online course “