3 Surefire Ways to Fail as an Entrepreneur Try taking a look under the hood to see if you recognize any of these surefire 'failure traits' in yourself.

By Jacqueline Whitmore

entrepreneur daily

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No one likes to fail. That's why it's beneficial to constantly review your goals and business plan and see where you can improve. It's also important to look at some of the ways you may be hurting your own business, without even recognizing it.

Related: 5 Habits That Will Guarantee Your Failure in Life

Here are three major ways entrepreneurs can almost guarantee failure.

1. No self-discipline

As an entrepreneur, you need to plan your work and work your plan. You have to have a vision for your business, execute a plan and find your ideal clients. If you have no internal need, drive or desire backing your drive, you most likely lack the motivation to persevere. You won't reach your goals by simply wishing for them, waiting for a windfall or banking on luck. Rather, you have to put steps in place, then repeat those steps every single working day.

The best tactic is to create your own system for success; or better yet, find one that already works and emulate it. Organize schedules, establish accountability, install goals and set up rewards for yourself. It's all up to you, so look at your activities as your "job." Discipline yourself to do the actions that will bring you prosperity.

Related: 8 Ways Intelligent People Use Failure to Their Advantage

2. Fragility

Entrepreneurs need backbone and a lot of moxie to take on the challenge of running a business. If you're frozen in fear and too afraid to knock on doors, ask for the sale or demand what you're worth, you won't succeed.

Remember why you started the business. Wasn't it to use your expertise to help others? Believe in yourself, and others will believe in you as well. Step up to the plate with confidence and show potential clients how they will benefit from your product or service. Dress and act professionally in your presentation and at the office to establish yourself as a bona fide business.

3. Inability to change

Face it, times and technology change, sometimes at the drop of a hat. But if you're unable to change with them, you will have trouble keeping up with the pack. Don't be one of those intractable people who repeat, "But we've always done it this way" -- to their own demise.

Make it part of your daily routine to keep abreast of any changes in your industry, and plan to update your technological skills on a regular basis. Read an industry article on your lunch break, attend seminars on how to use social media to market or take an online course, in search-engine optimization, for example. The more you learn, the more you earn. In other words, the more you know, the more value you can offer your clients.

Even the way you do business will probably need to change as you interact with clients. For example, you may need to create a customer-service policy, institute a warranty program or create a new sales presentation based on client feedback. Be flexible and open-minded and allow these changes to benefit your business.

Many entrepreneurs have innovative ideas, and potentially prosperous businesses, but they fall short in recognizing their own roadblocks. If everything on the surface seems to be in place, try taking a look under the hood to see if you recognize any of these surefire failure traits in yourself or in your employees.

Related: 3 Ways to Wring at Least Some ROI From Failure

Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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