Types of People Who do More Harm Than Good for Startup Founders

Conceiving, researching, organizing and launching a startup is among the hardest things any of us will ever do. It’s a balls-to-the-wall, take-no-prisoners, only-the-strong-survive venture with absolutely no guarantees of success.

So much of the success hinges on you, namely the things you do. But that’s only the tip of the ice-burg.

Starting a profitable business often comes down to the people you surround yourself with, and I’m not just talking about mentors, business contacts and employees. The simple act of stopping in the hall of your building and talking to that little crotchety-old-curmudgeon from two doors down can have long-reaching consequences to the success, or failure of your business.

So who have you been spending your time with lately?Personality Types to Avoid When Starting a Business

1. The narrow-minded.

We’ve all met this type. There’s only one way to do everything. Stray from their desired course and you’re forever doomed for failure. It’s also a good bet that they’ll never let you forget it if you don’t do things their way. This incessant creature will bring you down every single time. They might already be a huge, seemingly irremovable fixture in your life before you start a business too — your father, brother, sister, cousin, grandma, etc.

You may not be able to get them out of your life completely, but tell them straight away that you’re going to dance to the beat of your own drum and aren’t interested in their single-minded approach to how your going to launch and/or run your new enterprise.

2. The tag-along.

The tag-along will do more than invite his or herself to every party you’ll ever host. You can always count on them to be waiting outside your door first thing every Saturday morning just to “see what you’re doing today” so they can insert themselves into every facet of your life. When they learn you’ve done something without involving them, you never hear the end of it and are forced to suffer through the sad looks or endless angry glares that serve as your punishment.

Mr./Ms. Tag-along will also want to ride your coattails when it comes to bringing your innovative ideas to the world when starting a new business. They feel that since they’re so loyal to you and that you’re both such good friends, that you should bring them in on your startup idea. The problem is that, in most cases, you’ll never really have their full support or understanding because they’re just doing it because you are. You’re just a crutch for this person. They don’t have your soul or drive. Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice your success for their emotional well-being.

3. The historian.

The historian can wear many hats. But the over-arching theme in every facet of their life is that they love to dwell in the past. This can be a good thing if you’re on a road-trip and they point out significant landmarks and tell vivid stories about how a great war was fought on the football or soccer field you just passed. Historians have their place, but the type I’m describing can be incredibly toxic to your entrepreneurial agenda.

The historian I’m referring to is the one that never lets you forget how you failed the last time you tried to launch a business; or worse, how you’ve failed every single time you’ve tried leading up to this point. They also love to tell yarns to anyone who’ll listen about how you seem to fail at everything in your life: relationships, school, sports, board games, etc. As with others, we can’t outright eliminate all the historians from our lives, but we can minimize the time spent with them and certainly don’t need to listen to their naysaying when it comes to grinding out our next business idea.

4. The slighter.

The slighter is such a failure in their own right that they just can’t ever seem to pass up the opportunity to slam your great accomplishments. While most all of us feel a twinge of jealousy when we hear of other people’s accomplishments, the slighter feels downright contempt and isn’t afraid to express it — again and again and again! This type of person is particularly toxic when it comes to helping you attain your goals. They don’t offer critical advice, ever. They don’t even know how to form a logical opinion of their own.

The more you listen to them and allow their ideas to penetrate your consciousness, the more they make sense. However, most slighters are nothing more than big, immature babies who lack the drive and desire to make their own dreams into reality. They prefer to sit on the sidelines and mock, like an out-of-shape spectator at a Cavaliers game screaming at Lebron James because he hasn’t hit his second three-pointer of the game yet, even though he’s scored 22 points already.

5. The saboteur.

There are numerous saboteurs that we come across in life. They come in all shapes and sizes. The worst saboteur is the one who resides in your skull — ie., YOU. You are the real menace when it comes to destructive personality types that can ruin your chances at success in business. Most negative self-talk and behavior is based in fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of change — who you’ll have to become to get where you want to be.

It’s easy enough to ignore all the ignoramuses listed above. But you can’t ignore the demon inside your head, spreading negative thoughts, forcing you to not make that phone call to set up a loan meeting with the bank, telling irate customers to screw off when you know it could destroy your reputation, sleeping in when you have a million important things to do and only a day to do them, etc. Control your own thoughts and actions and you really don’t have to worry about anyone else.

Garbage in, garbage out.

The late Jim Rohn said: “Nourish the mind like you would your body. The mind cannot survive on junk food.”

It’s your choice…

Are you ready to take out the trash yet, or is it too important to you?


Main Image Credit: Dan Foy/Flickr