Let’s face it, every start-up founder and entrepreneur has lied to themselves, either knowingly or unknowingly. Often we set our goals without being truly honest with ourselves, which at the end of the day results in many failures attempting to reach your goals.
As an entrepreneur you need to be honest with yourself first and foremost if you want to succeed. Be willing to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and mitigate the risks upfront rather than try to convince yourself that you don’t have any weaknesses or risks, and eventually failing as a result.
Some of the lies many start-up entrepreneurs tell themselves:
I’m the best thing since sliced bread.
Almost every entrepreneur I have met thinks he/she is the best thing since sliced bread, and you can’t tell them anything. They will tell you how successful they are, yet have to borrow money to pay bills at the end of the month.
Be willing to humble yourself and suck in your pride. Almost all of us have started from nothing, so there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
There is nothing anyone can teach me.
They are not willing to learn from others, maintaining they know it all and have learnt all they need from books. They do not understand the importance of a mentor who has been there and done that. They often speak more than they listen, and listen to respond rather than understand.
Be willing to absorb knowledge from everyone you meet. Be willing to invest in a mentor or courses that can save you years of pain.
My idea is the best on the market.
Every single one of us have been here where we came up with an idea thinking it’s the best thing in the market. But how do you know? Remember your analysis is based on your perception, not that of your targeted consumers. You might have the best idea in the market, but if people aren’t willing to use it and it can’t be monetized, it’s actually quite useless.
Analyse the market properly, do your research, and understand your consumer, and be willing to adapt.
I am the best type of manager there is.
Just because you think you better than your manager you worked for before becoming an entrepreneur, does not mean you are the best type of manager there is. As a matter of fact, as an entrepreneur you should not be a manager at all, you should be a leader and leave the management to others. Few entrepreneurs make good managers and most don not make good CEOs. See the article “Not All Entrepreneurs Are CEOs”
Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, and be a leader and delegate the management to others if you can.
We have no competition.
Any entrepreneur who thinks he / she does not have competition is opening themselves up for huge disappointment and failure. There is always competition, whether directly or indirectly, current or future.
The question is not whether you have competition, but what can you do to change your service offering in such a way to disrupt the market and create your own industry with limited competition.
The harder and longer I work the more I will receive.
I have met entrepreneurs that say they work 18hrs a day, 7 days a week, yet they struggle to cover expenses at the end of the month.
Don’t work harder and longer, work smarter and focus on those things that will bring you closer to your goals.
The customer doesn’t understand the benefits.
Often start-up entrepreneurs are very defensive when it comes to their product or service offering, not willing to acknowledge that their product or service does not meet the expectations or demands of the consumer, or too complicated to understand. They will spend days, often months, trying to convince a consumer why this product is right to them rather than adapting to the needs of the consumer and addressing a pain the consumer can relate too.
Be willing to innovate and adapt to market conditions and focus on providing the consumer what he/she needs to address their pain or their want. Forcing your service offering on a consumer when it does not meet their pains or wants, is a waste of time and money.
If only I had more money, I’d be successful.
Whilst every entrepreneurs needs money to make money (see the article “Do You Need Money To Make Money“), it is not the pre-requisite for you to be successful. Often money is not the problem in a start-up as most founders will believe, but rather processes, costs, strategy, etc. The solution is usually spending money on the right things rather than everything. If you can’t make sales with $10,000 allocated to sales and marketing, how do you expect to make it with $1,000,000? You will sit in exactly the same position a few months down the line complaining about needing more money.
Use the money you have wisely, and grow your business organically for as long as you can. Yes, we all need investors, some businesses more than others, but nobody is going to give you money unless you can sell and prove the concept. Money doesn’t make your business successful, it merely grows your business.
I don’t need anyone’s help.
Yeah we have all seen this. Entrepreneurs that know it all and won’t accept anybody’s help. This is one of the top 5 reasons for failing start-ups within the first 1-2 years of business. They think they can do it themselves, without mentors, partners, or colleagues.
Acknowledge your weaknesses and be willing to accept help from others, whether paid for, free, or in barter for something. Be cautious though, as I am not advocating giving away equity in your business for someone’s help (though in some cases its viable). Always evaluate what that help would be worth when translated into future revenue.
Once I’m successful, I will stop.
Yeah right … been there, done that, lasted about a month. Trust me that there is no such thing with successful entrepreneurs. Once you have reached your goal you have already set another. Entrepreneurship is addictive and it never ends.