9 Things You’ve Got To Let Go Of Before Starting A Business


To be human is to struggle. Not always, but often enough that we subconsciously develop clever little mechanisms to ease the struggle.


We develop belief systems that help us avoid admitting our own shortcomings. We make choices that are based purely on pain avoidance. We even run from likely success to escape the less likely risk of failure.


In other words, we pick up a bunch of crappy habits that won’t serve us as business owners.


Here are nine attitudes, habits, and perspectives you’ve got to let go of if you hope to succeed as an entrepreneur. And because it’s easier to pick up a new attitude or habit than get rid of an old one, I’m throwing in nine replacement attitudes so you know how to adjust your focus.


Let’s get into it.


1. Other People’s Vision

This is huge. So many business owners get caught in the trap of building a career around someone else’s vision. I’m talking about things like:

  • Chasing the business idea your buddy says can’t lose.
  • Entering a specific field because your parents consider it “secure.”
  • Keeping your goals low so none of your friends get the idea that you think you’re hot stuff.
  • Building a career around your spouse’s vision for you.


It’s hard to get other people’s voices out of your head long enough to hear your own voice. It’s even harder to make a decision when you know you won’t get the support of the people you love the most.


But it’s really hard to build a successful career doing something you don’t care about.


Replace it with: 


Your vision. What do you value? What do you love to do? Who do you want to work with? What strategies align with your vision? How do you want to spend this one and only life?


When you have your answer, write it down and refer back to it constantly. Nothing else matters.


2. Your Comfort Zone

If you want to succeed as a business owner, you’ve got to grow. Constantly. And there is no hope of growth inside your comfort zone.


When you feel that instinct to run towards the familiar, notice what you’re running from. What is uncomfortable about the challenges that lie outside your comfort zone? How could you grow by confronting those challenges?


Replace it with:


Curiosity and a willingness to sit with fear. Paradoxically, the more you allow yourself to be afraid, the more comfortable discomfort becomes. Because you learn that you are strong enough to push through your fears and you’re guaranteed to be better on the other side.


3. All That Finger Pointing


“The competition has more money for advertising.” “My family doesn’t support me.” “People are so entitled these days; I can’t pay the kind of salaries technicians think they deserve.”


Business ownership presents you with a million opportunities to blame someone else for your disappointments. This might feel better than self-reflection, but you do something very dangerous when you constantly point the finger:


You give your power away. If the competition, your family, and “people” all have the power to stand in the way of your success, what chance do you have? 


Replace it with:


“How am I going to turn this challenge into an opportunity?” Ask yourself this question every time you feel the urge to blame someone else. This helps you develop a habit of proactivity and cultivate the belief that you are 100% responsible for your life.


That you can build any kind of life you want. Because you can. 


On that note:


4. Your Sense of Limitations


You probably see yourself as having certain “limits.” Most people do. 


Maybe you think you can only expect yourself to generate enough business to scrape by because you’re “bad at sales.” Or you just kind of wing the accounting aspect of your business because numbers are “over your head.”


You know what these ideas are? Pain avoidance. You’ve struggled with certain things in the past—maybe even failed and suffered major consequences. Now you avoid them altogether. You say they’re impossible to overcome. 


As a result, you get stuck and miss big opportunities to run a powerful business.


Replace it with:


The habit of searching for possibilities. So you’re not great with numbers. Can you take a course on business money management at the local college? Is there a colleague who can help you figure it out in exchange for you helping them in your area of strength? Can you afford to hire an accountant?


Find the detour instead of obsessing over the roadblock.


5. The Need to Be Right

When you lead a team, you might feel a lot of pressure to be the one who knows what to do. A lot of business owners know this pressure, and it manifests as a stubborn false confidence.


They won’t hear others’ ideas out of a fear of looking ignorant. They don’t want their team to see them asking for help, and they take respectful feedback as a sign that their employees don’t trust their expertise.


But the truth is, you’re not great at everything. No one is. And we hire teams for a reason. You should be surrounding yourself with people who have expertise that is different from your own. This is how you make powerhouse decisions.


Replace it with:


The active choice to learn from those around you. It might be hard on your ego at first, but trust me: your ego will settle when you discover that this move makes you appear more confident and secures the trust of your team.


6. Your Resistance to Failure


By all means, analyze the data, strategize carefully, and make the best possible decisions with the insight you have.


But don’t be so afraid of failure that you never begin. 


Failure is a means of gathering more data. If something you thought would work didn’t work (and it happens a lot, even with all the strategizing), great! You have new information to work with.


Replace it with: 


Preparation paired with boundless curiosity and a willingness to start before you’re ready. (You’re never ready, anyway.)


7. Your Focus on the Negative

What you focus on grows. If you start each day thinking about how you’re not making enough revenue to hire a receptionist or you’re not schmoozy enough to sell your services, you’re going to get more of the same. It’s not a Law of Attraction thing; it’s simply that our thoughts direct our actions.


But if you approach each day actively looking for opportunities, you’re going to find them. If you focus on the resources and advantages you do have, you’ll create more of them.


Replace it with:


An abundance mindset. What’s already here for you? How can you use it to grow?


8. That “All or Nothing” Attitude


You know that amazing feeling when you’re struck by inspiration to make a major life change? You’re going to eat better or start running three miles a day or triple your revenue in one year.


So you go all in super hard for a couple weeks. Inevitably, you run out of steam and ultimately give in to the “reality” that you’re just not disciplined enough.


It’s not true. You’re probably plenty disciplined. (And even if you’re not, that’s another skill you can learn.) It’s just that big, permanent growth demands a more gradual approach. You need an approach that allows you to experience more frequent wins so you can keep your enthusiasm going.


Replace it with:


One small change at a time. This can be hard when you’ve got big plans, but those small changes add up fast, and before you know it, you’re a whole new person.


9. Reactive Decision Making


Unexpected problems arise constantly when you’re running a business. In fact, you can expect to have your plans interrupted on a pretty much daily basis.


The problem here is not the problem themselves but the fact that most of us have the instinct to just make the problem go away as quickly as possible while sparing ourselves any additional pain. That’s just a survival instinct. We want what’s easy, comfortable, and quick.


Unfortunately, you can never build anything that way. If you’re constantly putting out fires instead of starting new projects, the best you can do is tread water. 


Replace it with:


A willingness to pause. When something comes up that makes you want to freak out, stop and breathe. Think it through. What is the best decision for your business? Do you have an opportunity to learn or grow through solving this problem? Or is it a better use of your time and energy to delegate it to someone else so you can focus on big-picture growth?


Embrace Discomfort

As you can see, most of those bad habits that hurt us in business are the ones we develop because we’re trying to stay safe. We’re trying to avoid failure or humiliation. We’re trying to keep others happy and stay in our lane.


But you can’t build anything while you’re on the defensive.


You’ve got to be bold. You’ve got to run towards your fear. And you’ve got to discover just how much you’re really capable of.


Further Resources on This Topic


Blog Post: 9 Signs You’re Ready to Start Your Own Business


Blog Post: 5 Mindset Shifts to Improve Your Leadership Skills


Free Video Course: Personal Development for Business Success


Free Ebook: You Grow First: Tips for Advancing Your Business Through Self-Development


Book: Get Out of the Truck: Build the Business You Always Dreamed About


Opportunity:  911 Restoration still has territories available for driven, growth-focused entrepreneurs. You bring the Fresh Start attitude, we'll provide the training and support you need to thrive immediately. You can visit our website to find out why Entrepreneur ranks us #5 among franchises for less than $100k.

Created: 1st Jun 2022