Many people desire to go into business for themselves but few individuals actually do. And those who do, 6 out of 10 of them fail within the first five years. Why are these businesses failing? In this article, I’ll expose 3 dangerous thought patterns that can destroy your business and how to overcome them.
Dangerous Thought Pattern #1: Doing What You Want To Do Without A Vision
A lot of people, who go into business for themselves are an expert in his or her craft. And since they’re very good at what they do, they say to themselves, “Why not work for myself and reap the rewards of my own labor instead of for someone else?” They get excited at the prospect and start their own business doing the work they are good at. Unfortunately, most of them set themselves up for failure because, they start doing what they know to do and ignore the rest.
These businesses begin operating according to the wants of the owner as opposed to the needs of the business. What they want is a place to go to work with the freedom to do what they want, when they want, free from being shackled by working for the boss.
It is this dangerous thought pattern that dooms their business before it even begins, and the reason is simply this:
- the owner is so focused on doing what they’re an expert at, free from the constraints of a boss, that they neglect working on what the business needs.
- They have no vision for where the business is going or strategy for progress.
It is vitally important that you develop a vision for your business that gives you the clarity and fortitude to withstand the ups and downs that any business will inevitably have. You must ensure that you keep your compelling Vision, Values and Mission as the priority and foundation of what drives your business.
Dangerous Thought Pattern #2: Doing Business From An Employee’s Perspective
You fired your boss and now you are free at last. Finally, you can do your own thing in your own business. In the beginning, you can do whatever your business needs you to do. So, the many hours devoted to your business are not spent reluctantly, like it was at the job, but optimistically.
But, after some time, you find yourself doing not only the work you know how to do, but all of the difficult stuff you don’t know how to do as well. You’re not only making the product, but you’re also buying it, selling it and shipping it. You’re trying your best to keep everything running smoothly.
But then, ever so slowly, your business starts changing. Subtly at first, but gradually you find yourself falling behind.
So, what do you do? You stretch yourself even more. You work harder, putting in more time, more energy. Then you realize: this is not working. Something needs to change, but what? You realize there’s more work to do than you can possibly get done.
There’s nothing wrong with being an expert in your craft. There’s only something wrong with being an expert craftsperson who owns a business without changing this dangerous thought pattern! Because:
- As an expert craftsperson-turned-business-owner, your focus is upside down. You see the world from the bottom up, from an employee’s perspective, rather than from the top down, from an entrepreneur’s perspective.
- You were so used to working in somebody else’s business that, now, you’re working in your own.
- But, while you’re working in your own business, there’s something more important that isn’t getting done. And it’s the work you’re not doing, the strategic work, the implementation of systems that will lead your business forward, so you can live the dream you’ve envisioned.
If you want to have a viable business and not work yourself to death with this dangerous thought pattern, you must be able to make growth systematic and predictable. You need to think of a business as a series of systems that will lead to growth. The best companies have formulas for making their growth systematic and predictable. They have a very clear understanding of what those factors are that will allow them to grow.
Dangerous Thought Pattern #3: Having a Tactical View Rather Than a Strategic View
There’s nothing wrong with tactical work. It’s only a problem when the expert craftsperson avoids the challenge of creating a strategy with goals on how to grow his or her business.
Being consumed by the tactical work of the business, as every Small Business suffering from a lack of vision, purpose and a strategic plan is, leads to only one thing: a distracted, confusing, and, eventually, failing business.
When a business owner is focused on working in their business rather than on it, they become unclear of their priorities and try using every tactic they can get their hands on to bring in the income they desperately need. They impulsively try the latest trend or newest technique hoping it will work.
Well, in business, hope and guessing are not tactics. Having this dangerous thought pattern is not how you operate a successful business! You must have specific objectives or some type of measurability about whether that tactic is working or not.
If you are serious about growing your business, then you need to use a Vision-Based Framework to help you get the clarity, direction and focus your business needs to go forward. It helps you filter out distractions and use the right tactics that are in alignment with your business’s vision and strategic plan.
This is so important because, if you’re trying to grow a business beyond just making a quick buck or a decent income for yourself and trying to build something more meaningful, then what your business is about becomes more important than what you’re selling.
As long as you have the dangerous thought pattern of viewing your business from a bottom up perspective, you are doomed.
Understanding the difference between what goes on in an expert craftsperson’s mind who owns a business, the mindset of an entrepreneur whose focus is on building and growing a successful business, and the 3 dangerous thought patterns that can destroy your business, is critical to discovering why most businesses don’t thrive and ensuring that yours does.