We are human, which means we tend to get in our own way. “The expression ‘you are your own worst enemy’ rings true for most of us. How many times have we acted against our self-interest, then asked ourselves why …” This makes it highly possible that you are sabotaging your business and just don’t know it yet. The culprit is known as “entrepreneurial blind spots.”
Most successful entrepreneurs have dealt with their own special cocktail of business blind spots. Thankfully there’s a way to remedy them and get back on track. Gallup research has identified ten talents of successful entrepreneurs. Next, they delved deeper into nine potential blind spots that can harm their ventures.
Here’s a closer look at five of the nine Gallup findings and how you can easily resolve these setbacks.
Relentless focus on profitability.
“Making money is a business’ primary objective. But when profit orientation becomes an obsession, customer relationships can suffer.”
Fix this by shifting from a culture of transactional sales to more relationship selling. Build in “customer first” steps into your workflow and purchase path to reinforce the idea that you do truly care about your customers. “It’s far easier (about 50% easier according to Marketing Metrics) to sell to existing customers than to brand new prospects.” (Source: Forbes)
“Confidence grows businesses, but overconfidence can hurt them…”
If we’re not careful we can easily underestimate the complexity of launching a new product, executing on an aggressive timeline, or meeting budget forecasts. You’ll soon learn that it takes twice as much time to launch, timelines are often pushed back and budget forecasts are just that – forecasts. Instead, opt for informed confidence. Become diligent in backing up your assumptions and confidently execute on them.
“Intellectual curiosity spurs growth, but too many ideas can be counterproductive.”
Perhaps you’ve felt this way before, “So many ideas, so little time.” That is the blessing and curse for entrepreneurs – especially creatives. It’s the natural inclination to start something over here and then get carried away about the potential of a new idea, over there. There are times you’ll need to unleash your creative genius, but more often than not you’ll need to reel it in and surgically focus it. A lack of focus is detrimental to entrepreneurs. It leaves you with average results across a surplus of half-baked ideas. It’s easy to become a mile wide and an inch deep. Instead, drill down deep into an idea that has the greatest potential for success.
Need for control.
“Go-it-alone entrepreneurs can single-handedly get things done in a startup.”
This is great, until you get startup burnout or it’s time to scale. It’s easy to develop a control complex in business, especially after you’ve witnessed mediocre work cross your desk which prompts you to think, “I could have done better with a crayon and a blank wall.” But eventually you’ll have to let go and delegate. Get your feet wet as soon as possible. Maximize the potential for success by pulling systems and processes out of your head and putting them on paper in easily digestible steps – steps that a 5-year-old could follow. Then delegate the work. If you fail to delegate correctly, you’ll end up with more headaches and a greater urge to become less vulnerable and take back your control.
“Successful entrepreneurs have a highly positive self-image, which leads them to favor information confirming their beliefs and opinions, while discounting information that contradicts their viewpoints.”
Someone on your team or mentorship roster needs to intelligently challenge you. If you’re surrounded by “Yes” people, then that’s a slippery slope. Note, I said “intelligently” challenge – this excludes people that are full of theory and lack practical execution or familiarity with the ins-and-outs of running a business. Ask someone you trust, or admire, to give it to you straight and listen. It could save you time and money down the road.
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