What have been the real roadblocks keeping you from growing your business? Before now, we thought that business success was determined by things such as your level of education but it’s not.
We know hundreds of business owners who barely made it out of high school, yet still built successful businesses. At the upper end of success, formal education does not determine true business success.
Similarly, we also thought that business success depended on choosing the right industry to go into like oil and gas but it’s still not true. Thousands of people have made their fortunes in mundane, ordinary, and even looked-down-upon businesses. As one who co-founded a waste management and recycling company, I can tell you there is wealth in waste and scrap business. And of course, the waste and scrap business doesn’t look glamorous at all.
So, what do we need to succeed in business? We would look at three critical obstacles that address that. If we don’t successfully deal with these three obstacles, we’ll forever settle for less than we can earn, settle for less than we deserve, and settle for less than we were meant to have. Business owners who’ve gone on to enjoy the best lives have all found ways to overcome these three obstacles. Let’s quickly look at them.
Without question, one of the common frustrations many entrepreneurs and business owners experience is the issue of isolation in their business lives. Some of us may have people working with and for us, but we don’t have ready access to a peer group of other business owners with whom we could openly talk and share quality ideas. This has caused many of us to struggle, and doing too much on our own. Only by connecting with a network of people, who understand what we are building could we get the perspective, support, and accountability that we need.
We need a group with whom we can openly share our challenges, brainstorm ideas to solve them, be held accountable, and also celebrate our successes. Doing things on our own isn’t only the hardest path to take; it tends to be the slowest, most expensive, and most painful route of all. Alone we are vulnerable but connected with the right network; we can enjoy the level of success you’ve always wanted. So, get involved with business/networking groups.
The key is to become involved in networking with other business owners who want to learn, grow, and expand their business visions. Find your tribe and engage with them. It is not about being the best in your field, but being well connected with those that can give you objective feedback, and that you can also build and grow together.
The second obstacle standing in your way of growing your business is fear. Fear can take on many forms, such as fear of failure, fear of government policies, fear of the socio-political uncertainties, fear of the unknown, and whatever your mind can imagine.
Fear is normal and should be expected. Unfortunately, we’ve been trained that fear signals danger, and you should either run away or fight. Like someone wisely said, ‘Fear is also a signal that you’re stretching and growing’. Anytime you do something beyond what you’ve done in the past, it’s perfectly normal for you to feel anxious or afraid. One of the greatest business skills you can ever develop is learning to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. That is, learning to not be so afraid of feeling afraid.
The key is to learn how to take action in the presence of your fears. Most people let their fears rob them of great business opportunities. When we give in to fear, we give up on our business success. As you progress in your business life and learn to play at bigger and bigger levels, you’ll always find things to stretch and scare you.
The final obstacle is hesitation. You may have gotten so much business advice over the years that you simply don’t know which direction to move in. If you could only have a clear and straightforward plan to follow, you’d put in the time, talent, and creativity to build your business.
It’s just that you’re afraid of putting in all the work and finding out later you followed the wrong plan. But remember this—indecision kills! Standing still and stuck in the middle of the road is the most dangerous place of all – you face the danger of being run over! Instead, you have to get moving. Wishing, waiting, and hoping do not bring business success; only purposeful and directed action will.
It behooves on you to deal with these obstacles, which may be more like your blind spots. All business owners have their blind spots—those parts of their businesses or their behaviors or beliefs that dramatically limit their business successes. What are your blind spots costing you? And more importantly, what are you going to do about them? Your answers to these questions will determine whether you are going to succeed in business or not.
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the author of several business books. He maintains a personal blog, www.tonyajah.com where he shares proven business ideas and principles for SMEs.