Today’s post is all about turning your biggest challenges into opportunities and how entrepreneurs can accomplish great things despite hitting significant challenges on their journeys.
Here are eight bad habits aka challenges that could be holding you back every day.
1. Saying yes to everything
We all want to say yes. Whether it’s meeting new people, taking on new projects, or launching a new product or service we know will change the world.
We also want to believe that we can do it all.
When I was first starting out as an entrepreneur, I was a naïve young entrepreneur full of passion, eager to take on the world and build a company that could support myself and my 3 children.
However, there’s one issue I should have foreseen. When your business is based on you personally taking action and bringing new people into your life and projects, it can become incredibly tough to manage all the commitments you take on.
Typically, you become known as someone always willing and able to go the extra mile for people. And while I still believe that’s a key quality of an entrepreneur, there comes a point where you have to stop saying yes to everything and focus on yourself and your business, or your work will suffer.
So, learn how to gently decline when it’s needed.
This was probably one of the hardest things for me to do in my early entrepreneur life, as I get so excited about new opportunities. But while some tasks can be delegated elsewhere (more likely on an ongoing basis), there are some people you need to say no to.
One of the most important rules I always try to live by is: If someone asks me for something, I’ll give them an honest answer, even if they don’t want to hear it.
It’s impossible to say no to everything so what tends to happen is we over-commit ourselves in other areas – not just our business, but family commitments, social events, etc. You might feel like you have your finger in every pie, but you just end up with no time to relax. You then wonder why you’re so stressed.
I can relate to this.
When I started with my first business I was a single parent with 3 kids under the age of 10 and a full-time student which meant my time was never my own. The more time I gave away the more things seemed to come up and it took some serious planning to fit everything in. This meant learning how to say no and get better at using my time.
3. Letting yourself get overwhelmed
Running a business while trying to grow is an incredibly tough balancing act. There are so many different things you have to do and it can quickly become overwhelming when trying to balance your day-to-day business operations with the needs of your growing company.
It’s a constant struggle to find that balance between all the moving parts in your company and it can be really frustrating when there never seems to be enough hours in your day to get everything done.
It isn’t until you realize that the problem isn’t with your day, it’s with how you manage yourself and your time that things start to actually get under control.
When I look back at my years as an entrepreneur, no matter what business I was running or where I was at in the company life-cycle, there have been only a few ways I have found to keep my head above water.
I had to figure out what was most important – it sounds pretty cliche but there’s really no way around this one. You need to sit down and figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
You need to pinpoint your strengths as well as identifying areas that could use some improvement. Then you have to develop a priority list for how you’re going to be spending your time in order of most important to least important tasks.
Start by writing down everything that needs to get done daily the night before and only focus on that day’s items.
Cross out anything that doesn’t need to be done right away or can be delegated. What’s leftover is your priority list and it should probably cover all of your client work, marketing initiatives, administrative tasks as well as any personal time you have set aside to keep your sanity.
Remember, you will always think that there is something more important than whatever it is you’re doing. But stay the course. If you start to feel overwhelmed again, go back to your most recent priority items and start working your way down the list again.
No matter how great your product or business is, you will face rejection at some point. No one likes to hear the word “no,” but it’s part of life and business.
You’re not going to appeal to everyone, so don’t worry about the people who don’t like what you have to offer. As long as you keep moving forward and doing what you love, the right people will find you.
5. Feeling sorry for yourself
Feel like everyone else gets all the luck?
Do you get frustrated when you read about other people’s successes and think “how come they got that…I didn’t?”
Well, here’s the truth: people don’t really get luckier than others. Or at least, not as clearly as you might think. Success is no accident. It’s always the result of hard work.
So if you don’t have that success yet, it’s not because you haven’t been trying hard enough. It’s simply because you haven’t done all the things you need to do to get there. Maybe your way hasn’t worked so far. That doesn’t mean it won’t work eventually – you just need to find a better way.
Here are some steps to help you find the best ways to get what you want:
- Start by identifying your real obstacles and getting rid of them
- Look at what you’re doing right now
- If there is something you need to stop doing, then it’s time to stop
- Find the quickest ways of making your progress
6. Not planning for success
Learning how to embrace small wins is an important part of the entrepreneurial journey.
What is a small win? A small win is when you take one step forward in your business towards a significant goal, even if that step does not feel like one towards progress. It can be an email sent to a new lead, an hour spent working on marketing research, or choosing a coffee shop to begin your day.
These small wins might not look like much when you are looking at month-long and year-long goals, but they can be crucial in pushing you towards those more significant milestones.
To celebrate the small successes to keep yourself motivated and pushing towards those bigger goals.
7. Taking on too much
The first step to ensuring that a business owner does not take on more than they can handle is to have a clear understanding of their skill set and interest level, and the type of work they want to be engaged in.
To avoid entrepreneurs taking on too much responsibility and suffering from burnout, the entrepreneur needs to make sure their company has clear roles that match up with what they want to do themselves.
For example, if a person loves marketing but hates administrative tasks, they should make sure that their company has someone good at administrative stuff.
8. Dealing with Uncertainty & Failure
Starting a business is never easy, and it often requires major sacrifices in terms of time, energy, and money. You might make the right choices, but you can’t control everything that happens along the way. That’s why patience and persistence are two things all entrepreneurs need to have!
When it comes to dealing with failure whether it’s a product launch or a marketing campaign, failure is part of doing business. You shouldn’t be ashamed to fail, but you do need to pick yourself up and try again – and again!
Remember Edison learned how NOT to create the lightbulb 10,000 different ways.
To be successful as an entrepreneur, you need to learn how to manage the pressure that comes with owning your own business and focus on turning challenges into opportunities to grow your business and yourself as the owner.
The tips I’ve shared should help you start on a better path toward success. If these habits sound familiar and they’re making life difficult for you or someone else, spend a moment reflecting on what changes might work best for your situation. You deserve happiness & success too so don’t hold back!