How to be successful - 6 obstacles standing in your way

How to be a successful business owner: 6 obstacles standing in your way

When planning for success as a business owner it all seems very exciting – the goals light your fire within, as you can imagine what the future could hold. 

However, in order to achieve this idea of ‘success’ you need to market your business in new ways. Saying that you are going to do something and actually taking action are two very different things. James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits, suggests only 1% of people actually take action which is why so few people actually achieve the success they dream of.

With only 40% of businesses still trading after 5 years, are you really committed to achieving your dreams, or are you just dawdling along waiting to run out of steam? (figures from ONS – Office of National Statistics)

In this article we’ve outlined 6 of the most common obstacles standing in the way of your success and suggested ways you could start to overcome them. 

6 Common obstacles to business success

#1 – Fear of looking stupid 

When undertaking something new, you can’t suddenly leap to the expert level. Just like a game of Sonic, you have to work your way up through the levels. The problem is that we hate exposing our weaknesses – only enhanced by social media – there is a pressure to paint this perfect lifestyle, for fear of judgment. 

We have to understand that this is all in our mind. We are the only ones holding ourselves back. 

There is no reason to be afraid or embarrassed.

We have to learn and accept that we are on a journey, and all that matters is that we get a little better every time. 

We can’t get better without trying. Mistakes are part of the journey. 

#2 – You keep waiting for the right time 

There is never the right time. Distractions and obstacles will keep coming at you. Every. Single. Day.

You have one decision to make, are you going to commit to your plan or not?

If it’s yes – go all in. 

Prioritise it above everything else. 

If you are worrying about customer service suffering, how else can you implement this? Do you need to hire someone or should you outsource an element of it? 

Change will not happen by itself, so if you do not alter the way you are working, the distractions will keep coming and you’ll never move forward with your plan.

As we know, time is not endless – so are you ready to commit to achieving your dreams? 

Related Content: Why saying ‘No’ in business is so important

#3 – You keep waiting for permission 

As soon as we start our business, one of the first things we realise is how much we miss our colleagues to bounce ideas off and essentially validate our ideas. 

It takes courage to believe in ourselves. To silence the thoughts that others know better. 

Ask yourself why you think your own opinions don’t have enough strength on their own. 

Perhaps you are letting thoughts about what others in your field might think, instead of focusing on what your customer needs and wants? 

If you don’t believe in yourself, why would others?

Trust yourself. 

#4 – It’s too difficult

Over lockdown I homeschooled my 5 year old daughter and helped her learn to read. It was a huge lesson to me about how difficult even the simplest things can seem when you are at the beginning of your journey. 

However with consistent practice and learning in bitesize chunks you can make rapid progress.

Only one year later and she is reading books and gaining confidence. You can see her start to enjoy it more as certain words now come easy to her. 

Adjust your expectations.Are you quitting after your first hour/day on the project because it feels difficult? 

Don’t let your first session at trying something new put you off. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. 

Learn to lean into the difficult. Embrace the learning. 

And if it really is becoming a time suck or you just don’t have the desire to do it yourself – delegate it or outsource it. It might be too much for you – but it could be a walk in the park for others. You don’t have to be an expert at everything in order to be a successful business owner! 

Related Content: Outsourcing Digital Marketing – Pros and Cons

#5 – Fear of being found out 

Imposter Syndrome – it’s a buzzword at the moment!

All too often it holds us back. It did that to me for a number of years. 

We make presumptions about what others know, think that they know more than us and de-value our own worth. 

This is amplified by the internet, as we feel open to finger pointing from all angles. 

The result of this means that we daren’t speak our mind or really put ourselves out there for fear of being found out. 

As you’ll see in the second picture, the reality is quite different. 

In order to overcome this we need to focus on our ideal customers. 

Forget about your competitors. 

I get this is difficult because algorithms online show us competitor marketing messages all the time! Just know that this is not the same information that your clients get presented with.

Make a mindmap of your expertise. Highlight the elements you do day in day out, without a thought. 

Harness your individuality and stand up for what you believe in – it will help you emerge from the crowds and attract attention from your ideal customers. 

#6 – Lack of confidence 

Even the most extroverted of us, can struggle with confidence at times. This is often linked to a few of my previous points along with the fear of failure/rejection.

The best way to overcome this is to surround yourself with people who will support you. They will be your biggest cheerleaders and help you spread your good word. Along with picking you up on the tough days and getting you to believe in yourself. 

I’ve always believed resilience is one of the most important qualities of a business owner.  

We see the success stories and presume it’s a straight road there. 

The reality is far from this. At every twist in the road we have to pick ourselves back up and choose to carry on.  This is a lot easier when surrounded by people who support us.

We have to have the confidence to survive. And in fact to thrive. 

Have a think about who is in your tribe just now? Not got one? Start looking at building a network, give before you expect to receive and it will start to reveal itself. 

How to become a successful business owner 

Knowledge is power, but success does not come unless action is taken. 

Help yourself overcome the above 6 obstacles to success by 

  • Allowing yourself to make mistakes
  • Commit to the plan by prioritising the actions and schedule deadlines
  • Lean into the difficult 
  • Stop comparing yourself to others
  • Surround yourself with people who will support you

And above everything else – BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

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