Entrepreneurs go through a wide range of emotions and challenging situations as they build their business. Sometimes we struggle with things that are out of our control, but too often we let self-limiting beliefs, and bad information stunt the growth of our business.
There are clichés that we take as fact. There are obstacles we just weren’t prepared for, or strategies that won’t work as effectively today. Whether or not you’ve acknowledged these lies, they could be keeping you from reaching all of your goals for your business and life. Here are five lies that we tell ourselves that keep us from growing our business.
1. My business isn’t as good as my competition.
At one point or another every entrepreneur has felt this way. There are inspiring entrepreneurs doing amazing things, and social media has made it possible for us to observe those victories everyday.
Your goal isn’t to be as good, or better than your competition; your number one goal should be to serve your customers. When you spend all your time looking elsewhere, you take your focus off of those that have the power to make or break your business.
Steve Jobs and Apple are successful because they understand this. He said, “Our goal isn’t to be better than our competition, it’s to be different.” Apple is different and they focus on serving their customers, which is why they’ve built a successful business. You grow by focusing on your customer and your goals.
2. Following popular advice is the only way to succeed.
With the rise of social media and the Internet, we don’t lack information. Everywhere we look there's a new “guru” or “expert” who has a strategy you “must follow” to succeed. This advice gets passed around so much we accept it as fact. We look at their numbers and assume they know what they’re talking about.
The problem is that a lot of this advice isn’t backed up by research, according to New York Times best-selling author Guy Kawasaki. Too many experts make it up or create strategies based off of what they think will work. Don’t follow advice, even if it’s popular, testing is the only way to see what works for your business.
3. An influencer is my sliver bullet.
One piece of popular advice is what I like to call the “Influencers shout out strategy.” You’re told the quickest way to build your business to connect with someone at the top of your industry, by adding value or doing free work to get in his or her good graces. This strategy won’t work and will have you working for free without the possibility of a payoff.
Everyone else is chasing these influencers alongside you, which makes this strategy ineffective. Influencers are smart entrepreneurs who can smell fake motives a mile away. You don’t need an influencers blessing to be successful and there are no silver bullets in life.
4. Learning is the most important strategy.
Learning is a good thing and important to your business. However, the wealth of information available has brought on common cases of information overload. There are so many options, so many strategies and tools that we get stuck deciding what we should be doing.
Learn, then implement. That is the strategy that helps your business. You commit to only learn what you need to take the next steps. Once you’ve implemented those steps, you learn a little more.
5. Failure is not an option.
Life would be wonderful if we never experienced failure, but we all know that’s not a reality. Sometimes we need to fail. Whether it’s part of our business, or even the entire business, that is not profitable, sometimes failure helps us move onto something better. Failure is an option under the right circumstances.
The difference between successful entrepreneurs and everyone else is that they know how to recover quickly from failure. A bad experience or failure is not the end of your business. If Thomas Edison would have quit after the first few cracks at the light bulb, life today would be vastly different.
In the end, building your business differently and unique to you is what helps you achieve success. Testing what works, and not just believing popular advice, is what takes your business to the next level. Don't give in or make any of these lies part of your business and life.