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Why 80% of Businesses Fail (Mindset & Management Ain’t It)

by | Leadership

8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start a business fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn.

That’s a widely circulated and scary statistic and there’s tons of different reasons why businesses fail, year over year.

Or are there?

The fact is, only a really small percentage of people succeed in any kind of endeavor, regardless of their marketing & sales tactics, mentors, courses they buy, processes they build, industry or even their own abilities.

Why is this?

It’s not because of a lack of information or opportunity, it’s not even because of a lack of mindset, though you could argue this one is the next biggest offender.

The reality is, the number 1 reason why you will fail in business or in anything else in life is that succeeding isn’t a must for you.

For any of you who are familiar with basic psychology principles, you might already know that the brain is much more motivated by pain than it is by pleasure.

That means that the brain will go to immense lengths to avoid pain than it would go to in order to gain pleasure.

What does that mean for you?

Think about your every day life.

Paying your bills isn’t fun and isn’t bringing you any sort of pleasure, but if you don’t do it, you won’t have electricity, water or internet, which will cause you pain.

Going to work every day isn’t a pleasure for most people, but if you stop going, you’ll get fired, you’ll lose your income and that will cause you all sorts of pain.

Chances are, you not having a successful business isn’t causing you pain right now. You might have another source of income if your business is a side gig, or you might have something to fall back on if it doesn’t work out, or you are simply content with your current lifestyle and are not in any immediate pain right now.

The people who really succeed in business are the people who have massive pain associated with living a life of mediocrity. 

Giving up or failing is not an option for them.

Success from a place of comfort is incredibly hard but tapping into that place of power that we all have when our back’s against the wall and have to, not just want to succeed, makes us absolutely unstoppable.

So how can we tap into that?

I’d say the secret lies in how you set your goals. Everyone thinks “man, having more money would be really awesome right now” or “I wish I had a Porsche to drive around in” or “It would be awesome to be a really successful business owner and be my own boss”.

But that isn’t enough.

You need to dig deeper and anchor these goals in your heart and in your mind with really powerful emotions. You need to think about all those deeper benefits that having those things will afford you and get so emotional and fired up about them that it almost makes you want to cry.

It may sound harsh, maybe even a little masochistic, but by the end of it, there needs to be real, emotional pain associated with you not having those things you wish for.

That pain is what will drive you to show up every day and give it your all to make it.

Your second biggest enemy will be overwhelm. You’ve set those big goals and now you’re staring at them paralyzed because you have no idea where to start.

Overwhelm is the enemy of progress and the only way you’re going to be able to keep building momentum is if you are able to feel good about the progress.

So now we’re giving your brain a double dose of motivation, one by keeping that pain in mind and second by allowing yourself to feel pleasure because you’re making progress.

So make sure to break down your goals into smaller milestones and set achievable outcomes for yourself every single week.

And don’t forget, I don’t want to dive in too deep about this on this video, but done beats perfect. Something is better than nothing, so don’t get hung up in all the details, get a minimum viable product out there and make improvements as you go along.

Remember your WHY every time you end up feeling discouraged, frustrated or things get tough. No endeavor is going to be fun and smooth sailing 100% of the time so there will be times where you’ll have to grind your teeth and work through it.

If you find yourself losing your motivation, take a step back and go back to what motivated you to start your business in the first place. Keep your goals and your deeper WHY’s always on the back of your mind and remind yourself why failing is not an option for you.

Your WHY needs to be stronger than any discomfort you might be feeling at this point.

That being said, taking a break every once in a while to recharge your batteries is totally acceptable and encouraged, just be careful not to fall of the wagon.

So now we’re at the final tip which is also the hardest one to achieve because it requires a leap of faith and a lot of risk.

This isn’t for the faint of heart and I can’t actually recommend it to anyone but it is important to put out there.

So long as you’ll have a safety net under you, you will never really give it your all. The most powerful motivator is not imaginary or potential pain, it’s actual, real pain.

It comes from throwing away your life vest and making swimming the only option available to you.

Think about all the success stories you’ve heard from people like Jan Koum or Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs quit college and worked out of his parents’s garage. 

Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, came from poverty and had to work at the grocery store to keep himself alive and learned computer networking from second hand books. He dropped out of college to co-found WhatsApp as soon as they had the idea for it.

So while quitting your job and going all in on your business isn’t something I can advise to anyone without getting into legal consequences or crossing the boundaries of your trust in me, I wanted to put it out there because from a psychological point of view, it is one of the most powerful ways to light a fire under your ass.

Just don’t take foolish, unnecessary risks, make sure any decision you make is a calculated one and you think it through.

So now I have a little action item for you. Go ahead and go to a quiet place and give yourself 30 to 60 minutes to figure out what your why is for starting a business. Why is it not only important but NECESSARY for you to succeed? What’s going to happen if you don’t?

Once you have that answer, I want you to always keep it in the back of your mind. Do whatever you need to do in order to achieve that. Print it out, share it with your loved ones or post it in the comments.

And if there’s anything I can do to help you get there, let me know in the comments down below.