The words “misconception” and “misinformation” are hot-button terms these days, but aren’t referred to very often in the business world. However, have you ever considered whether your beliefs surrounding business, particularly business success, are based on misconceptions?
While we don’t like to admit it, there is a fair share of misinformation circulating about business success. As a result, many high-potential CEOs develop misconceptions about what it takes for them to achieve success, ultimately stunting their potential.
To help combat these misconceptions, I’m sharing three of the most common ones about business success. This way, business owners can reorient their perspectives based on facts and get back on the path to success.
Where Most Misconceptions Come From
Most misconceptions are caused by taking misinformation for truth. And misinformation generally comes from a few particular sources, including:
• Online resources
• Word of mouth
• Our own biases
First off and most obviously, most misinformation these days, whether business-related or not, comes from online sources. Often we don’t consider whether or not the source is credible and end up taking false information for fact.
Second, with networking being a central tenet of business success, it’s no surprise that misinformation is spread by word of mouth.
Lastly, our own personal biases create misconceptions to keep us in our comfort zone. For example, sales is at the heart of business growth. But if somebody is afraid of the sales process, then they’re more likely to form a misconception that sales isn’t all that important.
Every business owner needs to consider the reliability of the information they consume; otherwise they risk developing misconceptions that will eventually hinder their efforts.
Misconception No. 1: Want Success? Get More Education
The business world is full of more highly educated people now than ever before — not only do many people have college and graduate degrees, but there are seemingly unlimited educational resources on the internet.
But the question is whether having more education helps one achieve higher levels of business success. The answer is not necessarily. While most education resources are great at teaching information, they don’t necessarily teach people how to apply it.
Therefore, before telling yourself that you need more business education to reach success, ask yourself whether you already have enough knowledge and just need to gather the tools required to put it to use.
Misconception No. 2: Business Success Comes Down To Growth
When you set a business goal and then achieve it, do you ever stop, look at yourself in the mirror and think “Now what?” If you’re like many CEOs, this is probably an all too familiar occurrence.
Most CEOs are the kind of people who are always looking for new challenges and ways to improve — hence why most of them start businesses in the first place! However, this creates a challenging mental game in which once they reach a higher level, it’s only a matter of time before they feel the need to grow further to feel successful.
While having a mindset oriented toward constant growth is excellent, the truth is that no matter how hard you try, a business can likely always grow more. It’s like a mouse in a lab running on an exercise wheel trying to catch cheese: Even if they catch the cheese, the scientist will put them right back on the treadmill with more cheese in front of them.
Therefore, measuring business success based on growth is not only a game you can’t win, but toxic. Instead of defining success based on growth, CEOs should measure success based on impact.
Misconception No. 3: Business Success Comes From Complex Business Processes
What if there was a sure-fire way to make success in business significantly more challenging than it needs to be? Even worse, what if it was a widely believed misconception among business owners who routinely applied it to their own business?
Well, there is such a way: developing unnecessarily complex business processes believing that they will lead you to success, when in reality they only take you backwards.
What makes complexity so terrible for success? Success is a matter of setting a goal and then developing a process to reach it. But when you devise complex processes that include multiple steps, countless strategies and multi-layered details, you basically create breeding grounds for additional problems to grow. Think of success like baking a cake: If you bake a simple cake that has just five steps, the odds that you mess up are significantly smaller than if you were to bake a multi-tiered rainbow cake with 25 steps.
Success is a matter of keeping processes as simple as possible. While complex plans may look sophisticated, the truth is that they’re not all that impressive.
Success in business is no different from success in any other field: You need to separate fact from fiction. That begins with debunking common misconceptions about success that come from pervasive misinformation.
Therefore, success in business begins with debunking your own misconceptions about business success! Now that you know three of the most common misconceptions, be on the lookout for other blatant misinformation that will lead you off the path of success in the future.