At some point, every first-time entrepreneur comes to understand that in business, a preference for doing things in their own way has effects beyond themselves. The company, its partners and employees are affected, often for the worse. Business owners who quickly see that they can no longer cling to their preferences in a venture that involves others manage to help their business grow.

Those who are late to catch on end up sabotaging their own chances at success. If you are starting out in business, you should take the time to consider the ways in which you may be clinging to your personal preferences and hurting your own chances. 

1. You want all the credit

Having been in sole control of their business for a while, new entrepreneurs often feel bad about giving up control to employees and losing the opportunity to win some credit that came with it. Sticking to petty thoughts about credit can take time and energy away from the task at hand of taking the business forward, though. 

2. You prefer a co-dependent relationship with your employees

Once you do manage to delegate responsibility to others, you need to let go and let your employees independently make their own decisions. A business owner who is obsessed with micromanaging his employees in order to feel needed holds them back. A company can only thrive when it has independent-minded employees. An environment where every choice and decision comes back to the owner, stagnates. 

3. You reward employees only for doing as they are told

A new business can only thrive by having employees who take initiative. A workplace environment where employees sense that they are supposed to be as obedient like children who do as they are told, will end up losing its edge. Employees need to be praised not for simply doing as they are told but for finding new ways forward. 

4. You prefer harmony over discord

People are different and have different preferences. If you are intent on trying to promote peace and harmony among your team members, you may end up destroying their ability to be independent and creative. If the members of your team think independently, you will see considerable discord. If harmony is all you see, you should be worried that your team is not being independent enough. 

5. You do not include employees in decisions

New business owners sometimes see their businesses as their own little kingdoms, and take their decisions without considering the way they affect their employees. They may ask team members to work on a project, but then decide to pull the plug without warning, for example. When employees aren’t included in the decision making process, they will usually begin to disengage from the company. 

6. You do not allow your employees to switch

Whatever areas of responsibility you may wish to assign your employees to, you need to consider their preferences. Workers often prefer startups and small businesses over corporations because they hope to have greater say there in the roles they play. Taking away the flexibility that keeps them in your company would only force them to leave. 

7. You stick to things that worked in the past

Many small businesses fail simply because their owners stick to formulas that worked for them in the past without remembering the failures. It is important to not stick to formulas – they are for those who do not have an interest in true understanding. You should try to understand your business, its environment and the challenges that it faces afresh each day. 

8. You have not mastered delayed gratification

When consumers give in to the need for instant gratification, they buy with their credit cards and end up in debt. When business owners give in to instant gratification, they usually pick quick, modest rewards over better ones in the long term. This type of approach will end up shortchanging the future of your business. 

9. You do what is best for you and not the company

Parochial thinking is very common in startups and small businesses. Owners who hold on to departments that they are not good at simply because they prefer a prestigious job title, for example, tend to hamstring their business. 

10. You fear financial analysis

Far too many businesses are run on their owners’ inadequate knowledge of productivity ratios, breakeven points and gross profit margins, and sink as a result. If you do not have confidence in your accounting and financial abilities, you should delegate.

Stop sabotaging your business before it is too late. Make your business flourish rather than ruin it.

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