Why so many entrepreneurs give up

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Desperate employee, stressed young man resting head on laptop keyboard

Statistically speaking, around 80% of all start-ups give up within three years of starting out.

This is a scary figure. There might be many reasons why entrepreneurs give up but, in the end, very often it relates to the lack of money.

This has bothered me for a very long time and for years I’ve been investigating this, trying to figure out a way to avoid that faith. Throughout my investigations I identified the following points as the main reasons for an entrepreneur to get into that situation:

  • Lack of business sense
  • Lack of skill or talent
  • Focusing purely on the money (short-term thinking)
  • Lack of support
  • Lack of infrastructure

There are many more, but I found these to be the main ones.

Start planning and start learning

If you are planning to become an entrepreneur and run a successful business, you need to learn about business. You need to look at the big picture. I truly believe everybody can be successful if he or she understands the basic principles, applies some common sense and is willing to put the action in. I would even go further and challenge anyone who thinks different. I actually do every day exactly that.

I select six entrepreneurs every year and coach them on a pure success basis: they make money, I make money. They don’t make money, I don’t make money. Because I know it works if the entrepreneur follows the points mentioned.

The result of my research is a simple tool I ask every inspiring entrepreneur to use and complete. It takes 10 minutes per day over four days. The result is often an eye-opener for many and clarifies so much. At just €10, it’s available now on our website. Just use the following link to download it.

The tool is called: Focus Discovery Tool and makes you look at three different areas.


  • Passions and Likes
  • Skills and Talents
  • Business Model

If you imagine each one as a circle and you start overlapping them, at one point you create a space where all three areas come together or overlap. That space is your Sweet Spot. The larger the space is, the more successful you will be – while enjoying what you do and hardly breaking a sweat. The smaller the space, then the more work you’ll have to put in.

If you can’t find that space, you will not make it. I now know that most young businesses fail because they only look at one or two of those areas.

But don’t think that you don’t have to work for it! On each step of the success ladder, your business requires different things from you. The higher you go, the more you need to adjust – and your willingness to change, learn and practice will be the main factor for your continuous success.

To sum it up:

To be successful today requires the right base (Skill/Talent, Passion/Drive and Business Model) and your willingness to grow with your business and build up the base to fit the need.

One more point – and this is why I avoided the word failure in the title. Failure is often disassociated from the entrepreneur and seen as a negative that requires him or her to stop. In my experience, this is not the case. The real reason is that the entrepreneur gives up. Whatever reason they find to fit and to justify their behaviour, they will use it. This brings us back to the fact that most entrepreneurs themselves are the reason for not being successful.

If you want to find out more about my challenge and want to become part of it, send me a mail and we will set up a video call meeting.

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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