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If you know me at all, you know I love to talk about the things people can do to become rich.
But the thing is that talking about the things you SHOULD do doesn't always cover the things that you SHOULDN'T do. I've been an entrepreneur for a long time, and I've seen a lot of people build (and lose) wealth during that time.
Just like there's a pattern in what successful people do, there's a pattern I see in people who are struggling to become successful in building wealth.
The good news for you is that I can easily lay out some of the most common mistakes I see people making when they're setting out to build their wealth.
I want you to really think about these and see if you can see these mistakes manifesting themselves in your own life.
If so, that's ok.
Just know that you need to start finding ways to kick these bad habits.
1. Asking “Uncle Joe” for Advice
When most people get started on their entrepreneurship journey, they'll ask people around them for advice, which is great.
The problem is that they often ask the wrong people.
They tend to ask the people who are closest to them for advice, but the thing is that "Uncle Joe" probably isn't the best person to ask for advice. Even if the advice is well-meaning, the problem is that your friends and family likely won’t know what they're talking about!
Unless you have friends or a family member that has built their own wealth, they're the wrong people to ask.
Instead, if you need advice and don't have anyone in your life who can speak from experience, try searching online for answers to your questions from people who have actually been in a similar situation as you and made it out.
Join some groups online built around entrepreneurship and building wealth. From there, you can meet people that have built wealth or are at least a few steps ahead of you.
When asking for advice, stick to people that know what they're talking about!
2. Saying, “Yes”
People who are interested in entrepreneurship fall into this trap all the time because they're typically very motivated people with a lot of ideas.
Unfortunately, motivation and creativity can be both blessing and a curse.
The thing is, I see budding entrepreneurs saying yes to every opportunity that comes their way all the time because saying yes to all these ideas and opportunities can be exciting—but it's also usually counterproductive.
When you say yes to everything, you allow yourself to lose focus. You only have so much time and energy, and if you're focusing your resources on things that aren’t helping you move forward with your business, you're wasting your resources.
You can’t stretch yourself too thin…which is why you need to learn to start saying no, even when it's something that interests you.
The more you say no to random opportunities, the more opportunities you’ll have to say yes to things that actually matter.
3. Avoid Your Impulses
Before we go any further, I want to make a distinction between trusting your gut and being impulsive.
I'm all for trusting your gut.
If you feel something may be good or bad deep down, it’s often helpful to go with that feeling.
On the other hand, you may have an impulse that pops up that isn’t helpful at all. For instance, you may get mad at someone and want to punch them in the face.
This obviously is NOT a good impulse to follow!
Now, don’t get me wrong - sometimes impulses can lead to genius. Just make sure that you put those impulses through some sort of analysis before acting on them.
4. Avoid A Wide Social Circle
Don't get me wrong, it’s great to be social.
I have a lot of friends, I meet a lot of people, and I think that networking is one of the most important skills you can learn as an entrepreneur.
But you really should limit your social circle.
Not everyone can (or should) be your friend, and having too many “friends” can quickly become a drain on your resources. In fact, there's an entire scientific principle called Dunbar's number that says people can only maintain strong social ties with a limited amount of people.
According to the principle, people can only maintain a maximum of 150 stable relationships in their lives.
Having a big social circle opens up the opportunity for more noise, negativity, distractions and weak connections. Instead of having a huge social circle, share your time, energy and life with people you actually love and care about.
I'm a successful person. I know this.
Still, I don’t allow myself to become too proud of what I've accomplished because too much pride can lead to closing yourself off to new ideas and opportunities.
Instead, I love to learn and challenge my ideas.
When I need help, I ask for help and when I’m wrong, I admit that I’m wrong.
By removing pride, I’ve been able to see things in different ways - which has helped me to be even more successful. If you want to achieve your life mission, you absolutely cannot sit back and admire your work for too long or you'll stop making progress.
Here’s the thing - YOU own everything in your life!
When something bad happens - unless it is some crazy act of the universe - you need to own it.
It’s not this person’s fault, it’s not that person’s fault - it’s on you. Your success is yours. But your failures are yours as well.
As Gandhi said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world.
If you have a victim mentality, you need to get rid of it immediately. It's NOT serving you. You are NOT the victim, and you need to stop blaming others.
In fact, this is the basis for Stephen Covey's Book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In his book, the very first habit he recommends that people develop if they want to lead a fruitful life is to take control and accept responsibility for what happens in their lives.
So, own your life.
When you own it, you can control and fix it.
7. I'll Do It Tomorrow
You need to get out of the habit of saying that you’ll "do something tomorrow.” Often times this tomorrow never comes, and you just end up putting things off over and over again.
And it goes back to the problem with saying yes to too many things. If you're overcommitting yourself and your time, you won't have enough time to accomplish what you need to do each day. When that happens, you start putting stuff off for tomorrow.
That cycle continues and repeats over and over and over again. Every time you say that you're going to do something and you don’t do it, you're letting yourself down.
Instead, you need to get things done TODAY.
That’s what hustle is really about…it’s about putting the extra hours in and getting things done when you need to get them done.
8. Fear Of Failure
What are you actually scared of?
What fears are getting in the way of your success, and are they really realistic?
The fear of failure will stop you from moving. Consider a deer in the headlights. If they would've kept moving, they would've avoided getting hit by the car.
Unless the failure would have drastic results (like death), don’t be afraid of it. If the risk will literally kill you, obviously don’t do it.
There's no reason to fear failure when you're taking realistic risks.
9. The “Free” Trap
How many times have you tried to find something for the cheapest possible price, only to find out that the product isn't any good?
That $5 shirt you just bought will only last for a month. Those $15 shoes will only last you half a year. That cheap coach didn't actually help you do anything.
If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's the free and cheap almost never solves my problem. If anything, it usually either prolongs my problems or makes it worse.
So, STOP asking for things for FREE!
When you go to the store, you don’t ask for clothes for free. The same goes with services, online products and anything else for your business.
Free or cheap generally doesn’t work out.
If you want something of value, you need to be willing to pay for it.
10. Stop Justifying
You need to stop justifying the bad things around you. When bad things happen, take ownership instead of sitting around making justifications.
It all goes back to taking control of your life and the decisions that you make.
So, when you make a mistake, don't immediately look around for who's at fault because all you need to do is look in the mirror.
Instead, ask yourself, “How can I change that?”
Rich people don’t justify their mistakes, and they definitely don’t make the same mistakes twice!
Bad Habits To Avoid
Look, I know that changing old habits is difficult.
I've had to do A LOT of work on myself to get to where I am today, but I can look back and tell you with confidence that it was 100% worth it.
If you avoid these 10 things you’ll be able to get out of your own way and start making the money that you know you deserve!
(Note: Want to take this content with you on the go? Check out The Fighting Entrepreneur podcast episode here, and don’t forget to subscribe!)