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5 Harsh Realities that I’ve Learned about Small Business Success from Over 200 Face-to-Face Meetings in 2017

Businesspeople Shaking Hands

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

What areas can you assume more responsibility to guarantee that your business is more successful?

I’ve had face-to-face conversations with over 200 business owners in 2017. From my observation, the top reasons that over 90% of these business owners are not operating enterprises at the level that THEY personally have defined as “successful” falls into 5 reasons that I will outline in this article. Some of these may apply to you.

Review these 5 reasons and ask yourself What areas can I assume more responsibility to guarantee that my business is more successful?”

1.) Wasting far too much active time on activities that don’t produce business income. This includes social media debates ranging from pop culture topics to politics. what I’m Habitual logging into Gmail 20-25 times per day, reading articles, blogs instead of taking direct action. Distractions ranging from television, apps, games are used as a destination or a mental crutch whenever a business building task is “too hard” , “difficult”, or even “requires thought”.

2.) Far too many conversations with people who aren’t in alignment with their goals. This includes spending far too much time with losers who don’t understand the sacrifices required to be successful and due to envy, would not invest in the business ideas in terms of positive support and encouragement of their entrepreneur friends. Strangely enough, many of the business owners feel a strange loyalty to individuals such as this. Allowing unqualified advisers in the form of friends, family, co-workers to weigh-in on important decisions that are crucial to their forward progress. The interesting statistic is less than 10% of their 200 people that I spoke with, actually spend the majority of their conversations engaged with new prospects and following up for existing customers to guarantee business success.

3.) Allowing Positive Procrastination to substitute for taking concrete action. This includes reading business books, attending conferences, mastermind groups and allowing these activities to serve as a substitute for taking clear steps forward within your business. I label this mindset as positive procrastination because many of us have been taught that these are the right steps towards success but these are only stimulants or motivators for the real action that needs to take place.

4.) Placing far too much time, focus, and worry on aspects of business that are non-essential aspects for success. It is not mandatory to launch a website, design a logo, write a business plan, or register a Limited Liability Company to invest the necessary sweat equity to scale a business idea to 6 figures and beyond. Over 70% of business owners that I’ve spoken with in 2017 have agonized over a website and a logo as the chief reasons why their business isn’t “where it needs to be”. This subject is an often debated topic, but far too many examples exist of businessmen and women who have scaled business ideas without any of these aspects in place.

5.) Your mindset handicaps your best attempts at success because your parents and/or primary caregivers have raised you to think small, play-it-safe, doubt yourself, and be terrified at taking chances. Self esteem is said to be developed from the ages of 6-12. Your self esteem is also widely believed to have been developed from the 5 people that you’ve spent the majority of your time around during the time of ages 6 through 12. Rich and poor people raise their kids radically different from each other. Business decisions such as undervaluing the pricing of your products and services, working for free to “build credibility”, being afraid to “put yourself out there” for success, and anxiety about asking for help or building a team are all behaviors that manifest in childhood.

Succeeding in your business and truly scaling your business to upper 6,7, and 8 figures requires ruthless accountability for your time, which includes who you are spending it with, how you are adding value, and taking start-to-finish action on your goals. 

Are you willing to hold yourself accountable everyday for your success?

Which one of these 5 reasons do you need the most support to improve upon?


Shadeed’s Recommended Reading

Strengthen your understanding of results driven business leadership and implementation by reviewing the titles below.

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins