Sunday, Jan 19, 2020
HomeInsightThe biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make, pt. 2

The biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make, pt. 2

In my last article I shared the three biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make. The points were based on my own entrepreneurial journey and my experiences with other entrepreneurs and one of my favorite people, Darren Hardy, author of the book, “The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster” and former editor of Success Magazine. The feedback from that article was very positive. In this article, I share another three common mistakes. Mistake number five is one I know all too well.


Mistake no. 4

Being excited… and expecting those around you to be excited for you.

Someone once asked me, “How successful does a person need to be?” I replied, “Ah, I guess, as successful as you can be.” He said, “No, just more successful than your brother in-law.” Meaning, your wife will be happy with you and her life as long as it’s better than her sister’s.

Like it or not, people are constantly comparing themselves to each other. We only know how good or bad something is by contrast—it’s good, compared to what? It’s easy for people to read about celebrities and other superstar achievers and see their success as something out of reach. But if someone in their immediate circle, someone just like them, breaks out of the herd of mediocrity, it eliminates all excuses. And most people have become quite attached to their excuses. When you overcome similar obstacles and succeed, you’re making them look and feel badly. Your success disturbs their status quo, and their egos become vengeful.

Oh, sure, they’ll say they’re happy for you. They’ll say they support you and your dreams. But secretly (maybe even unconsciously), they are hoping you will fail. They are hoping you will prove them right, that the fears that are holding them back from also becoming a successful entrepreneur are valid. They may even engage in covert tactics to sabotage your ambitions with weapons of doubt, teasing, mockery, sarcasm and innuendo to ensure they are right and their ego is once again secure.

It’s natural to feel excited about your possibilities and potential, but don’t get carried away. Prepare yourself for the emotional turbulence ahead, including the negative voices of the people in your life. One way to counteract this is to be very mindful of who you surround yourself with. Having a strong, supportive and encouraging network is very necessary.


Mistake no. 5

Being amazing… and trying to do it all.

Our culture celebrates those who check off sprawling lists of tasks every day. We exclaim how busy, stressed and overwhelmed we are as if it is some badge of honor.

It’s not. This approach will cost you everything: your personal life, your business and all of your dreams. In order to grow a business, you have to allow it to grow beyond you.

Think of yourself as the head coach. Your job is to draft the game plan, recruit the players and get them trained and equipped to perform at their best. Then watch from the sidelines. If you jump in and start throwing, catching, blocking and tackling, your business will never win the championship. Imagine Phil Jackson running to make a point during a game!

When you try to do it all, you bottleneck your business and you become the constraint to its growth. Think of yourself as the great talent broker. You are paid to bring the right people together and help them do the work. When you have set the stage for their success, stay out of their way.


Mistake no. 6

Being successful… and avoiding belly flops.

The entire universe is built on duality. Just as you cannot have day without night, up without down or good without evil, you cannot have success without failure. It’s not possible.

As a matter of fact, the process of success is a sequence of progressive failures.

If you are succeeding only moderately, it’s because you aren’t doing enough to challenge your limits. Hardy’s father taught him this on the ski slopes when he was eight years old. Hardy wrote: “At the end of the day, I ran up to him, excited to report: ‘Dad, I skied by myself all day and didn’t fall down once!’ He looked at me flatly and said, ‘Well, then you didn’t get any better.’

“Sensing my disappointment, he explained, ‘Look, if you’re going to get better, you have to push yourself. If you push yourself, you’re going to fall. If you’re not falling, you’re not pushing. Falling is part of getting better’.”

The only way to accelerate your success is to speed up your failure. Pursue failure with passion and joy. When you do fall, celebrate it. You’ve grown.

The only thing holding you back from realizing your potential and accomplishing any goal your mind can conceive is fear. If you can learn to turn fear into fun — something you pursue rather than avoid — the top to your potential will pop open and out will pour your greatness.


What about you? Which of these mistakes have you experienced? If you would like to read the previous three mistakes email me.

If you loved this article, you would benefit from the upcoming “Vision to Wealth” entrepreneur event scheduled for Tuesday, June 21 at 7 p.m. Email me for further information about the event.


• Keshelle Davis is a master trainer in the areas of business skills, financial literacy and personal development, a speaker, author and entrepreneur. Her roles include executive director of the Chamber Institute, the education arm of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce; President of Creative Wealth Bahamas; and founder of The Training Authority. Keshelle was listed as The Nassau Guardian’s Top 40 under 40 for the 40th anniversary celebrations of The Bahamas. Contact Keshelle at


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