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Sound Financial Group - Bothell, Washington


Where Entrepreneurs Fail: They Believe They Know Everything

| July 12, 2017
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There’s a fatal flaw that plagues entrepreneurs of all stripes. It’s something weeded out at the beginning, but it can be disastrous to those who have built their business over decades.

 Entrepreneurs believe that they know everything. Virtually no one actually does.

This attitude usually gets drilled out of entrepreneurs in the early stage, but those who have weathered early storms can sometimes be deluded into thinking they’ve mastered the art of entrepreneurship.

If you’re reading this, you’re past the start-up phase. You’ve done your fair share of hiring and firing and are working to build a more comfortable or luxurious life.

Here’s where you’re blatantly wrong about what you think you know.

Success is Not Automatic

To be a successful business leader, you need confidence. Without it, you’re done before you even start. You need to have the utmost feeling that you have what it takes to make it in your business.

But simply having that unflappable confidence is not enough. You need to have awareness, too. So many people go off on their own with nothing more than the knowledge that this great idea and a metric ton of elbow grease will net them riches beyond their wildest dreams. These are the same so-called entrepreneurs who are constantly starting over.

It’s good to have confidence that you’ll succeed, but without the awareness that you will need help and guidance, that confidence can be poisonous. The business leaders I advise are past the phase of hubris. They know what it takes to grow and are willing to put ego aside to get it done.

If you still have the belief that you will be wealthy, but haven’t put in the planning and investment, you’ll find yourself back at square one. Eliminate this mindset immediately.

Know Your Strengths (and Weaknesses)

A vital part of successful entrepreneurship is truly knowing yourself. You need to truly analyze where you thrive and where you could use a little help.

This means accepting that, no, you do not know it all. The best business leaders are at the top not just because of their personal acumen, but because they know who to hire and who to trust. Think about it, if you’ve never balanced books, you’re probably not the best fit as lead accountant for your company.

It’s OK to admit that you’re not the solution to every problem. That’s what your staff is for. Know where you excel and where you’re best deferring to your employees. This knowledge is absolutely key. Having an accurate picture of what you can bring to the table gives you the freedom to hire where you are weak.

This knowledge is key for your company to move forward, and for your business to help fuel your personal financial independence. Still, it’s important to note that your personal financial independence comes separate from your business ledger.

Your Past is Not Your Future

If you’re more established in your industry, you’re more willing to trust what got you there. The hard-nosed, go-get-em attitude is useful and necessary in the first few years. You can’t survive the early years without sticking to your guns and forging ahead.

However, I’m sad to tell you that this attitude can be poisonous as you get older. As your business grows, you need to adjust and adapt. The most successful entrepreneurs are able to change their mindset to meet current business needs. They’re open to delegation and trust others around them.

I’ve seen far too many entrepreneurs obtain initial success, or build a nice company for a few years, only to see that success erode due to the space between the business leader’s ears.

That steely resolve is great when you first set out against all of the proof we have showing us that most businesses fail. But as you grow, you need to learn how to let go, how to delegate and how to manage. If you don’t do this, you could be ignoring incredible advice from trusted employees, mentors and colleagues.

Instead of just going solely with what has worked for you in the past, it may be time to re-examine how you do things. This can help keep your business on track, while a financial advisor can help you make sure you aren’t risking your future to help your business grow.

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