6 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Business

When you’re starting a company, things are bound to go wrong, and there are things that just won’t go your way. Everyone knows the stats: around half of all businesses fail within their first five years. You’re fighting constant battles and whether you’ve been at this for years or you’re just starting out, you have more challenges ahead. You might find yourself starting to question everything about your company, but sometimes the problem is caused without even realizing it. It may even start in the same place this business idea started: you. That being said, maybe it’s time to become more aware of a few pitfalls to make sure you’re not sabotaging yourself. 

Bad at Receiving

Maybe you feel guilty about what you are charging for your passion project? Perhaps you’re severely under charging because your clients - and handing out discounts like candy - because your work is just that easy for you, even though it provides a ton of value for your clients. Sometimes a company doesn’t fail because the strategy is flawed, but because you may have self-sabotaging beliefs about money. If you’re doing freebies for friends and family at your expense, it’s time to start earning the money you deserve. It can seem like one of the hardest parts about being an entrepreneur, but no one can tell you what to charge. Your price reflects your worth. You should understand the value your service is providing, celebrate your self-worth, and learn to receive.

Doing Everything Yourself

When you want something done right, who has to do it? I mean, who knows your business like you, right? You’ve been there since before the beginning and it’s your guidance and insights that has built your company to where it is now. Someone else may get it wrong! But, whether you want to believe it or not, this mindset is seriously detrimental to your business. Delegation is necessary and something that begins at the top because as a founder or owner, it’s incredibly easy to find yourself starting to drown in work after not handing it off to capable others. A recent study shows that business owners who delegate tasks grow faster, generate higher revenue, and create more jobs. It’s hard enough to run a company, so today is the day to learn how to get out of your own way. 

Not Enough Time in the Day

This can end up going hand in hand with the lack of delegation skills. You will always have deadlines to meet, meetings to schedule, and phone calls to return. When you run around on a daily basis with a jam-packed schedule, of course you are going to start feeling more and more stressed. I mean, how can you possibly accomplish everything? This answer might seem a bit obvious, but having effective time management skills can be one of the best ways to keep a handle on your stress as it allows you to check more off your list in a shorter amount of time. Putting your priorities in order, starting with what seems to be the most urgent can help you cut out wasted time and waning energy. You need to remember that not everything is a crisis and you need to resist trying to take on other responsibilities, no matter how tempting they may seem. Only help others, even friends and family, when you actually have the time. Remember: you can honestly - and politely - tell people no. 


Are you wasting time perfecting your logo? Maybe still testing out thousands of colors, fonts, and button styles for your marketing site? It’s time to stop procrasti-branding. These things are important, don’t get me wrong. First impressions are critical, especially if you’re hunting for your first round of funding, but your site is something that can easily be upgraded as you grow and your company accrues more money. It’s very important to focus your time on your pitch. You need to perfect the way you pitch your value to gain more clients and, in turn, make more money. Once you’ve alleviated some of the stress you feel daily from receiving funding for your company, you can use this mental space to refocus on upgrading your site, logo, or business cards. 

Comparing Yourself to Others

Just like thumbprints, every business is different and unique in it’s own way. Your brands’ strengths are different from another, but your customers want what makes your different from others - not something that’s similar. Don’t let competition distract you from what makes your product and company different. If you are constantly comparing yourself to how you stack up to others, you’re just unnecessarily causing yourself more stress, on top of what you may already have from starting and running your company. It’s normal to feel insecure, especially if your competition seems to constantly be publicizing their ‘big accomplishments.’ If you ever catch yourself constantly asking, “Should I?”, then slow down and take a deep breath. There is no linear path to success. 

Burning the Midnight Oil or Burning Out?

As a startup founder and entrepreneur, it can seem incredibly hard to shut off at times. It’s nearly impossible, though, to attempt to stay on top of the game and perform at your best if you’re not able to set boundaries to give yourself a break. When the barrier between work life and personal life begins to blur, your life can truly become all work and no play. It’s important to ensure that fun is scheduled in, whether it’s a quick online game with friends or heading out to the bar with friends for happy hour. Relaxation and laughter can be the perfect medicine. 

It may be hard to come to terms with, but sometimes your company is starting to fail from qualities about yourself that you may not even realize. These qualities might even mask themselves as good qualities. Cutting a break for a friend doesn’t seem that bad, right? Helping your family member create websites for their clients for free because you have a better understanding doesn’t seem so bad either. In reality, however, you may really just be selling yourself short and causing more unneeded stress that may end up costing you your own company. Are you holding yourself back, unknowingly? It might seem silly, but take some time off - that’s well deserved - and look inward. Learning to get out of your own way can end up being the best decision you’ve made for your company yet - besides that awesome marketing site. 


Whittney Twomey

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