15 Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Entrepreneurs

To succeed in your business or entrepreneurial venture, it's critical that you check if your habits are moving you forwards toward your goals, or setting you up to fail.

15 Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Entrepreneurs

Want to succeed in your business or entrepreneurial venture?

There is no secret formula for success. Ordinary people achieve success through hard work, the right choices, persistence, and a bit of luck. However, it is critical that you identify whether your habits are moving you forward toward your goals or setting you up for failure.

Keep in mind it’s the little things you do each day that determine whether you will be among the successful or the unsuccessful people of this world.

Here are some habits of spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs that set them up to fail:




1. They doubt themselves too much.


A little self-doubt is not bad. It allows you to be cautious and not make rush decisions. However, when you are always doubting whether you are good enough, it is a problem.

Too much self doubt makes you vulnerable to quit when things get a little rough. And quitting when things get rough is not a good thing.

The most successful people in the world are not quitters. They believe in their dreams and their ability to make those dreams come true. You’ve got to believe in yourself and your abilities, or no one else will.


2. They try to reinvent the wheel.


It’s possible to bring something entirely new into the world, but constantly trying to reinvent the wheel is not always the best path to follow.

While no artist or entrepreneur wants to be seen as an imitator, the most successful entrepreneurs, creators and inventors in history learned from those who came before them. Even Shakespeare borrowed almost all of his work from other writers, but in the end there is no doubt that he made them distinctively his own.

Study your niche thoroughly, learn about the best business models and then create your own version of it. That's how successful entrepreneurs do it.


3. They wait for the perfect moment.


Timing is vital in life, but don’t buy into the obsession with the "perfect time" or "perfect moment." Moments are what you make of them.

Unsuccessful entrepreneurs waste their lives and talents waiting around for the stars to align before they do what they were meant to do years ago. Don't be one of these people. Perfectionism is a recipe for disappointment and unhappiness.

There might be a good time or moment to do something, but not the perfect time. The best time to do something, though, was yesterday. The next best time is right now.   


4. They cling to worries and fears.


Entrepreneurs oftentimes question whether they made the right decision to start their venture. They question whether they are on the right track and what the future holds in their chosen path. That is normal and expected. However, unsuccessful entrepreneurs dwell too much on these worries and fears, and it cripples their efforts toward success.

Let go of too much worrying and focus instead on your dreams. If your dreams are big and strong enough, you will beat the fears. Corrie ten Boom said it best, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”


5. They don’t see beyond challenges.


Everyone goes through trials and challenges sometimes. Successful entrepreneurs are ready for the tough times. They see challenges as a test of their resolve and perseverance, and they know better things lie ahead. A bad day is nothing more than a bad day to them.

Spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs, however, see times of adversity as the end of their dream. They make a mountain out of a molehill and can’t see beyond the challenge. This makes them stumble, fall and fail to get up.

No matter how difficult things get, the sun will always shine after the storm. Good things come to those who persevere.


6. They underestimate obstacles.


Obstacles can knock you down and prevent you from reaching your goals if you are not careful. Successful entrepreneurs understand this and leave nothing to chance. They are confident they can do it, but they still keep a healthy sense of paranoia.

Spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs, however, are overconfident and think they can’t fail. The latter brush off obstacles, potential threats and don’t think through plans. This means unsuccessful entrepreneurs are not as cautious and deliberate as they need to be.

As ex-Intel CEO Andy Grove says, “Only the paranoid survive.” A healthy dose of paranoia is critical if you are going to remain well grounded and aware of pitfalls in your industry.  


7. They make it all about money.


Far too many entrepreneurs make money the sole purpose of everything they do. Making more money can help to open doors of opportunity, relieve some stress, and give you some semblance of peace of mind, but it cannot compare with the inner peace, contentment, and pride you get knowing your work is making a difference in other people’s lives.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t make money the ultimate end game. They measure their success more by how much of an impact they are making in life. Unsuccessful entrepreneurs make it all about money only to realize later that all the money in the world cannot make you happy.


8. They try to make a big difference all at once.


You cannot help everyone all at once. Spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs try to make a huge difference in one sweeping go only to end up frustrated, stressed out, and disillusioned. Successful entrepreneurs, however, start to make a difference gradually. They move step-by-step, beginning with making a difference in the world around them. 

Focus on one person at a time, starting with the person closest to you and then reach out systematically to the rest of the world. Chances are you will make one person smile and the ripple effect of that one smile will catch on and make the masses smile. It is practical, fairly easy, and less stressful to do it this way.  


9. They try to do it all by themselves.


Spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs never relinquish control or let others help them on anything. They have a ‘King Midas Complex’ and think everything they touch will turn to gold. What they fail to realize is that nobody can do it all. At some point you will need to put your faith in others who are more talented, experienced and or skilled than you.

Allow people to help you take your business to the next level. Successful entrepreneurs show faith and trust in others and it makes them better at what they do. They are not afraid to admit when they are stuck somewhere and need help.

Let others in on your vision, actively seek help when you need it and quit micro-managing everything, otherwise life will get depressing in a hurry.


10. They compare themselves to others.


Constantly comparing yourself to others is a crappy habit that does not do anyone any good. Yet, some entrepreneurs do it all the time.

Unsuccessful entrepreneurs are always bothered by what other people are doing and burning with jealousy when others succeed. They secretly wish others to fail and that’s a shame because that negative energy could be used in more productive ways.

Successful entrepreneurs, on the other hand, know jealousy and envy holds you back. They only check what others are doing to learn what is working and improve their own craft.

Stop comparing the inside of you to the outside of someone else. Everybody is unique, situations vary and we all grow at our own pace.


11. They think they know it all.


Nobody knows everything, but spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs walk around with their noses in the air as if they have the answer to every question. They are proud, stubborn, and think they can’t be wrong.

In contrast, successful entrepreneurs are humble, open minded and ready and willing to learn. They know the day you stop learning is the day you are dead.

Ask questions and listen attentively to anyone who has something important to say. Play dumb if that is what it takes to pick the brain of someone else, and be eager to learn new ideas and ways of doing things from others. That’s how to open flood gates of knowledge, support and success in your life.


12. They avoid risks.


Life is about taking risks. Anybody who avoids risk and eschews change cannot grow. Spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs do both of these things, especially when they have achieved some success and are comfortable meeting their basic needs.

Highly successful entrepreneurs, however, take the plunge. They risk and sacrifice to achieve greater things. They embrace innovation and push the boundaries to reach their full potential. If you avoid risk and cling to your comfort zone, you are not ready to grow and don’t deserve to succeed.

Be courageous enough to follow your heart and bold enough to take calculated risks. You will be happy you did it.


13. They ignore networking and promotion.


Spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs think that if they build it, people (that is, clients, customers, partners) will automatically come. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. People won’t know you or your business exist unless you get out there and let them know you exist. You’ve got to do the leg work and promote yourself. 

As difficult as it may be to put yourself out there, network and promote your work and business. Doing so is necessary for success to come. Denise Morrison, ranked among the top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World by Forbes magazine, recognized this fact and said, “Network, because networking is working. Your ability will only take you so far. Your relationships will take you the rest of the way.”


14. They blame others for their mistakes.


Spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs love to point fingers and blame others for their own mistakes. They look for excuses and cook up flimsy reasons why something didn’t work instead of admitting fault and looking into what went wrong. That means unsuccessful entrepreneurs never learn from their mistakes and, therefore, are prone to make the same mistakes again.

Successful entrepreneurs, however, take responsibility for their actions and never shift blame. They admit fault, apologize as necessary and learn from mistakes. That means successful entrepreneurs are unlikely to make the same mistake twice. Shifting blame is the easy way out. Don’t do it.


15. They undervalue hard work.


Spectacularly unsuccessful entrepreneurs undervalue hard work and look for shortcuts, free handouts and miracles. They are always hoping to get a lucky break and hit the jackpot. They want things to come to them easily and they usually end up frustrated and bitter when instant gratification and quick fixes don’t come.

Successful entrepreneurs, however, have a strong work ethic. They know success comes to those who work hard and get things done. Successful entrepreneurs don’t do the bare minimum and pat themselves on the back for doing something. They do their absolute best and then let the universe take care of the rest. Work hard. It's been proven time and again that hard work pays.


See Also: 9 Things Exceptional Writers Habitually Do So Well.

George Mathews is a staff writer at WebWriterSpotlight.com. He covers different topics from business to health and tech stories for the publication.