The Seven Sins of Entrepreneurship
Working in business opens up different traps to fall into. Along with any legal traps are those a little bit more personal. Though the seven deadly sins are usually thought to apply to everyday life, they apply to business life, too.
From laziness to hoarding money, the seven sins of entrepreneurs are indeed deadly. Each holds the potential to destroy the business you have worked so hard for, but each is escapable. If you recognize the flaw, and own it, you can work to fix it.
Pride and the Pedestal
Pride in entrepreneurs is common. You created your business, after all. Why shouldn’t you be proud of it? However, you may treat others as inferior to you and expect to be treated as being above everyone else. Because you see the world in this light you block help, hinder progress and have the potential to destroy relationships. So, what should you do? I suggest taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. Sure, you worked hard at your success and you deserve to be recognized, but I doubt you did it all on your own. Your employees and family have helped to support you along your way. Help yourself to some humble pie, take a deep breath, and step off of your pedestal.
More Means Less
I need more. It’s a thought we all have at least a few times a day. You wish for more money, a richer lifestyle or even a second helping of dinner. Greedy entrepreneurs look mainly for more money and more notoriety. It’s not bad to set goals, but to try to reach them in excess no matter the costs is a dangerous game. How far will you go until you lose your family, your dreams or even your morals? That’s up to you. Be happy with what you have and work your way up to your goals. If you lose the greed, your thoughts will be clearer. You won’t just see the money. You will also be more stable within your business and earn respect from your employees. Work to choose principle over profit.
Covet Thy Competition
Do you often find yourself looking at your competitors and feeling incomparable? Envy is an easy sin to fall into. Coveting what you don’t have yet as a new business is almost tradition. But, when you envy others, you block your focus and your drive. You only see the competition’s gain and tend to be bitter towards yourself and others. You are also hindering your business and creativity by chasing shadows. Stop. Take a look at your business plan or idea. You wouldn’t have worked to be where you are if you didn’t feel you could be successful. Be proud of what you have and what it could potentially grow to be.
Wrath as an entrepreneur is… interesting. We are creative people and, with wrath, we have a tendency to cross over to the dark side of this genius. Whether it be revenge, a loss in business or a clash between partners, this sin is never has a good outcome. While you are seeing red, your thinking is definitely not clear. Progress will slip through your fingers because you are focused on the past. If you are a grudge holder, my suggestion is simple: let it go. Whatever is causing you to lose focus is not worth the energy. The past is gone. Look for ways to better yourself and use your anger to better your business.
Lusting is easy to do. We dream of what we can have and what we can achieve, and it consumes us. We hold an uncontrollable drive to win, acquire and achieve. Though you might think that you are just driven, it could be a problem. If you lose sight of all other things besides your goal, you have lust, not drive. You need to balance and slow down. There is more to life than your goal. Take a breather and a chance to make a plan to reach your goal. Be objective about your business and take the necessary steps to work to make yourself, and those around you, happy.
When More is Not Enough
A drive to consume, destructive resource usage and selfishness all point to gluttony. If others tend to see you as wasteful and tell you that you only think of yourself, you may need to readjust. Within your company, you might have a few experiences:
- Wastefulness: Because you cannot defer reward.
- Chaos: Because you cannot plan.
- Lack of Focus: Because you are self-gratifying.
- Loneliness: Because you are unable to share.
Though gluttony is human nature, work to release it when it comes to business. More does not necessarily equal happiness. Look at what you have and be happy. If you want more later in life, set goals to reach along the way.
For me, laziness is the hardest sin to work with. Procrastination is your best friend. Though it is okay to take a breather every now and then, being lazy all the time has horrible consequences. Because it takes time (and lots of it!) to respond, you miss opportunities. You also cannot plan or commit, which can cause problems with employees and relationships. People will see you as flaky and inconsistent because you cannot follow through. It’s time to find drive and motivation, whether it be money to support your lifestyle or feeling accomplished. Look at all of the things you can achieve if you put your mind to it and shoot.
Sins are hard to overcome, but so easy to slip into. Just remember, no one is perfect. The trick is to recognize them and work to be the best you can be. If you do that, your goals will fall into place and your work as an entrepreneur will be that much easier. With self-knowledge comes change, and sometimes change is good.