As a new entrepreneur, you might battle limiting beliefs or unrealistic expectations that you’ve yet to flag or identify. However, as you progress in your business, you’ll learn there are certain ideas and habits you’ll need to shed in order to reach your fullest potential.
The first step to doing so, of course, is acknowledging what you must set free. Below, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members shared the most important things they gave up in order to advance in their careers. Here’s how letting go helped them move forward.
I left a desirable job in finance in New York to help a rapidly growing tech company expand to Japan. Since I returned to the US, I’ve started two entrepreneurial ventures, both active, and one at the early stages of significant success. Prior to that journey, I lived a very comfortable lifestyle, but I sacrificed that for the ability to make an impact and gain unique experience. Particularly as an entrepreneur, there is a tremendous financial sacrifice required at the early stages. For high-growth tech startups, that continues for many years thereafter until there is an exit or, at a minimum, there are opportunities for secondary placements. That said, I wouldn’t change a thing and there’s no place I could have had a greater impact or accumulated similar potential upside. – Carlo Cisco, SELECT
2. Creature Comforts
I gave up some of what many people consider creature comforts. I gave up a lot of sleep, I gave up watching Netflix and I gave up constant social media monitoring. You will not impress the boss with your knowledge of Netflix shows, and when they see you checking your phone every five minutes, it is a red flag. One of the silver linings about giving up these “creature comforts” is that I filled the space with more productive pastimes that eventually helped me level up in my career. I listen to podcasts instead of watching Netflix, I meditate instead of checking my phone and, most importantly, I learned the difference between self-care and comfort. Seeking comfort can waste time, while self-care practices can make you infinitely more competitive in your career. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
3. The Idea That Success Means ‘Me’ Time
“Once I find success, I’ll have time for myself.” That one is a true myth. The more success you find, the busier you tend to be. You have to make time for yourself and other areas of your life (health, family, travel, etc.) or it will never be a part of your routine. I still struggle with this! Missing out on life to be successful will often leave you unhappy. Redefine what success looks like. It should include but not be defined by your career achievements alone. I often told myself, I have to do this (work) so I can’t do that (what I want). Find a balance, otherwise, you will begin to resent the career you are advancing. I’ve certainly gotten better at not guilting myself into being constantly busy. – Jennifer Buonantony, Press Pass LA and PPLA Social + PR
A big struggle at the beginning of my career was giving up perfection. My sales methods were rigid and I had high expectations of success, so failing over and over again was particularly stressful. It took a while for me to realize what success meant and, quite frankly, still means in business. You fail until you succeed and then fail some more as you raise your standards or innovate. Failure isn’t the opposite of success but a part of it. It’s a signal that you’re taking chances and that you’re on the right path to a win. Shedding that limiting belief meant I got to understand my market before I created products and services and that I’d have to tweak them to adjust to the consumer and not the other way around. Progress became natural after this mindset shift. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
5. Instant Gratification
One thing I’ve given up in order to advance in my career is instant gratification. Delaying gratification whether in fitness or business brings the most rewards. The greatest accomplishments are achieved when you’re patient and when you fall in love with the process. – Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME
During my time as a business owner, I’ve had to learn how to let go and give up control in most situations. While there’s a lot that you have control over as a business owner, there are always going to be unforeseen circumstances that occur. It’s important to learn to give up control over exactly how you envision your business unfolding. This doesn’t mean sacrificing your vision, morals or ethics, however. It simply means you understand that you won’t always get the outcome you hoped for, and that’s OK. Your shortcomings help you improve future strategies and move your company forward. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
7. The Notion Of A ‘Nine-To-Five’
It’s not because I work more, but I have a family and I need to balance time with them and running a business. I’m also in a very different time zone. Instead of working a straight nine-to-five day, I break it up to fit my family’s needs. With shorter, more defined hours of work I actually get more done because I feel under pressure. – Kerry Guard, MKG Marketing
8. Waiting Instead Of Doing
My biggest limiting belief has been “It’ll get better when…” or that I have to wait for something to happen in order to make a big change. The truth came to me when I read Simon Sinek’s book The Infinite Game. Business isn’t finite, and the best businesses aren’t built to win; they’re built to keep going. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There is no waiting until things get better. Only you have the power to go out there and make your situation better. There is no end and the only goal is to keep going toward your goals. – Steven Knight, Mosaic Home Services Ltd.