These 10 Thoughts Will Keep You From Being A Successful Entrepreneur

These limiting thoughts keep many entrepreneurs from achieving their goals. Don't let them stop you.

Photo: Erica Nicole, Founder and CEO of YFS Magazine; Source: Jhnea Turner, Photographer
Photo: Erica Nicole, Founder and CEO of YFS Magazine; Source: Jhnea Turner, Photographer

How negative is your mental chatter? What story are you telling yourself about your capabilities and your business? Every successful entrepreneur will tell you: In order to change your life, you’ll have to change your mindset.

It will take more than positive affirmations to enact real change. A commitment to habitual change, mindset adjustments, gratitude and decisive thoughts are essential.

So, which limiting thoughts should you be aware of and strive to combat daily? Here’s a look at ten thoughts that will inevitably trigger defeat and how to create a positive mental attitude to combat them.


  1. I don’t feel like it.

    Even when you’re operating out of a place of passion (i.e. doing what you love), business is still business. And business does come with its fair share of undesirable tasks. It’s not uncommon to think to yourself, “I really don’t feel like doing this.” But in all honesty, your feelings have very little to do with it.

    Feelings are not a strategy; they are unreliable and have a tendency to change. This is why starting a business and running it based on how you feel will put you on the fast and furious road to defeat. Instead, resolve to show up (despite how you feel). You just might be amazed at what unfolds.

  2. I’ll do ‘that’ tomorrow.

    When you are running a business your to-do list can feel like a never-ending story. With everything that has to be done, you may find yourself wondering: “What is the next right move?” When you do, this is where prior plans and prioritization can kick tasks into gear. When you’ve taken time to prioritize, you’ll know what cannot (and should not) wait until tomorrow. If you find yourself pushing everything until “tomorrow” you’ll find your dreams there too.

  3. Look at what they’re doing.

    Sigh! I know. We’ve all been there. One click can ruin your entire morning. But if you’re in the correct mental space – it shouldn’t. Step away from the “envy”. Unless you’re doing a competitive analysis, you should not be musing over what “they” did (or do) on a consistent basis. Instead, focus on your own business – the place where you can execute on real ideas.

    Photo: © astrosystem - Fotolia
    Photo: © astrosystem – Fotolia

  4. Am I crazy for doing this?

    The short answer, “Yes.” The long answer, “Yaaaas!” Congratulations! You’re in good company. It is perfectly okay to be extremely excited (and even obsessed) about your new business idea, latest product launch, or business trajectory. Entrepreneurship doesn’t yield to “sane” days, thoughts, or plans.

    Entrepreneurs are crazy. We embrace it. In fact, it’s a compliment. “Being misunderstood is part of the entrepreneurial process … and often your best hope is to find other outliers who share your passions,” says Linda Rottenberg, author of the newly released book Crazy is a Compliment.

  5. That’s impossible.

    Forbes contributor Mike Maddock suggests: “Want to challenge an entrepreneur? Just tell him something is impossible. Depending on the level of skillfulness and time allotted, you’ll wind up getting two to 200 ways to solve the challenge that just moments earlier seemed ‘impossible’ to overcome.”

    Photo: © Pavel Lysenko
    Photo: © Pavel Lysenko

    When you default to this thought process you’re essentially saying, “What I want to do is incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled.” If you find yourself thinking this frequently, it’s time to get a new thought. Commit yourself to canceling out thoughts that don’t serve you. Successful entrepreneurs commit to the hard things.

  6. If only I had …

    I generally hear this from the seed stage startup crowd. “If I only had … (insert pie in the sky wishes here).” If only I had a dollar for every time I heard someone utter these four magical dream killing words. In my experience, what you do have is much more powerful than what you perceive is lacking in your business.

    Everything you don’t have will empower you to creatively execute on your ideas. Instead of saying, “I don’t have enough money to hire a PR firm,” it would be better to say, “I do have enough resourcefulness to reach out to targeted media outlets and share my story.” Do what you can with what you have – people respect that.

  7. I’m too tired.

    “Numerous studies have actually correlated waking up early with success.” (Lifehack.org) When you start a business you’ll undoubtedly feel like you’ve been cast as an extra in a sleepwalking zombie apocalypse. Your mind is racing and you’ve had your first encounter with startup insomnia. Thankfully, you can change your poor sleep habits with proven health and wellness tips.

  8. I don’t have time.

    Instead of “I don’t have time,” let’s double down on the truth: “It’s not a priority.” We make time for what we prioritize. This is true in life; and in business. If you find that you don’t have time the culprit is likely: disorganization, no priorities, that you’re easily distracted, there’s no routine, etc. Success is never accidental. If you want it, you’ll make time for it.

    Photo: Picjumbo
    Photo: Picjumbo

  9. I’m not _____ enough.

    Comparison is a thief. A lack of self-awareness or self-confidence leaves many entrepreneurs feeling stuck. In contrast, confidence breeds success. Instead of saying, “I’m not skilled enough,” try taking a free online course to brush up on your skills. In lieu of thinking, “I’m not connected enough,” join a local coworking space or attend a meetup and start building relationships. Most things you perceive that are lacking can be attained.

  10. It’s taking too long.

    For a relentlessly focused and determined entrepreneur, it’s not a matter of if, but merely a matter of when. Good things take time. Entrepreneurship is a process and success is a moving target. Preparation is not time wasted. Whether you’re an early stage startup or scaling an established business, keep this in mind. Your journey is your own, which will make your story even more impactful when we read about it in the headlines.


These limiting thoughts keep many entrepreneurs from achieving their goals. Don’t let them stop you. Cultivate a positive and intentional mental attitude and mindset that supports your vision. Commit yourself to think differently and you’ll be inspired by your results.


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