Three Questions to Ask If You Are Setting Yourself Up for Failure or Success

 In Abundance Principles for Christian Entrepreneurs, Blog

In my eleven years in this business, I’ve watched some startup successes and see others hit skid row, usually by quietly fading away.  

Having a successful business does not appear to hinge on having lots of capital. In fact, too much cash and support can actually hinder sustainable prosperity.

Successful business owners don’t have to possess all of the skills to provide whatever goods or services they offer in their business. And they don’t have to know everything about running a business from day one.

The keys I see to making it include:

  • Having a “why” or reason for having your business that you are willing to walk over hot coals for,
  • Being teachable, coachable,  and willing to grow in all areas of your life and business over the long haul,
  • Having the faith and perseverance to look to God to help one get past those multiple “back against the wall” situations with a spirit of “failure not being an option” that sprinkle the “yellow brick road” of every entrepreneur.

Here are three questions to help you determine if your choices, actions, and habits are either setting you and your business up for failure or success:

QUESTION  #1:  Are you willing and able to get the right kind of help and say, “no,” to the wrong kind of help?

While you don’t have to know everything about providing your best product or service or about how to run a business out of the shoot, you do have to acknowledge and address any skill or information deficits you have. They could be hard or soft skills, like  concrete knowledge skills or interpersonal issues, like managing and effectively leading people.

I don’t see people succeeding who go the total bootstrap path, trying to do everything themselves without getting any help. Often the enthusiasm for the business starts to dry up about when the money runs out or the person or person(s) helping to support you and fund you while you grow your business become impatient.

You can also go to the other extreme here, spending big bucks on mentorship and support.  With this approach, it’s easy

  •  to get overextended here with related financial stress; 
  • experience confusion from having too many cooks in the kitchen guiding you to your vision, which might actually start looking like the vision of the mentor rather than your own;
  • create obstacles with too high overhead for a profitable enterprise;
  • to be investing a significant amount of time on activities with lower return for that time.  

To set yourself up for success:

  1. Be open to help,
  2. Properly assess the stage in business and life you are in;
  3. Make sure what you are doing connects with your “why” and aligns with your vision,
  4. Take time to explore various resources without overanalyzing into paralysis,
  5. Ultimately follow your intuition to determine the right course of action for you and your business in your current stage with the related challenges to overcome.

QUESTION  #2:  Are you considering your time and other priorities when you determine your business success strategy?

People who set themselves up for failure have blueprints full of conflicting priorities and unreasonable expectations for themselves and others.

Any idea you select must be implementable. It must be tailored to your personality. It must fit in with the life you actually have right now.  

Any investment of time must be weighed against the opportunity cost of how that time could be used differently.

To set yourself up for success:

  1. List and prioritize the various areas of your life and business.
  2. Create a schedule that first plugs in your personal commitments, like time with loved ones, self-care, and quality leisure activities.
  3. Understand clearly the time commitment and logistics of any strategy you are considering. Measure that against the predicted benefit of implementing that strategy.
  4. Compare the return on your time and energy of the various options you have to achieve your goals to select the best fit for you now.

QUESTION  #3:  Are you hyper focused on success in certain areas (for the short term) to the exclusion of progress in other areas of your life?

People who set themselves up for failure don’t recognize they will only be as successful as their weakest link.

When you consider the six life areas – health, wealth, personal fulfillment, career, spirituality and relationship – you will be strong in two, okay in two, and have two that are weaker. People who fail often ignore or minimize their weaker areas. It is usually in those areas they find themselves stuck when they feel like they are hitting a wall in their progress towards their goals.

To set yourself up for success:

  1. Assess what your two strength areas are, two weak areas, and the two in-betweens.
  2. Structure what you do so that most of your energy and the ideas you implement rely on your strengths.
  3. Don’t focus on your weak areas, but have at least one goal in each of those areas for improvement. Improving, while not overemphasizing the weak areas, will raise your overall functioning.


Being successful, however you define it, is not rocket science. But for most, it is not a Midas Touch scenario with everything they do turning into gold.  

Take the marathon, not the sprint approach with clarity about the next way to grow.  Keep God in the mix as your key advisor. Engage the virtues of temperance, prudence, faith, and perseverance to make the best decisions that allow you to both enjoy today and put the right building blocks in place for your bright future.

If you need any help with this, please reach out via private message.

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