Why Entrepreneurs Procrastinate (and How to Stop)

Procrastination seems to be as common and frequent as caffeine in the lives of entrepreneurs. Every entrepreneur I know is putting off something in their business for a variety of reasons. Let’s shed light on why this is and what to do about it.

1. Fear of the Unknown

Fear is the biggest stumbling block for new and seasoned entrepreneurs alike. So much of this boils down to simple biology and neurology. Our brains rely on what is and cannot conceptualize things which don’t yet exist. The problem with this? As entrepreneurs, we are constantly creating things which don’t yet exist. And in order to do this, we cannot let fear stand in our way.

For example, you have this brilliant idea about a business you want to start. You begin to tell yourself stories about why you shouldn’t pursue it with thoughts of, “How am I going to make money? How is this going to work? I don’t know what I’m doing; I don’t have a business degree.” 

Why does your brain do this? Because you are embarking on a journey which your brain can’t grasp because it doesn’t yet exist. At the end of the day, what you have to do as an entrepreneur is to be comfortable with the unknown. Your fears aren’t going anywhere, so you must learn to let your fears inform you, without holding you back.

2. Striving for Perfection

The second thing that stops people from moving forward in their businesses is perfection. Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of someday with thoughts of, “I’ll start/grow my business when everything lines up; when I have all the money I need and all the resources and tools and support. I’ll start my business when I’m an expert or when someone tells me I’m finally good enough.” The problem with these thoughts is that someday never comes because it doesn’t exist. 

The best way to overcome the perfection trap is by remembering: done is better than perfect.  For example, if you make videos for your business, as I do, you can’t always control every aspect of the audio. At the end of the day, I know that getting the information in your hands is way more important to me than the sounds of a bus or a siren outside my window. 

In order to stop procrastinating, you have to let go of perfection. Because perfection is a lie. Literally nothing in this world is perfect. It’s more important for you to simply get started and keep taking steps forward every day.

3. Perceived Judgment From Loved Ones

The third reason most entrepreneurs procrastinate is perceived judgment from family, friends, spouses, community members, colleagues, coworkers, etc. The list goes on and on. I hear it all the time from entrepreneurs, “I really want to start/grow my business, but I don’t think my husband will let me. I’m afraid to talk to him about this dream I have of starting my own business because I’m terrified he’s going to judge me.” Or, “my parents and friends keep telling me to abandon my dreams of entrepreneurship and get a job.” 

This issue can be debilitating for entrepreneurs, especially early-stage entrepreneurs. There are two things I want you to remember about this:

  1. The perceptions, judgments, and opinions people share with you you have nothing to do with you. If your parents, friends or spouse are scared for you to become an entrepreneur, it’s not because they don’t believe you can do it. It’s because they don’t believe they can do it. 
  2. You must surround yourself with a community of people that believe in you no matter what; a community of people that believe it’s possible for you to build the business you want, to make the money you want and create the impact you want. When you feed your mind with encouragement and support, you feed your energy to pursue your business, even when it’s hard and can more easily overcome procrastination. 

We want to hear which of these three procrastination busting tips resonated most with you and how you will be applying them in your business. Share an Instagram story with your thoughts after reading this and don’t forget to tag @briseeley and @influencive in your story!

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