According to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, in 2012, 20% of new businesses that were started failed within the first year and 50% won’t be around by 2015.
Making the move from employment to self employment is a big step and can be quite scary. If you have made this move, well done and if you are thinking about it, read on.
When you make the transition to entrepreneurship, your mindset has to make a transition as well. Here are 7 limiting mindsets that could be holding you back from your entrepreneurial success and if you don’t learn how to overcome them, you could be heading to be one of the 50% of new businesses that is not around in 2015.
1. Being expert in what you do does not make you a business expert
A lot of people go into business thinking that because they are really good at what they do it means they can set up a business doing it. Right? No, that is wrong. You could be the worlds best shoe maker but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can automatically make your fortune running a successful shoe store.
When you start out as a solopreneur, you become chief cook and bottle washer. Gone are the days when you could ask the finance department to produce the latest budget report or you could ring the I.T. helpdesk and get someone to sort out your computer problems.
You need to develop good business skills and learn all about what running a business entails.
2. Wandering around aimlessly
If you have worked in a corporate environment for a long time, you have probably become ‘institutionalised’ and used to working in very performance orientated environments. Working to specific deadlines and having someone breathing heavily down your neck if those deadlines were not met.
When you first start your own business it can be a bit like a kid in a sweet shop. No exception reporting to do if your department has not met the targets this month, no having to make sure that your teams have submitted the required reports by the deadlines imposed.
I came from a very bureaucratic, performance focused organisation. When I first started working for myself, I initially felt like there was no structure to the way that I was working and with no one to hold me accountable, often found myself distracted by ‘bright shiny objects’. Scheduling my business and marketing activities ahead (I actually scheduled them for a whole year) gave me structure, enabling me to be more focused.
3. Thinking you can do it on your own
Thinking that you know it all so can do it all on your own is a big mistake because more than likely, you can’t. Having the right support is essential and a coach and/or mentor is essential for your personal and business growth.
Even those at the top of their game get this support in their business, here are 5 billionaires who have succeeded as a result of having a mentor http://www.marketingfundamentals.com/2014/03/04/mentoring-is-only-for-startups-right-wrong-5-billionaires-who-have-mentors/.
4. Thinking you don’t need to plan
You’ve heard the old adage ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’, well, it’s true. Without having a plan of what you are aiming for, you are setting yourself up to fail. Without creating a vision of what you want to achieve and setting yourself objectives, how will you know when you get there?
Having goals gives your business direction and purpose, giving you something to aim for. Without having something to aim for, how are you going to stay motivated?
Businesses that do not have a plan, with objectives and goals continue on aimlessly, not measuring how they are doing, often failing to achieve success.
5. Not charging what you’re worth
You know you are not charging what you’re service or products are really worth and you keep your prices low, hoping that the lower they are, the more customers you will get. This then means that you attract the wrong type of customer or you do not get any customers at all.
Not charging what you are worth can come from a lack of self belief and not feeling confident. You may be doubting yourself or comparing yourself to others who do what you do who appear more successful, questioning whether you are good enough and putting yourself down in the process.
If you are not confident about the value that you offer, how will potential customers see the value in what you do?
Don’t put yourself down by comparing yourself to others, you have not walked in their shoes so do not know their personal journey to get to where they are. You are unique and have your own set of unique gifts that you bring to the table.
Learn to value yourself and what you offer. Look at how much value you are giving to your clients by enriching their lives with your products or services.
6. Too scared to do things that feel uncomfortable
Sticking with what you are comfortable with is very limiting and does not allow you to grow. Fear or a lack of confidence could be preventing you from stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring new opportunities. If you want to see business growth, you are going to have to challenge yourself to seek new opportunities and ventures.
A client of mine had a fear of networking, so she avoided it. She was missing out on making new contacts, possible collaborations and getting her name out there. By helping her to address her fears and overcome them, she found that she actually enjoyed networking, becoming like a social butterfly.
Stretch yourself to just outside your comfort zone and the more you do this, the more confident you will feel until your confidence levels start to soar.
7. Not being true to who you really are
Trying to be someone that you are not does not work. You will not come across as genuine or you will feel so incongruent with yourself that it will eventually take its toll on you. That in turn will affect how confident you are.
Be true to yourself and be your true self. Your values go to the core of who you are and if you are not working in a way that is aligned to your values, it can leave you demotivated, stressed and unhappy.
To be sure that you are aligned to your values, complete the values elicitation exercise that is available here http://aboundingsolutions.com/resources/values-exercise/.
Having the right mindset is essential to having a successful business. Adopt the right mindset and let your business growth soar.
Carol Stewart, is a Personal Development, Career & Business Coach, writer and speaker. She is the founder of Abounding Solutions and the Ladies Business Brainstorming Club. She works with women who are unhappy at work but are too scared to do anything about it. She helps them to develop the confidence to make a career move and find something that they love. This could be climbing the corporate ladder, a complete career change or it could even be exiting the corporate environment and setting up their own business.
Carol writes for a number of publications and her work has been featured in the national, glossy women’s magazine Pride.
She holds an MSc in Coaching Psychology and a PG Diploma in Management Studies. Carol has done extensive research on women in their mid to late careers, looking at matters such as what is important to them, what they want from their careers, their fears and what holds them back.
Her ebook 5 Steps to Pursuing Your Passion at Mid Life: A Guide to Designing a Career You Love is available to download at www.aboundingsolutions.com.