🌼8 Reasons Why Most People Will Never Have A Successful One-Person Business


🌼8 Reasons Why Most People Will Never Have A Successful One-Person Business

Your level of business growth will never exceed your level of personal growth.

I still remember the day that I started my one-person business.


It was the 2nd of May 2022. I had posted content on LinkedIn and Instagram announcing my big move. I received tonnes of positive messages and even a few DMs for potential work.

But after a few months, the honeymoon period ended.

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Read also: 9 things you need to sacrifice if you want to build a one-person business (and get wealthy)


People moved on. My news was no longer exciting. The reality of what working for myself would entail kicked in. There were so many silly mistakes I made in my first year that almost killed my success.

Here are 8 reasons why most people won’t succeed.

#1: They don’t work on their greatest asset.

There are only two limitations to starting a business

What you think every day (beliefs).

What you do every day (skillset).

A lack of skills is easy to overcome.

You can learn pretty much anything on the internet for low-to-no cost. I’ve been able to teach myself email marketing, copywriting, persuasion, and sales through books, podcasts, and YouTube videos.

A poor mindset is trickier.

Your attitude determines your altitude. I’ve got friends who are way more talented than me in my field of work. But they will never run a business. They lack confidence and are too cynical to ever be successful.

Most people focus on skill acquisition rather than building self-belief.

But if you look at world-class athletes, they do the opposite. Once you reach a certain level, skill acquisition has diminishing returns. Self-belief becomes much more important.

So instead of investing in courses, expensive MBAs, or books, maybe look at investing in coaching and therapy.

#2: They don’t focus on execution.

I’ve got a friend who always has a business idea.

“We should collaborate” is a phrase I hear every other week.

They seem to be working on something in the background. To always be tinkering with something.

But you check in a few months or years later on the progress, and they’ve done f*ck all execution.

They can’t seem to focus on one thing long enough to make something work.

The reality is that there is no such thing as a new idea. Only the execution is different.

How you start is unimportant in the long run. But starting is the most important thing you need to do in the short run.

Execution > Ideas.

#3: They don’t grow themselves.

“‘I don’t know why this keeps happening to me”.

I know people where high drama situations seem to be attracted to them. Conflict, arguments, and petty disagreements seem to fill their days and weeks.

I hate to say it, but if you find yourself in constant drama, you’re the problem.

This is why most people think they have business problems. But what they really have are personal problems masquerading as a business problems.

Every time I work through a challenge with my therapist, my business seems to magically do better.

Over the years, I’ve worked through past traumas, insecurities, and limiting beliefs that could hold me back in my business.

Your level of business growth will never exceed your level of personal growth.

#4: They try to do too many things at once.

Most businesses die from indigestion rather than starvation.

From $0 — $1m, all you need to focus on is:

One customer avatar.

One channel.

One product.

I almost crashed my business when I tried to do too many things at once. I spread myself in every direction and hired contractors to help with the work.

This increased my operating costs and overheads. But once the work dried up, I was left on the hook. For a couple of months, I woke up in the middle of the night with anxiety.

Don’t do this.

Less is better. Simple is effective. Slow is smooth. And smooth is fast.

#5: They don’t build a personal brand

A personal brand builds trust at scale.

And a transaction is nothing more than the manifestation of trust facilitated through the exchange of money.

So the bigger your personal brand the more trust you build and the more transactions you can generate.

I built a six-figure procurement consultancy on LinkedIn.

By posting content 3–4 times per week, I was able to build a personal brand around a niche. Before I even quit my 9–5 job, I attracted high-paying clients.

Recently, I even got a $10k per month client from one LinkedIn post alone.

Build a personal brand, and then you can build whatever you want.

#6: They don’t join paid communities

Joining a paid community was the best thing I did in 2023.

Why pay for a community? In short, exclusivity.

You want people who are committed to the same mission. A big community filled with uncommitted people is pointless. You might even get some crazies in there too.

The energy and momentum you build with people who are on a similar mission to you becomes unstoppable. Success becomes a default.

If you’re constantly hanging around friends who don’t understand what you do, or worse, put you down, you are fighting an uphill battle.

Sometimes it’s easier to change your environment than it is to just yourself.

#7: They don’t build a team

Building a one-person business doesn’t mean you are alone.

That’s stupid.

You’ll work with a team of subcontractors based all around the world.

I’ve got a VA based in the Philippines. A designer who lives as a digital nomad in Europe, and a PR consultant and content producer based in Melbourne.

A one-person business means you retain 100% ownership and control over your time, but you use leverage to automate and delegate tasks you don’t like.

Automate, delegate, and then liberate yourself.

#8: They aren’t patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

And neither will your one-person business.

Anything worthwhile takes time. You’ll make a ton of mistakes. You’ll lose money. I’ve made decisions that cost me thousands. It happens.

But any goal I set out to achieve, I commit to for 3–5 years.


Any shorter and I’ll be rushing myself.

In my experience, usually the first 1–2 years of doing anything suck. It’s only in the 3rd year and beyond do you start to see any tangible results.

In the 4th and 5th years, compound interest really starts to work.b

Read also: How to become the highest version of yourself (in the next 6 months)

Adopt the mindset of Naval Ravikant, impatience with action but patience with results.

Over a long enough time horizon, nearly everyone wins.

Let me end with a paradox…

Taking all these actions doesn’t guarantee success.


Not doing these things guarantees you won’t be successful.


Work on your mindset as well as your skillset

Focus on execution, not just ideas.

Constantly keep growing.

Go deep, not wide.

Build your personal brand.

Join a community of people

Build a team of subcontractors.

Expand your time horizon.

Contributed by Michael Lim

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