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Mindset Makeover for Men: Top 6 Mindset Challenges that Haunt Male Entrepreneurs

Our brothers in the entrepreneur world may hate talking about it, or avoid admitting it to themselves. But that doesn't mean it doesn't stand in their way.

(Photo by Ali Yahya)

With the growing acceptance—and sometimes, dependence—for business and mindset coaches, the industry is truly looking bright.

According to John LaRosa of Market Research, the US personal coaching industry already topped $1B, and it’s still growing. In the same resource, he also noted that the industry is comprised of affluent baby boomers and female customers, with the female market dominating weight loss, relationships, exercise, spirituality, and business coaching.

Coach Federation also notes that the number for global female coaches accounting for 67% of the market as well. Layman logic would say this is natural; it’s women who are more open communicators, hence, they’re also the ones who are more open for help.

On the other hand, it is undeniable that male entrepreneurs are going through their own struggles too, and the unfortunate thing is that, sometimes they’re even embarrassed to discuss it. And we’ll go deep on that right now.

I reached out to my friends and got interesting insights. Here are six male entrepreneurs from different industries telling us what they think is the biggest mindset problem for most male entrepreneurs, and shares with us pieces of advice on how to get over it:

“Veer away from too much comparison”

Zachary Babcock, host of Underdog Empowerment, a podcast for aspiring and thriving entrepreneurs, shares that the biggest mindset problems that he sees in male entrepreneurs is that they compare their chapter one to someone’s chapter 26. Guys see these uber successful Instagram profiles, purchase of luxury goods, and get sucked into the age-old lure of materialism, the promise of power, and money.

“I personally got over this by getting crystal clear on the outcomes I want, developing an action plan towards it, and ignoring the other stuff,” he shares.

Zachary rose from losing his father when he was seven, losing his sister over heroin overdose, being in prison twice, to having a successful podcast, speaking, and coaching career.

“Let go of your ego”

This is not new—ego is a huge male problem. Apparently, it’s even more apparent in the business and personal coaching industry.

“Most guys sit on the sidelines and wait for the perfect idea, the perfect opportunity, the perfect angle, and it never appears. Really, we should just jump into action, and get comfortable with our worst case scenario,” Wade Alters, Relationship Advisor and Lead Trainer at Wade Alters Consulting.

Wade also believes that this is caused by approval seeking patterns that we learned from our parents early in life. For example, you stack the blocks in order and get a hug. Then get the gold star in the classroom and gain love from your parents. Then the opposite also works—as in, if you miss the goal, you fail the test, you’ll get yelled at or grounded. This leads to a massive fear in making mistakes, and mistakes are necessary in getting to success.

“Have enough mental resilience to handle financial struggles”

Leadership Coach Sterling Cooley noticed a common pattern among new (male) entrepreneurs. He says that most of them start slow and when money gets tight, then they are quick to turn on Netflix and drinking, and looking for other avenues to mentally escape. Most of us are not built for mental resilience, so most of them can be really good at becoming a turtle during tough times, but are quick to spend fast when money comes.

A good way to fight this, he says, is to get brutal on yourself and focus on where you want to be. “Protect your time, follow the money, and be vicious about the quality of people around you,” he shares.

“Weak foundation of character”

With the slew of Tai Lopez and “cooler than you” personas online, it’s easy to chase likes, praise, and fame. Most guys look for validation from the world instead of within, so they project a false mask of fake confidence with the strength of an over-extended Jenga tower. And because they haven’t forged a foundation of character, they are obsessed with impressing people, but deep inside they will always feel inadequate. We all know how guys fall into this trap and forget about a very crucial thing in entrepreneurship: chasing skills, self-love, and deep competence.

World-class copywriter and Director of Opposed Media Mitch Miller attests to this. Majority of his clients and his social media following is male, and he could see similar patterns. He shares how most guys put any other man on a pedestal, crave shortcuts, and then miss the chance to build character and a person of depth, and “someone they can be proud of”.

“I went from caring about my looks to caring about the results, loving the journey, doing things privately (for me), and developing a relationship with myself,” he further adds.

“Misguided beliefs about what masculinity is”

Growing up, we have ideas planted to our brains by father figures, society, media, and people we consider role models, like sports coaches, for example. (And female figures, for women too.) That we have to be strong. Rich. Not show emotion. Have as many women as possible. Have all the cars, watches, and praise. Most guys aren’t even aware of their beliefs and how it’s affecting them, and whether they are moving towards the right “ideal”.

“We usually forget what we really want and stand for, and then make up fake fears. Everyday, I get by by reminding myself that we just need to focus on the moment, and not the monsters that may or may not be up ahead. I am an immigrant, and coming here, if I followed the regular ‘American Dream’ look, I’d probably lose my focus.” Immy Tariq, an immigrant-turned-entrepreneur, shared with us today. He currently owns and leads a Search Engine Management company.

“Most men are emotionally disconnected”

“Disconnected emotionally, disconnected from their feelings. I’m not talking about having sissy boys or sensitive New Age guys everywhere, but emotional repression is entirely different from emotional control.
Why?
They automatically lose over 99% of their power. Power resides in the subconscious mind which is emotionally based and driven. All decisions… every single decision you make, is an emotional decision. The mind makes a decision based on emotion and then we in turn rationalize why we made that decision and think that’s why we did it,” Clay Moffat, founder of Grey Zone Underground, an NLP and Hypnosis Practitioner, boldly shares.

Case in point: have you ever made a rational decision when angry, sad, fearful, guilty, hurt or even when in complete elation? Simple answer… no. To make a rational decision we need to be in a state of flow, in the zone, at peace or calm. 

To get to the ideal state, Clay works out a self-policing process: first, when you notice yourself acting out, stop and say “thank you” to yourself. After that, get clear on your intentions and think about which specific intention is behind your recent behavior. Then, ask yourself how you want to be different, or how you want the situation to be different. Lastly, you can also ask, “what would you like to do next time?” 

You can write this down and do it so often until it becomes more natural to you. Be honest with yourself and get absolute clarity on what outcomes you want. Then the outcomes will just show themselves. 

Very little is written about the struggles that men face in the crazy–and often brutal–world of entrepreneurship. Women are fighting their own battles, but it doesn’t mean that men come out of this journey unscathed. So if you have someone close to you whom you think might be going through one of the points mentioned here, it’s high time to give them your support, and tell them that they are not alone. We always need better men in business.

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