I have worked with countless business owners, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. As a small business owner and an entrepreneur my entire adult life, it has become clear that small business owners who struggle more than those whose businesses skyrocket have something in common: they often sabotage their own success.

The Players: Visionaries, Entrepreneurs, and Business Owners

Before figuring out how to succeed in business, know who you are and your approach.


The term “visionary leader” has been thrown around a lot. A visionary thinks about or plans the future with imagination or wisdom. To be a visionary, you must be able to be creative and brave. To be an entrepreneur, you must be a visionary.


An entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so” (source: Google.com).

In addition, Forbes says, “Entrepreneurs know you need to be both a leader and a manager… in that order. They always start with a leader and then find a manager.

“They know a great leader is the ultimate solution to any problem. They pay ten to a thousand times more money for a great leader than a great manager… in a heartbeat.” (Forbes, “What Is An Entrepreneur?”)

Business Owners

Wait …. we just talked about entrepreneurs. Aren’t business owners the same as entrepreneurs?


I found an article by Melanie Springs in Forbes, “Are You a Small-Business Owner or an Entrepreneur? The Difference Is Important,” that outlines some important differences:

Small-business owners have a great idea – Entrepreneurs have big ideas.

Small-business owners hold steady – Entrepreneurs love risk.

Small-business owners think about the things they need to finish this week – Entrepreneurs are thinking ahead six months.

Small-businesses owners are sentimental with their businesses – Entrepreneurs focus on scaling.

Small Business Owners Who Sabotage Success

How to avoid sabotaging your small business success

Thinking Too Small

Often times small business owners get so buried under day-to-day tasks and become slaves to their businesses.

How to Achieve Success: Carve out time to make long term goals, then make sure your short term strategies are aligned to achieve those goals.


Because small business owners typically take their businesses very personally, it is difficult for them to delegate and allow employees to take ownership of their roles.

How to Achieve Success: Delegate by hiring, then communicate well with employees. Allow them to do their jobs, looking toward results more than task-level instruction. This will attract and retain better employees, and it should take some stress off of owners.

Entrepeneurs Who Sabotage Success

Pitfalls entrepreneurs encounter are the polar opposite as the average small business owners.

Getting Ahead of Yourself and Missing the Details

Entrepreneurs often get ahead of themselves with visions of grandeur. That forward way of thinking is a rush, and it also is the reason that driven, visionary people can do amazing things. However, at the early stages of a project, it will often sabotage success because crucial details can get skipped over. Those early details are “boring,” but very necessary.

How to Achieve Success: Even the biggest, most amazing ideas need some structure. Discipline yourself to create a plan and WORK THE PLAN. Don’t skip those tedious steps.

Delegating Important Tasks Too Soon

Entrepreneurial visionaries are “movers and shakers” who get to network with others who have achieved the type of success they are after. Because starting a business or project is so exciting and time consuming, entrepreneurs often delegate tasks to others who might not clearly understand their vision or have the technical skill or knowledge to perform important tasks early on. Most start up tasks should be done, at least at first, by the entrepreneur.

How to Achieve Success: Discipline yourself to do every task as you start your new business. Learn every aspect of this new endeavor, and (ok, I’m going to say it, and you may not want to do it, but do it anyway) – MAKE LISTS. Don’t just make those lists – DO EVERY TASK ON THOSE LISTS. Never give yourself permission to skip tasks.

It will create momentum, which is magic in any phase of business.

Featured Image by Michael Pollak and used under Creative Commons 2.0

3.6 min read / Published On: September 22, 2015 / Last Updated: October 22, 2023 / Categories: Classic Articles, Digital Marketing / Tags: , , / 0 Comments on Small Business Success and How to Sabotage It /

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