Five steps to cutting entrepreneurial excuses

Beatrice Bartlay discusses why being honest with oneself and stopping making excuses is worthwhile behaviour as a business owner.

During my career, I have faced many challenges and obstacles. I could have given up, but didn’t because I always had a clear goal in my mind: to be a successful entrepreneur. I invested every bit of time and effort needed to get me to where I am today.

However, some entrepreneurs find excuses for why they can’t reach their goals. Sometimes the distance from they are and where they want to be can seem overwhelming and impossible. While a very normal and understandable reaction, no one can deny that this way of thinking is hugely limiting to anyone wishing to start his or her own business.

It’s time that we stop with these kinds of excuses. The best ways to tackle this kind of thinking are:

1. Make a point to proactively learn about your industry and develop your skills as an entrepreneur

While entrepreneurship isn’t an instinctual ability, everyone can take steps to learn and develop to meet their business goals. We are all given the same amount of time; it cannot be taken away from us, extended or changed. It is in our hands to decide how we are going to use it and what we are going to make of it. You can choose to make the most of it, or you can choose to drift through life like a balloon in the wind.

Whatever industry you’re in, take the time to learn as much as you can about it. Perhaps the best way to go about this is through networking and joining business groups. Engage with as many different voices in your sector as possible to give you the broadest range of influences to benefit your own personal growth.

Anything that’s worth achieving in life will take time, and a great deal of hard work. Don’t let opportunities pass you by; keep learning and developing to take control of your business and reach your goals.

2. Don’t lose sight of what you’re really passionate about

You have to be passionate about the goal you are aiming for to give you that incentive to push harder and further. If you find yourself becoming demotivated or losing interest, then perhaps that particular goal isn’t important to you enough.

Before embarking on a new business, take the time to work out what about your idea is most important to you and excites you the most. Maintain your focus on this as your business progresses. While many factors are constantly in flux, make sure your original vision doesn’t get lost to ensure your passion stays afloat.

3. Cut out negative thinking – stay positive!

Negative thinking will always be in the way of your goals if you let it. I have heard many times over. There will forever be someone self-destructively saying ‘if I had more money’ or ‘if I were younger’ or ‘if I had more time’. Negative thoughts and incessant complaining about what’s standing in the way means you will walk through life underachieving. Not doing and not being productive means that you will have no action plan and you will not be successful, at least not as much as you could be.

It is never worth dwelling on these kinds of thoughts. Instead, think about your successes and achievements so far at all stages. A great idea could be to keep an email folder entitled ‘achievements’, to effectively maintain an organic record of your positive business experiences.

4. Stay ambitious with SMART goals

On the other side, I have met those people in business with the ambition and drive to fulfil their business goals, leading them to achieve success in life. These people find their passion, get out of their comfort zones and commit themselves.

Many of these people did not possess a financial back up, but each of them learned their lessons along the way, which has made them stronger and more capable of achieving bigger and better things each and every day.

What did these entrepreneurs have in common? They set themselves SMART goals – aims that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. Whether long or short term, these business owners weren’t afraid to ‘think big’, and this technique of goal setting went a long way to keeping them ambitious and always reaching for the next achievement.

5. Don’t wait – get started on your business as soon as possible!

There is no such thing as the right time to make a change, to set up a company or make an improvement in a certain aspect of your business. Today is your chance to do all those things that you’ve been aiming to do.

It could be that you’re already the owner of a business, and want to reach different markets, or it could be that you want a completely new career. No matter your position, use the knowledge you possess to the best of your ability to make the change and be on your way to realising your ambitions.

The journey to success starts with you. Ask yourself where you want to be in 12 months. Take a pen and paper, write down your goals (keep them SMART) and go through the what, why, when and how you are going to achieve them. Using this particular method is the first part of your journey and will enable you to productively find a path that is realistic and will work for you.

The next step is going out there and doing it. Remember, there is no time like the present.

Further reading on entrepreneurship

Beatrice Bartlay

Beatrice Bartlay

Author and businesswoman, Beatrice helps entrepreneurs build and grow profitable businesses.

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