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7 Deadly Sins of Entrepreneurship

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deadly sins

The entrepreneur life is filled with much more risk and reward than the traditional career, which can lead to a plethora of problems you wouldn’t normally have to overcome if you worked for someone else.

You’ll face an endless amount of ups-and-downs, choices, mistakes, and failures. So how do you cope with this? How can you avoid these common entrepreneurship traps and still come out on top?

As an entrepreneur you’re much more likely to become susceptible to the seven deadly sins, and common career mistakes that plague being a business owner.

What Are the Seven Deadly Sins?

In business there are some mistakes that are considered the worst possible sins. These will take years to overcome, ruin your reputation, and even bring about the end of your business ventures entirely.

The original seven deadly sins are:

  • Pride
  • Anger
  • Greed
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Sloth
  • Gluttony

Based on these original deadly traps, here’s how they relate to entrepreneurship, as well as how to avoid and overcome them.

Deadly Sin #1: Pride

As an entrepreneur it’s important to have confidence and unwavering faith in your ideas. You need this dedication and healthy ego to start and build a successful business. But you don’t want to cross that line into being too prideful, as it can blind you from the real truth.

Don’t let your pride get in the way of seeing what the best decision is, even if it means admitting you (or your team) were wrong. Be open to the truth, and embrace advice and help from others.

Deadly Sin #2: Anger

Passion is a vital component of being an entrepreneur and a leader. Your vision and motivation is what your business needs in order to stand out and make a difference. The trap comes in, however, when your unbridled passion gets out of control and leads to irrational and angry behavior.

The goal is to run a business with your passion, not control it through fear and anger. Keep your burning passion going, but beware of adding too much fuel to the fire.

Deadly Sin #3: Greed

The drive to make more money and increase your bottom line is something that all entrepreneurs strive towards -- and with good reason. Those numbers need to continue rising in order to grow and expand the business, but not at the expense of the company’s long-term goals.

If you focus too much on short-term gain, and ways you can make more money, you’ll begin to sacrifice the quality of your work, your reputation, and possibly even the overall health of the business.

Deadly Sin #4: Lust

The rewards of being successful have quite the appeal; fame, glory, fancy cars and homes, lots of money in the bank. But focusing too much on the perks of entrepreneurship can take away from the important things your business needs.

Don’t spend your time thinking about the prestige, fame, or money you’ll get if your business takes off. Focus on how you can serve others, make a difference, and create a business that solves a problem.

Deadly Sin #5: Envy

Competition is inevitable in business, and in most cases, even a good part of being an entrepreneur. But spending too much time spying on the competition, and comparing yourself to what they’re doing, is a slippery slope.

Concentrate on your own achievements, your goals, and don’t pay too much attention to what others are doing. Use their efforts as a standard for your own, or as a learning opportunity, not as something to be envious of or obsessed with.

Deadly Sin #6: Sloth

Putting the term slothfulness into the mix with entrepreneurship is already a recipe for disaster. There’s no formula where both of these ingredients add up to anything worth pursuing. In fact, the definition of an “entrepreneur” automatically represents someone who is willing to invest everything they have to pursue their ideas.

Being lazy, unmotivated, and undisciplined can not become a regular pattern if you expect to be successful. Hard work is something that’s required for success, so be careful when offloading tasks or work to your employees. Make sure your reason for doing so isn’t because you aren’t willing to do them yourself.

Deadly Sin #7: Gluttony

An over-indulgence in business is never a good thing. Too much, too fast can burn you out, crush your soul, and cause you to hate what you once loved. Strive to create a solid foundation for which your business can slowly build upon.

This will likely take more time in the beginning, but allow for proper and consistent growth in the future. Recognize the appropriate time to say no, when it’s time to scale back, or if you need to go in a different direction. Don’t keep feeding the beast until it gets sick, and can no longer perform.

Have you been guilty of one of these mistakes in the past? How did you overcome them?


About Carrie Smith

Carrie Smith is a money maverick and financial blogger who helps creative freelancers discover the art of making a living. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to start her blog, Careful Cents.

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