Self Sabotage: What you didn’t realize you were doing

30 07 2013

Self SabotageI assert that 99% of failed businesses are destroyed by the one person you’d least expect to wield the axe…

The creator.

But ask those business slayers, and the majority will have no idea what a starring role they played in their company’s demise.

Entrepreneurs are among the most self-aware group of individuals out there. The ability to recognize our own potential and maintain forward momentum in the face of criticism and doubt is what makes us visionaries.

So why would we kneecap our businesses without even realizing that we’re doing it?

It all goes back to self sabotage.

As discussed in previous posts, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of commitment, and just plain fear all play a role in WHY we commit self sabotage.

In today’s blog, let’s talk about HOW we self sabotage, and what we can do to reverse the damage.

UNDER-PLANNING

Entrepreneurs have a reputation for leap-now-look-later. It’s one of the things that makes us movers and shakers in a world of inaction and low expectation. But there is a line where visionary crosses over into carelessness. THAT is self sabotage.

When we start with no plan – no goals, no mission, no measurable benchmarks – then we’ve eliminated our source of motivation. And motivation is the fuel that powers our success.

If flying by the seat of your pants is how you operate best, go ahead and flap those fanny wings. But first give yourself a solid foundation from which to launch your trajectory.

OVER-PLANNING

Over-planning is the polar opposite of under-planning. It involves spending so much time creating the perfect business on paper or in our heads, that we never actually get around to making it happen!

This is the entrepreneurial equivalent of “all talk and no action.” Making a habit of it will ground our business for life.

So, when you catch yourself building castles in the sky, and twiddling your thumbs in reality, take a step – any step – to move you forward. The momentum you generate may be just what you need to succeed.

GETTING LOST IN THE DETAILS

A compliment to over-planning, getting lost in the details means spending ludicrous amounts of time sweating the small stuff, at the expense of accomplishing anything meaningful. Creating lists, blowing a day on little projects, and filing paperwork are a few of my favorite ways to avoid productive activity.

Getting lost in the details is the perfect self-sabotage – we justify it to ourselves and others by arguing that “it all needs to get done.” And sometimes it does, but RARELY do the little things need to be done that instant or even by us.

Prioritize, delegate, and give yourself the freedom and support to tackle the tasks that will legitimately move your business forward.

FATALISM

Those of you who have followed my blog are extremely well aware of how I feel about fatalism, superstition, and other scapegoating techniques – I loathe them. Fatalism entails placing responsibility for the success or failure of our business squarely in the hands of other people, events, and circumstances. This includes business advisers, family, economy, competitors, and current events.

Of all self sabotages, I consider this one the most dangerous. The moment we relinquish control of our business is the moment we relinquish control over our own future.

There is a very large difference between WEIGHING advice and circumstances in your decision making process, and BASING your decisions on them. If you find yourself stagnating because of something beyond your control, step back and reassess whether it truly is a roadblock, or an opportunity that – with a little elbow grease – can take you new and exciting directions.

Be honest with yourself. If your business is going nowhere fast, check to see where you may be getting in your own way. Find it, repair it, forgive yourself, and move on.

Otherwise, standing over the lifeless body of an up-and-coming business will be you, in the office, with self sabotage. Don’t be that criminal.

Be on your own side.”  ~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Are We There Yet?!: The marketing milestone marathon

12 08 2011

Road trip boredomRoad trip! The joy of adult existence; the bane of children everywhere.

Do you remember your earliest family road vacations, when your parents packed you and your siblings into the back seat with fruit snacks, juice boxes and various luggage items that wouldn’t fit in the trunk?

The first 30 miles were a blur of car games, sing-a-longs and back seat Chinese fire drills. The second 30-mile stretch disappeared in a haze of napping.

But those next hundred miles… ugh! Time and mile markers crawled by at snail’s pace. It was only a matter of time before a plaintive “Are we there yet?!” emanated from the back seat.

As adults, we may have tempered this impatience with maturity, but as business owners – particularly new business owners – our marketing plans occasionally find us regressing back to childhood frustration. Here’s what happens…

The Too-Lofty Marketing Plan
A marketing plan consists of one or more goals, usually about increasing revenue, that act as a marketing mission statement of sorts. It gives your advertising both a direction and a purpose. However, it’s not uncommon to mistake bigger for better.

The problem with Texas-sized goals isn’t their validity or their value; it’s the fact that they take so darn long to accomplish. The adult in us valiantly clings to patience. But the child in us (i.e. the inexperienced, exuberant part of us) is wondering if we’re EVER going to get there.

The last thing you want is for your enthusiasm to wane halfway through accomplishing your goal. You need that youthful energy to drive your entrepreneurial creativity, and keep your business evolving.

So here’s what you can do: Keep your big goals, but also keep your inner child gainfully amused along the way…

1) Create micro-goals.  Give yourself and your company something to shoot for every year, every month, every week and every day. It’s empowering to work with purpose.

2) Celebrate milestones.  Congratulate yourself and your team for accomplishing the little goals that are going to make the big ones possible. Create daily opportunities to feel triumphant. Success grows exponentially, so you may wind up breezing by your big goal and accomplishing something even greater!

3) Get creative with your goal setting.  Marketing goals don’t always have to be directly related to fattening the company wallet. Believe me, just about any strategic goal will lead to increased revenue in the long (or short) run. Alternate goals can be about networking events attended, sale opportunities researched, new marketing avenues explored, partnerships formed, efficiency increased or creating a new and marketable benefit for your product or service.

DMT Challenge of the Week

Take a few minutes to write down your marketing goal for today, one for the upcoming week and one for the end of the month. Be sure that each goal is measurable, so that you can determine whether the goal was a success. Now decide on your reward for each accomplishment, making sure that the scale of the reward fits the scale of the goal.

If you plan it right, the journey to your final goal will be as enriching as its ultimate achievement. And your road trip will be as exciting as your final destination.

“When you come to a fork in the road – take it.”  – Yogi Berra

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com