The current economy has encouraged many to consider shifting from being an employee to an entrepreneur in order to fully experience freedom and control of their lives. But before you decide to make this jump yourself, it’s important to know that most entrepreneurs don’t make it. According to Harvard Business Review, first time entrepreneurs have only a 22% chance of succeeding.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was ten years old. I started my career by running a recycling business in Germany, trying to save up enough money to buy myself a Super Nintendo. Even today I remember exactly what I paid for that system: a total of 249 Deutsche Marks. Over the years, I’ve witnessed many people launch their own entrepreneurial careers. Many of the people who I thought would succeed as entrepreneurs ended up failing.
I’ve spent a lot of time considering why so many people with great potential fail as entrepreneurs. I’ve come up with a countdown of thirty-eight reasons that I’d like to share with you:
38. Lacking discipline in daily activities.
37. Lacking a predictable schedule.
36. Celebrating a victory way too long rather than getting back to work.
35. Getting constantly distracted.
34. Getting out of shape physically.
33. Starting to focus on problems instead of solutions.
32. Not reminding themselves of why they started being an entrepreneur in the first place.
31. Focusing more on controlling their business instead of leading their business.
30. Stop improving themselves and their business (through reading books and listening to inspirational business leaders, for example).
29. Not following up in all areas.
28. Demonstrating bad personal financial habits.
27. Working from a panic standpoint (and letting everyone see their panic).
26. Constantly worrying.
25. Having a seasonal work ethic (working very hard one month, then getting casual or lazy the next month).
24. Not taking coaching from advisors and mentors.
23. Waiting for a disaster before fixing the problem.
22. Stop selling and prospecting personally.
21. Not meeting new people and establishing new relationships.
20. Stop strengthening their relationship with existing clients and employees.
19. Starting to believe they walk on water (which is to say getting too prideful).
18. Getting influenced more by stories of failure instead of success.
17. Coming to the office late and leaving early.
16. Scheduling their persona time poorly: Many failed entrepreneurs either don’t schedule date nights and family time, or conversely they have way too many date nights and family outings. In either scenario, they offer the excuse of being entrepreneurs.
15. Developing a bitter attitude towards people.
14. Stop answering phones and not returning calls.
13. Not getting a personal assistant for help when there’s a need for it: This is often done to save money, but it usually ends up backfiring.
12. Blaming others instead of taking responsibility when things go wrong.
11. Not learning about the product they’re marketing.
10. Not having a written plan.
9. Waiting for someone to tell them what to do (like they did when they had a boss).
8. Trying to do everyone’s job instead of working on what grows the business.
7. Allowing negative influences into their mind.
6. Lacking enthusiasm for what they’re doing.
5. Having integrity issues.
4. Getting obsessed with profits too early on in their business.
3. Not competing against others and their own personal best.
2. Waiting for the client to come to them instead of going after new clients themselves.
The #1 reason why entrepreneurs fail is this: They give up right before they experience a miracle.
Don’t be another failed statistic. Think about what items on this list apply to you and work on improving yourself and your business. Most importantly, don’t give up before you experience a miracle in your entrepreneurial endeavor.