As many of you know, I L.O.V.E everything related to business ideas.
I can get extremely motivated and jump into action when I believe an idea can work. Now, if there're also good people involved and a slightest chance to have fun in the process, there are no red lights for me. This being said, here it comes the reality check: Research suggests that only 8% of us will ever succeed with our goals and ideas.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, why people like me who have so many ideas will give up most of the time. As the research shows only 8% of people will carry their ideas to a successful endeavor. So the BIG question is: What are these 8% doing differently from the 92% that never get to finish and succeed at anything? Why do the vast majority give up?
So based exclusively on my experiences, here’s my list for the Top 5 Reasons People Give Up:
1. The Impostor Syndrome
Have you heard of impostor syndrome? It’s quite a phenomenon around people who are on-the-spot light, like celebrities, politicians, CEO’s, etc. However, recent studies have shown that 70% of people experience these impostor feelings at some point in their lives.
So you’re probably thinking, but Pat, what is this impostor syndrome and why would it be a reason for me to give up a business idea? Well, to put it simply, impostor syndrome is a feeling that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. And what is even worse, that you don’t deserve any recognition because you feel like a phony. This feeling is a colossal setback before you even start in the adventurous entrepreneurship road.
This is probably the number one reason so many people never move on to the execution stage.
2. Not Putting the Hours (Yes, Sacrifice)
People often reach out to me in anguish—“Being an entrepreneur sucks. I cannot make money, this is not working, I don’t convert leads into clients, or I’ve been doing videos for 3 months on YouTube but nobody is watching, not even my family and friends.”
And this is the second big reason people give up: Lack of Discipline.
Any committed entrepreneur knows that without putting in the effort day after day, one cannot expect immediate results. There is always some kind of renunciation in the life of an entrepreneur.
The image below is a brilliant way to look at it. One foot shows what we learn to admire: the beauty of the Satin Sneaker, the skill, the grace. The other screams the cost of this.
Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and sometimes pain.
Few people realize that being able to speak many languages or being a great dancer, a great speaker, master an instrument or run a business, it's not luck, behind the beauty of someone's success there's a huge curriculum of dedicated hours and efforts.
3. Getting Sidetracked by other Things or People’s Opinions
The art of multi-tasking while being productive is a craft reserved for a few. I know hardly any people who can multitask with a smile on their faces :-)
So if you get stressed or unproductive by doing several things at the same time, you need to learn how to get organised, write it down your daily, weekly and even yearly plan. Remember, the difference between failure and success is subtle. Most entrepreneurs who “pivoted” their businesses certainly didn’t do it overnight.
One great book I recommend to explore more on the subject of "pivoting your business" is -> The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Book by Malcolm Gladwell.
The review below from Mona Gustafson Affinito on Amazon summarizes it well:
"Other reviewers have done an excellent job of reviewing the book’s thrust and content, so I’m going to assume I don’t need to do that here. I do want to say I did not expect a scientific journal article. What I anticipated is what I got – a delightful application of fascinating social psychological evidence to ways of approaching and understanding real life problems.
With a degree in social psychology, I can’t help being excited and impressed by the research contributions of the field. The findings he cites often seem obvious and “of course” once the results are in. And sometimes the results contradict “common sense.” Always they require clever design by those who create the hypotheses and methods of measurement.
But this book does not claim to produce new research. What the author does is present interesting and validated findings in a way that organizes them for potential application to a given range of problems. Readers who want more scientific journal type evidence are free to take the suggestions and create their own statistically designed clever research.
As for me, his suggestions set me to thinking and observing life as it is lived. I will confess,
I wish he had been able to identify a numerical tipping point. It would help me a lot in my efforts to create an epidemic of readers for my latest book. But maybe some of what I’m doing will be helped by thinking along the lines he suggests.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book – a good, thought provoking read.
4. Bla, Bla, Bla (Excuses)
As humans, we're fantastic at picking from a wide range of excuses to limit our capabilities and more often than not, the things we let hold us back are in our own minds. And careful! the mind can play tricky games, projecting worst-case scenarios into the future and turning simple tasks into horrifying monsters.
According to Lifehack the 20 main excuses people make that stop them from reaching their dreams are:
I'm too old to start
I'm not talented enough
I wasn't' born in the right area
I come from a poor background
I'm not smart enough
I don't have the support
I don't have enough time to discover what I like
My family and friends don't think I'm capable
I don't know if I will succeed
I've already dedicated myself to a different path
I'm just not lucky enough
I didn't have the right teachers
I'm not destined to succeed
I'm not motivated enough
I'm too easily distracted by other things
I'm not educated enough
I can't handle failure
I will start tomorrow
I'm not ready
I don't believe I can do it
It's unbelievable how negative thoughts paralyze us. Stop looking at how far you have to go, instead of how far you have come.
If one or more of these excuses apply to you, try adding post-it notes with reminders and positive notes around the house, in your car, at your office desk, etc. This simple visual post-it technique is very powerful.
5. Lack of Ambition
Lack of ambition is the most difficult one for me to accept or comprehend. In my travels around the globe, I’ve had the privilege to meet incredible people from different cultures.
Some of them were extraordinarily intelligent but never wanted to acknowledge their intelligence or put it to good use in the world.
I believe zero ambition is prejudicial and such a waste.
As Salvador Dali's once said: intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
What do you think? Do you have more reasons to add to this list?