So a few years back, I had the awesome opportunity to speak at a big event in the fitness industry.
I had a lot of fun, even though my presentation and slides shit the bed. So I had to make up a presentation on the spot. Talk about stressing out.
Anyway, I spoke about success, and what all successful entrepreneurs have in common.
After interviewing hundreds of them up to that point, there was a bunch of common themes I noticed.
So that is what I presented on.
- Time management
- Laser-like focus
- Overcoming obstacles
And all the usual success stuff we hear.
Well, it’s been a few years since that event.
After interviewing a ton more entrepreneurs over the years, I noticed a few more things about successful entrepreneurs that needed to be shared.
Now this is very different from any other success post I’ve ever seen. So I’m just warning you. It may piss you off, and you may disagree. But that’s cool. These are my observations and notes from conversations I’ve had after talking with thousands of successful entrepreneurs over the years.
I wrote this so you could see the truth about entrepreneurs and what many of them will never admit. Especially when it comes to what it really took for them to find happiness and success.
Obviously what you read below is not about every single successful entrepreneur. But they all deal with at least a few of the items below.
Oh, and an interesting note…
It’s many of these things below that made them who they are. These are the real truths.
If it wasn’t for a lot of these things, they would never be where they are today.
So here ya go…
The 67 Real Truths Successful Entrepreneurs Are Afraid To Admit
- They’re Not Really Sure Who They Are – This is the case for so many entrepreneurs. You can usually see this happen when they constantly are creating different businesses and services and never focusing on one thing. And yes entrepreneurs are supposed to create a lot of things, but a lot of those things they create are just ways for them to try and figure out who they are.
- They Created Their Businesses To Avoid Their Real Issues – This sounds a bit crazy, but it’s true. A lot of entrepreneurs have deep seeded emotional issues. It’s part of what makes them successful as an entrepreneur. But those same issues are also very scary to face. So they bury their heads in their work so they don’t have to face the real issues holding them back.
- They Wear A Mask – You’d be surprised how many really successful entrepreneurs wear a mask to cover what they don’t want us to know. If they don’t know their true identity, they wear a mask every day all day. That’s because they don’t want people to know that they are unsure of themselves. They want people to believe that they are successful and in control of every part of their lives. But many of the aren’t. So they put on a front.
- They Are All F’ed Up In Some Way – Even the most successful entrepreneur is f’ed up in some way. They’re no different than anyone else. The only difference is they realize they’re f’ed up and are willing to spend a lot of time on bettering themselves.
- They Are Not Leaders – Blasphemy you say. How dare I say that an entrepreneur is not a leader. Well it’s true. Most entrepreneurs are followers. That’s because at some point they didn’t know how to get where they wanted to go, so they “followed” others who have done it, and have made the journey easier.
- They Don’t Really Enjoy What They’ve Built – Now you wouldn’t think this is true based on their success. But for a lot of entrepreneurs it is. Many just created their business for the money. They never really stopped to think if it’s who they are. Since they built a business just for the money, a lot of them are just miserable.
- They Are Not Happy – This is also true for a good portion of entrepreneurs. Not all of them though. They built their businesses because they wanted to live the lives they dreamed of. In reality, they focused so much on the business and put so much time into it, that it runs them. Since they spend so much time in the business, they don’t spend enough time on themselves and understanding what really makes them happy.
- They Are Easily Influenced – Just as many entrepreneurs are followers, there are many who are also easily influenced. If they are not sure of who they are at their core, then they are easily influenced. You’d be surprised how many successful entrepreneurs are easily influenced.
- They All Steal From Each Other – O.K. it’s not like they’re breaking into someones business and robbing them. It’s more like they are borrowing things. They see what’s working for others and they copy it. Most times they will tweak it for what they are doing. But other times they will blatantly just copy or steal it. Think Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
- They Are Not Superhuman – Regardless of what is portrayed on social media, their websites, or in their messaging, they are human and not everything is perfect in their lives. They have bad days. Some have horrible relationships and family issues. Many are emotionally a mess. They caught up in a lot of drama. etc. But like I mentioned before, we are all f’ed up to some degree..
- They Are Scared – The bigger the business and life they build, the scarier it gets. They are responsible for employees, more mouths to feed, more moving parts, more complications. So they are really scared and a lot of them fear it all falling apart.
- Their Fears Are No Different Than Anyone Else’s – They feel fear just like everyone else. Many times at a much higher level. The only difference is they’ve spent a ton of time working on their mindset and how to overcome the fears they have.
- They Worry Too Much – There’s a lot of pieces of their business and lives they have to juggle to make things work. Since there is so much going on it’s hard for them to NOT worry about some part of it. A lot of times it’s worrying too much about everything they have.
- They Work Too Much – Now this isn’t for all of successful entrepreneurs. But there is a huge thought process that says “to be successful I have to work 80+ hours a week.” That’s not the case, but they do that anyway because that’s what they’ve created for themselves, and that’s what they’ve been led to believe to have a successful life and business.
- They Stress Out A Lot – With so many moving parts to their business and lives there’s a lot to manage. So their minds are on overdrive all the time. They are always doing something in the business, and constantly thinking about what they need to do to move it forward.
- They Put Themselves Through Information Overload – We always see successful entrepreneurs talk about what books they are reading, or what they are studying up on. That’s a great thing, but it’s still a lot of extra info they take in. Many of them still take in more info than they actually apply. Me included.
- They’re Afraid To Talk About Their Issues– In reality, every entrepreneur I’ve come across deals with this. They don’t want to share that they’re screwed up. Sharing their issues means admitting weakness and vulnerability. Admitting that means they will not be thought of as successful.
- They’re Afraid To Be Vulnerable – Just like above. They believe vulnerability shows weakness and failure. But it’s human nature that we are all vulnerable with something.
- They Overcomplicate Things – You always hear about systems, and simplifying things. A lot of times the simple things don’t go smoothly and the systems don’t work. That’s because they’ve overcomplicated everything.
- They Screw Up… All The Time – They’re not perfect. Far from it. And they probably screw up more than most people. But that’s because they are constantly trying new things to help their business or personal lives.
- What Others Say About Them Bothers Them – It doesn’t matter how much a successful entrepreneur says “I don’t care what someone says or thinks” it eventually will bother them. Just stating that they don’t care, shows that they do care. They are human, and what some people say about them does get to them.
- They’ve Hurt People – Not in an intentional way or really meaning to. But as they grow their business and lives it’s inevitable that they will come across people who disagree with them on something. So entrepreneurs have to move on, and sometimes in doing that it hurts others. A lot of times it’s the people closest to them. But it’s part of their growth process, and it makes them better a better person.
- They Don’t Listen To Their Gut – Well, a lot of times they do listen to it, that’s one reason why they are successful. Other times their brain gets in the way and overrides what their gut is saying. That’s when they run into problems.
- They Still Don’t Say “No” Enough – It’s surprising how hard it is to say no. Most entrepreneurs truly want to help people. It’s in their nature. So saying no is really hard, but over time successful entrepreneurs do get better and better at saying no.
- They Lose Focus – You always hear successful people talk about how focused they are. Well, it’s impossible to stay focused 100% of the time. So they lose focus and get distracted by a lot of the things most people do. It’s normal. A lot of times it’s their brain telling them they need to slow down or take a break.
- They Lack Clarity – Just like when starting out, there are times when they are not clear on what they are doing. It could be they are trying something new or reached a new level in their business, and they don’t know what or where to go. All successful entrepreneurs go through this. It’s part of the process.
- They Don’t Take Care Of Their Health – Entrepreneurs will get into a phase where they are working so much, or personal stuff get’s in the way that they fall off the wagon with their health. It happens, and again it’s normal. The most successful realize this and they get right back on track.
- They Piss People Off – This falls inline with hurting people. As they grow or shift in their businesses and lives they’re actions will piss people off. The good thing is, if they’re upsetting a few people they’re probably doing something right.
- They Question What They Are Doing… A Lot!!!! – Just like everyone else, the self talk creeps in and causes doubt, fear, and emotional distractions. If they’re used to success and then something doesn’t work, that causes them to question things even more. But, they’re successful for a reason. They’re able to push past it and keep going
- They Have An Ego – Yup… sounds pretty obvious, right? But it’s also part of this ego that’s helped them to reach the level they are at. The belief in themselves is a huge motivator. If they see success, and hear others preaching success it motivates them to go farther.
- They’re Not Perfect – Regardless of what they are doing, they have f’ed up. Probably more than most people. That’s part of the entrepreneurial game. And when they do screw up, it’s on a much bigger scale than others.
- They’re Jealous And Envious – If they’re successful in their own minds, a lot of times they will always believe there is someone more successful than them. Which is true. Part of the reason they reached the level they’re at is because they want to be like someone else. They were motivated by those people. They were also jealous/envious of what the other people had. So these entrepreneurs went out to try and achieve the same. The shitty part is, for a lot of entrepreneurs it’s never enough.
- They’ve Overcome More Adversity Than Most People – To be successful and happy, they had to get out of their comfort zone… a lot. Whenever they did that, they ran into adversity. The more successful they are in life and business, chances are the more adversity they had to go through.
- Their Lives Are Not Balanced – A lot of successful people have very balanced lives. But others have focused so heavily on one part of their lives, that other parts suffer. Health, personal, mental, social. Whatever it is, it happens. And no matter what, there will be a time where things are unbalanced. Again, it’s part of the growth process.
- They Doubt Themselves…. A Lot!!! – This falls under the same category as questioning themselves. When growing both personally and professionally it means trying new things. Since it’s new, they doubt themselves quite a bit. Even if they say they can do it. But they’re used to this and are able to overcome the doubt and move on and grow.
- They Take A Lot Of Shit From The Important People In Their Lives – Most of the “normal” world just doesn’t understand what these entrepreneurs are trying to do. Since the normal world doesn’t understand, they try to pull these entrepreneurs into their shitty world. They try to bring them down, hate on them, and just give them crap for trying to do something great with their lives. But for many successful entrepreneurs, this just fuels the fire and motivates them even more.
- They Focus Too Much On The Numbers – At some point, every successful entrepreneur (at least the ones I’ve spoken with) reaches a level where they focus way too much on the numbers. Whether they actually would admit this or not, their customers and clients take a back seat. But, many entrepreneurs do realize this and re-focus on the people they are serving.
- They Don’t Live In The Moment – A lot of times, since their brains are going a million miles per hour they think too much. They don’t sit back and enjoy the moment they are in, and don’t realize what they’ve accomplished. It’s always about what’s next or what they can do to grow the business. It takes a conscious thought, an unexpected experience, or scheduled time to help bring them back into the moment.
- They Are Lazy – This isn’t just a bad thing. This is a good thing. Their laziness allows them to put people in place that are better than them in certain areas. It’s this laziness that lets them grow their business and lives.
- They Hustle… A Lot Of Times Too Much – You always see people preaching “the hustle and grind.” Ya know… working 18 hours a day. That kind of thing. But what they don’t tell you is that, their business may be crushing it, but they have very little time to enjoy their success.
- They Are Better At Helping Others Than They Are Themselves – Ask Tony Robbins about this one. He used to run programs for licensed counselors. It helped them to make a massive difference in their clients lives. But they didn’t apply it to their lives, so Tony shut down the program. The same goes for many successful entrepreneurs. It may not seem like that, but it’s 100% the truth.
- They’ve Eliminated Most Of The Assholes From Their Lives – Anyone who’s given them shit about something or drags them down, they just remove them from their lives. Even family members. This has allowed them to grow faster, and keep their sanity in place.
- They Experience Overwhelm – Every single successful entrepreneur has been overwhelmed at some point. Very rarely do you hear about it though. But it happens. The good thing for these entrepreneurs is they understand where it comes from, and many have learned how to head off the overwhelm before it shows up. If it does, they are better equipped at handling it.
- They Compare Themselves To Others – This is human nature at it’s best. We were all raised on competition and reaching the next level. So every entrepreneur at some part of their career will compare themselves to someone else. Even if they have it all, they will still compare themselves to someone or something else. That’s where the jealousy and envy start to come in.
- They Have Limiting Beliefs Holding Them Back – This is true for everyone. No matter what an entrepreneur is doing in their life, there is a belief somewhere that is holding them back. Successful entrepreneurs have learned to overcome a lot of their limiting beliefs. But there will always be something that they wrestle with.
- They’ve Lost A Ton Of Sleep – Getting to the level of success they want in their lives has meant there are a lot of tough things they have to work through. Sometimes they just don’t know how to handle it. Because of that they’ve had many sleepless nights. Eventually they work their way through it and move on, but this has happened to every successful entrepreneur at some point in their lives.
- They Don’t Know How To Slow Down – Since they have so much going on, and the brains are running on overdrive, it’s hard to calm their brain. They’ve trained themselves that this is how they need to operate for success. So it’s VERY difficult for them to slow down or relax. If they try to slow down, they get frustrated and fall back into their normal patters. Many times this is where overwhelm and burnout start to creep in.
- They’ve Been Hurt By Someone In Business – Just like they’ve hurt some people along the way, they’ve been hurt as well. Sometimes they’ve been hurt on purpose, other times it just happened. A lot of times it’s because of money, but the great thing is they use it as a learning experience and move on and do their best to not let that happen again.
- They Haven’t Reached Their Goals – This is a big one. We hear a lot about setting goals and how you need to do this if you want success in your life and business. What we NEVER hear about is how a lot of successful entrepreneur don’t hit their goals. And yes, a lot of them do hit their goals. But I can guarantee that there have been many times where they haven’t. This can knock them down pretty good, but in the end they usually keep moving forward.
- They Lack Belief In Themselves – This is similar to the limiting beliefs item, but a lot of times successful entrepreneur will set HUGE goals of what they want to accomplish. But deep down inside they don’t believe they can reach them. When they try and don’t reach them, it causes a lot of pain and ego checks for them. At some point many of them realize it was the the lack of belief in themselves that led to it not working. So they focus on changing that belief to get them where they want to go.
- They Rarely Understand How Much Influence They Have – To reach where they want to go they have to help a lot of others change their lives. In the day to day process of life and business, they get too focused on other things to realize how much of an impact they really have on people. When they stop to think about their impact it amazes them, but they rarely take enough time to appreciate the impact they have.
- They’re Stubborn – This is a big part of what makes them who they are. They don’t want to do something that someone else told them. They want to do it their way, and their way only. If they wanted to do what someone told them, than they would be doing something else.
- They Can Have Money Problems – They could personally be bringing in $10 million dollars each year, but spending $11 million. Just because their business is successful, does not mean that they are successful. If they’ve been successful for a long time, this is probably not likely. But there are some who have lost it all and then had to build it back up because of their own personal money problems.
- They’re Emotional – With so much going on, it’s hard not to be emotional. The only thing is, a lot of times they don’t show it. They have to live up to the perception that being successful means not showing weakness. So even though they can be emotional and make emotional decisions, they don’t like to show it.
- They Forget Some Of The People That Helped Them To Get Where They Are Now – They may not want to admit it, but it’s true. As they grow, and their time becomes more limited, they forget about or have less time for some of the people that helped them out a long the way. It’s normal, and it happens to just about all successful people.
- They Change Their Minds A Lot – Yes it’s true that very successful entrepreneurs make quick decisions and stick to them. But other times they are more indecisive than you would ever believe . Especially if something isn’t working, or if they have a new idea that popped up. They look for results quickly. So if something isn’t working, or it’s an idea that excites them they will change their mind on the spot.
- They Don’t Feel Successful – If you asked them the questions “how did you know when you made it?” Many would probably tell you that they don’t feel that they have. That’s because in their mind they are still not successful. It’s that mentality that keeps them moving forward, but in a way it’s also what holds them back because they never get to appreciate what they really accomplished.
- A Lot Of Their Marketing Stuff Doesn’t Work – In building their businesses they’ve tried all sorts of marketing strategies. What they will never tell you is that most of the things they tried didn’t work. That’s why they like to try what their competition is doing. On the other hand they have a few key things that work really well, and that’s what they focus on.
- They’re Afraid To Fail – It may not seem like they are, because that’s how they portray themselves. But a lot of successful entrepreneurs are scared to death of failing. Regardless of what they say. That’s why they work so hard. It’s not to succeed, it’s because they are so afraid to fail and and the fear of having to deal with that failure.
- They’ve Thought About Quitting… A lot– Now there are those entrepreneurs who say “quitting” never crossed their minds. For others though, they’ve been so beat up over the years that they’ve thought about throwing in the towel multiple times. Eventually they stay the course and it works out for them, but they’ve had many moments where they just wanted to give up on their businesses.
- They Need To Or Have Already Received Professional Mental Help – Successful entrepreneurs are incredibly driven individuals. They have to deal with more crap than the general population. At some point, that “crap” gets to be too much, and it plays a detrimental role in their lives and businesses. So they need professional help. It’s almost a given that at some point a successful entrepreneur will seek out professional help. This is a good thing, and actually helps them move their lives and businesses forward.
- They’ve Lost A Lot Of Money – For them to get to the level they want, they have to take calculated risks. Sometimes, those risks don’t pay out, and they end up losing their ass. Generally the bigger their business, the more money they’ve lost over the years. This is not true in every case, but for a lot of them it is.
- They Have Some Sort Of Addictive Personality – This is definitely not the case for all successful entrepreneurs. But it is for many. Their addictions can range anywhere from alcohol, drugs and sex up to being addicted and obsessed with their work. And yes, even working can be an addiction. A lot of this comes back to a lack of identity. But this addictive personality can also be a big reason for the success in business. It can also be a major reason for their struggles and failures as well.
- They Don’t Know When Enough Is Enough – This is the nature of entrepreneurship. The whole idea is to keep growing. But after spending years of constantly trying to grow bigger and better with their businesses, the race for more and more becomes unhealthy. They’re forget why they got into it, and just constantly have a need for more. This need is one big reason for their success, but they lose themselves and feel that they need more and more.
- They’ve Dropped The Ball When Serving Their Clients And Customers It’s inevitable…at some point when running a business, clients and customers will not be served to the highest degree. It happens to every entrepreneur. It doesn’t mean the entrepreneur doesn’t care or is not successful, it just happens. The most successful and caring entrepreneurs realize this happens and constantly strive to keep that from happening again.
- Many Are Very Lonely – This is definitely true for so many entrepreneurs. It’s hard to be a person who is a leader and visionary. Many times others don’t understand what entrepreneurs are trying to do. So it’s hard to connect with people. Even their own families. Plus the fact that they work so much makes their time very limited for social engagements.
- They’ve Been Fucked Over – This is part of being an entrepreneur. Even the most successful ones have been screwed over at one point in their lives by another entrepreneur, partner, customer, client, lawyer, etc. But this act only strengthens and inspires them more to succeed to the level they want.
A Bonus One…
They Feel Like An Impostor – Ah, the good ole’ impostor syndrome. There are so many entrepreneurs that deal with this, that it’s almost an epidemic. They could have more money than they know what to do with, but they still feel like they don’t belong doing what they’re doing, and that they are going to be found out. The good thing is, this feeling can drive them to get better and better at what they do. And many times, this is what makes them great.
Pretty crazy list right? Not what you expected to hear about success and happiness from entrepreneurs huh?
But it’s true. They are all human, and they experience the same things that everyone else does. It’s just that we’re taught as a society that these are “bad things” and to “not talk about them.”
The funny thing is, we do need to talk about them.
That’s because it’s these things that hold all of us back. Even the most successful entrepreneurs.
And I’ll be the first to admit it, after reading through this list again, I’ve probably gone through every one of these myself multiple times. And I’m still working through some of them myself.
But I’m perfectly O.K. with that. It’s all part of the growth process.
But the important thing is learning how to work through or overcome a lot of these obstacles. Because if you don’t, you will never reach the level you want to get to.
It’s not the tips, strategies, and techniques that will take you to the level you want. It’s you!!!
It’s your belief in yourself…
It’s bettering yourself…
It’s accepting that you can always improve…
It’s your mindset.
That’s what will get you where you want to go. And it’s these things that I work with and have my clients overcome. Because once those things are clear…
Success, growth, and living the way you want gets a lot easier.
Now I understand, some of this may be tough to believe. That’s cool though. The beginning of the conversation starts with just being aware of these things.
Once that door is open, the journey is more fun than you’ll ever imagine.
And if you’d like to chat with me about that journey or how I could help you build that successful lifestyle/business, just click on the image below, and we can hop on the line for a bit.