Tuesday, October 2, 2012

7 Reasons Some Entrepreneurs Don’t Meet Their Potential

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.
No one ever said being an entrepreneur is easy. Creating your own business and career path is tough — and succeeding in this lifestyle seems to require an elusive mix of traits.
After all, most of the entrepreneurs I know are intelligent. They are hardworking and usually at the top of their given field. However, all too often I’ve watched these smart people go from thriving in the workplace to struggling as a business owner.

There are numerous reasons why some entrepreneurs make it big, while others flounder. Here are seven key reasons why some entrepreneurs fail to live up to their potential.

1. They Don’t Have a Passion for Running a Business

Passion is usually not in short supply with entrepreneurs; however, this doesn’t mean that all entrepreneurs have a passion for what’s needed. Many times, people have tremendous passion for their product, service or technology — but this doesn’t necessarily translate into a passion for managing a company. Running a business doesn’t just mean developing a product; it takes sales, dealing with customers (and investors), finding partners, managing employees, vendors and more.

2. They Need to Please

Kindness is a wonderful trait — and one that we need more of in business today. However, a relentless need to please can be detrimental to the entrepreneur. People with this tendency often overextend themselves in the workplace and bend over backwards for others. In short, it’s hard to achieve your own goals when you’re constantly focused on trying to make everyone else in the room happy.
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you’ll need to recognize the difference between being generous (i.e. wanting to help a customer or colleague) and wanting to avoid conflict and disappoint others.

3. They Can’t Work Without a Playbook