In the entrepreneurial world, the right frame of mind can do amazing things. It can turn a person into a leading entrepreneur and launch businesses to the next level. On the other end of the spectrum, certain beliefs exist that are downright toxic to your success.
Here are five of the worst ones I’ve seen.
1. It can’t happen.
There are a lot of toxic beliefs floating around in the entrepreneurial world but none quite so dangerous as the idea that something can’t happen. Look at every great startup, what did they do? They saw a problem and found an inventive way to fix it --they bridge a gap between two points. Their success came from looking at a difficult task and saying, “I can do this.” How many times a day do you say to yourself, “I can’t do this?” If the answer is more than zero, eliminate that phrase from your vocabulary, because it’s killing your success.
2. Fear can’t be overcome.
The world of entrepreneurship is daunting, and it takes a special kind of person to take the first step forward. Any successful entrepreneur will attest to the fear they felt as they entered a new realm of business, and frankly, it’d be concerning if they weren’t plagued by fear early on. I know I was. However, there’s no excuse to remain mired in fear, as overcoming it is one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship. Do what it takes to beat this mindset: Tell yourself that you’re awesome every time you pass a mirror, if that’s what it takes. Just don’t accept fear as an impassable obstacle.
3. It’ll just happen eventually.
No, it won’t. You have to make it happen, and the passive mindset that accompanies this thought process is indicative of larger problems -- laziness, lack of motivation and general apathy. Success isn’t given; it comes through an incredible amount of hard work and an entrepreneur’s chance at success is nonexistent with this frame of mind. Entrepreneurs can’t expect anything to be given to them, and while you’ll receive help on the way to success, it boils down to your ability to sit down and get it done.
4. You’re better than everyone else.
I’ve mentioned a number of times that any entrepreneur worth her salt has to be confident, but it’s a tricky line to follow. Some folks will become convinced that they’re better than their peers, and they end up alienating potentially outstanding people who might’ve otherwise become excellent business partners. Entrepreneurship isn’t about beating everyone else; it’s about a network of clever minds eager to push companies forward. Isolating yourself with this frame of mind won’t impress anyone; it’ll just hurt your shot at success.
5. Thinking you’re less qualified than you are.
As the counterpoint to number four, I see too many brilliant people second guess what they’re doing because they’re worried that they’re unqualified to move forward. They think that they’ll be perceived as a fraud of some kind because of their own self-interpretation.
"When we were starting to get traction early on, we would meet with large companies who wanted to collaborate with us on various projects, and I'd go in with this mindset that they were almost annoyed to have us there, that we should just agree with everything they said in order to make the project happen,” explains Jim Snediker, Founder and CEO of Stock Mfg. Co. “I quickly realized that every big company is made up of a bunch of people trying to make their mark, just like us. They had brought us in for a reason, so I shouldn't be of the mindset that we were lucky to be there."
If people rely on your work and there’s a demand for it, your mindset is the only obstacle holding you back from success. Regularly remind yourself of your qualifications. You’ll probably surprise yourself time and time again, and your success will no longer be in jeopardy.