by Debbie Ruston, Columnist & Featured Contributor
[su_dropcap style=”flat”]I[/su_dropcap]S YOUR THINKING helping you achieve the success you desire as an Entrepreneur, or have you considered that your thoughts might be holding you back? It takes mental strength to achieve success in any aspect of life, and entrepreneurship is no different.
How many times have you given up on something in life? It could be playing an instrument, learning to cook, sew or play golf. Reflect for a moment….have you had something in your life that you have given up on?
Giving up is not an option when things become challenging. Nothing great is ever achieved by those that give up. We can have conversations every single day with people that started a business, but gave up because _________________ (insert excuse). Most of the time, we hear things like:
– I didn’t have enough customers
– I couldn’t pay the bills
– I ran out of money
– I couldn’t get any further credit
And the list goes on. While these things may be true, they are NOT a reason to give up.
– I don’t have enough customers – why don’t you have enough customers? What are you doing for marketing to get people interested in what you have to offer? Do you need to learn about marketing? Are you involved in social media? What do you need to learn to get the message out.
– I can’t pay the bills – This goes hand in hand with having enough customers….if you don’t have customers you can’t pay the bills. Stop blaming the lack of cash on your inability to build your business. The real reason you can’t pay the bills is you are not being creative to gain new customers. To gain customers it goes back to marketing.
– You are running out of money – Money doesn’t appear if you don’t have customers connecting with you. Again, what are you doing to get customers coming to you? Another reminder to work on your marketing.
– I can’t get any further credit – This could be very true. With social media, we have the opportunity to provide value and attract interested customers. Marketing isn’t about throwing thousands of dollars into google’s pocket. If you have a local business, have you made up flyers and delivered them? I just saw a man today delivering flyers for ashphault resurfacing. He also rang every doorbell to see if he could talk with people? Great initiative! How effective is this though when people are at work and not able to talk to him? He could gain a better result by changing the time of day he rings people’s doorbells. A simple adjustment that could make a big difference.
I can’t ____________ (insert excuse) is another popular excuse for people giving up. You might be correct in the moment, that you can’t do something….but you CAN learn. Let’s say your business is in accounting. Your strength might be the financial side, but you are not a people person. Maybe you are very shy and have trouble talking with people. Join a group to help you get over it…toastmasters, after 5 business groups, chamber of commerce, etc. Do a google search on effective communication. Find authors you can follow, subscribe to blogs and read articles on effective communication. LI is a wonderful platform to get involved in group discussions, which will allow you to practice with people in your field. You absolutely CAN learn to be a good communicator, or, ANYTHING you want to improve upon.
I don’t know how to ____________ (*insert excuse). This is something that holds people back from reaching their full human potential. I can’t even begin to count the times in my life I didn’t know how to do something. That doesn’t stop me from researching, asking questions and learning how to. Stop buying your own excuses, and take personal responsibility in your life to learn how to do the things that are holding you back. This will serve you in both your personal life and in your business life. It will also build your confidence and self esteem to tackle things you didn’t know how to do, and conquer them. It also opens up new doors for you.
It isn’t working. What isn’t working? Are you testing some new marketing and it isn’t working? Then change it up and test that, and keep doing it UNTIL! Until you figure out what DOES work! Those that give up because something isn’t working, or any of these excuses never live into their true potential. I remember recording a training session several years ago….it was a 1 hr training session and it took me 11 hrs and 3 attempts to get it right. It would have been easy to give up after the first attempt, and after the 2nd attempt I was so frustrated and didn’t know why it wasn’t recording. I took a deep breath, walked away from my office and had a nice dinner with my family. I did some research, asked some experts in that area some questions, and came back to my office DETERMINED to find the solution before the day ended. 3rd attempt worked! So many people miss out on the personal satisfaction one gains by giving up at the first or second challenge. I was determined to work at it UNTIL I figured it out. Because of that, today I have a regular weekly podcast. I would never have attempted that, if I hadn’t pushed through this prior challenge.
It’s hard. SO WHAT! So is working for an employer you hate, or at a job that doesn’t fulfill you. Stop expecting everything in life to be easy. Great achievements are made by those that are willing to do what others are not. It isn’t luck…it is a personal commitment to do what it takes for as long as it takes.
These type of mental barriers come from conditioned beliefs, fears, society, media, etc. Mental strength is something anyone can choose to learn and take control of. In my 30 years as an entrepreneur I have encountered all of these more than once, and many more. Looking back over a 30 year career as an entrepreneur, I wouldn’t change a thing….everything I have learned has made me a strong, independent , self reliant, determined, focused, confident individual. I take on everything in my life with this attitude and it has allowed me to achieve things I never dreamed possible.
We all have potential for a reason….it is our job to find the ways to live into it.