So you started a business, congratulations! You record some early wins and things are going great then suddenly the business stopped growing, it might have even shrunk. You looked at the marketing, the planning and the data. You might’ve even tried to do a few things different and still can’t find what is wrong. Perhaps the problem lies a little closer to home. You may relate to some of the reasons below that your business is not getting ahead.


Nobody wants to admit to this but a sense of entitlement may be present in some of us. What does this entitlement look like? I started a business so my family, friends and community should support me. Or buy from me because it’s me. People buy value and until you are willing to drop your sense of entitlement over peoples buying choices and start doing the work of providing them value, your business will struggle to grow. We really shouldn’t be approaching anything in business as if we are entitled to it, even if we think we deserve it. Offering the lowest price doesn’t automatically make your best choice, for example.


Procrastinating isn’t just delaying things. When procrastination becomes a habit it will also result in things not being done at all. This is because you start having so many things that are urgently pending, you have to start making tough choices. So when you say things like “I will create FAQs for my business” or “I should learn how to use Twitter for business” you need to also make sure you get on those things as soon as possible. Business happens fast, sometimes at the speed of light. There’s a lot you need to understand and the clock won’t slow down for you. Adding procrastination to that is a recipe for disaster, or not growing at least.

Blame others and avoid responsibility

Of all the reasons here this one is central to the discussion. If you, or someone you know, always blames others there’s a chance they will never get ahead. In the words of Brian Tracy “, you can shift blame but you cannot shift responsibility”. This is life. We can blame others for the conditions but the results will always belong to us. Even when we are not to blame there are things we can do to insulate ourselves from the impact of the conditions we find ourselves in. If you want to look deeper into this I recommend reading Extreme Ownership by Jocko Wink.

Believe what you know is enough

Continuous learning is heralded by many successful people as one of the most important approaches to have. This makes it absurd for a person, any person to believe that they know enough. Yet, I have come across people who go into business with just that attitude. And these people miss big opportunities because of their limited understanding of other aspects that seem peripheral to their businesses. Product or field knowledge is good but to reach great you need an understanding of marketing, sales, finances, customer relations, branding and a whole lot more. Never stop learning.

Don’t take red flags seriously

We should all know red flags but for the benefit of the doubt, they are signals of trouble to come. They are small signs that give us an idea that danger or an undesirable experience is likely to come for us. As you’ve gathered by now it is common to not take red flags seriously and wind up in trouble. Think of engaging an employee who shows undesirable qualities but in small doses early on. Or a client that is unreliable with payments. There are many examples we can give of red flags. These should be taken seriously as soon as we notice them and should be constantly monitored if it’s something we keep exposing ourselves to like the examples given.

Walking away too soon

This is closely linked to the idea of continuous learning and of trying new things. There are teething pains or growing pains that you will experience when trying something you haven’t done before. You may have come across the term learning curve which suggests that your output or performance increases as you get used to doing something. It differs from pursuit to pursuit but in each pursuit, there is an agreed duration or number of iterations that it takes to start getting good at something. Give yourself enough time or iterations before walking away from an idea. Trying a new social media strategy for 2 days will not likely get you results. Same for advertising campaigns and promotions.

Did you find yourself relating to any of these? Or perhaps there are some we left out that you feel should’ve been included? The comments section is always open and we love to hear from you.