When you first step out as an entrepreneur, it can be an exciting, yet daunting experience. Even once you’ve started your business and taken the leap, it can be hard to keep taking risks and not let self-doubt take over. Here are five ways that small business owners often self-sabotage their success and how to avoid them.
One of the most common ways entrepreneurs sabotage their success is by procrastinating. Putting off important tasks or postponing business meetings or appointments can quickly cause you to fall behind. You might find yourself procrastinating for a variety of reasons, whether it’s because you feel overwhelmed, under-qualified or just too stressed. Instead of delaying urgent tasks, organise your to-do list by the tasks that will impact your business the most, and do those first.
2 Setting unrealistic goals
In this day and age, it’s hard to not feel inspired and motivated by the many successful entrepreneur stories floating around the internet. However, it can seem like almost everybody is an overnight success. As a budding entrepreneur, it can be easy to set unrealistic goals for yourself and your business. This can quickly cause you to feel disappointed when things don’t come into fruition in your time frame. Be generous and set realistic goals for your business, especially in the first year when you’re just starting.
3 Not outsourcing
The quicker you realise that you can’t do everything, the better. Many entrepreneurs start their businesses on their own and don’t bring on any help – even when they have the means to do so. This can seriously stunt your business growth. It’s important to recognise your shortcomings and your opportunities for growth, and bring on the necessary help to get things done. These days, it’s easy to source freelancers or contractors if you can’t afford long-term employees.
4 Working too hard
Many entrepreneurs quickly find out that getting a business up and running requires hours and hours of hard work. When work takes over your life, you can easily find yourself on the fast track to burn out. This can spell trouble when the livelihood of your business depends of you, and only you. While it can tempting to work around the clock, it’s important to establish boundaries as an entrepreneur. Taking weekends to rest and recharge is a must and restricting work times will make you happier and more productive.
5 Being a perfectionist
This is your business, so of course, you want it to be perfect. Unfortunately, this desire for perfection could be holding you back. You need to work out what areas or tasks need to be done to a very high standard, and which ones don’t need to be perfect. Your time is limited and you can’t be spending too much time on tasks that you aren’t going to profit the business in the long term.