Are you not seeing the success you expected in your business, and you can’t help but think you’re doing something wrong? You may be preventing your own success and not even realize it, so it’s important to become aware of any behaviors that are getting in the way and stop self-sabotaging your business.
What sets a successful business owner or entrepreneur apart from others is not talent, luck, or smarts, it’s their mindset.
Here’s the thing, we don’t find success in the woods somewhere, we create it through our mindset and our daily actions. Likewise, the reason we self sabotage in business is because our mindset and actions are not supporting success. In fact, they are creating obstacles that we are usually not aware of.
Only about half of small businesses make it past five years. We have to cultivate a mindset that will help us take the right actions to grow an idea into a thriving business. Most importantly, we have to keep taking those actions even when we don’t become an overnight success.
The only things that will get in the way are the disempowering mindsets and self-sabotaging business behaviors we’ll discuss.
Toxic Mindsets Sabotaging Your Business Success
1. You Don’t Have a Plan
One of the most common reasons people sabotage their success is because they don’t have a plan. They may have a general idea of what they want to achieve, but they don’t take the time to develop a specific plan with measurable milestones and timelines.
‘Make a million dollars in my first year’ is not a plan, that’s a goal and a goal without a plan is never going to happen. If that’s your attitude then you’re flying by the seat of your pants and hoping for the best.
This is not how successful businesses are run. Successful businesses have a plan, they stick to it. A business plan is your roadmap to success. As you learn and gain experience your plans will adjust from time to time as needed, but you must have a general outline of where you’re going and what you need to be doing each day to create success.
Without a plan, it’s easy to lose focus and get sidetracked. And before you know it, you’ve wasted another year without making any progress towards your business goals.
A tool I like to use to create my business plans is my Big Goal Action Planner. It helps me outline exactly what I need to do for any goal or project I’m working on.
2. You’re Too Critical of Yourself
Another common way people sabotage their success is by being overly critical of themselves.
If you’re someone who really wants to succeed in life, you’re probably expecting more of yourself than anyone else does. You criticize yourself for your mistakes, and you never give yourself a break.
If you’re always telling yourself that you’re not good enough, or that you can’t do it, then you’ll never reach your potential. When you’re too critical of yourself, you set yourself up for failure. You become overwhelmed by negative thoughts and doubts, and you lose sight of your goals.
You have to have confidence in yourself and your abilities if you want to be successful, but of course that’s easier said than done.
One of the keys to success as an entrepreneur is to be kinder to yourself. Accept that you’re human, and that you’re going to make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up over every little thing. Instead, focus on your accomplishments, and remind yourself of your strengths.
When you’re more forgiving of yourself, you’ll find that it’s easier to achieve your goals.
You have to learn to be your own biggest cheerleader and create an inner support system that will get you through your mistakes and the periods when things aren’t growing as quickly as you want them too.
Here are some tips to silence your inner critic.
3. You Won’t Try New Methods
A guaranteed way to sabotage yourself as an entrepreneur is refusing to try new methods. Maybe you’re afraid of change, or maybe you’re comfortable with the way things are and don’t see a need to change.
But stagnation will kill your business – you have to be constantly moving forward and trying new things to stay ahead of the competition. If you want to achieve greater success in your business, you need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
‘I already know it all’ is a toxic mindset that will damage your business.
It’s normal to feel apprehensive about change, but don’t let that fear hold you back from growth. Be brave enough to experiment and see what new things you can learn. You might be surprised at how successful you can be when you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
Think outside the box, frequently ask yourself ‘how can I do this better?’
If something is working really well, don’t change it, but if you know your results could be better than it’s time to experiment.
4. You Don’t Ask for Help
It’s easy to forget that we’re not in this alone. That’s why it’s so important to ask for help when you need it. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak or stupid, it makes you smart.
When you don’t ask for help, you end up spreading yourself too thin. You try to do everything yourself and just end up burnt out, and you might miss out on valuable insights and experiences from other people that can help you grow your business.
There are a lot of reasons why people don’t ask for help. Sometimes they’re too proud or too stubborn to ask for help when they need it. Perhaps they don’t want to be a burden, or they’re afraid of looking incompetent. Maybe they just don’t trust anyone else to do it the ‘right way.’
Often, it’s because they don’t believe in themselves or their business. They’re afraid to ask for help because they think it means they’re not capable.
But the truth is, no one is perfect and you can’t do everything yourself. Asking for help from others will not only make your life easier, but it will also make your business stronger.
5. You’re So Scared to Fail You Don’t Take Action
The biggest reason we hold ourselves back and sabotage success in our business, and every other area of life, is that we’re terrified of failing. When we’re afraid to fail we don’t take risks, and sometimes the only way to grow and learn is by doing the things you’ve never done before.
Perhaps you’re refusing to try new systems or techniques out of fear of failure, because we like to be good at everything we do and the learning phase can be awkward. Maybe you’re afraid of someone in your life who doubted you saying ‘I told you so.’
Fear of failing sabotages entrepreneurs by causing us to procrastinate and make excuses. Then the things that would improve your business never get done.
A lot of the times we’re scared that if we try something new and it doesn’t work out, we’ll be ridiculed or laughed at. So instead of taking any risks, we stick to what’s safe and familiar. But this can hold us back from achieving our dreams.
Needing to do everything perfectly is a mindset that will sabotage your business. It’s better to do things imperfectly than to not try at all.
Get comfortable making mistakes, reframe them as being part of the learning process. Don’t be so hard on yourself when you do fail, because failure is part of life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
When we learn to walk we fail constantly, and it’s perfectly ok. Building a business isn’t so different. We stumble, we lose our balance, we hold other people’s hands until we get the hang of it, and eventually with enough practice we find our footing.
All the times you failed in the past don’t mean anything about you except that you’re human, and those were just lessons that gave you valuable tools for the future.
6. You Under Estimate Your Value
Entrepreneurs who are undervaluing their businesses and themselves are sabotaging their success. They’re not asking for what they’re worth, they’re not promoting their businesses enough, and they’re not putting themselves out there as experts in their field.
Here’s the thing: if you don’t believe in your business or yourself, no one else will. Potential clients will pick up on your lack of confidence and be less likely to work with you. And if you don’t promote your business, how will anyone know about your awesome services or products?
Don’t sell yourself short. You have a lot of talent and potential, but if you don’t believe in yourself then you can’t serve the world through your business.
You are worth more than you think! Depending on the business, it may be important to give your clients or customers some free value, but don’t give it all away without asking for what you’re worth.
Think big, and aim high. Stay focused and stay motivated. Take action and go for it! You won’t regret it.
7. You Compare Your Progress to Others
When you compare your progress to others, you’re sabotaging your business success. It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison trap, but it’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is different. What works for someone else may not work for you, and that’s okay.
Don’t let comparisons keep you from reaching your goals. Focus on your own journey, and celebrate your successes along the way. Remember, you’re doing the best you can with what you have. If you keep comparing yourself to others, you’ll only end up feeling frustrated and discouraged.
So ditch the comparison game and start focusing on what’s really important: the small steps you take each day to get to your goal.
8. You Won’t Spend Money on Your Business
It’s not hard to spot a business owner who’s sabotaging their success. Just look for someone who’s not investing in their business.
You won’t spend money on your business? You must not think it’s worth it.
There are all sorts of things you can do to invest in your business: take classes to learn a new skill, buy new equipment, hire more staff, expand your product line, and so on. But if you’re not willing to spend any money, you’re never going to grow your business.
And that means you’ll always be stuck where you are. You’ll never be able to achieve the level of success you want and deserve.
This doesn’t mean you spend foolishly, but you have to be willing spend money on the things that will benefit your business. Figure out what will make the greatest increase in your revenue (do lots of research) and then make room in your budget.
9. You Ask the Wrong People for Advice
When it comes to business, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. There are so many things you need to know and do, it can be difficult to know where to start. This is especially true when you’re just starting out in business.
One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make is asking for advice from the wrong people. This can include friends and family members who don’t have any experience in business, or worse – online strangers who are more than happy to dispense their wisdom for free.
It’s not that these people are bad advisors, it’s that they’re not right for you. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, and not everyone knows what it takes to be successful. So, how do you know who to listen to?
Seek out individuals who have experience in your field, or those who have successfully started and ran their own businesses. Don’t ask people who have only failed at their businesses!
You need to find a mentor or advisor who has been where you want to go. Someone who can give you honest feedback and help guide you down the right path. Don’t be afraid to ask around or do your own research. The most important thing is that you find someone who have done what you want to do, and will be honest with you and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.
10. You Expect Success Over Night
In order to be successful in business, you have to work hard and put in the time. Unfortunately, many people are looking for a quick fix and expect success over night. This is why they often self-sabotage their own business success.
If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort, you’re not going to accomplish much. It’s that simple. There’s no magic pill or overnight solution that’s going to make you successful. You have to show up every single day and do the work.
It’s just like when want to get in shape, you don’t get results after the first workout, and probably not after the first ten. You have to keep going even when you don’t see progress yet.
You’re going to have good days and bad days, but you’re not going to see any progress if you’re always stopping and starting over. If you want to be successful, you need to be consistent and persistent.
Learning to change your limiting beliefs can be difficult, this free worksheet can help get you started.