By Tom Rubens
What was your dream as a child? Maybe it included owning your own business. For many people, it does. If you are one of those people, what has been holding you back? Why haven’t you acted yet? I have coached many entrepreneurs, and I’ve seen several themes emerge. I would like to share the top three “obstacles” that most people let stop them from venturing out on their own:
Fear is frequently the first demon that rises up to stop us in our tracks on the way to our dreams. For some of you, the fear of failure is overwhelming … almost paralyzing. You are so busy replaying the story in your head about how you can’t afford to fail, but then that leaves you stuck with the belief that failing at something makes you a ‘failure’.
The truth is that not reaching outside your comfort zone might be the surest guarantee of failure. Ironically, the fear of success is sometimes even more powerful than the fear of failure. Perhaps you are tied to your current identity as someone who just got dealt a bad hand in life. That’s who you are and how you show up in the world. Success would really screw that whole story up for you, wouldn’t it? If you actually pulled yourself up and succeeded – on your own – you’d have to change your whole belief system. You’d have to become someone with whom you are totally unfamiliar.
2. Not Having the Money
This is the most commonly stated reason that most entrepreneurs give when they face the challenge of starting their own business. I’m not buying that. Fear, lack of self-belief, and the absence of structure, strategy, and clear intention keep more potential success stories on the sidelines than lack of money ever could.
3. Lack of Self-Confidence
Of course, this is tied to your self-belief. It is very difficult to fundamentally change what you believe to be true about yourself, and also how you think the world works. Negative self-image – whether it comes from your weight, your looks, your current financial situation, your kids, or any other de-energizing stories you tell yourself, is a tough hole to crawl out of.
Even if you are reasonably confident in yourself and willing to take a chance on your entrepreneurial dream, if you don’t have a structure in place to implement the strategies needed to be successful in your chosen field, you are going to struggle mightily to make your business work. If you come from a work environment where strategic planning and organization were not part of your skill set, you will need to acquire those skills if you want to truly rise above your competition.
So, let me ask you a question. How would it feel if you had the tools to overcome your fear of failure? Or success? What if you were able to walk arm-in-arm with courage, towards just the things you used to fear the most?
If you could adjust your self image, so that you actually loved and admired all the things that made you uniquely you, do you think success would be a bit easier to access and maintain? Yes. It would.
Do you think that if you had a clear picture of what a successful business looked like, and an easily implementable structure that you could follow to keep your business running smoothly, that you could move far beyond your current state of financial and personal affairs?
I’ve given you a little taste today of what you need to work on to achieve greater success in your business and your life. These are some of the problems I solve for my coaching clients on a regular basis. Business is business, and the skills you need to succeed are the same whether you are baking cookies, manufacturing semiconductors, or selling dietary supplements.
Are you ready to step up your game? Let’s go.