99% of people who venture into entrepreneurship inevitably fail within their first 5 years.
Although there are new technological advancements every day, breeding new waves of opportunity, these statistics never seems to decrease.
Although it's become much easier to start a successful business today than it was even a few years back, people are still trying and failing miserably.
The reason that so many people fail can come down to a number of things, a lot of them having to do with the entrepreneurs themselves.
While many might say that the issue lies in the resources an entrepreneur has; the capital to kickstart their venture, or the knowledge one has, I believe that those who really want it will find a way.
In this article, I wanted to outline why 99% of entrepreneurs fail and how to avoid being one.
Why do entrepreneurs fail?
Over the span of (almost) 2 years, I've had the humble opportunity to try a dozen different businesses.
Many of which I experienced paralysing failure within.
In fact, starting my blog was a result of all my failures, a way for me to speak my mind and let out everything that I was feeling.
My very first failure came when I was running my eCommerce dropshipping business - not long after starting the venture, I had to close it down because it was not picking up traction.
I've had the opportunity to be on either side of the fence. I've had the chance to feel the bitter sting of defeat many a time, while also experiencing the not-so-fulfilling feeling of rapid success.
With each failure, I managed to learn about the real reasons why I failed and they're not the common reasons everyone talks about.
One of the biggest reasons a lot of people fail is the business they choose to pursue in the first place.
At first glance, many ideas might seem like winning ideas.
However, it only takes a few conversations with your target audience to realise that whatever you're trying to build might not stand the test of time.
See, over the past few years, and even before that, I've had a ton of 'Eureka moments' where I think that I've found the ultimate idea that will flourish into a wildly successful business.
Not long later, I realise how wrong my assumptions were and how nobody wants what I'm offering.
This is a common trap a lot of people fall into - especially new entrepreneurs.
Over time, you start to learn what makes a good idea, and what makes a bad idea.
A lot of the time, the ideas that seem like bad or small ideas are usually the ones that grow to be massive successes.
"Who would pay to rent out someone else's couch?" he asked him.
Years later, Airbnb is one of the most successful companies around the world with rooms available to rent in almost 200 countries.
In general, you'll never be able to understand whether an idea is good or bad - that's up to the market to decide for you.
That's why many entrepreneurs, such as Eric Ries - author of 'The Lean Startup', suggest that you should talk to your audience all the time to make sure you're building something they want.
The issue people often run into is building a business they want, not a business their audience wants.
Building a business that has no or very low demand is the fastest way to dig your own grave in business.
No matter how hard you try to market a business with no demand, you won't see any traction.
It's okay, it just means you haven't reached product/market fit yet - a lot of businesses start like this but pivot into successful businesses.
No demand doesn't necessarily mean you have a terrible idea - maybe you just need to make a few changes to your business model before seeing massive success.
In most cases, you don't need to reinvent the wheel to find success with your business venture.
Find a business you want to pursue, that's proven to work already in the market, and start your own.
Likely the biggest reason why entrepreneurs fail in business is the mindsets.
Over the past 2 years, I've learned that there's nothing more toxic than our own mindset.
You can have all the knowledge in the world, all the experience in the world, but if you don't have the right mindset, failure is right around the corner.
Our minds have the ability to turn us against ourselves.
They lead to a lot of negative thoughts, negative self-talk.
They're designed to protect us from that which we don't know, and so they make it extremely hard to break free from our comfort zones.
There is too much to speak about when it comes to our mindsets, however, here are some of the biggest reasons why the entrepreneur's mindset might be the reason for their failure.
Our minds are especially good at triggering negative self-talk.
One, small failure can lead to a never-ending cycle of negative self-talk.
Our minds are great at telling us we're not enough, that we're not the people who should be spearheading this venture.
They're great at bringing back old memories to throw salt on the wound.
A lot of the time, when I experience small failures, I start to think back to when my family members make fun of what I do as if it's just a phase I will snap out of eventually.
A lot of people don't try to stop negative self-talk because they don't know the detrimental effect it truly has.
Being a perfectionist
"It's not ready to launch, some features are still missing!"
"We still need to add X, Y, Z to the site."
Entrepreneurship and perfectionism are two things that don't go well together.
In business, there are always factors out of our control, factors we can't change, and so aiming for perfection is pointless.
It's almost impossible to aim for perfection in business, and so any perfectionist is essentially fighting a losing battle.
Before starting my first business, I was a big perfectionist simply because I was smart in school.
This attitude carried over into entrepreneurship, and so I aimed to carry myself the same way I did in school.
Long story short, it didn't work.
Caring for what others think
It took me such a long time to get over the fact that people will always have their own opinions.
However, I would always think about what others would think of me if they saw my content online.
"Would they think I'm not cool?"
"Would they laugh?"
It's safe to say I've come a long way with this one - In 2021, I started a YouTube channel (which didn't last too long), and starting next year, 2022, I will be creating TikTok videos to compliment my blog articles.
However, for a lot of people, this is something they struggle to cope with and will hold them back until they learn to just say, F*** it!
Imposter syndrome & lack of self-belief
There we were, just two random school boys trying to convince business owners and older individuals that we can make them more money.
Who did we think we were?
This imposter feeling fed into my lack of self-belief.
Every outreach message I sent, every sales call I went into, all felt like a joke because I didn't believe I can really do what I said I was going to do.
There's always a first time for everything, and the only way to show yourself you're capable of something is by doing it.
To succeed in business, you need to cultivate the right mindset first - the mindset of a winner, the growth mindset.
Give yourself room to grow, room to learn new things that you need to learn to be successful.
Start to believe that you're successful before you ever feel real success.
You become successful up there, long before you become successful out in the real world.
When I ran my marketing agency, I managed to understand what real fear felt like.
Every day, my partner and I would wake up to do something we dreaded.
Every prospect I reached out to, my mind would flick through the different possibilities that could occur.
"What would they say?"
"What would they think?"
"What if they don't want me to message them?"
Whenever we miraculously managed to get a sales call booked, I would spend the entire time drowning in the thoughts of my own mind.
The build-up to the call was the most terrifying thing ever, my heart was beating like I was just in a cage with an angry bull.
I tried so hard to fight these fears because everyone talks about how you need to overcome things you don't like to do to succeed, and all that bullsh**.
Overcoming fear is not as easy as people make it out to be.
It takes years of dedication, years of practice, and some people still struggle to cope.
However, it is definitely possible when we have the right mindset.
Starting in business, I was the most introverted person you can find.
Talking to strangers would immediately result in a pool of sweat.
However, after a year or two in, I was doing daily meetings, speaking confidently, and meeting new people.
Other than sales, there are a ton of other entrepreneurial fears that people face.
One of the most common, ironically, is the fear of failure.
The one thing that so many entrepreneurs fear is the one thing they inevitably run into because they're afraid of it.
Many people start a business with the hope of going from Zero to One without making a single mistake.
This is almost like walking on eggshells because you'll over analyse every step you take and every move you make.
Think about a death run - there's a path littered with traps, and the only way to make it to the end is by going through the maze.
Maybe the only way to succeed in business is by experiencing the necessary failures and learning from them so that they don't happen again.
The WHY & end goal
Where do you want to be in the next 5 years?
How about the next 10 years?
Here are 3 questions that 90% or more entrepreneurs cannot give an answer to.
It's this very reason that such a staggering number of entrepreneurs end up failing in business.
Firstly, most entrepreneurs don't have a goal or vision in mind. They simply have a number that they want to hopefully make at some point.
Without a vision, you're essentially walking through the woods blindfolded.
You're just walking and bumping into barriers, each time slowing you down more and more until you eventually give up.
To ensure you're successful, you first need a goal in mind, something that you're aiming for - a better future that you want to create.
Making $1m per year isn't a vision, it's a financial goal.
You can read my article about creating a vision board to get a better understanding of what your vision could look like.
Next, in order to get to your end goal, in order to see your vision come to fruition, you need a powerful WHY to guide you along the way.
Challenges and failure will always be inevitable outcomes in business.
While 99% of entrepreneurs give up at the first sign of failure, you'll be the one who gets up and keeps going because you have a powerful WHY that gets you back up on your feet to fight another day.
When you're sitting in bed contemplating whether or not you should get up, your WHY will be the reason you spring out of bed.
Your WHY gives you a reason to get up and do what you need to do to succeed.
It gives you a reason not to tap out after enduring blow, after blow.
Most entrepreneurs focus on their own greed and call it their WHY.
Making a lot of money so that you can do anything you want is not a WHY.
Those are the reasons why 99% of entrepreneurs fail in business, and how you can avoid being one.
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Till next time,