Entrepreneurship is a way of life that offers unlimited possibilities to those who truly believe in it and live by it. But at the same time, entrepreneurship is a way of life that can totally alter the course of your life if misunderstood.
Entrepreneurship is not something you can fake your way through; you are either doing it right or not doing it right simple. There are no ways around it.
To help you better make that choice, here are 7 Indicators of entrepreneurs who are headed for doom. As you go through the list, be sincere to yourself and tick each of the signs currently present in your entrepreneurial life.
The purpose of this article is not to scare you or condemn you, but rather to alert you and help you retrace your steps back in the right direction before your entrepreneurial journey goes up in flames!
1) Survival Driven (Seeking Money before Adding Value)
This is one of the most obvious signs of most entrepreneurs heading for doom. If your primary motivation for being in business is to acquire wealth rather than to create and add value, then you’ve started off on the wrong foot. If the drive for money supersedes the drive to create innovative products/services that will add value to your target market, then is time for some serious soul searching.
The study above has plainly revealed what becomes of entrepreneurs who think like this –they never actually attain that level of financial freedom they so much lay emphasis on. Why? Because the universe will never reward those who seek to get before giving.
The purpose of entrepreneurship is not the accumulation of money but the creation of value-adding products/services that will help make the world a better place for all. Wealth is a result of consistently providing solutions to the problems of humanity. If you doubt me, go ask Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and the likes. These are people like you and I who simply followed their passion (purpose driven) rather than following money (survival driven) and yet made a great fortune.
2) Inadequate Knowledge (Low Business IQ):
The entrepreneur on the path to failure won’t see the need to develop his/her business IQ because of the quest for money. Such an entrepreneur feel business is all about how much you can make. The fact that how much you can make is a function of how much you know and how much you can do is usually ignored. Thus, they forget that a business just like every other discipline requires certain competencies (knowledge, skill and experience) in order to remain functional.
So what do you eventually get? An entrepreneur who is dabbling his/her way through the ever dynamic world of business. In the end, failure becomes inevitable. Why? Because as an entrepreneur your ability to do is perpetually limited by what you know. In other words, you are the engine of your business.
So, to have more means you have to do more and to do more means you have to keep learning more! How do you learn more? By consistently focusing on personal development and self improvement through reading (books, blogs, magazines, etc.), attending seminars, business development trainings, executive mentorship or coaching programs, membership to a business club or network, etc.
3) Lack of Focus (Jack of all Trade)
The great Albert Einstein notably stated;
“genius is the ability to focus on one particular thing for a long time without losing concentration.”
Such is not the case for the entrepreneur heading for doom. In fact, the exact opposite is the case; trying to do more than one thing at a time eventually not achieving excellence in any. As an entrepreneur your success or failure will be as a result of how well you maximize your strengths.
Your strengths are those activities you naturally enjoy doing and would naturally do for free your entire life if necessary. This is how every great entrepreneur in history made their success; doing what they love and loving what they do.
They are not jack of all trades and masters of none, NO! They are jack of few trades and masters of some. Why? Because entrepreneurship is about using your passion to make a positive contribution for the benefit of others. Stop doing what everyone else can do and start doing what only you can do exceptionally well. Focus on your core areas of strength.
4) Fear of failure (Risk-Averse)
Entrepreneurship is about unleashing your passion and creativity to do something that you truly care about. It doesn’t matter whether what you have in mind to create is popular or generally acceptable, what matters is that it mattered enough to you that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make your idea become a reality.
The entrepreneur on the path to failure is the one who would never launch out because of the fear of failure, being laughed at, losing money, being called crazy etc. Daring the un-dared for the sake of making change happen is the essence of entrepreneurship and it means looking your fear in the eye and stepping out in spite of it. Don’t allow fear of failure hold you back, do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.
5) Lack of Vision (Shortsightedness)
The entrepreneur on the path to doom is the one that will never think of tomorrow. If you cannot literally see yourself and your business far into the future beyond today, then you are on the path to destruction. Why would you want to go into business just for today’s sake alone? Why would you want to build a business the world will no longer remember after you are gone? The essence of entrepreneurship is to perpetually be of service to humanity.
Therefore, you must never cease to ask and be able to answer this question; “What can we start doing today to meet the needs of tomorrow?” Not having this consciousness is the reason why most entrepreneurs fail in business. Since they are not thinking about the future, the need to keep improving their game will be less paramount and as a result; they end up being eaten up by those businesses that are consistently creating the future today.
6) Poor Money Management (Extravagance)
Being an entrepreneur means being able to do more with less. The entrepreneur on the path to failure is the one who is extravagant –the habit of being excessively flamboyant, wasteful or spending money irrationally. Thrift or frugality is a requirement for your entrepreneurial journey if you hope to become successful. How else do you intend to succeed if you cannot judiciously manage the resources in your disposal?
A good way to avoid being extravagant is to classify your expenses into two categories; urgent expenses and Important expenses. Your urgent expenses are your recurrent expenses, meaning they are periodic in nature. Your important expenses are your capital expenses; meaning they are not periodic in nature but are necessary for the continuity of the business.
They are more like expenses made today in order to secure the future. Also, as your business begins to grow, don’t become one of those who start showing off the success of their business by acquiring unnecessary symbols of wealth. Place yourself on salary, this is very important. You must never take what is not yours, make it a priority to put aside and redeploy all excesses created by the business back into the business.
7) I can do well all by myself (Insecurity)
There is a limit to what an individual can achieve alone, thus the need for team work. The entrepreneur on the path to destruction is the one who will never empower others nor seek the help of others for fear that they might outshine him/her. Great things are seldom achieved alone.
As an entrepreneur, it’s very important you understand that you have no exclusive right to what is being done through you. Whatever it is you have in your mind to create is not entirely yours to dominate, you are only a vessel through which an idea, innovation or product/service is being launched.
So, you must get rid of any insecurity and every scarcity mentality you might have that someone is going to beat you to it. The more insecure you are and as a result keep refusing to solicit the help of those more better than you in certain areas, the more you endanger the chance of that idea, innovation, product or service ever becoming a reality.