10 Reasons Young Entrepreneurs Fail

turdlesWe hear all too much about what you have to do to become successful.  I have discovered one proven way to become successful…Fail often.

How do I know this?  Well, we won’t get into that right now.  I have come to terms with distinct character traits that hold back young entrepreneurs and when repeated, will definitely keep you from succeeding in your business and life in general.

Lack of Punctuality

Being on time, every time, is a necessity in business.  If you cannot keep your word, you cannot be trusted.  Successful people will instantly make a judgment on your character through your punctuality.  Once you have a respect for your own time, you create posture and people will start to respect yours.  Purchase a day planner to organize you schedule and make a to-do list every night before bed.

They Said It Best: “I could never think well of a man’s intellectual or moral character if he was habitually unfaithful to his appointments.” -Nathaniel Emmons

Read This: No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs

No Persistence

Approaching with “I’ll try this business” attitude will put you out of business faster than you got in.  There is no trying in business. There is success and nothing else.  Failure is just a step in the process.  A friend told me once that he used to fail 3-4 times just to make sure he had it right.  Every time you fail, it get’s easier and easier.  You must get your running shoes on because being an entrepreneur is a marathon.  You must train yourself emotionally to have lower highs and higher lows.

They Said It Best: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” -Harriet Beecher Stowe

Read This: Excuses Begone!

Selfishness

You are going to be broke if you try to be a one-man show.  Without other people, you don’t have a business.  It is not much fun being wealthy and on top without anyone to share it with.  What if you could make $100,000 by going out there and hustling to close sales or make $125,000 by giving and helping people?  Which would you choose?  Sounds like a stupid question, but did you know that givers end up earning more?  Your question should not ask how much you can get in payment for your product or service until ask how much value and service you can provide.

They Said It Best: “No one has ever become poor by giving.” -Anne Frank

Read This: The Go-Giver

Scarcity Mindset

Competition will destroy your business.  Rather, the thought of competition will destroy your business.  You most likely grew up with a negative energy toward money.  Maybe money was prevalent or maybe the lack of it was always the topic at the dinner table.  What ever it is, it is not your fault that you think money is scarce.  It was hardwired into your brain since a child.  But, you can’t grow a business on a scarcity mindset.

They Said It Best: “Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” -Wayne Dyer

Read This: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Lack of Clarity

It’s easy to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit.  Having a clear, distinct, carved out path is the difficult part.  At times, you may feel as if you are not disciplined.  More times than not, it is an uncertainty on your destination.  If you did know where you wee going, you probably would know what you had to get done.  If you do not know where you are going, any road will get you there.  Ask yourself, what can I do better than anyone in the world?

They Said It Best: “Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what he loves.” -Blaise Pascal

Read This: Good to Great

Fear

Paralyzation by fear will halt you in your tracks.  Entrepreneurs usually fear what is unknown.  They process is going to be unfamiliar to you.  You can combat this with knowledge.  Our minds, which are our own worst critics, often jump to imagining improbable situations when we consider stepping out and taking risk.  When you find yourself in fear of what might happen, stop and ask yourself, “How bad will things be if I DON’T do it?”

They Said It Best: “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” -Rosa Parks

Read This: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

No Humility

The moment you stop growing, you begin dying.  The true meaning of humility means dark, rich, fertile, organic soil.  Soil poised for growth.  Many young whippersnappers already know everything about business.  Their confidence is better know as arrogance and ignorance.  I was one of those go-getter’s.  I was right and nobody could tell me otherwise.  That was until I learned to never miss a good chance to shut up.  We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

They Said It Best: “Humility leads to strength and not to weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.” -John J. McCloy

Read This: Aspire! Discovering Your Purpose Through The Power of Words

Being Comfortable

You are a spitting image of the 5 people you surround yourself with most.  You will experience growing pains early on and it is your choice if you decide to go back to what feels comfortable or to continue to reach and stretch your comfort zone.  The longer you stay attached to those who bring you down, the longer you will hold yourself back from getting what you want.

They Said It Best: “If you want to be comfortable, take an easy job. If you aspire to leadership, take off your coat.” -Unknown

Read This: Think & Grow Rich

Poor Communicator

People will walk all over you and not take you serious if you cannot communicate clearly what you want.  Effective communication is the basis for all relationships and where most people fail is they think it’s just about telling people what they want.  Communication is actually based on the ability to listen and understand on what others want.  Next time you’re on a sales call, realize that no one will hang up on you while they are talking.

They Said It Best: “The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.” -Rachel Naomi Remen

Read This: How to Win Friends & Influence People

Lack of Discipline

The lack of discipline leads to wasted talent.  If you can’t harness that talent and put it into action every day, you don’t have a business, you have a hobby.  If you lack discipline, you must stop and ask yourself what you really want.  If you were really doing what you were passionate about, you would have no problem doing the work, and creating that thing which summons your joy.  When you find yourself all over the place, lacking discipline, this is the right time to step back for a moment, examine your life, and decide what you really want.

They Said It Best: “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.” -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Read This: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  • This was a great post Brad. Some serious essentials for anyone to know!

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  • avinkline

    Very well written. Great list.

    -avin

  • Thanks Mike. Appreciate it.

  • This cracked me up….via @ImNickArmstrong on Twitter “Thanks Brad – you've made me buy a book, you jerk (re #1)”

  • I love the “they said it best” portions. You do an awesome job. I appreciate all your hard work.

  • amandahite

    This is so freaking spot on. F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C post!

    • Thanks Amanda. Love what you and the team are doing over at TR! Cheers.

  • brettkopf

    This is a great list Brad, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Always nice to read some entrepreneurial material from a young person doing it!

    -Brett

  • “We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.”

    I like that! Is this a Bradley Will original?

    Selfishness is the biggest thing that's holding me back. Nice list, Bradley!

    • Just learning from experience Nick. My friend Carlos said it best…”I would fail 2-3 time just to make sure I got it right.”

      Thanks for your honesty Nick. Why do you feel it holds you back? What are your thoughts on competition?

      • Selfishness, along with arrogance, holds me back because I want to do it all and I think I can do it best. Haha, it sounds horrible, but it's true.

        However, I'm getting better. I may have found someone to author a book for me under the JuniorBiz name. Hopefully I'll be meeting with her this weekend.

        No problem, Bradley! Honesty is something many people lack and your honesty is one of the main reasons I enjoy reading your site.

        • Nick,

          You should feel that there is one thing that you can do better in the world than anyone else. The problem comes when that thing is driven by ego. I always felt I have to fake it until I made it when I was in the real estate industry. Authenticity will always win. By showing humility and a willingness to learn, you will attract great people that will help you get to where you want to be. Otherwise, the arrogance will repel people away and attract more of the same.

          If you are open for it, I would love to hear more about your situation. Let me know if you want to set up a call next week. To your outstanding success Nick.

  • Very good ideas to keep in mind!

  • Excellent post Brad! Short and Simple, what many YE's need! Too many times these days I see posts/articles about how to get started that are about selling some system (Only $49.95!) or about gaining “affiliates”. Thanks for giving the people what they need!

    I especially liked the “they said it best” quotes and links to related stories to expand on the topics. You know what you are doing, that's for sure!

    Keep em coming, Keep em guessing!

    • Thank you Tyler. The best student make the best teachers. I like to share my inspiration with my readers. The people that lead with them money and the product will always find themselves chasing the dollar.

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  • Very nicely done. I appreciate the books with each topic too! I'm always looking to expand my “To-Read” list!

    • Thanks Josh. There is a Jim Rohn quote that reads something like “Poor people have big TV's. Rich people have big libraries.” Keep hustlin!

  • Brad this was wicked blog post man. You bring the goods all the time.

    Thanks to you today I am adding 2 of your recommended books to my library The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People & Good to Great. Thanks for your inspiration and guidance.

    @kylegriffith

    • Thanks Kyle. I write from my biggest challenges I have faced. Good to Great changed my life. Study…I mean really study the Hedgehog Concept. Cheers!

  • Hi Brad

    Very well said. Thanks for the inspiration.
    I think to be successful – The fire within should keep on burning.

    • Great point Harmeet. The fire must keep burning. To keep it burning, it must be clearly defined on where we are going. If not, we can get burnt out quite quickly! Thanks for the comment.

  • Kevin Browne

    I find that most TRUE entrepreneurs ALWAYS fail due to money for one reason or another.

    We seem to have been born with a willingness to work 26 hours a day, but when it comes to the finite amount of money, that is where I see myself having stumbled HARD in the past.

    Great post.

    • Kevin,

      The money was a HUGE stumbling block for me to get over. The biggest realization was that I can do the things I love and that give me life every single day whether I am getting paid for them or not. Things just flow with so much less resistance when we let go of the money. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  • I like the post Brad, but I wish you had numbered each reason! I think it would have made for an easier read.

    It is almost scary reading this because I find myself embodying many of these reasons! I certainly need to work on the last one, “Lack of discipline”. Because I like to be involved in so many things, I find that my overall effectiveness is decreased significantly and I have not been reaching my full potential.

    I really like how you added a helpful quote and a book to read after each reason as well.

    • Hey John,

      Thank you for the great feedback. Were you asking for a ranking on particular order? Discipline is something we all struggle with. I have learned that the lack of discipline is something that ties in your directly with your vision. It is much easier to get what you have to get done when you have a clear cut path on where you are going. I suggest you read this post to help you on that:

      http://www.bradleywill.com/2009/07/22/how-to-fi

      Once you eliminate and focus on one or two things, better opportunities will come to you in abundance. Thank you for the comment John. Keep rockin!

  • wow… that is unfortuantely true!
    If you lack discipline, you must stop and ask yourself what you really want.
    – I strong agree!! I should ask that myself over and over again!

    • And might i add, if we don't know where we are going, any road will get us there. Ask yourself this question Dennis: Is what I am doing at this very moment moving me closer to where I want to be?”

      If it isn't, run away fast!

  • HelenRappy

    Such awesome insight Bradley!! I love that you are putting this out there. I think lack of discipline and persistence are very very important and are certainly big players for true success, they need to be a top focus on a daily basis! I look forward to your words of wisdom, keep em coming!!

    Thanks!!

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  • This is a fantastic post. As a 55 year old blogger on astrology and business, I'd say these ten reasons apply to all entrepreneurs, not just young ones. I really appreciate the “They said it best” and “Read this” segments; they show the thought and true generosity with which you write your blog.

    In fact, do you mind if I post this to my blog, with reference of course?

    • Thank you Ellen,

      I agree with you. This information can be resourceful for anyone. Please do share with anyone who it would be of value to. Thanks!

  • This is a great article !!

    Each of the point mentioned is very right.

  • Punctuality is a huge killer, it is a huge pet peeve to me and makes me question the other person's dedication.

    Unless there is a good reason of course!

    • Where do we really learn how to be punctual? Maybe it is from our parents and how they respect their own time. Obviously it doesn't come from school because after 16 years, I would still tend to be late. After being made an example of a few times, I learned the hard way that successful people weigh heavily on punctuality.

      We know the truth Justin.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • ryanlermitte

        Great post Brad.

        As a young entrepreneur swinging for the fences it`s amazing how some of the things you mentioned get pushed back as one grows their business.

        Just recently I`ve been lacking the focus and have had to step back to get clarity in my life. It`s always great reading insightful articles that remind me I`m not alone in my struggles as a young entrepreneur.

        Thanks!

  • glorious

    Powerful, thought-provoking and straight to the heart of a young entrepreneur. Thanks Brad

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  • cjosephperianayagam

    Excellent direction. They say that the only person you can change is yourself. The more the personal change, the better the productivity. Thanks

  • TanyaLee

    What an excellent post Brad! I”m sending it to my business partner for her to read as well.

    Absolutely agree with so many of your points! Discipline is essential. Every entrepreneur would benefit from reading this before going into business for themselves. Freedom from cubicle “hell” may mean being married to a business. Good to know what you are up against and if it really is the right path for you *before* you are in knee deep. It helps to remind myself of areas I could also use more focus as well!

    Some people mentioned lack of money as well. That is huge,sad to watch some wonderful businesses that don't make it because the cash flow is just not enough.

    PS Love the picture you used, classic!

  • GlobalWonk

    Bradley,

    Awesome post! Great inspirational message for all of us.

    Best Regards,

    Jim

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  • Fantastic post. I would add lack of Passion. If you don't have a 'Why' for building a successful business there's no basis for the blueprint to get you through the rough and glory roads. Keep up the great work.

  • well said! Discipline is key!

  • davidemillombard

    Stellar job as usual, Bradley. You've mentioned what are basically my top 10 favorite and most recommended books. Specifically; every entrepreneur must change their 'money blueprint' w/ Harv's book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and Think and Grow Rich – the new version with the workbook, is just standard issue. Great job again man!

  • davidemillombard

    Stellar job, Brad. Specifically; Harv's 'Secrets of the Millionaire Mind,' – a must to re-program you for a big entrepreneur 'money blueprint.' About 'Think and Grow Rich,'…if you own a business and haven't read this, get on it! They offer it w/ a workbook now. Have fun watching everything change as you apply what you read ; )

  • Haley

    I randomly just found this blog when I googled “old vs. young salespeople.” I am 23 years old, right out of college, and I have an interview this week for a medical device sales position. My competition is a 45 year old male coming out of management and a lady in her 30's who's bored with pharm sales. This blog will definitely help boost my confidence this week, and certain excerpts will definitely be echoed in my interview. Thank you for this, Brad!

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    Haha, I like the picture. It's funny.

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  • Sam

    Brad, you rock man. This was just the boost i needed at the time i needed it. Rock on brother.

  • I laugh every time!

  • thanks Sam!

  • Glad I can help Haley. Let me know how I can be of service : )

  • thanks David. Great recommendation. I love that book. It was pivotal in my life.

  • Agreed. Chasing a dollar will not get you very far.

  • Anonymous

    Brad,
    Great post!
    I plan to share your words of wisdom with the new Life on Your Terms community.
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  • Great post, Brad!

  • I love it Brad. First time I followed you from FB to your writing and it was worth the trip 🙂

  • Love this entry! I’m pretty young and ambitious, but I often times find myself like the octopus on roller skates. I know what I want for the most part, I just need to connect how to get there from here :). However, it will come. Keep writing these articles b/c you have tons of people, especially aspiring young talent, who are listening.

  • Super article! Your style is so fresh compared to most other writers. Thank you for posting when you do, I’ll be sure to bookmark your site!

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  • Ahmad Chohan

    I seriously underestimated communication skills up-till now. Great work Will.

  • I’ll rate the Lack of Humility as the highest. It’s good to have a Vision. Also good to listen to others’.

  • Your right lack of displacing is a key factor of failure.

    However your can also become a successful entrepreneur: See: http://bit.ly/txRQXY

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