An entrepreneurial spirit is part of the American dream – a lot of people want to have their own business. But, most people never take the steps to make it happen. They do not follow though for variety of reasons. Some of the reasons include not having the determination, desire for control and denial needed to start a business and run it.
Entrepreneurs need all 3 of these traits to be successful and effective. However, like most things, there is a downside to these characteristics. They may be hurting you and your ability to achieve your goals. Let us look at how you are getting in your own way.
It is good to be determined. That is what keeps you going, even when it is tough to do so. But, too often, determination (positive) turns into stubbornness (negative). Stubbornness creates the inability and unwillingness to listen to others who have information you need to succeed.
Are you willing to ask for help, or do you think “strength of character” means going it alone? Do you take too many risks because you think you can force it all to work out? Has there been a toll on your physical or mental health due to “gutting it out” for months or years? Do you think problems and difficult situations need to be attacked, rather than logically managed?
2. Desire for control
People go into business for themselves because they want to do things their way – excellence and innovation are created from people’s desire for control. Unfortunately, it becomes a negative when people fail to understand that controlling is not leading or managing, and they do not want to do either. They do not want the responsibility (i.e. operations, financials, people) that comes with ownership.
Is your desire for control really a desire for autonomy (to be left alone)? If so, are you the best person to be running the company? People, products and money will never manage themselves. They need a firm, committed, visible leader to guide them. Is that you? Should someone else, better suited to leadership, be in charge?
Denial is a legitimate coping skill, one which all entrepreneurs need. There are times when the naysayers and doom peddlers must be ignored. Denial becomes harmful to you and the business when it is a knee jerk response, instead of a reasoned one. It can easily turn into defiance, hopelessness and helplessness.
When others (i.e. employees, family, key people, accountants, lawyers) tell you there are problems do you ignore them? Do you get angry and defensive when they are brought up? Do you have high turnover, employee trouble, or quality issues that you “can’t do anything about”? Have you given up looking for solutions? Are you saying, “I’ve tried everything and nothing works.”?
Your entrepreneurial spirit is a double-edged sword. It has taken you far, and with the right amount of honing it will take you further.
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop looking for ways to improve your business and neither should you. So, check out some of our other posts for helpful business information: