failure leading to success

The #1 Reason Why Entrepreneurs Fail

Mastering the self in order to master your future

There is nothing special about being an entrepreneur. In fact, anyone can be one. In my neighborhood, two little kids started a lemonade stand. They’re entrepreneurs. I have a gentleman that comes and does my yard work once a week. He’s an entrepreneur. The same goes for a number of contractors that I use as consultants with my business. They’re entrepreneurs too.

The problem for most of these folks is not becoming an entrepreneur it’s moving past being self-employed.

Every entrepreneur has to start somewhere. I also started as self-employed. But I quickly learned that if I wanted to truly grow myself and my business, something had to change.

To go from myself to having hundreds of employees, I had to have different skills.

The skill of selling

First, I had to learn how to sell better. I knew that if I learned how to sell, I could learn the skills I needed to grow my business revenue.

In order to hone this skill, I took a job with Xerox, which forced me to grow as a salesperson or get fired. I didn’t take the job to climb the corporate ladder. I worked to learn. I also took the time to volunteer for a local charity, making cold calls to raise money. I hated it, but I knew I needed it. My ability to sell today is a direct result of those investments in myself as a young man.

The skill of leading

Second, I knew that once I grew my company, I’d have to hire employees. It’s hard enough to manage yourself, let alone others. One of the hardest growth periods for an entrepreneur is learning how to lead, manage, and multiply other people. Once you master this skill, however, you can grow exponentially.

The trap many entrepreneurs fall into is thinking they are the expert on everything and that they have to do everything. They do not trust others with their business. The truth is that you are probably not an expert at all, and you can’t possibly do everything.

More than likely, you have one or two skills you excel in and that you should be focusing on. Building a team of experts is how a true entrepreneur grows his or her self and the business. Having a staff you can trust and that are bought into what you are doing allows them to work in your business as you work on your business. As rich dad said, “Business and investing are team sports.”

Fortunately for me, my rich dad invested in me, teaching me many important leadership lessons. This convinced me of the importance of having a mentor and a coach.

Don't try to become an entrepreneur without educating yourself first.

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The skill of self-mastery

But the most important skill I had to learn was self-mastery.

The lack of this skill is the #1 reason why entrepreneurs fail. Self-mastery means learning how to control your fear, emotions, doubts, body, mind, and soul. If you can learn how to master these things—to control yourself—you can control the world.

Every time I lost my temper with an employee, I lost. Every time I let fear set in when my cash flow statement didn’t look promising, I lost. Every time I got into the downward spiral of working in my business rather than on it, I lost.

Most entrepreneurs have certain triggers that cause them to literally lose it, that “it” being self-control. For many, it’s money. When the money runs out, the fear kicks in and the limbic part of the brain takes over. Then they do insane things. It’s no different than the caveman running for his life from the saber-toothed tiger. You stop thinking and become reactionary.

But we’re made up of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. In order to learn how to master yourself, you must feed those things. Exercise, learn, rest, and meditate or pray. Taking the time to do those types of actions will help you to develop this most valuable skill.

But most of all, practice the opposite of fear, which is belief. In every situation, if you feel yourself losing control, stop, breathe, and think, “What do I believe?” Act accordingly and you’ll do just fine.

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