An excellent article was just reposted in Forbes: “Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid,” by Amy Morin. Talk about a great list for all of us to remind ourselves about, but especially true for entrepreneurs! These are the things mentally strong leaders don’t do:
- Waste time feeling sorry for themselves
- Give away their power
- Shy away from change
- Waste energy on things they can’t control
- Worry about pleasing others
- Fear taking calculated risks
- Dwell on the past
- Make the same mistakes over and over
- Resent other people’s success
- Give up after failure
- Fear alone time
- Feel the world owes them anything
- Expect immediate results
Obviously, we all fall into some of these occasionally, but the true entrepreneur does not spend any significant time in the mentally weak areas. It’s a waste of time and doesn’t move the needle forward.
Having worked with entrepreneurs for over 20 years and having been one myself, I believe the difference between success and failure can be any one of these pitfalls. We all have at least one or two that can be our Achilles heel. Personally I suffer from #5, worrying about pleasing others, and #13 expecting immediate results. It’s funny to see all of the things I’ve seen entrepreneurs get stuck on over the years in one list. It’s not about strategy or money. It is the mental strength in these 13 areas that get you through.
I’m in the build process right now for my new venture, CEO Global Network – Western United States, and as is the nature of a start-up, all has not gone according to plan. However, once I got over my need to please everyone and expecting immediate results, I revamped the plan and we’re off to the races again! Even though I know this stuff, I teach this stuff, and I see this stuff, it’s hard not to fall into it yourself. As we discuss in CEO Global Network, good leaders have high Emotional Intelligence, starting with Self-Awareness. So although these two pitfalls may always be my issues, I am becoming much better at spotting them and getting through them quicker, (and yes, that is my need for immediate results. J)
So what is your Achilles heel? Which one of the 13 keeps you up at night and is blocking you from achieving the business success you want? I know it’s not all 13 or you wouldn’t even be reading this and I doubt it’s more than a couple, or you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur. If you aren’t sure, ask those that work for you, or your spouse, or partner – they’ll know and they’ll be right. As with any bad habit, (and that’s all these are), you can replace it by first identifying it and then creating a new behavior that is the opposite. Try it for 30 days and see if you and those around you see a difference. I’ll bet they do.