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  • Writer's pictureJustin W Atherton

Three Areas that Plague Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

I set out to uncover what holds business owners and entrepreneurs from performing at their highest levels. I sat down to speak with these leaders and innovators in diverse areas and varying levels of success and experience.

It amazed me to learn that each person I spoke with understood almost exactly what was holding them back in their business and how it affects them personally. Even though they understand what those areas are, there is either reluctance to make adjustments or they lack the skills in that specific area to change their behavior.

There are three key areas that create success for business owners. Each person has their own combination of which areas they excel in and which have deficiencies. It is possible to be successful in your business without having all three in alignment but you will be held back from achieving your highest potential without all three running smoothly.

It’s a difficult task to have each of these areas developed to the point where there is a healthy level of career and life balance. Success looks different for each person. Our society forces the idea that the more money you make equals a higher level of success. Where does being happy with your life fit in? Where does a great home life fit in to being successful? What about being healthy and living a sustainable lifestyle?

Each individual will have a different outlook on what success means to them. Problems arise when you let society and other outside influences tell you what it means to be successful. Here we will be discussing the three areas that must be addressed for you to become successful and master your peak performance.


The first key area shows up as the most prevalent and most dominate within the business owner and entrepreneur circle. This area of success is their Mentality. This equates to the persons drive to succeed, ability to take personal responsibility for the company and being action oriented.

This can also show up as a need for constant movement or information gathering. There is a divergence here in the level of change that is sought out. While some seek stability or control, others constantly seek change and growth. 

Some would say there is very little difference between business owners and entrepreneurs. Others claim that most entrepreneurs are business owners but few business owners are entrepreneurs.

I spoke with Chuck Thrash who is an owner of c|a Architects, an architecture firm in California. Chuck describes the difference he sees between entrepreneur life and the life of a business owner. “Most entrepreneurs need 80% chaos. I need more control.” Chuck went on to explain that control for him was having a routine and systems in place. Which side of this spectrum do you fall under? Do you need to embrace chaos to be an entrepreneur?

There are important skills within the umbrella of Mentality that are lacking in a large number of business owners and entrepreneurs.

  • Number one is the ability to relinquish control or delegate tasks to others. This shows up most when one person has built their company from the dirt floor to where it is now. There can be a lack of trust in the team and a fear of giving that control to someone else.

  • Second is avoiding undesirable tasks, also known as procrastination or avoidance. This can show up within the financial aspect of the company or in dealing with conflict among staff members.

  • Third on this list is their lack of communication skills. This shows up in multiple ways. It could be a lack of listening to truly understand staff or clients. It also shows up in unclear communication of desired tasks to employees.

All three of these areas create hours of wasted time. Not delegating smaller tasks to others leaves less time for the more important decisions or tasks that need to be handled. Delaying to take action can lead to more problems arising, which can cause even more delays. A lack of overall clear communication creates confusion and extended periods of back and forth between the parties involved.

What happens if you continue performing in this way? How much time will you waste in the span of a year? How much money will be lost in the process? You can suffocate your business by not releasing control to others. If your team knows you don’t trust them to make decisions, how long will they stay with you? Evaluate your communication and find where you are being consistently unclear. It may not be that others cannot grasp the concepts you lay out for them. Look for the common denominator in all failed communication you are a part of. YOU...


The second key area affects every aspect of the business owner or entrepreneur’s life. Emotional Fortitude shows up as the ability to handle the highs and lows that companies experience throughout the years, being able to recover from failure without extended periods of delayed action and making happiness a priority. This includes your happiness and your family’s happiness.

Todd Vande Hei, CEO of Stark Life, spoke to me about how humbling it can be to lose everything in your business. Being a business owner who has recovered from failures in his career, Todd now uses that as fuel to propel him forward “The mistakes I’ve made are priceless. I seek failure.”

When your Emotional Fortitude is well developed it gives you a sense of peace. There is less attachment to being right and conflicts are few and far between. Decision making will be clearer. Efficiency and effectiveness are byproducts of having this skill well developed. Failures will be looked at as learning experiences. Most important of all, will be an ability to mange your own stress levels.

The dark side to being under-developed in your Emotional Fortitude comes across as a high level of anxiety on a daily basis. I've talked to business owners that describe waking up with a "ton of bricks on their chest" every day. You make decisions based on emotions rather than facts. You have an inability to enjoy family time without thinking about work. You find it difficult to deal with setbacks and minor failures and allow that fear to delay your decision making process.

Not only is this the most detrimental skill for a business owner or entrepreneurs to neglect, it’s also a skill set that has only recently come to light as being extremely important. Important in business life and in personal life.

Dave Catudal, Founder of Tranzend,
“If you don’t take care of yourself, you project unresolved energy and can negatively affect your team and environment.”

Think about the impact your emotional state has on those around you. This includes your company and your family. We have all been around that person who is in a perpetual bad mood. What happens when that person is in a leadership position? Or worse, what if that person runs the company? Are you that person? Where is your level of Emotional Fortitude?

That level of constant stress and anxiety is unsustainable. You think to yourself, “If I can just get to that next level, it will get better,” or “I’ll relax when I start making more money.” When your goals are constantly shifting, those points of stress relief shift as well. As business owners and entrepreneurs, you weigh your own emotional health against the expected ROI. This is a faulty way to approach your own life and well-being.

When decisions become based on solely on emotions, the business suffers for it. This could show up in the hiring and firing process. Choosing the right people that fit your company is an important and difficult task to complete. Your may hire based on previous work experience or based on culture fit. When it comes to dealing with people, using emotional input is relevant. Yet if you rely too heavily on those emotions it can lead to hiring the wrong people for the job. The scary thing is that when you completely shut off your emotions the same results will happen. How do you balance this out?

“If I could go back and change one thing, I would hire quality people instead of people I could afford at the time. It was more expensive in the long run,”
Kim Tweedel, Owner of Advocates for the Independent.

When deciding to fire someone from your company, you may let go of someone that was a good fit because of one incident that triggered a high-level emotional reaction from you. On the other side, you may have let someone linger in your company for too long because of the sympathy you felt for their situation. Either way you can see how those scenarios are a detriment to your business.

Lastly, an overall lack of Emotional Fortitude can lead you to neglect your family. When asked to name one area of their personal life business owners and entrepreneurs want to improve, the number one answer is “spend more time with my family.”

This ties in with that unrelenting drive for success. Being the provider for your family is important to you. Giving them that financial security and making sure that they will have a better life, are top of your list. Guess what is on the top of your family’s list? Your family wants to spend more time with you. This also means quality time. When was the last time you turned off your phone, stopped checking emails and focused on them?

Don’t blame yourself. All of these factors; high level of anxiety, making emotional based decisions and an inability to enjoy family time, are not your fault. They are, however, your responsibility to fix. You are able to learn skills that will affect all of these areas in your life and business.

Having a strong level of Emotional Fortitude is not something that you’re either born with or you’re not. You can develop these skills and affect change in every interaction you have moving forward.

What are the negative impacts of not having your Emotional Fortitude in check? The stress you deal with daily is unsustainable. You’re headed for a breakdown that you may not recover from. Are you seen as an effective leader or do your employees walk on eggshells around you, waiting for the next blow-up? Maybe they push you around because they know you won't take control of the situation. How long will your family put up with being neglected? Think about the impact on your children and your spouse. Have you talked with them about this? Do you even know how?


The last of these key areas is certainly not the least. However, setting aside those in the health and wellness industry, Health Consciousness is the most neglected area for business owners and entrepreneurs like you.

When your Health Consciousness is well developed, your energy level is consistently higher, it creates an outlet for stress relief and gives you a confidence boost in several aspects of your life.

I will be clear, Health Consciousness, does not mean that you have to be in the gym lifting heavy weights everyday. There are countless ways to create a foundation of health that will fit into your life. Exercise of any type is a cornerstone to having Health Consciousness. This could mean swimming, running, walking, yoga, Pilates and the list goes on forever.

How can it be that business owners and entrepreneurs, like you, understand the importance of having Health Consciousness and still ignore it? It’s very simple. You don’t make it a priority. Something else is always more important. That phone call you have to make, that email you need to answer or the “vice” you use as a stress reliever. Drug and alcohol abuse in the world of business owners and entrepreneurs is a scary truth.

  • Some of the overlooked areas of Health Consciousness are; hydration, recovery, lighting, screen time, exposure to environmental pollutants and an appropriate diet. Each one of these is a minor adjustment to your daily routine.

The dark side of neglecting your Health Consciousness can show up in obvious ways or the more dangerous unseen effects our bodies take on. A decreased energy level (including your libido). Seeing your body slowly fall apart will lead to a lack of confidence that will seep into every aspect of your life. The decline of your mental acuity will creep up on you. These are all underlined by the prolonged damage to your quality of life and possibly the length of your life.

Think about how much less productive you are when you have low energy. You can’t push through those 12 and 15 hour workdays like you used to. Getting up in the morning gets harder and harder. Then when you get home, you don’t have enough energy to enjoy the time with your family. Does your spouse get neglected at the end of the night? This goes for both men and women.

You get to a point when you notice that your body has changed dramatically. I’m not talking about the minor changes that come with age. We all experience that. I am talking about how letting your body slowly get out of hand to where your quality of life is at stake.

This will lead to a lower overall confidence level. This lack of confidence in yourself can affect how you feel at home and at the office. I’m not suggesting that you need to have six pack abs to be the confident leader of your company but enjoying the way you look and feel will create an underlying level of confidence in every interaction you have on a daily basis.

A scary and almost unnoticeable side effect of neglecting your Health Consciousness will be a lack of mental acuity. When your health is out of alignment and your body is constantly operating in survival mode, your body sends less resources to your brain. Your bodies energy is spent on pumping your dehydrated blood through your arteries, energy on carrying around the excess weight and energy trying to constantly detox your body from the poisons you are ingesting.

What happens is that your brain health is now in decline. You won’t even notice it at first. You’ll start forgetting things. You're slower at making decisions. You will get confused more easily.

How effective of a leader and business owner can you be if you are operating in this way? Which ones can you see that have started to kick in already? If you continue on this path things will only compound on themselves. It will be harder and harder to dig yourself out of that unhealthy hole you’ve dug for yourself. Your quality of life will continue to decline and you will inevitably shorten your lifespan.

How do you solve the issues linked to your MENTALITY, EMOTIONAL FORTITUDE and HEALTH CONSCIOUSNESS?

There is a solution to each and every one of these concerns and deficiencies. You must be willing to accept that they exist and then you have to be able to ask for help.

  • Knowledge falls into three categories for us. First is the “things we know that we know.” These are tools and concepts we have gathered throughout the years. Processes that we can put into place and in actions we can take. You could make a long list of the things that you know that you know.

  • Second is the area of the “things we know that we don’t know.” This could be languages we have not learned to speak or technical skills we have not acquired. We can do one of two things with this knowledge. We can learn the skill and move it into “things we know we know,” or we can hire someone else to do it for us. We can make a long list of the things we know that we don’t know.

  • The third one gets tricky. This area is the “things we don’t know that we don’t know.” I like to refer to these as blind spots. We cannot make a list in this category because we have not been exposed to the knowledge or information yet.

In each key area, Mentality, Emotional Fortitude and Health Consciousness, exists each type of knowledge.

You know the things you do well. Could these things be improved upon? If your answer is no, you’re already backsliding. Keep doing those things you do well and seek out ways to improve upon them.

You know the things you don’t do well or don’t know how to do at all. For those things outside yourself, you may be able to hire someone to handle them for you. For those internal struggles you have, the ones that you haven’t been able to find a solution for, you have to be smart enough and humble enough to ask for help.

The things you don’t know that you don’t know are harder. To discover these, you have to find someone that has already developed those skills and had those tough conversations. More likely than not you won’t find that person in your current sphere of influence. You have to look outside of your circle to find someone with new insight to give you.

Being a well-rounded individual will help you sustain the life of an entrepreneur or business owner. It will be a tough road to walk down as many of you have already seen in your careers. 

“Entrepreneurship can be lonely. I see it like this; there’s a need, how can I help fill it.”
Laura Wilkerson,Founder of Advanced Medical House Calls Dementia Care Academy

Don’t continue on this path alone. Can you do it? Yes, and you had a level of success. What areas of your life have you been neglecting? You are depriving yourself of being happier and healthier than you have ever been. Stop suffocating your mind, emotions and body. How much more productive and happier would you be if those areas fell into alignment?

Find clarity and focus to take your business to new heights, eliminate your anxiety to become the decisive leader you strive to be and establish a foundation of self-care to create a healthy lifestyle focused on longevity. Ask me how...

“Burn your boats. Burn them again and again.” Jeremy Quant Founder and Owner of Dot RED. I love this reprised quote that stems from a historical conquest. At its essence, burning boats represents a point of no return, a psychological commitment where you recognize that you have crossed a line never to cross back. There's no looking over your shoulder at the things you've done in your past.

You aren't the person that got you here today. You are the person you choose to be in every moment moving forward. Are you ready to burn your boats? Stop looking back and see what the future has in store for you? 

To learn more about the three key areas of mastering your Mental, Emotional and Physical State:

Watch my FREE four part video series: Click Now.

About the Author:

Justin Atherton is The Peak Performance Consultant. His upfront and in your face coaching style has led to swift transformations for his clients in their business and personal lives.

Justin has a knack for quickly uncovering areas that his clients are deficient in and giving them tools that will impact all areas of their life for years to come.

"I am committed to inspiring others and helping them discover their limitless possibilities."
Justin Atherton Peak Performance Consultant


What Justin's clients say:

I wanted to acknowledge you for who you are and how you show up for others. Every call we have had has made a huge difference for me. I never walked away from a call with you and said I didn’t get anything out of it. Some of the calls we’ve had has hit me to my core. It shifted my confidence. It shifted my views/perceptions. It shifted my emotions. It shifted my relationship with myself and others. And most importantly... my circumstances didn’t change but who I am in the matter shifted. And that’s profound!!! 
I am left with a clear space to restore my own power and I can leave all the garbage aside. I have a choice. I am not run by it. I can continue to carry the garbage or I can set it aside. It’s my free choice and after our calls I am still getting value from it. I start to question my negative self-talk because I can see my negative thoughts. I ask myself, is it true? Where is the threat? What am I fearing? I start to ask myself questions because you ask me questions that made me get out of my automatic mode. I had to think. I had to come from a place of generating and not on autopilot. 
Being present gives me clarity. I have to say, when I’m left to my own mind it doesn’t go well. It leads me down a dark hole and I end up stuck there for a long time. Your coaching has helped me so much. I see you being as big if not bigger than Tony Robbins and that’s a compliment. LOL 
I was so happy after your coaching. It shifted me. I know I told you that I actually enjoyed cleaning my house. I played with my kids. I laughed so much and so hard. I was present. I was even happy!!! I wasn’t grumpy, moody and irritated. My kids told me it’s so much fun to color with mommy! We had a coloring competition. It’s so awesome to be out of that negative space and focused and present. I know I’ll have moments that will trigger me and I’ll be able to snap out of it faster next time around. 
So thank you !!!! I want to be a badass like you! 
Also I’m excited for the new possibilities showing up for me in real estate. Thanks again!!!!!!!! Even today, I had a few incidents that weren’t positive. My mind went to all this negative stuff. I started to feel it in my body. I felt tense, a little upset, overwhelmed and pressured. But then I could hear your questions. “Is it true?” I stayed with that question in several areas and then I asked myself, Who’s doing this? Others or me? Then I looked for hard evidence. Of course, it was only my thoughts, beliefs, perceptions. And I slowly gave it up. I was able to finally relax and I communicated to the people that triggered me. I restored my integrity there and my power. I was able to take care of my needs and not have that resentment there on others. No pointing the blame on anyone. 
I call that a damn breakthrough!
Anissa G Real Estate Investor


Thank you to everyone that sat down to have a conversation with me about this topic. Your insight and experience will resonate with so many others that are going through similar pains and experiences.

Peak Performance Consultant | Performance Strategist | Performance Coach | Speaker | Mentor | Confidence Coach | Leadership Coach | Mindset Coach |

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