The 3 Most Regrettable Mistakes that Almost All Entrepreneurs Make
The 3 Most Regrettable Mistakes that Almost All Entrepreneurs Make
How to navigate the downfalls for lasting success
Many people leave the corporate world to pursue their dreams of financial freedom and to gain control of their own time again. However, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and stuck when you’re faced with new challenges. Being in charge of your own time comes with a lot of self-regulation which makes it really easy to get lost. It is in these overwhelming and crowded moments that the burnout of working hard to pursue your future can really pull you down.
Many people fail in moving beyond this point, because they try to do it all on their own.
I developed this guide with the 3 most frequent mistakes every entrepreneur, including me, inevitably seems to make at some point and how to prevent them.
#1 The attachment you have to your business
Especially in the beginning stages of your business, the euphoria and enthusiasm often trump any logical reasonings. You’re putting in more hours than in previous 9-5 jobs, yet you don’t mind because you’re enjoying the dopamine rush.
However, consider your life cycle: when you’re born, you’re arriving with no material or intellectual possessions and then when you die, you’re leaving the world the same way.
Looking back at my own journey as a new entrepreneur, I was nearly obsessed over my business. I spent countless hours preparing and producing content for either myself or clients. We grow up hearing phrases such as work hard, so you’ll have it easier later – especially as a business owner. However, I sacrificed myself in more ways than I can count. The attachment I formed to my business was becoming an obsession, and before I blinked, I was thinking and working 24/7. Not to mention, I was always striving for perfection in every aspect of my business which meant I was giving myself unrealistic expectations.
I realized that one of the mistakes I made was the attachment I had to my business.
Growing up, I watched my mother sacrifice her time, money, and health for her business. Parents are our first teachers and often also our idols growing up. It doesn’t come as a surprise that I adapted that practice for my own business as well.
I connected success with sacrifice.
This made me realize that I can build my business, grow, and pursue my ambitions without sacrificing everything else and, more importantly, without getting too attached to it.
Many people build their business and fall for this obsession to sacrifice themselves. They fall for the false notion that extreme sacrifice translates into success. They end up falling into the same trap they left corporate life: all work and no play. A work-life balance is the key to success. If you burn out, you won’t excel not only in business, but in other parts of your life as well.
While it’s tempting to overwork yourself and put those additional hours into growing your business, keep in mind that time is something you can’t get back. The future isn’t promised. Many people harbor serious regrets because they didn’t choose to use time in their favor. Time management doesn’t happen by itself. It is a choice and it is something that takes constant acknowledgement and discipline. Remember, you left the corporate life and started your own business to make life easier and less stressful. You saw an opportunity for a brighter future for you and your loved ones and it is important to remember why you began.
Mastering the integration of meaningful time into your life outside of your business is crucial to build a life where you have financial freedom. Too much time spent on business could actually hinder it – and your personal life.
My Tip: Learn from my mistake and consider detaching yourself from the outcome of your business and instead, focus on the present moment. Enjoy the growth and enjoy the process. Greatness is not built overnight, but over time. Take each moment as they come and live your life to the fullest. Remember this simple cliche: stop and smell the roses!
#2 Neglecting your personal finances
No matter the stage you’re in, whether it is day one or year six, you are your own investor– especially when it comes to progress and development. Oftentimes savings are drained to invest into growth opportunities. Many entrepreneurs are so focused on growing their business and generating income that they forget to create additional streams of income to add to their portfolio.
Many fail to remember rules of entrepreneurship state to not mix personal and business finances. However, this frequently happens when you’re too focused on business growth and the business income. We fail to recognize that as we take care of our business, we slowly neglect our personal finances.
As entrepreneurs, we have to take care of personal matters first before taking care of anything else.
You can read more about my personal story in: Unlocking The American Dream
I have also been guilty of focusing primarily on my business in various matters which includes finances. This didn’t change until I made a few changes and started diversifying the way I generated income.
For example, consider the profession of a physician. The profession is glorified for becoming wealthy and many fail to realize it is a huge investment to become a doctor. Needless to say, many years of education (including large student loans) are needed to acquire the skill set to run a successful practice.
One of the reasons some aren’t successful in private practice is because they’re missing the financial literacy involved. They are an expert at serving others, but often neglect their own finances which eventually becomes their downfall.
Generating wealth, building your business, and serving others – that’s the prime example of success. However, it can be dangerous if you lose sight of personal finances.
Regardless of how long you have in business, the types of expenses typically don’t vary much. Business expenses involve marketing, innovations, developments, and more. Some are absolute necessities to have your business operating and others may just be a personal preference. Nevertheless, you (and you alone) have control over costs and it can become quite an overwhelming responsibility at times.
My advice on how to approach it? Pay yourself first.
This means investing in your personal financial future. Entrepreneurs do not have pensions and the future of social security is in shambles. Pay yourself first by setting aside an amount regularly in order to secure your future. Remember, you are your primary, and therefore most important, investor!
By taking care of your personal life first, you can take better care of your business and others around you.
Do you need help building your own personalized wealth blueprint? I invite you to become a member of the Financial Genius Academy for free, where you will learn how to develop a financial plan for the future.
#3 Time management and burnout
Many talented and highly skilled entrepreneurs tend to overwork themselves because they aren’t satisfied with their results. This issue frequents with being overly attached to your business and can lead to you losing sight of your health.
As business owners, our passion and mission are to serve the world, make a difference, and have freedom. We get into the business to build a lifestyle. It is so important to remind yourself of why you left the corporate world.
Ironically enough, entrepreneurs, especially new ones, find themselves falling into the very trap they were running from to begin with. In fact, sometimes freedom seems farther away than ever before.
Despite having advanced time management skills, I’ve made this mistake as well. I remember working long hours and still not being satisfied with my results. I was always striving for excellence and perfection. I was working on my entrepreneurial growth to the point I compromised my health and relationships. If I didn’t spend enough time with either my business, family, or myself, I quickly felt guilty and that led to overwhelming anxiety. I often thought that the day wasn’t long enough to fit everything in, so I even sacrificed sleep as well.
Does this sound familiar?
When you’re so focused on your ambitions, you often won’t even think twice to sacrifice other aspects of your life if it means success in the future. Wishful thinking, such as having freedom for the rest of your life, drives such habits that will eventually burn you out. I realized that creating a strategy and a balance within my lifestyle is crucial for my physical and mental health.
Before you burn out and quit, I highly recommend: Focus on the present moment.
Learning to focus on the present moment is an incredible tool that often gets overlooked. As you are working on one task, focus solely on that one task – without worrying about other responsibilities at the same time. I have found that it really helps to block off times in my schedule for specific things. If it is time to work, my family knows not to disturb me. When it is personal time, my family is quick to remind me not to let my work life intervene. Time blocks such as these are equally essential to strengthening relationships both personally and professionally. Next to business and personal time blocks, it’s crucial to schedule self-care because it can be easily forgotten. Self-care is a critical defense against burnout and is an important building block of entrepreneurship.
Similar to muscle memory or any other good habit, proper time management doesn’t develop overnight.
Managing and blocking off time blocks will help prevent burnout while increasing performance. Neglecting yourself and your health will lead to decreased performance and less desired results. By focusing on present moments within each block, you won’t lose yourself in the process of building your business. Take heart and remember mastering this system will not happen overnight. However, with patience and diligence, you can and will succeed.
Nonetheless, it’s essential to stay flexible for unpredictable events in either personal or business life. My Tip: leave some blank blocks to constitute for unpredicted meetings or emergencies.
Unsure how to design efficient ways in life that will drive success? Consider reading my book Freedom Through Investing and leverage my knowledge towards your financial freedom.
Entrepreneurship is versatile with many responsibilities and it includes managing not just your business, but also yourself. For many, it can be a challenge to set a schedule and abide by rules; nonetheless, it is crucial not to lose sight of your end goals, even if it means slowing down to get control back. Entrepreneurs often struggle to allow their business identity and personal life to coexist, but I am living proof that it can be done with these recommendations. Preventing these three mistakes may be a challenge, but it is worth the fight. Remember, we chose entrepreneurship for a reason.
Trust the process to secure a better future.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Team Angeline Wehmeyer
Angeline Wehmeyer is a successful entrepreneur, real estate investor, speaker, and author of the book “Cracking The Rich Code”. An entrepreneur at heart, she has explored many business ventures over the past decade and experienced highs and lows when it comes to success. Today, Angeline is most passionate about educating clients on the power of investing using easy to understand wealth principles through her course offerings and individual coaching.
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