The Most Common Lies Entrepreneurs Tell Themselves (and How to Avoid Them)
Content was originally published on Inc.com on November 1, 2018.
Over the past 25 years of business coaching, I have heard every excuse in the book on why a business might be stuck in a growth slump. Here are the top 6 excuses that I hear every single day from small to medium sized business owners.
1. “I can’t afford it….”
As in, “I can’t afford to pay someone $20-50 per hour on this task.” While on the surface this lie sounds like you are concerned about your budget and your bottom line, what it really means is that you aren’t confident enough in your ability to create higher value items. This could be because you feel like you lack the skills to do anything higher value or it could be a cry for help time management wise, as you know that your freed up time will be spent putting out fires.
2. “I don’t have the time…”
You spend your day putting out fires and handling other people’s tasks. Is it any wonder that you don’t have time to grow your business? Stop telling yourself that you don’t have time and start looking at exactly what you are spending your time on. Are they high value tasks or are you putting out fires?
3. “No one can do it as well as I can…”
This lie is code for: “I can’t delegate that kind of authority, what if she makes a bad decision? What if he messes up a client relationship?” Of course there are different level of delegation based on the experience set and abilities of a team member, but business owners who reflexively hold tight to the reins of all decisions and authority in his or her business end up being owned by their businesses.
4. “Let me check my email really quickly…”.
This is the lie we tell ourselves instead of facing the harsh reality of our dependent relationship with our business. “If I’m not accessible and on top of texts, emails and voicemails my business might implode.” or
“I know it’s my focus day….but what could it hurt to open up the black hole that is my inbox?”
5. “I’ll just wait and see what happens…”
As in, “I know I have a real staff issue with Corwin, but I’ll just wait and see if things straighten out on their own first.” When you have a real issue, deal with it. Immediately. Don’t let it linger or fester while you “hope” it will resolve itself. Why do so many entrepreneurs do this? Because they are not willing to face the temporary discomfort, usually emotional discomfort, of meeting the moment directly.
6. “I am not making any progress….”
If the first five lies weren’t bad enough, perhaps the worst lie of all is when you tell yourself that you aren’t making any progress in your business. You find yourself saying “That project is complete….but next time….” Stop and celebrate your victories. Don’t nitpick the results or downplay your successes. Savor the moment and take in your progress.
Which lie are you guilty of?