Starting a business of your own can sound either daunting or exciting – or a bit of both. It certainly did for me.

I never actually planned to run a business but now that I do, I love it.

Being my own boss is a lot harder in a lot of ways than I ever thought though. So many things I didn’t know have shaped the whole experience and my success. And while everything is still a work in progress – I’m nowhere near where I would love my business to be in a lot of ways – I have learnt a few things that I wanted to share with you.

5 reasons why people don’t succeed with their business

I’m aware that this sounds pretty negative but I hope it made you look. If you are your own boss, have a read and tell me how you feel about all these aspects that can come between you and your business’s success.

1. Your environment

You’ve probably heard this before: You are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with.

Apparently, this is used to help you understand who you are but actually, anybody around you can influence you in a number of ways. Basically, the people around you shape the messages you hear, the conversations you’re having and what your dreams and aspirations might be.

We like to surround ourselves with like-minded people and to find them, you need to have an understanding of where you’d like to get to in life.

So, to be successful, it’s helpful to be around people who don’t just have similar values and support your ideas, you want to have someone around you who is where you’d like to be.

Those who don’t understand you, doubt you or don’t have the same values might take you off track. People who’ve been where you are and have moved on to a place you’ll see yourself at in the future, those are the ones you’d want to keep close.

Our environment shapes us so much more than we’d think.

2. Money

Money and finances are a big topic and crucial to a successful business. And that’s not just in terms of how much money you are making, you price your services or products or what you invest in.

Very important is also your mindset around money. We all have money blocks – they never go away, no matter how much money you make. But you can acknowledge them and shape the way you talk and think about money.

I’ve read a few books on the topic that really shaped my mindset around making and spending money. If you feel like you’ve got something to learn, I’d really recommend you to read (affiliate links):

Jen Sincero – You are a badass at making money

Denise Duffield-Thomas – Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!

Robert T. Kiyosaki – Rich Dad Poor Dad

3. Not making decisions

Do you know that feeling when you have so many decisions to make and so many choices to make them? And then you don’t do anything?

It’s called analysis paralysis – the fear of feeling unable to make a decision due to overthinking a problem.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. But the thing is, without making a decision, nothing will happen. What we tend to forget though is that we’re allowed to change our minds. We’re allowed to change our focus or our offer. We’re even allowed to change our audience. And actually, all of that will happen over time anyway.

A new business has a lot to do with trying and testing things. See what works, see what feels right. And change direction when needed.

Every YES for one thing is a NO for another. And that’s a good thing. You can’t do everything at once but you can decide what’s important now and see how it goes over time.

There’s so much power in just making a decision. So make it! And then go from there.

4. Personality

ok, this is a big one.

We all know that people buy from people. But people don’t buy from everyone.

We like to spend our time, energy and money on businesses that align with our own values. But if a business doesn’t tell us about their values, doesn’t show any personality whatsoever, it’s hard tu understand who they are.

Even big brands like Coca Cola, Dove and Tesla have a specific personality. We know what they stand for because of how they appear and how they market their products.

It’s the same for a small business, except we have the advantage of showing our face, our own personality and personal values which are so powerful to connect with our audience.

Through personality, it’s easier to show what sets us apart from any other business that offers the same thing we do. Because more often than not, we are the unique selling point of our business/product/service.

As scary as it feels to show up as ourselves, it’s what connects us to those we want to serve. Your personality is crucial so don’t be afraid to show a bit (or a lot) of it.

5. Brand and Branding

Along with your own and your business personality comes your brand identity. It’s absolutely linked to you, your values and your products or services.

While I don’t think that a logo, a colour scheme or the design of your business card will make or break whether someone is going to work with you, they definitely play a part in how someone judges or perceives your business.

But brand, branding and brand identity are more than a logo, a colour and a font. It’s communication too. How you communicate your values, how you talk about your offers, how you treat and speak to customers and clients. All of that is an important part and can really be crucial for the success of your business.

If you reply slowly, aren’t consistent with your messages, have lots of typos in your copy, have a sloppy design, don’t pay attention to user experience on your online channels… That’s what will make a huge impact on whether your business is going to succeed or not.

I mean, there are probably more reasons why some businesses succeed and others fail but personally I would say, those are dealbreakers. As a small business, you have the advantage of being authentic, personable and react quickly without having to jump through the hoops a corporation might present to you if you were to make any changes.

So make use of the flexibility you have in your business.
Don’t be afraid to make decisions and don’t worry about changing priorities or focus if needed.
And good luck with your business!


And if you need some imagery that relates to your offers and values and helps you be more visible, maybe it’s time to think about a personal branding photo session?

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