Starting a business is like piecing together a puzzle, and to succeed at it, there are some habits entrepreneurs need to give up. Although it’s a complex task, and every piece adds up to the profitability of your business.

But what if I told you that some of the pieces might not fit? Those misfitting pieces represent the habits entrepreneurs need to give up for enhanced profitability. It’s time to reassess your strategy. So, grab a seat, and let’s dive into this puzzle of profitability.

7 Habits Entrepreneurs Need to Give Up to Become Profitable

1. Fear of Failure: The Fear That Holds You Back

Fear of failure is a common and natural emotion that we all experience when confronted with the possibility of not achieving our desired goals. It often manifests as anxiety, apprehension, or self-doubt.

Imagine this scenario: You’re a budding entrepreneur in Lagos, brimming with passion to kickstart your digital marketing agency. You have the skills and creativity, but there’s a formidable roadblock in your path – the fear of failure.

Also Read: 6 Fears Entrepreneurs Face and How to Overcome Them

This fear, though common, can be a paralysing force, like a heavy anchor that hinders progress. However, here’s the golden ticket: giving up the fear of failure signifies your readiness to take calculated risks.

It means you’re unafraid to turn your ideas into action and embrace the prospect of learning from your missteps. And in the fast-paced, competitive world of business, this newfound bravery can be a real game-changer. It’ll help you come up with new ideas and fuel your growth in a way that’s sustainable and exciting.

Let’s consider Mimidoo’s journey, a visionary fashion designer working in Abuja. For years, she harboured a dream of launching her clothing line, but the looming spectre of her designs falling flat held her captive. Finally, she mustered the courage to take the plunge. In this leap of faith, she encountered some unexpected design setbacks along the way. Yet, instead of viewing these moments as failures, Mimidoo saw them as stepping stones to improvement. Armed with newfound insights, she transformed her fears, once an impediment to her growth, into a powerful catalyst for her entrepreneurial journey. This adjustment enabled her to evolve, adapt, and ultimately flourish in the fiercely competitive fashion industry.

2. Procrastination: Tomorrow is Today’s Enemy

One of the common habits entrepreneurs need to give up is procrastination. Procrastination, the art of postponing tasks that demand immediate attention, is an all too familiar habit. It often ushers in heightened stress, missed deadlines, and a sinking feeling of unproductivity.

Think of it as a crafty time thief, silently pilfering precious moments. Now, imagine you’re at the helm of a burgeoning tech start-up in Port Harcourt, brimming with ingenious ideas primed for execution. But, if your daily refrain echoes with “I’ll tackle it tomorrow,” you’re inadvertently holding your business hostage.

The silver lining? Giving up procrastination means reclaiming command over your time and ramping up productivity. It’s about seizing the day, methodically ticking off your to-do list, and propelling your business forward. With your increased efficiency, your business flourishes.

Take Obinna, for instance, who manages a restaurant in Enugu. He perpetually delayed the update of his menu while his competitors jazzed up their offerings. But when Obinna finally mustered the will to revamp his menu, the results were nothing short of spectacular. Customer interest surged, and profits followed suit.

In the world of entrepreneurship, where every moment counts, procrastination is a luxury entrepreneurs can afford. By bidding goodbye to this time-thieving habit, you’re not only propelling yourself forward but also allowing your business to thrive. Remember, in the words of the wise: Tomorrow is today’s enemy, so seize the moment now.

3. Perfectionism: The Pitfall of the Unattainable

Perfectionism is a mindset or behaviour characterized by setting excessively high standards for oneself and striving for flawlessness in every task or endeavour. While it may seem like a positive trait, it often becomes a pitfall due to the unattainable nature of perfection.

Picture this: You’re a skilled artisan crafting exquisite handmade goods in the heart of Kano. You desire to imbue every piece with absolute perfection. Yet, in this pursuit, you unwittingly find yourself entangled in the snare of unattainable standards.

But here’s the epiphany: giving up perfectionism doesn’t mean compromising on quality. It’s about realizing that the quest for flawlessness can stunt your progress. By surrendering this elusive ideal, you embark on a journey where progress takes precedence. You’re no longer confined to the boundaries of your workshop; you’re getting your products out there, embracing real-world feedback, and honing your craft with each iteration.

Aisha, a graphic designer based in Benin, has successfully overcome perfectionism and can provide valuable tips and insights. She was ensnared in the web of perfectionism, dedicating an excessive amount of time to each project. Her portfolio shone with impeccable work, yet her business struggled to turn a profit. However, when she decided to shift her focus, Aisha began meeting deadlines and delivering work that, while not necessarily perfect, was undeniably excellent. The result? An expanding client base and a surge in profits.

So, like Aisha, it’s important to let go of unachievable standards and embrace excellence instead. By doing so, your business can reach new heights of success that were once beyond reach.

4. Negative Self-Talk: Silence Your Inner Critic

Negative self-talk, that relentless stream of self-critical and pessimistic thoughts, is like an unwelcome companion we’ve all entertained at one point or another. It’s the voice inside our heads that chips away at our self-confidence, breeding feelings of inadequacy. It’s one of the habits entrepreneurs need to give up intentionally, especially when you make mistakes.

Now, picture this scenario: Whether you’re steering an e-commerce ship in Ibadan’s digital waters or navigating the consultancy landscape in bustling Abuja, negative self-talk lurks as a formidable adversary, capable of crippling your confidence.

It may interest you to know, however, that giving up negative self-talk signifies a momentous shift towards self-assurance and a brighter outlook. It’s a radical act of embracing your abilities and your business.

Are you ready for the newfound self-assurance that isn’t just an internal shift; but a magnetic force that draws in customers, entices investors, and unlocks a trove of opportunities? The story of Yemilade is instructive.

Yemilade is a tech entrepreneur hailing from Kaduna. His journey was marred by moments of doubt, questioning if he was indeed on the right path. But then, he decided to silence those nagging doubts. With a brand-new conviction, he strode into investor meetings, pitching his start-up with unwavering confidence. You guessed right that his compelling presentation not only turned heads but also secured the funding needed to catapult his business to unprecedented heights.

You cannot afford to self-doubt yourself where self-belief is a currency with boundless potential. That’s why giving up negative self-talk isn’t just a suggestion; it’s a transformational leap towards unshakable self-confidence, and it’s the key to unlocking a world of opportunities for your business.

5. Resistance to Change: Embrace the Winds of Change

Resistance to change is the age-old battle within us when faced with new situations, ideas, or shifts in our routines. It’s the inner tug-of-war, a response deeply rooted in various factors, such as the fear of the unknown, the dread of losing control, or the unsettling feeling that familiar patterns are slipping away.

Now, consider this scenario: You’re a dedicated farmer in the fertile lands of Benue State, steadfast in your pride for traditional farming practices. Yet, around you, the agricultural landscape is undergoing a rapid transformation.

The question is, are you resisting this change, or are you willing to leap into the realm of adaptation and innovation?

The transformational power of giving up resistance to change lies in the embrace of innovation and the nurturing of growth. It’s about keeping your finger on the pulse of a dynamic market, ensuring your relevance amid shifting tides. The rewards of such adaptability can be nothing short of game-changing, ultimately leading to increased profits and sustained success.

Take the case of Lubem, a poultry farmer residing in the heartland of Gboko. Initially, he harboured hesitations about adopting automated feeding systems, fearing the unknown. However, a revelation soon dawned upon him. These systems could significantly enhance efficiency, slash operational costs, and elevate the overall health of his feathered companions. With open arms, he embraced the winds of change, and the results were remarkable—his profits soared to unprecedented heights.

Those who willingly shed the cloak of resistance and embrace change not only adapt but also thrive. The path of innovation is strewn with opportunities, and it’s up to you to seize them or let them pass by like fleeting winds.

6. Micromanaging: Trust Your Team

Micromanaging, that management style characterized by an eagle-eyed oversight of every task and an insatiable thirst for control, can be likened to an overbearing conductor in an orchestra.

It involves an unyielding lack of trust in the abilities of your team, leading to an incessant need to micromanage their every move. This approach not only erodes employee morale but also stifles creativity and productivity.

Whether you’re at the helm of a logistics company in Aba or the driving force behind a real estate venture in Kano, the impulse to don every hat in your business can act as a proverbial ball and chain, impeding growth. Each minute spent scrutinizing details might well be slowing your entrepreneurial journey.

Now, consider the liberation that comes with relinquishing the reins of micromanagement. It’s akin to untethering yourself from the shackles of constant involvement in every detail.

By placing your trust in your team and entrusting them with tasks, you embark on a transformative journey. You’re not just empowering your employees; you’re unburdening yourself, freeing your time to tackle key decisions and embrace the grand vision. No entrepreneur embodies this better than Chioma.

Chioma is the founder of a thriving marketing agency nestled in the heart of Rivers State. In the past, she had woven herself into every thread of her campaigns, an incarnation of micromanagement. However, when she decided to put her faith in her capable team, an evolution unfolded. As she let go of the minute details, she was at liberty to nurture new business relationships and scale her agency to new heights. Her journey is a testament to the remarkable growth that awaits when an entrepreneur relinquishes the temptation of micromanagement and instead embarks on a voyage of trust and empowerment.

In our world where time is a finite and precious resource, liberating yourself from the clutches of micromanagement gives you strategic leverage towards achieving greater heights. It’s an investment in the potential of your team and an unwavering belief in your collective vision.

7. Unrealistic Expectations: Patience, Grasshopper

Having unrealistic expectations is like chasing after mirages in a desert. It often set the stage for a discordant symphony of stress, frustration, and a pervasive sense of failure when they inevitably remain unattained.

Now, imagine you are the proprietor of a bustling restaurant in the vibrant city of Lagos, and you’ve set the bar impossibly high, expecting a packed house every single night, right from the get-go. While this expectation is not realistic, let’s not forget, that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the journey to a flourishing business is a marathon, not a sprint.

Letting go of unrealistic expectations is a transformative act that requires patience, similar to the wisdom of a grasshopper. It involves adjusting your goals to be ambitious yet attainable, which allows for steady growth in your entrepreneurial endeavours without the burden of undue pressure from unrealistic expectations.

Meet Ahmed, a resolute owner of a printing press nestled in the time-honoured city of Sokoto. Despite his initial anticipations of rapid expansion, akin to a shooting star, he recognized the importance of setting realistic goals to maintain a sustainable and thriving business. When a pivotal shift occurred, he chose to recalibrate his expectations. Instead of striving for immediate and astronomical success, Ahmed focused on delivering exceptional service and nurturing a dedicated clientele. Over time, his efforts paid off as his customer base steadily grew, guaranteeing returning business, hence profitability.

Unrealistic expectations often serve as stumbling blocks. By bidding them farewell and embracing the long game, you’re also allowing your business to flourish at its own pace, unburdened by the weight of undue pressure.  

Conclusion: Unlocking the Path to Profitability

In the intricate tapestry of entrepreneurship, where each decision shapes the destiny of your venture, shedding the weight of these seven habits can be the masterstroke, the key that unlocks the door to profitability. We’ve embarked on a journey to understand that success is not a magical overnight transformation; it’s a patient sculptor’s work, chiselling away at the rough edges, and meticulously refining your entrepreneurial path.

So, as you venture forth in the dynamic realm of entrepreneurship, remember that these habits are not your destiny; they’re stepping stones on your path. Profitability may not be instantaneous, but it’s attainable when you arm yourself with patience, perseverance, and the wisdom to shed what no longer serves your growth. In the grand mosaic of entrepreneurship, you are the artisan, and your masterpiece is waiting to be unveiled. With these habits left behind, you’re now equipped to sculpt a future where profitability and success are not distant dreams but tangible realities.