The biggest problem entrepreneurs have usually isn't the amount of time in the day, the validity of the pursuit or even the ability to consistently work hard. It is usually our mindset. Without a grounded foundation, our minds can distract us from what is really important.
Business maven Marie Forleo has gone down the path herself, transforming her online brand into a small empire helping entrepreneurs thrive. Forleo shared the number one problem she sees in entrepreneurs on the Creative Live special 30 Days of Genius:
One of the ways people really screw themselves up is going on social media and comparing themselves to others, or comparing themselves to others in general. You're going to be off your game for at least three or four days , you're going to feel like s**t, you're going to get obsessed with their Instagram and their Facebook. You're going to think, "I'm never going to get there! They've been there before! There's no room for me!
There is a one-two punch here. First, Forleo is looking at the flip side of what Brene Brown calls "comparative suffering": While Brown talks about people taking pride in their life burden being heavier than others, Forleo is showing how we give undue credit to others for being better than us when, in reality, they are often not. As the popular saying goes, don't compare your life to someone else's highlight reel. Social media is the ultimate highlight reel.
Second, Forleo is addressing the scarcity mindset. We assume that for others to win, we must lose. It is a mentality that sets us up for extreme decision making, which ultimately leads to burnout and burnt bridges.
The cure is to cultivate your confidence and cultivate your product: Know the one thing you are uniquely suited to do (In The Productive Bite-Sized Entrepreneur, I call it your "core") and then tailor it so that it sings clearly to whomever needs it in their lives. Do those two things and it won't matter how much more successful other people seem to be. You'll be too busy making sure you resonate with the people who matter to you the most: Your customers.