Well, to be more specific, my thought patterns. There are a variety of destructive psychological mistakes that continuously cause entrepreneurs to make poor decisions. These patterns are very well documented and talked about, but they continue to haunt entrepreneurs on a daily basis.
Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny. – Ancient Maxim
It’s actually quite impressive how good human beings are at convincing ourselves of things that aren’t true. The primary one that killed my first startup is confirmation bias.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool. – Richard Feynman
Simply put, confirmation bias is your brain tricking you into somehow thinking that you’re special and that reality doesn’t apply to you. For example, some studies have shown that 21% of young people, when asked if they’d be rich when they were older responded with,”Yes, I’m going to win the lottery.”
If there’s a minuscule chance of winning the lottery, how can 21% of the people feel like it’s going to be them? It’s unrealistic.
Confirmation bias manifests itself commonly in entrepreneurship when founders are determining the viability of a new idea. The startup world has changed significantly with the advent of the lean startup movement where entrepreneurs are now developing hypotheses and testing them, but the experiments are often flawed.
Everyone wants to feel like their different – that they’re special. Entrepreneurs want to think that their idea is revolutionary and guarantees success because it was their idea.