The thin line between mediocrity and business success

by: November 4, 2014

Let’s face it – most people who call themselves or are categorised as entrepreneurs don’t achieve significant success.  Sure, they’ve broken away from the subservience of employment, are more in control of their future and financial reward than they previously were, but they rarely reach anywhere near the dizzy heights achieved by celebrity entrepreneurial role models.

So why is that? Well of course ‘success’ is in the eye of the beholder, but I’d suggest that there are few business owners who wouldn’t like to have done better.
The answer is simple: they think they’re better than they are. They’re unconsciously incompetent, destined to remain solepreneurs or running a micro business with a clear ceiling on achievement. If only they could just make that small step in self-awareness to consciously incompetent. It’s the thin line between mediocrity and success.
Knowing, really knowing, that you’re not the best thing since sliced bread, that there are other people who are much better, more experienced, more business savvy, from whom you can learn and become more competent.  However there’s one skill that’s essential and without which your chances are no better than rolling a die.  Judgement.  Being able to identify the people who can help, who you can role model from, the right people to employ, who will truly make your business a great success.
Entrepreneurs who can move into the mental state of consciously incompetent, and who flit from time to time into consciously competent and even unconsciously competent, are the ones destined for success.
But be aware – the danger of conscious competence is over-confidence, complacency, even arrogance – and there’s only a thin line to cross into unconscious incompetence again. Being successful once does not automatically mean that everything you touch will turn to gold. But recognising your own strengths and weaknesses will take you a long way along the path to success.
For more information about the four stages of competence, please see


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About Author

Paul is Zonata's founder and MD. He has a true passion for business and is massively excited by the opportunities that Zonata provides for its clients and partners. He loves helping owner-managed businesses be exceptionally successful, and enjoys the phenomenal quality of the people who work with him.

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