Growth January 24, 2017 Last updated January 24th, 2017 2,581 Reads share

16 Bad Habits You Must Eliminate to Become A Successful Entrepreneur

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Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. — Jim Ryun

The first step every successful entrepreneur took was to start. When they started, they moved past the motivation stage. However, what keeps them going is their habit.

According to Wikipedia, a habit is a routine behavior that is repeated regularly and that tends to occur subconsciously. Good habits are awesome but bad habits are intoxicating. They destroy dreams faster than you can imagine. Unfortunately, they happen in your subconscious.

Bad habits eat you up just as termites eat wood. They destroy dreams and, when left to thrive, paralyze entrepreneurs.

Charles Kettering said: “A problem well-stated is a problem half solved.”

But, I’m afraid this quote may not hold for bad habits. According to a “60 Minutes” poll held by CBS News, a majority of people break a bad habit only when they have a near-death experience.

Image Source: CBS News

What does this mean? To break a bad habit, you must be highly disciplined and self-conscious. Listed below are bad habits you must break to become a successful entrepreneur:

#1. Comparing yourself to others

Comparing your accomplishments to those of others is like starting an already lost battle. This is common on social media.

You want to work at Google because your friend just started there. Simply reading that update, you already feel like a loser.

Life is a journey and you and I have different paths to follow. How long it takes you to achieve your goal isn’t as important as achieving it in the long run.

Don’t compete with others. Your business is not a classroom. It’s an entirely different aspect of life.

#2. Overspending

The worst cash flow mistake you can make as an entrepreneur is overspending. It can crush your business model, no matter how great that model is.

Overspending includes spending on things you can do without during the startup phase. We all want a great business model and love to start big.

However, this is a dangerous habit. I’ve been there once before and it almost made me loose other businesses I manage.

The fact that you have a huge account balance doesn’t mean you should buy all you want. Mostly, it helps you buy what you need.

#3. Holding a grudge

Bitterness, hatred, and sadness accrue when you hold a grudge. These feelings hurt you and adversely affect your thinking and decision-making ability.

They can also cause high blood pressure, which may lead to heart failure.

Letting go can lead to healthier relationships, as well as lowered anxiety, stress, and hostility. To become a better and more successful entrepreneur, never hold a grudge for more than 24 hours.

#4. Worrying too much about what people think

It feels great to be widely loved and accepted. We all want it, and that’s okay. After all, we’re humans and isolation is dangerous for our mental health.

But you shouldn’t waste too much time and energy worrying about it. Too much worry is a bad habit. If someone doesn’t detest you, you’re not doing anything great.

When you intentionally do things you dislike, you’re a victim of too much worry. If you’re scared to say what you believe in or struggle with to make your own decisions, you’re not left out either.

Feel free to mix with people, but don’t be too burdened by what they think about you.

#5. Selfishness

Self-centeredness is a bad habit but it’s human. Sometimes it’s okay if you don’t overdo it.

Whenever you overdo it, you become over sensitive, which hurts anyone who gets in your way and prevents you from having real friends.

To become a successful entrepreneur, you must nurture relationships and network with like-minded people.

Entrepreneurship is a game of give and take. Nicholas Cole said that business success is about giving: “Give, give, give, and then find ways to collaborate that are mutually beneficial.”

#6. Snoozing an alarm you set yourself

This may sound awkward but it screws up your plans.

To achieve anything in life, think it, plan it, and act on it. The plan has no essence when you don’t act on it. Scientists are also of the opinion that snoozing an alarm is detrimental to your health.

When you’re an entrepreneur, every second counts. Don’t waste another minute snoozing that alarm. Get up and stick to your plan. After all, it’s your plan, not mine.

#7. Lack of self-control

Self-control is a cornerstone of emotional intelligence.

When you start out as an entrepreneur, you usually encounter several harsh conditions. You must opt out of your comfort zone to become a successful entrepreneur.

After opting out, you must get back on your feet when you fail because you will fail and make mistakes. You can’t promptly get back on your feet without self-control.

To remain focused and productive, you must possess self-control. This helps you focus on what’s important and takes your mind off your failures.

Lack of self-control is an easy route down the drain to eternal failure.

#8. Blaming others for your failure

Why blame others, even when they are at fault? Your failure, your blame.

In every failure is a lesson. If you lose while playing a game, it’s your fault. Problems and shortcomings are what make you a success. If you don’t have problems, you won’t think of solutions.

It’s easier to blame others; it may take you off the hook at that point. However, if you accept the blame, you’ll be off the hook forever. Why? Because you’ll learn how to avoid such circumstances in the future.

Avoid blaming others for your own failures because blame prevents you from learning the necessary skills to thrive.

#9. “I-know-it-all” habit

Hey, you can’t know it all.

In my opinion, this is one of the worst habits ever. You can’t be the head, middle, and tail. Nobody likes a know-it-all. Do you like to socialize with a know-it-all? Probably not.

Because you know what bothers you about such a habit, it’s easy to avoid the trap, right? Maybe not…especially when you’re talking about a subject you know so well.

Beware of providing too much information or trying to be righteous. Be humble. Everyone likes a humble person. It grants you respect.

Pascal wrote: “If you wish people to speak well of you, don’t speak well of yourself.”

#10. Procrastination

A major obstacle you must overcome as an entrepreneur is procrastination. If you don’t start, you’ll neither have a chance to fail…or succeed.

I know you’re an individual with several ideas, which causes you to procrastinate on some activities.

In fact, we all procrastinate; even remarkable entrepreneurs combat it daily. But successful entrepreneurs overcome it to become successful.

If they can overcome it, so can you. Here’s a detailed infographic about how to overcome procrastination.

#11. Avoiding reasonable risks

Entrepreneurs are risk takers.

It’s a tradition you can’t avoid. However, successful entrepreneurs try everything possible to minimize the risks involved. Profit-making is always their primary aim.

You must assess risk. Is it reasonable? Feel free to take the jump if all assessments prove satisfactory.

Make sure you will make a profit; investigate the business, explore every detail, but in the end, take risks.

#12. Always waiting for the perfect moment

There will never be a perfect moment to do anything.

Moments come and go. How will you measure the perfect moment? How will you know when the time is right to take action? There’s no way to know, right?

You just need to start; the right moments will surface. In fact, the perfect time is now. If you start now and fail, you’ll learn a lesson or more. You won’t be the same as someone who never started.

The past is gone. The recent is in play and the future is not guaranteed. Today, as you’re reading this, is the perfect moment. Whether you’re standing, sitting, or laying down, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you start.

#13. Clinging to worries and fears

Worries and fears prevent you from achieving your goal. They are obstacles you must overcome to become a remarkable entrepreneur.

Extreme fear and worry cause headaches. Some physiological effects, like rapid heartbeat and excessive breathing, may occur as well. Fear limits your potential and makes you unproductive.

Accept the situation; don’t try to fight it. Act like everything is okay and expect the best.

Regardless of how you take it, you can neither change the past nor switch the outcome.

#14. Overestimating obstacles

Most entrepreneurs give up because of this.

As an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t take “no” for an answer unless it’s unavoidable. Estimating an obstacle often results in giving up. “I just can’t overcome this,” you say.

That’s totally unacceptable. You’re an entrepreneur, remember? There are more than a million ways to do things. Why overestimate an obstacle because you failed once?

A myth of entrepreneurship is that you must always face and overcome obstacles. In fact, all businesses are solving one obstacle or another.

Facebook is bridging the wide gap between countries and Amazon is easing the shopping experience. Be ready to face obstacles but never overestimate them.

#15. Basing everything on money

Money is not everything.

To live a luxurious life, you need money. Money can buy you a house on a beach, an extremely convenient bed, nice books to read, the latest car to ride, yet money is not everything. How?

Money can buy you a house but not a home. It can buy you a bed but not sleep. A book but not knowledge. Blood but not life. The list is endless.

Be humble. Don’t always think that money can solve your problems; this way, you won’t be disappointed.

#16. Taking criticism personally

There will always be someone somewhere with something to say about anything you do. Some people are upfront while others are not. It’s normal.

Ever wonder why football fans seem to become better players when they watch a football match? Some fans who can’t even make a successful football pass also complain.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be criticized constructively. But when criticism comes destructively, don’t be discouraged. As an entrepreneur, you must be open minded and learn to perceive the good things in the bad.

Some people will criticize you simply because they are jealous. Take criticisms, relax, and turn them around. Use them to become a better person.

Conclusion on bad habits you must eliminate

To break one of the bad habits, I am handing over this article for you to complete in comments. Which of the bad habits? The I-know-it-all habit. So tell me, which other bad habit paralyzes entrepreneurs? Don’t hesitate to share.

Image: Author’s Own

Saheed Oladele

Saheed Oladele

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