In my many years as a corporate leader, I learned that when it comes to performance reviews, most people think they should be rated as “exceeds all expectations” across the board. I dare you to find someone who will step forward and admit, “Yeah, I honestly didn’t work that hard this year, so go ahead and rate me lower.” The reality is that a large number of people expect to get star quality ratings just for showing up. We are our own greatest fans, and, besides, who wants to jeopardize their merit increase?

When I started my coaching business, I discovered that this phenomenon is not at all restricted to corporate employees. When speaking with prospective clients, I often observe the monumental gap between expectations and the actual effort put forth by the individual. It appears that people often expect a return where no investment was made—it’s like overdrawing your bank account and expecting an interest payment at the end of the month.

I believe one of the main reasons the entrepreneur failure rate is so high is not because of a lack of vision, skill, or intention on the part of the entrepreneur, but rather an unwillingness to sacrifice and do whatever it takes to succeed. Too many give up too easily, usually defeated by their self-limiting mindset rather than the competition. 

Let’s take a look at a list of commonly cited obstacles and how a simple shift in perspective can make the difference between staying stuck and breaking through to entrepreneurial success:

“I can’t afford to invest in my business idea.”

Can you truly not afford the investment or are you consciously choosing to invest in things other than your business idea?

“I don’t have time to work on my business idea.”

What do you need to give up in order to find the time to start developing your business idea?

“I am holding out to see if I will get a promotion/raise before moving forward with my business idea.”

What is driving you to pursue your own business in the first place? If your cause doesn’t reach beyond status and compensation, you may want to keep your day job.

“I will start next month, next year, when the kids grow up, someday.”

Someday simply doesn’t exist. All we have to work with is the PRESENT. What are you gaining by waiting?

“I have no experience in running a business.”

Consider that you also didn’t have any experience when you started your first corporate job. Take the first step and learn as you go.

“I have to create a business plan first.”

Paperwork alone won’t get you to where you need to go – action will. What is the one thing you can do TODAY to take a step forward?

“There is too much competition.”

This didn’t stop you from pursuing your corporate job and there are literally millions of people with the same job description! If you build a truly unique brand, you need not fear your competitors.

“I am afraid I will fail.”

Yes, you may, but you may also be successful beyond your wildest dreams or fail where you are. The odds are 50/50 no matter which path you choose. What are you gaining by staying put?

“So-and-so doesn’t think I should move forward.”

Has so-and-so run a successful business? If so, listen and respect their input. If on the other hand so-and-so has no dreams or ambition of his or her own, stay clear, stay the course and surround yourself with people who will support you.

“I am waiting on God.”

To do what exactly? He has already blessed you with the calling, the vision and the gifts to make it happen. The rest is up to you. While He will guide your path, He simply won’t put up your website, market your business and drop customers at your front door. It’s on you to roll up your sleeves and get busy!

“It will take years to build a business. I am too old for that.”

How old will you be in 10 years if you don’t pursue your dream? Right – you will still be 10 years older but what is worse is that you could be living with the regret of never having tried.

“My life is too complicated to add a business.”

What habits, routines, activities, relationships or behavior do you need to let go of in order to simplify your life and make room for realizing your dream?

As you can see, there is often a deeper truth behind what we believe are the obstacles to our success. In reality, our dreams can take a considerable amount of time to come to fruition. It’s on us to take the first step and each one after that until we reach the finish line. No one will do it for us, and our success will be directly proportional to our determination and the amount of effort we put forth.

Action challenge: Look at the list of perceived obstacles above, and ask yourself which ones apply to you. Then, come up with a plan to overcome them. Maybe you need to start putting a few dollars away each week until you can afford to get the support you need, or maybe you need to clear your calendar of time commitments that are holding you back. Whatever your obstacles, start taking action today!

If you would like additional help with identifying what is truly holding you back or how you can develop a personalized strategy for achieving your business goals, I invite you to apply for a FREE Business Strategy Session with me.