Over the years, I’ve talked to and have worked with many business owners and in doing so I’ve identified many traits that sabotage success. I’ve also learned that just like people need help to become a better athlete, student, spouse, teacher, etc. business owners also need help cultivating the right mind-set in order to avoid self-sabotage.
It’s very common for business owners to say they want more success, say they want to increase their revenue and soar to new heights, however instead they take actions that go against the very thing they want most.
I’ve seen it time and time again. I’ve watched friends that were business owners stand still or completely lose their business because they are not willing to do what it takes to make their dreams come true. Then, they come up with any possible reason of why it didn’t or couldn’t work, when honestly, they were the biggest reason. However they are unable to admit it. It takes great courage to look at one self and say “I take full responsibility for my life and how I respond to the events that occur in it.”
The truth is that our minds are so very powerful and sometimes it just simply works against us by telling us constant lies and those lies are usually there to simply protect us from something our brain thinks is a danger to us. However, in reality it’s usually not a danger to us; it’s a danger to holding us back from our potential and becoming our best self.
So, here are 20 warning signs to help you identify whether or not you need what I like to call ‘business therapy or coaching’ and to help you avoid sabotaging your true dreams. This is designed to help you and not make you feel badly. It’s here to help you grow so you can truly reach new heights. Everyone needs support and help in any endeavor we choose.
Here we go:
1. You can’t let go: This applies to the business owner who believes only they can do it right. So, they have to do it all. You will only go so far if this is you. You must and I mean must hire help, get support and entrust others. Yes, mistakes will happen and NO they may not do everything as good as you do, but you need to hire help and you also need to hire folks that are smarter than you in certain areas. Let go.
2. You need to have all the information: This business owner has to know absolutely everything before they proceed forward with something new. They want all the facts and want 100% certainty it will work before they jump in. Unfortunately, this is just not possible. You can never know everything that is going to happen. You have to get the basics, do your best, jump in and correct as you move along.
3. You seek perfection with everything: This business owner is fixated on perfection with everything. They hold back releases, projects or campaigns that will help their business grow because they keep tweaking and tweaking until it’s too late. Perfection is not required for amazing success, nor is it possible.
4. You give up to easily: This business owner hears that webinars are a great way to bring in new business, they try one webinar, 8 people show up, they think that’s not enough and they give up. Most times when we try something new we get to practice on only a few people. That is a good thing. We refine our skills, we get better and then we keep repeating the process. As we do this we get better and attract more people. Don’t just try something once and think forget it. Keep going, learn more skills, hone in and make things happen.
5. You make a lot of excuses about why something didn’t work: This business owner may feel very insecure about their abilities and they make many excuses about why it’s not working. There is always an excuse and rarely does this business owner retool, learn new skills and create success. Get serious with yourself, stop making excuses and learn.
6. You blame others for mistakes: This business owner does not take full responsibility for their business. It’s their staff, their wife or husband, their kids, their vendor or even their clients. The truth is this…this business is YOURS and only YOURS. You are 100% responsible for it. You hired the vendors or the staff and your attitude dictates the quality of your business life, so I recommend changing it and take full responsibility. This is how you take back your power and make amazing things happen.
7. You complain you can’t find good people to work for you. This business owner convinces themselves there aren’t any high quality employees to hire. This is just not true. There are great people out there that need good work especially now during hard times. The key here is to let go of that disempowering belief. Brush up on your hiring skills and train your new employee or independent contractor, create systems and manage them well. This will free you up to focus on tasks that will help your business grow.
8. You’re stuck doing the same old thing and afraid to try new strategies. This new business owner desperately needs to let go of what doesn’t work and do something NEW. You don’t want to go extinct. You want to adapt, change and spread your wings.
9. You get fixated on very small details. This business owner gets focused on very small details all the time. I do believe that small details are important, but you don’t want to fixate on them. You want to improve everyday and do the small things very well, but you also want to focus on bigger projects and campaigns that will again help you soar and grow.
10. You don’t invest in your business education or development. This business owner may believe they know it all, or they don’t need to learn new skills or they are just so excited about their idea they just know it will take off. Listen, running a business is challenging and requires skills even if you have an amazing product or service. So, take classes, read books, read blogs and follow successful people so you can learn, learn and learn some more. You can never go wrong by learning new skills and implementing them.
11. You tell yourself and others you don’t have enough money to market your business. This business owners is convinced they just need to get more business and then they will have money to market. That is just ass backwards. You need a marketing budget and you need to market. This happens to be something I hear a lot and if you missed my blog about 50 Low or No Cost Marketing Ideas you can read it after this one. It will easily demonstrate that yes you do have enough money especially if you have a small service business. You need to get creative, think outside the box and use your elbow grease. Do that and I can almost ensure you better success unless there is no market for what you are selling.
12. You always go for the big win and when you don’t get it you abandon the project. This business owner is generally obsessed with only a HUGE WIN. Big wins are possible, but they are also not common. Four years ago I launched a business with a partner and we brought in $83,000 in one week. That was just amazing and a huge win for us. However, that is not the norm. It usually takes time. For example, Fedex only mailed 8 packages on their first day. Imagine if they just gave up after day one? So, don’t be the business owner who believes they need a big win in order for it to be considered a success. Small gains over time = success too. Keep going!
13. You’re juggling multiple projects, ideas or businesses and nothing gets done or moves forward. This business owner is all over the place with projects, ideas, other business opportunities and your hands are in everything. This is a sure fire way to fail and spread yourself too thin. Reign it in, pull back and let go of your fear of missing out.
14. You expect others to lead your business and take charge. This business owner looks to their team way too much. Your team is there to support you and yes you want them to take charge of their job and do it well, however you are the leader. You set the standards and you run the show.
15. You focus on ‘busy work’ in order to avoid making big strides in growing your business. This business owner kills their success focusing on busy work. Maybe it’s fear of success or fear of failure or something else that holds them back, but this person just fixates on small tasks that lead to never never land. Stop getting focused on small tasks. Focus on ones that bring in new money or repeat money.
16. You don’t think you need to have a plan or strategy on how you are going to get where you are going. This business owner wings it. Yes, at times you may need to wing it, but not all the time. You want to have a plan or a map on where you want to go and how you plan to get there. It’s just like taking a trip to a new vacation spot you’ve never been. You might get there faster and actually get to your destination of choice if you have a plan or map.
17. You resist seeing that your industry is dying or changing. All I need to say is one business name: Blockbuster. They refused to see it and thought they were too big to fail. Well, they are a dinosaur. Be willing to adapt, change and innovate. Don’t put yourself out of business because of a big ego, pride or naivety. Always innovate and look for new ways you can serve your client base better and better.
18. You are focused more on your perspective rather than your client’s perspective. This business owner is so common and easy to spot. Everything they do comes from their perspective. They don’t want to accept credit cards because they don’t want to pay the fees or extra charges, so they make their customers bring cash. They make things difficult or are very self-serving. This will only get you so far. It’s very important to think about your business from your clients, patients or customers experience and perspective. This will most definitely create raving fans and help you reach new heights.
19. You don’t think it’s important to manage your business finances and keep cash in your business. This business owner almost has no idea what is going on financially with their business. This is sure fire way to fail or even go under. Employees steal from business owners like this, I’ve seen it first hand. Protect yourself and protect your business. I know numbers can be boring, however hire an outside accountant, review your finances with this person regularly and keep cash in your business.
20. You micro-manage your staff, vendors and get caught up in all the little things instead of the bigger vision. This business owner is the micro-manager. This literally prevents and stops your talented staff from doing their jobs and doing them well for you. Micro-managing typically stagnates creativity and significant growth. If you’ve hired a staff member, have a regular meeting with them to see how progress is being made, but let them fly. As you let them fly they will help you fly even higher.
Well, now that you’ve read these 20 potential self sabotaging traits for business owners and you’ve identified that you have many, several or a few…what do you do about it? I recommend hiring a business coach, therapist/psychiatrist or consultant depending on your needs.
Some folks that are dealing with more serious issues may want to consult a health professional like a Psychotherapist or even a Psychiatrist. There may be issues surrounding depression, anxiety, adhd or a specific trauma/belief systems that disempower you regarding money, success and business from your past. This is very common because most of what we learned, experienced and witnessed as child effects us greatly in adult life.
Another option is consulting or coaching. It may be that you simply need a sounding board, a professional consultant to help you find better strategies or a coach that can keep you accountable for your actions.
Another side recommendation is that you do not seek advice from family, friends or from people that have never run a business, have completely failed in business (and never tried again) or have possibly contributed to the problem to begin with. It’s healthy to seek an outside perspective from a person that is not attached to your situation.
Here’s to your increased success!
Cheers, Love and Success,
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Amanda BrazelOwner/Expert Social Media Manager for Small Business. Read More.
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