What Can We Learn from Unsuccessful Entrepreneurs? Everything!

Here's a look at seven ways to assure your entrepreneurship demise and why you should avoid these behaviors at all costs:


  1. Have low expectations.

    We often get what we expect. Expectancy theory states that the intensity of a tendency to perform in a particular manner is dependent on the intensity of an expectation that the performance will be followed by a definite outcome and on the appeal of the outcome. Hence, you get what you expect. While some may say the key to happiness starts with low expectations, that doesn’t have any practical advantage or application when applied to business. For entrepreneurs, low expectations are the key to lost profit.

  2. Minimize work effort.

    When given the option, most of us would rather work smart in lieu of working hard. But often times, entrepreneurship doesn’t afford that luxury, at first. Anything worthwhile will require work. So, if by chance you perceive that you can sit back and work at it when you ‘feel like it’ you are highly mistaken. Instead, working smart is about leveraging your 80/20.

    Better known as The Pareto principle, also called the 80–20 rule, it states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. When applied to business, this means that I want 20 percent of my effort to produce 80 percent of my results. This, my friend, is the very definition of working smarter. But if you’re running a hobby, and not a business it’s okay. “Go ahead, kick back, watch TV, sleep in late. Relax, you deserve it. You’ll be working for me soon. P.S. I like my coffee black, old sport.” (Source: Unknown)

  3. Compare yourself to others.

    Theodore Roosevelt once said that comparison is the thief of joy. I’ve found this is particularly true in business. It’s easy to fall into a comparison trap, but the truth is – there is no one that can do what you do, they way you can do it.

    The very nature of business can cultivate comparative thinking. However, if you aren’t conducting a competitive analysis it’s a futile effort. Instead learn to celebrate others talents and focus on cultivating your own unique gifts and capabilities. Your worth is not based on how you personally stack up against other entrepreneurs.

    When you find yourself envious of what another entrepreneur has accomplished, and feel jealous, or inadequate as the result, you are essentially diminishing your value and the value you create for others. This is the root cause of stress, anxiety, depression, and self-sabotage in business.

What else have you observed about highly unsuccessful business traits? Let me know in the comments section below.



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