No one ever said that launching your startup is easy, in fact it’s filled with a number of challenges- more like a mountain of obstacles and hardships, and with the surge of prices, little access to funding, having to hustle through a small market – you can say goodbye to sipping on your karak and slouching on your couch.
We get it, failure is inevitable, and It’s true what they say – “the road to success is paved with failure.” But what if failure is caused by some traits ingrained deep inside stubborn entrepreneurs, that refuse to change or adapt to their surroundings?
You read right – sometimes, it’s your own traits and habits that make you such an unbearable loser pretending to be an entrepreneur. What are those traits though? Read on to know.
- The “it’s not me, it’s them” excuse. Clay Clark, CEO of Thrive15 summarizes it beautifully in his book: “Entrepreneurs who blame the economy, the way they were raised, the weather, the customer, their employees, the acting president, the opposite political party – anything other than themselves – for their situation will never be successful.” Bahrainis sure love to vent out their problems- whether in person, social media, to their pets – you name it and it’s true. While voicing out your frustration and grudges is healthy, it can, however, get super lame after a while. Even if the world is falling apart, take ownership and at least do something about it – that’s what differentiates entrepreneurs from wantrepreneurs: an entrepreneur creates a solution for a problem, while wannapreneurs create obstacles for themselves. Let’s establish one thing here – when it’s always their fault, we’ve got a problem here, and that problem is you.
- What’s that sound? It’s your ego shattering the laws of physics. We get it, you could be a walking encyclopedia, and while confidence is indeed vital to the sustainability of your startup, your ego sometimes needs a break. It’s impossible to know everything, and that’s okay – you just need to accept the fact that it’s fine if you seek help and advice from your team or someone who has more expertise than you do. Don’t be the “my way, or the highway” type, it doesn’t help.
- Neglecting the core of your business. Customers. It all goes downhill if you ignore and neglect the needs of your customers. Companies need to ensure that their customers are always a priority when it comes to their policies and practices, everything else is secondary. Most companies failed because they’ve not taken their customers into considerations. Word of advice: Listen and apply market feedback.
- It’s a doomed economy anyway. While the economy can indeed be problematic, however, sorry to break it to you, it’s not the problem. The economy is unpredictable, it fluctuates every once in a while – does that mean you blame it for your failure? According to Grant Cardone, the founder, and CEO of Cardone Training Technologies “The person that makes the economy the variable will become a victim to economic conditions at some point.” Meaning, successful entrepreneurs can still make it during crises, and even if they fail, they try again. The choice is yours, who are you going to be?
- They talk the talk, but do they walk it? The classic “baya3 7achi”. Wannapreneurs would often regularly meet at cafes, drink coffee with their Apple laptops (it has to be Apple) perched on their desks and brainstorm ideas. But that’s what they all do – discuss ideas. Real entrepreneurship is all about implementing what you have planned or discussed in the previous meeting. Taking action is important when it comes to entrepreneurship – otherwise, no one, including us, is going to take you seriously.
- “What are you?” “I’m an Entrepreneur”. We’ve noticed a trend here in Bahrain – everyone’s an entrepreneur. It has become so cliche and redundant, one would roll their eyes if they ever hear the word entrepreneur again. Don’t get us wrong, entrepreneurship is very much encouraged, go ahead, create, innovate, solve – but make sure you have something solid running before you label yourself as an entrepreneur. As mentioned above, it’s all about action, not intention. Here’s an alternative: You can always introduce yourself by what you do instead of putting a label on it – that would sound much more interesting (and refreshing) if we’re honest here.
- Focus on one thing at a time, don’t be all over the place. It can get really exhilarating when you’re super pumped up about changing the world. You start thinking about the bigger picture and how you’re going to accelerate, more than your current state and what needs to be done to reach that picture – basically you focus more on the actual vision than the mission. While ambition is quite a positive thing, you also need to come back from cloud nine and stay on planet Earth for a while to actually implement your initial idea. Don’t try to implement a bunch of ideas at the same time thinking that it’ll make you the bomb – it doesn’t work that way. Be steady, focus on the present, and work on one thing at a time if you really want to achieve your vision.
- Venturing out is a big no-no. We’re referring to risk-averse wannapreneurs here. They try as much as they can to avoid risks that they end up shutting down every opportunity that comes in their way. Taking risks is scary, no qualms about that, but staying in your own comfort zone and not expanding? That’s a bit daunting, don’t you think? Not just for you, but for your staff as well. Employees love to see the company they’re working in grow and progress – this actually helps in employee retention and might even create new opportunities for you and your business. Of course, every risk has to be studied carefully with your team, as it helps in making the right decision.
- Feeling it in your gut. You sure you’re not hungry? Or maybe that’s your stomach acting up. When it comes to serious business, don’t use gut feeling because that’s the ultimate facepalm. Rely on the numbers and statistics that your company yields, then you can make a decision based on that. We’re not saying that gut feeling is always bad, but when you have numbers, isn’t that more reliable, and even safer?
To summarize, entrepreneurs need to exercise introspection and consistently reflect on their behaviors. Don’t let success and exposure get into your head – it can be short-lived. Think critically and analytically, be open to new ideas, and listen to your team and peers – their feedback can do wonders.
Do you think you have one of these traits in you? Do you know anyone with these traits? Better do something about it before it’s too late!