Are you an entrepreneur? Are you going to succeed in business or not? Though I am not wishing you failure, I will like to provide some pointers to why most entrepreneurs fail in business and how you can avoid business failure. All I ask of you is willingness to learn and an open mind; and you will see the point I am driving at.
This article is really going to be personal and touching. Why? The reason is because this article will force you to take a look at your life. Many individuals hate being told the bitter truth but I will be using this article as a medium to tell you the straight truth; so it’s up to you to learn from this truth.
The reason I am writing this article is because I have seen many entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business despite having brilliant ideas and a wonderful business team. These entrepreneurs fail not because they were destined to fail but because of some little overlooked factors.
Even with the best economic policy and the right market or product, these entrepreneurs and many more will still fail to succeed in business. The fault lies neither with the economy nor the product but in the entrepreneur. So without wasting your time; I am going to reveal 13 undisputable reasons why entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business. If you are ready to learn, then grab a cup of coffee, sit back and follow me as I spell out clearly the reasons why most entrepreneurs fail.
13 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Fail to Succeed in Business
1. Lack of a well defined purpose
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievements.” – W. Clement Stone
Lack of a well defined purpose is the major reason why entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business. I have come across a lot of entrepreneurs living without personal purpose; not to talk of business purpose. They have no dream, no mission, and no target. This type of entrepreneur wakes up in the morning and say "let me go out and see what today holds for me." They operate their business with no set goal.
If you take a closer look at these entrepreneurs, you will observe that their life is driven by fate. They believe in luck and simply take whatever comes to them with this sentences "such is life" or "life is unfair." These entrepreneurs have lost control of their destiny.
"Control your destiny or someone else will." – Jack Welch
I have a friend who happens to be an entrepreneur. He plays the lottery weekly, hoping to hit millions one day. He goes to his business daily hoping that one day; he is going to make a kill.
The funny thing is that he has faith that he is going to make it big but the problem is that his faith and hope are channeled in the wrong direction. The truth is that entrepreneurs like this friend of mine will never succeed in business. If they do, then luck is probably on their side.
2. Inability to aim above mediocrity
Okay, you must have probably scaled through the first point; that means you have a set goal, purpose and some North stars you are aiming at. If the situation described above suits you, then I say congratulations. If you have a set goal, you are one step ahead of the pack but a question I want to ask is this:
Are you aiming above mediocrity?
Is your goal challenging enough?
I am poised to ask this question because I have entrepreneurial friends who are goal getters but the problem with this business friends and associates of mine is that they fail to aim above mediocrity. Entrepreneurs in this category take their time to set goals but they set small goals; they set goals they know they can achieve easily.
This may sound ridiculous but I want you to know that there are entrepreneurs with this kind of mindset. They don’t want to fill guilty of not achieving their set goal; they don't want to stress themselves or go beyond their comfort zone so their best bet is to set small achievable goals.
An example of such is an entrepreneur with a current year turnover of $1,000,000, setting the goal of achieving a turnover of $1,050,000 in the coming year. Now what stops this entrepreneur from setting a turnover goal of about $2,000,000 – $2,500,000? The answer is mediocrity. They don't want to pay the price for success; they don’t want to leave their comfort zone.
"Those who dream small dreams, continue to live life as small people." – Rich Dad
If you are in the category of entrepreneurs described above; then it’s high time you change your perception towards goal setting. If you continue to operate under the same perception of setting small goals, you might not fail but you will definitely not be among the outstanding achievers.
“Aim for the moon. If you miss it, you may hit a star.” – W. Clement Stone
3. Lack of self discipline
This is another undisputable reason why entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business. The worst thing about an entrepreneur that lacks self discipline is that there is no remedy. He can never succeed in business even if placed in the best economy. Discipline starts with self control and self control is a product of a strong self imposed personal standard.
"Show me a failure and I will show you a man, who does today, what he should have done yesterday." – Ajaero Tony Martins
I read in a book that procrastination is time’s natural assassin and I know that’s the truth. Procrastination is as a result of laziness and strong resistance to leave your comfort zone. But let's face reality, every one of us has at one time or the other procrastinated. There is nothing wrong in that, but the evil comes when it becomes a habit.
5. Over Cautiousness
"He, who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decide." – Henry Frederic Amiel
Over cautiousness is probably the utmost reason why entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business. Some call it fear and others call it analysis paralysis but it all boils down to one point; inability to take action despite tremendous proof. I have seen investors turn their back to excellent investments simply because they are being over cautious.
I have seen entrepreneurs with the right business idea, the right plan and everything needed to start but they just do not make a move. They are waiting for the perfect economy; the perfect trend and the perfect time. They want all lights to go green before they leap. The sad news is that in business, all lights never go green.
“It’s the duty of an entrepreneur to grab one piece and start the business, the remaining two pieces will be found along the way. Finding the remaining two components may take a year or more than 10 years; the point is, start with what you have.” – Robert Kiyosaki
Successful entrepreneurs are known to start with what they have at hand and pick up the rest along the way. The truth is that over cautiousness is the brain child of fear. An over cautious entrepreneur is simply afraid of failure and no one plays a game with fear and win.
“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things.” – Louis Boone
6. Lack of persistence
"Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." – Ray Kroc
Is persistence a requisite for success? My answer is a resounding yes. Successful entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Ray Kroc, John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford emphasized the importance of persistence in building a business. If these successful entrepreneurs are all pointing towards persistence as a key to success; then, it’s definitely a must have to achieving success in business.
"Most people give up just when they are about to achieve success. They quit on one yard line. They give up the at last minute of the game one foot from a winning touch down." – Henry Ross Perot
Lack of persistence is the primary reason why entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business. Some entrepreneurs start their business on a very good note with high expectations but if their expectations are not met, they get weary and just when they are about to breakthrough; they quit and say "it doesn't work." They quit when just a little more persistence should have made the difference between success and failure.
“You can always quit, so why quit now.” – Rich Dad
“Quit now, you will never make it. If you disregard this advice, you will be halfway there.” – David Zucker
7. Bad business associates
“Be careful of the environment you choose for it will shape you. Be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.” – W. Clement Stone
Just as friends will either push you up or pull you down, the same is applicable also to business associates. There’s not much to be explained on this because the lesson is clear. If you take advice from non entrepreneurs or your most trusted friends are not entrepreneurs; then your chances of succeeding in business is slim. No more, no less.
"Seek advice on risk from the wealthy who still take risks, not friends who dare nothing more than a football bet." – J. Paul Getty
"It is better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you will drift in that direction." – Warren Buffett
8. Lack of focus
"The sun ray does not burn until it is brought to a focus." – Anonymous
I have come across entrepreneurs who are on a quest to create multiple streams of income when they have not being able to grow a single business. Please forget the multiple streams of income shit. Start a business and focus on it. Even if it’s your dream to own multiple businesses; start with one and then diversify when you made it in that business.
"The wise man put all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket." – Andrew Carnegie
"Concentrate your energy, your thoughts and your capital.” – Andrew Carnegie
Bill Gates worked on Microsoft for years; Warren Buffet did the same with Berkshire Hathaway. Observe both men; multiple streams of income did not make them rich; a single business did.
"The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it." – Andrew Carnegie
9. Unnecessary Spending
"Watch the costs and the profits will take care of themselves." – Andrew Carnegie
Most entrepreneurs spend money on impulse; they lack control over their personal cash flow. If you cannot control your personal cash flow, I wonder how you can control that of your business.
"The most important word in the world of money is cash flow. The second most important word is leverage." – Rich Dad
"The philosophy of the rich and the poor is this: the rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left." – Rich Dad
10. Lack of enthusiasm
"Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hand and the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas." – Henry Ford
I don't really know what to write about enthusiasm because it is self explanatory. Enthusiasm is simply passion, self encouragement or zeal. No great business can ever be built without enthusiasm on the part of the entrepreneur. If you are not enthusiastic or passionate about your business; you will fail out rightly.
"Every tomorrow has two handles. You can take hold of the handle of anxiety or the handle of enthusiasm. Upon your choice so will be the day." – Brian Tracy
11. Inadequate Capital
"Capital can do nothing without brains to direct it." – J. Ogden Armour
Cash flow is the blood of business. Inadequate capital can ruin a business; in fact, lack of capital is the major reason why entrepreneurs fail. Entrepreneurs sometimes might come up with winning ideas or strategies but lack of capital will hinder its implementation. There’s a lot I can write with respect to capital but I will save the space.
“The primary duty of an entrepreneur is to raise capital. An entrepreneur must continually raise capital from investors, customers and suppliers. If an entrepreneur cannot raise capital; he ceases being an entrepreneur.” – Robert Kiyosaki
12. Lack of integrity
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five Minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently." – Warren Buffett
Above all things, your greatest asset in business is your reputation. Most entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business despite the fact that they have sufficient capital. They fail because they lack integrity. All over the world, investors, customers, suppliers are looking for entrepreneurs they can trust.
“The most important thing in your business relationships is your reputation for honesty. If you can genuinely and sincerely fake honesty, you will be a success. Never doubt it.” – The Mafia Manager
Let me tell you a secret you don't know. With integrity, you can start a business with none of your own money. Some entrepreneurs fail to deliver when given a credit line. As an entrepreneur, you should preserve your integrity like gold. You must honor your words and agreement; avoid shady deals and sharp practices.
13. Desire for instant gratification
"You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not get paid for it." – Oprah Winfrey
This is a fundamental reason why entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business. They desire instant reward; they want to get rich quick now. However, they fail to recognize that it takes time to build a successful business. There is no short cut to success, you must give your business time to grow and yield profits.
“Patience; it’s the most important attribute to creating wealth, it’s the greatest business asset. Wait for the right time to make your moves. Let your business grow naturally, not by pressing your luck.” – J. Paul Getty
"I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on assumption they could close the market the next day and not re-open it for five years." – Warren Buffett
As a final note, my advice to you is this; don't just read this article and dump it. Instead, read it and analyze your life to see where you are lagging behind. Use this article as benchmark to avoid business failure and I will see you at the top.