Doubts, as a whole, are healthy as an entrepreneur. They keep you on your toes, and they keep you honest. However, there are some doubts that don't help in any way. All they do is make you perform less and negatively impact your mood and mindset. Negativity, even in the form of the seemingly harmless doubt, can start bringing you down. Think of how the sea can eventually wear down rocks.
While it doesn't mean you should invest in a vision board, it does mean that you have to keep an eye on your mindset and which doubts you choose to entertain. You've got enough problems to deal with without letting yourself become your own worst enemy.
Here are a few of the most damaging doubts you need to wrangle if you want to succeed.
1. Thinking Failure is Inevitable.
You're going make mistakes as an entrepreneur, and that's okay. What's not okay is believing that ultimately, you're going to fail. The numbers don't lie — most start-ups fail within their first year. You start asking if you're really that different if you actually have anything different to offer that people will actually buy.
The fact is failure is possible, but you can't believe you're doomed to it. You have to believe that things are going to work out. If there is evidence that suggests failure is indeed on the table, and it's not just in your head, do something about it. Don't just sit at your desk and wait to close the doors.
2. Thinking That You're Not a Real Entrepreneur.
There are plenty of jobs in the world that require a degree or certification of some sort. But, being an entrepreneur is not one of them. That's what makes it so great – anyone with a lick of business sense and a good idea can become an entrepreneur. Knowing that, however, may not keep you from thinking you're not a real entrepreneur.
This doubt can come from anywhere. You could wake up one day, hear something on the news about a famous businessman and listen to how he graduated from a famous college. Hearing that he owes his success to his education can put a damper on your hopes. Push the doubt out of your mind because nothing is really keeping you from being an entrepreneur if you want it.
3. Thinking That You're No Leader.
It doesn't matter whether you're an introvert or an extrovert. When you're in charge of a group of people, you may feel that you're not cut out to be a leader. This is a debilitating doubt, as leading your employees is one of your most important responsibilities.
The fact is there's no such thing as a natural-born leader, only people who appear that way. That means you can learn to become one and the only thing in your way is the voice in your head saying you can't. If you find that even after making an effort that leadership really isn't in your bag of tricks, you can opt to hire a CEO to take care of heading the company.
4. Thinking That You Can't Sell.
It takes a specific kind of person to sell their own products without batting an eye. The problem is entrepreneurs rarely have a choice whether they want to be salespersons or not. It's not just about making the pitch or convincing someone to buy your product – it's about presenting the idea that you believe in what you're selling. If you can't do that, you'll have trouble getting anybody to get on board with your idea.
Fortunately, being a salesman is like being a leader — all the skills required can be learned. Just remember that ultimately you're not out to talk to every customer you have though that may be necessary at the start. It's more about selling yourself and your belief in the product to potential investors and early customers.
You're going to face enough negativity from people around you as an entrepreneur, so why add your voice to the chorus? Keep in mind that not all doubts are bad. Doubt informs your decisions and forces you to double-check your assumptions. It keeps you on your toes. It's these doubts you have to look out for, as these are the ones that paralyze you and keep you from being the entrepreneur you could be.
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Angie Nelson has been a virtual assistant and serial blogger since 2007 when she took her future into her own hands and found a way to escape the corporate cubicle farm. Today she shares her passion for making money from home on her blog TheWorkAtHomeWife.com. Sign up here for her free email series, 7 Days to Finding Work from Home.