Achieving startup success is the long-term goal of every founder. And while many founders endeavor to realize startup success, in reality, few entrepreneurs actually do. In fact, statistics show that startup success is quite elusive. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent of newly-founded startups or new businesses will close within five years.
As an entrepreneur, are there steps you can take to increase the likelihood that your new business venture will achieve startup success? The good news is that the answer is ‘yes,’ there are many things you can do to put your startup on a pathway towards startup success. Of these, building a strong foundation of personal characteristics and traits that support startup success is among the most critically-important steps you can take.
As an entrepreneur, you may have passed what you think is the ‘hard phase’ of setting up your business and that you have conquered the battles of building a foundation for your new venture. You may now think that you are truly ready to face the new chapters of your life as a founder. But are you? Let’s explore eight common habits that may prevent you from achieving startup success. Ask yourself are you doing the following?
- Is this business really what you want, or you are just following other’s expectations of you? If you are not living the life that you really and instead, you just keep on saying “yes,” to others, forgetting about what you want and what makes you happy, then you’re simply holding yourself back. Some people always seek applause after their every performance, but if you only live for applause what is it all for? When you start risking your health or happiness for the sake of having unrealistic expectations from others then you’re not on the right track.
- Solution: If you really want to achieve startup success, then be sure you’re building a startup that incites your passions.
- Do you really see your business making it to the top or are you just content with whatever life hands you? Putting yourself in a box and not trying out new things, either because you think you can’t make it or you’re not sure if you can, is deadweight holding you back from achieving startup success.
- Solution: First, set goals and bigger dreams, know where you want your business to be. Having confidence in yourself and in your business will make a difference in your growth. It is always too late to wait in business, so never hold back and let things flow. If you gave your best and it is not worth the shot anymore then it’s time to let go.
- Do you spend more than you earn? You should know by now that building a successful startup means having a concrete financial plan. Founders who ‘wing it,’ not fully understanding their financial position are not likely to achieve startup success.
- Solution: Startup success means fiscal responsibility. To avoid having so much debt, create a budget plan and only spend on things that are worth it.
- Do you have a short-term and long-term plan? Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” If you don’t have a plan to achieve startup success, then you’ll never get there.
- Solution: Build a solid realistic plan to achieve your goals, you will see that you can work more efficiently, and that the time spent growing your startup will have more value. Once you set your goals you should know when you should achieve them and when to move for the next level. Filling your daily planner, prioritizing your work first then filling up the gaps with activities that nourish your soul and your business, too, is a good start.
- Do you constantly blame others and not own up to your own mistakes? If pointing your fingers to others for your mistake makes you feel a lot safer and secure, then think again, because eventually it will hold you back.
- Solution: You need to acknowledge and own your mistakes. Accepting responsibility for your errors will enable you to learn more and to create better connections. You must also know how to ask forgiveness especially when you blame someone for something you did.
- Do you give importance to your time? Launching a successful startup is a tough job and there’s no time for procrastination and laziness. You can gain back lost money but not wasted time.
- Solution: Prioritize your time, focusing your efforts on tasks where you add the greatest value. Delegate tasks outside your areas of expertise to others with the right skill sets. Also, always make time to practice and improve your talent, instead of wasting time doing nothing. You should also make time for reading and learning, too, because it improves logical thinking and confidence. Remember that determination sometimes outweighs talent.
- Are you always distracted? As mentioned above, time is a valuable thing. If you are always being distracted by social media or other time-wasting tasks, then you’re not likely to realize the startup success you seek.
- Solution: Tune out from unnecessary social media. Prioritizing your startups is more important than knowing which fictional character you are based on your food preference.
- Are you always in a bad mood? If you’re always having negative thoughts and being hard on yourself and on others, chances are it will manifest in every aspect of your life, including your startup. Facing failures and flaws is a hard thing but nothing will happen if you remain in the slump.
- Solution: Identify your flaws and accept your failures to break free from all the negativity and fears. No one says you have to be in a good mood all the time, but if you find yourself being negative, try to focus on the positive—this can improve your mood and outlook.
There you have eight key habits that may be holding you back from achieving startup success. The road to becoming a strong, successful founder is never easy or linear. Rather, it is most always circuitous, requiring introspection and self-reflection before moving on to the next milestone. But for those willing to invest the time in becoming self-aware and brutally honest about their behaviors and beliefs, the rewards are well worth it.
Interested in learning more about how you can achieve startup success? Contact me today and let’s talk!