Are you standing in the way of your progress?

Valrie Grant

Entrepreneur Managing Director, GeoTechVision

Chairperson, Small Business Council


When I speak with entrepreneurs they usually have a vision of a successful business. Sometimes however, it seems that notwithstanding of all their hard work they are stuck, there is that inability to progress beyond where they are. For many, this year has so far simply been a rerun of last year. For others they feel they are now further away from their goals than they were at the same time in 2016. If you can relate to this – could you be standing in the way of your business success?

Often, the greatest hindrance to real business is not an external force but the internal road blocks we have created. These internal roadblocks may include but are not limited to bad habits, poor time management, lack of self-confidence and our limiting mindset. We may also decide to allow external obstacles to become internal ones. For example, if a family member does not think you would make a good entrepreneur  and you let that prevent you from pursuing entrepreneurship, you’ve turned an external obstacle into an internal one. These obstacles may cripple our success and leave us in the place we started – our comfort zone. The comfort zone can really be a very dangerous place as it offers us the illusion of security, it is where we feel safe from failure and rejection but it is also our hiding place from the opportunities that we fail to take. Business success usually comes with some measure of risk taking. Would it be helpful then for us do some self-examination and focus on whether we are creating roadblocks to our success? Let’s examine a few of the most common internal barriers that prevent our success:


  1. Lack of self-confidence

It is often said that what we conceive in the mind, we manifest with our actions – do you believe that you will be successful? Many times we sabotage our success by believing we do not have what it takes to succeed.


  1. Comparing ourselves to others

We minimize our talents and accomplishments when we measure ourselves against some unattainable ideal. Additionally, when you watch what someone else is doing, then you are not focusing on what you need to do in order to attain success as defined by you. You must therefore focus on your own business.


  1. Freezing ourselves in time

Are you holding on to the past along with all the emotional baggage of the past? Often we are unable to recognize that there is nothing we can do about the past except move on and learn from it. Give yourselves the permission to move on. Do not be frozen by the mistakes of the past but forgive yourself for past mistakes and move on.


  1. The need to be perfect

No matter how many revisions of our work we may have made it will never be perfect. We must therefore not aim for perfection of a product or offering but strive to provide real value to our clients. We should recognize and accept the distinct difference between giving your best and trying to be perfect.  Progress is always better than the need to be perfect – if you try to attain perfection, you will never get to market. In the world of product development, continuous improvement is necessary and accepted. It is the model used by all the big successful companies.


  1. Fear

The fear of failing can be immobilizing and can cause us to get stuck, do nothing and hinder our progress in business. We miss out on great business opportunities when we allow fear to cripple us. Yes, you may fail at some things but that is also a part of the journey. The important thing is how you recover from that failure. To borrow from George S Patton, “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” So even if you should fail try to view it as a detour along the way and learn from that experience, regroup and be ever more determined to achieve your goal. There is much value in overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges.

I could list many more internal barriers that we have given power over our success but you would still realize from the above barriers, they would all be things that we each have the ability to change. It would therefore be wise to take some time to periodically reflect on you and to identify the internal obstacles that may be preventing you from having big impacts. Achieving success in our business will not happen by chance –it begins with you! So are you standing in the way of your success?


If you have a question related to this article or just a general question on entrepreneurship, write to us at . Your question may be addressed directly or in our next article.


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