Entrepreneurs are liars. Not in the sense of being unfaithful to their spouses, friends or the police. But entrepreneurs lie to themselves on a daily basis.
And it’s killing their businesses.
Here are some of the dangerous lies entrepreneurs tell themselves every day. Can you relate to any of them?
- “People are going to love this”
As an entrepreneur and small business owner it is easy to get carried away with building the empire of your dreams. One of the greatest traits shared by most entrepreneurs is their overwhelming optimism about their products.
Optimism is needed in order to succeed, so you do need to believe in your product or service. However, many entrepreneurs tell themselves the lie that they know exactly what their customers, clients or users will love. The truth is, an entrepreneur can only make educated guesses and then test the hypothesis in action. And what you think the customer is going to love could be completely wrong. The longer you cling to your belief, ignoring all the evidence to the contrary, the more your business will struggle. Always remember that your customers are what keeps your business running, and be sure to ask their opinion or test out your product before convincing yourself they will love it.
- “I don’t have time to read.”
Many entrepreneurs are so focused on building the mechanics of their business that they believe they don’t have the time to grow personally through researching and reading. However there is a reason that the most successful CEOs read dozens of books per year; reading introduces them to new ideas and drive the ‘big picture’ of their business forward.
Everyone has time to read, so by telling yourself this lie, you’re simply preventing yourself from exploring new ideas and guidance.
- “I’ll just work longer and harder”
There is no doubt that hard work is necessary for building a successful business. But the lie entrepreneurs often tell themselves is that the only way to achieve more success is to “work harder”.
However, successful entrepreneurs understand that putting in longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean their business will suddenly improve. Instead of working harder when things become difficult, they look at the core of the problem and seek solutions.
Difficult times are inevitable when building and growing a business, but it’s a lie to believe that putting in longer hours is always the answer. Working smarter is far more important than working harder.
- “My family will be there later. After all, I’m doing this for them.”
Entrepreneurs tend to focus heavily on their business at the expense of their families. They often tell themselves “It’s OK, I’m doing this for my family,” but that lie can lead to divorce, a neglected family life and depressing nights in front of the TV with a microwave dinner.
- “I can do this better myself.”
Most entrepreneurs are capable of handling most of the tasks in their businesses. They can sign new contracts, sell their products, fix their computers, create marketing campaigns and take the rubbish out at the end of the day. However, just because an entrepreneur is capable of doing something, doesn’t mean that they should – or that doing everything themselves is the most efficient and successful way to run their business.
The lie that they tell themselves is simple but damaging – “I can do this better myself.” Yes, they probably can. But the small gains an entrepreneur makes by doing everything themselves will hurt their businesses in the long run. Successful entrepreneurs focus on the tasks that only they can accomplish, and delegate the rest to others who can knock it out of the park.
Everyone knows that a lie can damage your reputation, but it’s the lies we tell ourselves that can cause even more damage. By recognizing these lies and confronting them with the truth, an entrepreneur can improve their business, life and financial position forever.