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6 Money-Related Beliefs That Prevent Entrepreneurs From Succeeding

  • June 9, 2017
  • Written by Community Futures Saskatchewan

You know the saying: “You are your own worst enemy.” Here at Community Futures, we would like to ask... What if you didn’t have to be? We have compiled a list of 6 common money-related misconceptions that prevent entrepreneurs from succeeding as well as simple solutions for overcoming these limiting beliefs.

Read on to learn how to avoid self-sabotage, and to find out where you can grab our e-book of money mastery secrets for small business owners.


Many creatives view using their skills or profiting from their art as selling out, as if commercialization compromises the integrity or love of their work. This leads to a starving artist mentality like “I’m not a real painter if I heavily promote my work, so I should sell paintings for pennies while waiting to be discovered.”


Reframe a black-and-white perspective where doing great work that you’re passionate about and building a business are mutually exclusive. The fact is, countless creatives from Beyoncé to Frank Stella produce art that they find personally fulfilling while also making a living. You can, too!


Since they often go into business to help others in some way, entrepreneurs are some of the most altruistic people. An overdeveloped sense of altruism, however, can lead to running a business more like a charity than a for-profit company. Telltale signs of martyr mode include working for free, undercharging for projects, or feeling uncomfortable about strong business profits.


Remember that for-profit ventures can actually be quite selfless. For example, Liz Ross, a Community Futures Saskatchewan client, started Liberty Tax Services because she “saw that there were a lot of tax preparation companies that were not holding themselves to a very high standard and [she] wanted to change this in order to offer an optimal experience for customers.” Her altruistic mission led to creating a successful company that improves lives every single day.


When clients push to lower your rates, you fold every time. You don’t believe that you could possibly charge more than your competitors. You’re constantly decreasing fees to avoid alienating customers. Sound familiar? You may be suffering from a “fear of sticker shock” mindset and setting prices far lower than you should.


Don’t sell yourself short—respect your time and hard work by charging what you are worth. Then, explain the value of your products and services to potential clients.

People are more than willing to pay hundreds of dollars for an iPhone because Apple promotes the hefty value of their smartphone, not the price tag. You can do the same by differentiating your services or products from others and explaining how they will improve the customers’ life/work/business/body/health (whatever your company aims to achieve).


“I’m just not good with numbers.” If you have ever had that thought, you’re not alone—many people convince themselves that they are irreparably deficient when it comes to arithmetic and then magnify this into self-defeating mantras like “I could never run my own business.”


According to Purdue University, the way that we think about math abilities—that some people are “math people” and some people aren’t—is wrong. Being good at math comes down to the right attitude and hard work, not genetics. If you would like to become more confident in your arithmetic skills for business purposes, take advantage of Community Futures’ free tools and resources and check our Events page for finance-related events.

Bonus: Download our e-book full of money mastery secrets for small business owners! It’s perfect for entrepreneurs who are new to the world of business accounting and budgeting.


High-achieving entrepreneurs habitually view themselves as phonies and sometimes believe that their accomplishments are due to luck or other external circumstances. Like martyr mode, imposter syndrome can cause small business owners to undercharge or feel guilty about profits.


Realize that everyone experiences self-doubt but that you can choose how to react to this self-doubt. Community Futures client Shane Humpheries, who overcame a disability to start his graphic design company, decided to view every challenge as a learning opportunity. His persistence and decision to push past the fear enabled him to build a successful business!


There just isn’t enough to go around—this is the belief at the heart of the scarcity stance. People who hold this opinion typically apply it to their entire worldview and not just business or finances. They may act jealous or suspicious of others and be reluctant to help others succeed.


Transition into an abundance mindset:

  • Instead of focusing on what you don’t have (money, 500 customers, etc.), focus on what you do have
  • Take a few minutes every morning or evening to jot down five things you are grateful for 
  • Recognize team members and subordinates for their hard work
  • Aim to be of service to others and celebrate their successes

These simple activities can help to refocus on what is truly important and discover that helping others often helps you as well.

Ready to become financially successful?

Combine the tips above with the strategies in our latest e-book, Money Mastery Secrets for Small Business Owners!

Download your copy now.