4 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Avoid

An excerpt from the book Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur, by Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD. Charlene is an entrepreneurship coach, branding mentor and speaker. 

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is all about working on and developing an entrepreneurial attitude by making certain shifts in the way that you think. A mindset shift related to taking action will be central to your success in terms of not only having the confidence to get your business off the ground, but also in regard to what you’ll need to do every single day to keep moving your business forward.

Taking action is a key component of an entrepreneurial mindset. Thriving business owners are doers, not merely dreamers (although I do encourage you to aim high).

Being an effective founder, however, is not just about the things that you must do but also about the things you should avoid, and understanding this distinction is another vital aspect of your entrepreneurial mindset shift.

For starters, productive entrepreneurs avoid overscheduling.

Although they make the most of their time by being focused and productive, they refrain from overcommitting to the point where they’re not able to get anything done. One simple rule of thumb I use to decide whether or not I will participate in additional tasks or obligations is to analyze whether my participation does anything to further my end goals (like those related to my business or brand) or means something to me personally. If not, I decline politely; you should, too. Entrepreneurs are smart with their daily routine and focus on accomplishments vs. hours.

Thriving startup leaders also avoid mediocrity.

They go big or go home, looking at life as a challenge and giving their all to those things they commit to. High-achieving moguls treat each new project and opportunity as if they are auditioning for their next big gig. So many times, people have said to me, “You are so lucky. You get to do such cool things for work.” I simply reply that these experiences weren’t part of my day-to-day but merely opportunities that I created for myself or my business. You, too, must find your own chances to shine. No one is going to hand them to you on a silver platter. Then, once you get them, execute upon them by going into full glow mode. The most effective business owners strive for quality and excellence in everything they do—and you are no exception.

Successful founders also avoid beating themselves up.

You can’t win ’em all. You have to embrace failure and learn from your mistakes, be open to feedback, and use each opportunity as a chance to improve. Masterful moguls understand that the more they fail, the more they’ll ultimately prevail—it’s part of the game. I’ve had plenty of setbacks, rejections, and points where I wondered if I was going in the right direction, but I didn’t set up camp in them. I packed up my tent and found a new spot. You must too. Grab your gear and move on.

Last, prosperous entrepreneurs avoid avoidance.

Execution is their sport, and they tackle things head-on, including tough conversations and challenges. They don’t leave anything to chance. Thriving business owners are master communicators and are much more proactive than their less profitable peers. Although it can be uncomfortable at times, being direct is the only way to obtain the information needed to get what they want. Their ability to anticipate and see opportunities and threats makes them action oriented and highly valued leaders, and you are one of them.

The path of an entrepreneur is not an easy one; however, if you are committed to making the necessary mindset shifts, both you and your business will thrive. You’ve got this! Go make it happen.

Excerpt from Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur: 10 Mindset Shifts for Women to Take Action, Unleash Creativity, and Achieve Financial Success by Charlene Walters (McGraw Hill, February 2021).

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