Mind over matter! As a new entrepreneur, be wary of these five thought traps that destroy your progress.
Trust me, entrepreneurial life isn't for everyone. I've toyed with it over the years. At this point in my life, I've found a nice happy medium.
I'm no longer self-employed, but I still make time for fun side projects. But, don't get me wrong, I've had enough entrepreneurial experience to last a lifetime.
The best and most successful entrepreneurs avoid these five detrimental thought traps and instead focus on staying driven. They work with a specific, granular purpose.
1. If I Just Hustle, I'll Be OK
You need more than hustle. In fact, if you really possess a millionaire mindset, you won't even need to hustle. You'll be able to maximize your time, and work smart in small bursts. You'll be a true testament of the "work less, live more" theory. Think of it this way. If you don't know how to swim, but jump in the water anyways, and just flail your arms as fast as you can, you will still drown. But, if you keep a steady back and forth kick going under the water, you will float.
2. All the Top Dogs Are Doing This, So It'll Definitely Work for Me
Just because Gary V is getting away with some ultra edgy techniques, doesn't mean that you need to go right for the content jugular. Seriously, find your audience. Become obsessed with your biggest fan. Learn their lifestyle. Ask yourself, "What do they love about me/my content?" For example, my followers love my sass and tongue in cheek sense of humor. If I got super girly and proper overnight, I'd destroy my social media engagement. Don't ever be someone you're not, but also know what people want from you and your brand.
3. I Know a Guy Who Knows a Guy Who Owes Him a Favor
This is actually one of the worst traps you can fall into. I always recommend building a strong network of people around you but don't build your entire business and marketing strategy around these people and what they may or may not owe you. At the end of the day, your actions will garner the most traction. Then, when you rise to the top, you'll know it's all because of your efforts.
4. I'll Figure It Out, I'm Not Worried About It
This casual attitude preaches entitlement. You should be worried about your progress. Let me put it this way. The knowledge is out there. It's available to you. It's your responsibility to embrace these educational tools, and learn more about maximizing your startup efforts. Sure, will you figure it out? Of course. But, if you don't invest time in becoming a better entrepreneur, your "figuring it out" moment will involve you failing.
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5. I Just Need to Find an Angel Investor/Get a Huge Startup Loan
I've seen so many new entrepreneurs head right to the bank before they even have the entire scope of their idea developed. This is one of the worst things you can do. Let's say you think you've come up with a genius idea. Keyword here? Think. You fail to do your proper due diligence. You don't research the competition, costs of goods, or anything that could back up your request for funds. Because you don't do your research, you don't know what you need. You end up asking for way too much and getting in over your head. Your project fails, and all you're left with is a mountain of small business debt.
In addition to avoiding these thought traps, new entrepreneurs should also prioritize the following rules.
1. If it's been done before, it can be done again.
Don't get discouraged. It won't always be easy. You'll have rough days; days that make you feel like quitting. In these low points, you'll think about cashing in your entrepreneurial card, and going back to the 40 hours a week grind. Stay strong, and know that every successful entrepreneur faced obstacles similar to yours.
2. Hard work beats all.
Lay your head down at night, knowing you did your best. The guilt that comes with slacking off isn't worth it. Especially if being an entrepreneur is paying your bills. Study your mentors, and see what values have fueled their startup success.
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3. Handouts are temporary. Don't count on special treatment.
If a mentor does you a favor, thank them. But, don't count on special treatment. Assume that no one will help you out. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Prove to yourself that you have what it takes to succeed.
Being an entrepreneur can be fun, but you must prioritize self-discipline. You'll end up working long hours. What makes it worth it? Knowing you're working to build your dreams, not someone else's. Stay focused and optimistic. Set your eyes on a tangible, granular prize. This will make the journey that much more fulfilling.