Muhammad Ali famously said: “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you down. It is the pebble in your shoe.”

There is more truth in that one statement than in all you best friend’s advice. Most people are up for the challenge. But at the same time most people don’t know what it takes to overcome that challenge. They think if they have gumption and skill odds are in their favour. If only it were true.

What is the pebble in your shoe?

Maybe it’s an “I can do it myself” mind set. I’ll go gentle on you: Being an entrepreneur doesn’t make you good at book keeping or marketing or management. Maybe you aren’t fit so you get tired easily. Maybe you lose your temper with people and don’t understand why no one respects you. Maybe you keep holding onto past failures or successes that ultimately cloud your perspective. Maybe you have destructive self-talk. Maybe you have an inflated ego.

That is the stone in your shoe. You have to deal with it. Otherwise you and your business are going nowhere. This is exactly why some people are successful and others are not. The former are willing to get their hands dirty and do what the others are not willing to do. The latter think that because the pebble is so miniscule, it won’t make a difference in the long run.

When running a business you need a clear mind. Get rid of every mentality that can hold you back. This does not refer to your natural weaknesses or bent. These pebbles are habitual mistakes that can be avoided by changing your mind. The right mind set is vital.

Remember that getting rid of the pebble in your shoe will give you confidence for the race ahead of you. It does not make all the challenges in a marathon go away, but it gives you the edge, the focus and the optimal approach you need to have the best chance of successfully finishing your race. Being successful in business is a choice. Be willing to deal with the pebble in your shoe. Face it head on.