It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of success. You imagine how wonderful it will be when your company takes off and how you will spend the money you make.
This is what you say you are thinking, but do your decisions and actions tell a different story?
Are you telling the world that you want to succeed and are afraid of failure – but in reality, you are terrified of being successful instead? Do you inadvertently sabotage your chances?
Here are some telltale signs you are sabotaging your own success:
1 – You don’t make changes.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
When you let fear of success control you that is what you do. You watch different aspects of your company struggle day in and day out, but you don’t try new methods or put alternative practices into place to make tomorrow better.
This is a common question I ask entrepreneurs who feel buried in their business. What did you do today to make tomorrow better? What technology could you invest in or process could you document to make your business run more efficiently?
2 – You change course too quickly.
It takes a new initiative about 6-9 months to prove out whether or not it works and you must allow this time. You can sabotage your success by stopping good practices too soon.
Did you stop attending a networking event before you solidified important connections? Are you keeping up with your weekly blog posts? Are you discouraged that no one shared your one social media post or that you didn’t gain any followers the week you “tried out Twitter”?
All of these important activities require consistency, patience and focus. The payoff is rarely realized until significant time has been spent.
3 – You haven’t set any goals.
It is important to establish goals to measure your success and to help you plan for the future. It’s when you see your company passing milestones that you have an understanding of the success you have experienced. This feeling of accomplishment prevents you and your team from giving up too soon.
The goals you set must include actions to be taken at each achievement–hiring a new employee, introducing a new technology or process, looking for outside funding–so you can successfully handle new business without it becoming a burden.
4 – You take unnecessary risks.
Risk is an entrepreneur’s drug of choice. While it is true that some risk is necessary to be successful in business, I see many entrepreneurs implode their core business because they take on an unnecessary risk or bet their main money making enterprise on something untested or new.
It’s far better to establish new ideas or concepts separately with a distinct budget and operating group to provide for transparency and accountability.
When kept as part of the overall business, it’s hard to measure if a new risk is successful or not and it can easily drag the entire business down.
An awareness of the ways you are sabotaging your own success will help you address the tendency before it impacts you and your business.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.