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5 Lies Business Leaders Tell Themselves

Any of these sound familiar? Here are the top five fibs entrepreneurs believe--and why they're holding you back.
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I advise entrepreneurs and small business owners as they work to move their companies to new levels. I find that one of the reasons they are stuck is because of a lie they are telling themselves.

It's when they realize the lie--and decide to do something about it--that they finally see breakthroughs personally and in their business.

Here are 5 lies I often see business leaders believe:

Lie #1- It will get better tomorrow.

Tomorrow won't be any better unless you do something today that changes what happens tomorrow. If creating systems and making processes repeatable never makes it on your busy agenda, tomorrow will never be any better than today.

Realizing you are telling yourself this lie--and then taking steps to do something about it--will save you from fighting the same fires and facing the same issues day in and day out.

Lie #2--If we only had more money.

If you are not paying attention to the basics--cash-flow, accounts payable and margins, for example--more money will only provide a temporary feeling of relief followed closely by the same cash constraints you are seeing today.

When you watch a pitch event or Shark Tank, pay attention to how a lack of understanding the financial fundamentals is the reason investors choose not to invest. Investors understand that an infusion of capital will only be a temporary fix unless the company leader pay attention to, and improve, the underlying financials.

Lie #3--We just can't find the right people.

It's not about the individuals on a team, it's about the structure you put those individuals in. You need to learn the strengths of your existing employees and understand it takes a patchwork of styles and strengths to be successful.

Don't fall into the trap that most entrepreneurs and small business owners do of trying to find and hire people that are "just like them". Your company will never be successful in attracting or retaining talent until you start building your teams to be complementary.

Your hiring issues may not be about who you are hiring, but what you do after they start. You must take the time to properly on-board, train and provide feedback to keep your employees and teams functioning smoothly.

Lie #4--We have a great idea, we just need to educate the market.

Unless you are Amazon, Google or Apple, there will never be enough money or time to educate a market on how to use your company's product or service. You must translate your value proposition from a list of features and functions to what it does for your customer.

This is especially difficult for technology-based companies to grasp because their great idea has so many new features, functions or innovative ways to solve a problem. You must boil your message down to the one key benefit your product or service provides and use that as the wedge to introduce the rest as you build trust with a customer over time.

Lie #5--There isn't enough time in the day.

If there isn't enough time in the day for you to accomplish your work, you need to learn how to do a better job of delegation.

Offloading even the simplest tasks--managing your calendar, booking your travel, for example--will give you time back and can provide you with the confidence to start entrusting even bigger tasks to those around you. Your job should be to figure out how to make your company run without you. You are the primary driver of the overall strategy and you need to find ways to give yourself time to focus on that important task.

This is not an all-inclusive list of lies that I see entrepreneurs and small business owners telling themselves. What is the lie you believe? By identifying and addressing it, you will be amazed at the progress you can make towards your company's goals.

Last updated: Jul 17, 2014




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