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4 Basic Reasons why Entrepreneurs FAIL

Every small business starts with a dream. But, it takes more than ideas to achieve our goals. As entrepreneurs we need knowledge and resources to help our dream come to fruition.

Startups are not for the faint of heart, important to know that 90% of the start-up fail

The stories about brands exploding on Social Media or otherwise are inspiring but few and far between. And the “overnight” success stories usually have a long periods of hard work and preparation

People get to be entrepreneurs for many reasons, and they are ALL valid. Each entrepreneur has their own story

Entrepreneurs start their business never thinking about failing, they work hard, put their efforts, time, passion and money into their start up unfortunately many fail and the success rate is not that high

As in everything in life that looks like a mystery, there are myths around entrepreneurship. And as any other endeavor there are challenges and opportunities. Today we are sharing some of those myths or misconceptions.

Our intention is to offer you more clarity in discovering yourselves, exercise better relationships with others, and increased business success.

Entrepreneurs have a unique set of mindsets and skills that combined create success, entrepreneurship is not a job it is a mind set and a mind shift from bad habits to other healthy habits and most importantly to make these new habits stick

It is a learned ability so we can all learn to become successful entrepreneurs but we need to be attentive to the environments round us

The best skill an entrepreneur can learn and apply is the “Speed of implementation” which means applying whatever you learn right away and use it immediately especially if you have a great idea, please do not let it die, or do not wait to implement what you learned.

To be successful entrepreneurs need to balance 3 things in their lives-

1- The business needs: For growth and customer service as well as innovation and creation

2- The entrepreneurs’ needs including those of their family

3- The needs of the customer or clients

Not necessarily in that order

Before I start discussing the 4 main reasons (in my book) why entrepreneurs fail. I want to share the definition of “entrepreneur”

  1. Entrepreneur: Comes from French word meaning undertaking or self-motivation (Entre) connect things build or self-motivate to create a business.

  2. They are managers, owners or people that run business. Someone that starts. Creates or offer values for customers they are innovative

  3. Most importantly they are risk takers they leave the safety of the status quo and comfort of the world they know to take a risk towards success. Human beings are programmed to avoid change or avoid loss it is normal for human beings to be prudent to protect themselves – but entrepreneurs overcome the tendency to play safe and they take calculated risks over and over till they create opportunities

  4. They are persistent people, things do not always work as expected, so when things get rough entrepreneurs need to keep going they commit their time, life and money take risks to succeed.

  5. They are creators of value: To others either as creating jobs for others – or creating products and services to their customers

In short, Successful entrepreneurs are defined as people who, by means of vision and hard work, have managed to achieve a measure of control over their own destinies and, at the same time, have developed a healthy balance in their lifestyles.

Entrepreneurs do what they do to create profitable businesses. Their entrepreneurial style is created by a complex set of behaviors and attitudes that impact their flexibility or rigidity when facing obstacles and achieving tasks, and how they solve problems and even offer customer service

It sounds counter intuitive that failure in entrepreneurship could be that high, as entrepreneurs fail not because they are not trying, or not trying hard enough or not persevering in the contrary.

During the last four years and some being a "Business Advisor at SBDC" (A subsidiary of S.B.A.) helping small business grow their business, and after working with over 420 small business owners I started seeing common threads going through the different profiles of entrepreneurs that either do not make it or those who get stuck

Here are the 4 main reasons why entrepreneurs fail – there are few more but we will just discuss the main ones

Most, if not all entrepreneurs get emotionally attached and involved with their own ideas of business that they lose any other perspective around them

  1. It is not about “YOU”: Entrepreneurs spend every awaken hour working on their ideas especially in the beginning, they think that they have the best unique idea ever created and get into tunnel vision where they only work on what they feel represents them

  2. It is not about “YOUR PRODUCT or YOUR SERVICES”: Entrepreneurs work very hard on their products and services without doing their proper research on what is needed in the market just to discover that they wasted their time, money and sometimes sacrificed close and family relationships to build their product

  3. It is not about what “YOU KNOW” it is about what the client think: Knowing what entrepreneurs want to do, knowing what they have a passion for, preparing their business and marketing plans are not enough to start or grow a business.

  4. Build it and they will come: Entrepreneurs build their business, either get a space or start an online business stocking their inventory, hire web designers to get the best websites with bells and whistles, and wait for clients and customers to come knocking at their doors. It doesn't work that day anymore, build it and they will come is a thing from the past, now a days your website need to be functional prepped with S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimization) requiring you to stay on top of your game with Marketing and Social media and be committed to WORK IT day in and day out.

Also having the wrong definition of Success is an ultimate obstacle: Thinking that success is measured by only money. Success means different things to different people, none of these meaning is right or wrong. If the definition of success is not clear from the beginning, trying to survive in the business can make entrepreneurs forget what success to them is. Success should be what inspires you no matter what it is.

As an entrepreneur try clarifying and focusing on your “WHY”: then dig deeper by asking few more times “WHY: s to get to the bottom of your purpose that leads to your own definition of happiness

The remedy for the all the four (4) points is: To get to know your clients, research your clients, and find your clients:

  1. It is not about you – it is about your clients and what they behave, and feel

  2. It is not about YOUR products or services: It is what your clients need as products and services and what they are missing or what problems they do not have a solution for

  3. It is what you know- it is about what your clients think about what they think they want

  4. Build it and they will come: You need to keep engaging your clients on their turf, the way they want to be engaged, that will take time and patience. It is important to:

  • First properly identify your clients

  • Listen to them, their problems and their needs

  • Engage them where they are (That is why you need to research where your clients hang out online or offline)

  • Promote your business by pulling them towards you not pushing your business on them by becoming a credible source of information and education

Basically it is about defining the proper niche of your audience, define the proper audience, create their persona based on psycho-demographics traits and characters not only demographics, you need to get deep to segment your market properly and remember that trying to appeal to everyone is appealing to no one, Jack of all trades is master of none. Finding the right niche leads to your success which leads us to the next point.

If you think about anything else please add it to the comments here so we can all help each other


Connect with me on:

Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh

Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant-

Transformation Coach - The Fear Whisperer

Reinvent Yourself To Greatness (Product of Sahar Consulting, LLC)


I help Professional, career oriented women entrepreneurs and start-ups stuck in their lives, unemployed , individuals, indor in a job they hate, or in transition, struggling with figuring out what to do next, spinning their wheels in the same place; to show them how regain control of their lives, conquer their fears by moving out of their comfort zones that results in a journey of discovery to define their purpose & passion and become the person that achieves both happiness and success in their lives.




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