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.

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Why, When TED Talks, I Listen

1 02 2013

I am addicted to TED Talks.

There. It’s said. No turning back now.

TED Talks are the equivalent of entrepreneurial caffeine… but without the negative side effects. (I just heard a collective *huff* from coffee drinkers everywhere.)

TED Talks pump you up, restructure your thinking, and generate introspection, motivation, and evolution. It feeds your ideas and curiosity, and the long-term benefits are as incredible as you want to make them.

So, yes, I am addicted to TED Talks. Let me see if I can make YOU addicted, too.

The video below of Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” is one of my earliest TED Talks experiences, and it makes an absolutely beautiful follow up to my previous blog post about why you are in business. Watch, listen, ponder, and let me know your thoughts:

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”  ~Simon Sinek in “Start With Why”

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

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





Wear Your Number Proudly: Entrepreneurial self-gratification

7 11 2012

Wear your numbers with prideA few years ago, butterfly hordes took my innards hostage, while I stretched before my first duathlon (run/bike competition). Surrounded by fellow, shivering newbies making repeat bathroom runs in the pre-sunrise chill, I distinctly remember the moment that volunteers penned my race number on my arms and legs. They used permanent marker for easy identification. I felt so official.

I was a duathlete.

I finished in the top something-or-other, and walked away with a medal, a banana…

… and permanent marker proof that I had competed.

For a whole week after, I was very careful not to scrub off my numbers. They lingered, and I sheepishly recall spending that week in sleeveless shirts and shorts, running errands and eating out like it was going out of style. I was PROUD, and receptive to a little recognition.

If you’re smirking, I suggest you recollect back to the medals, trophies, ribbons, certificates, degrees you’ve had on display. And what about the times you’ve gone out in your soccer kit, gi, team jersey, golf get-up, exercise gear, etc., when it would have been just as easy to change first? We thrive on recognition: we’re human.

And there is nothing wrong with that. It’s one of the perks of doing something that few can or will do. It’s a motivator. It’s a reminder. It makes us a part of something cool. It’s EARNED.

Being a successful entrepreneur is remarkably special. It takes guts, brains, charisma, bravery, endurance, strategy, self-motivation…

So, where’s our trophy? Our certificate? Our badge of honor?

It’s in our branding!

Every time you wear a company shirt, mail company letterhead, conclude emails with company info, set up company voicemail, direct people to your company website, and post on your company Facebook, you are shouting your accomplishment from the rooftops,

“I own a business, and it’s the real deal!”

To keep your enthusiasm at an all-time high, get your branding out everywhere. Embroider it, attach it, print it, post it, vocalize it – this is a special situation where reaping recognition coincides directly with building success. You never know when your branding exuberance will spark a conversation with the right person, in the right place, at the right time. Why not improve the odds?

Entrepreneurs, “wear your numbers” with pride. YOU’VE EARNED IT.

DMT Artistry’s re-branding… yeah, it’s back ON. (The photo at top is just a small segment of a very impressive race number wall at Hometown Bicycles.)

Note: I dedicate this blog post to my Uncle Mark, who will be a guest blogger in the near future (right, Uncle Mark?), and inspired me to write a new post. Much obliged! 

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

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Flat Out Scary: Mixing Business With Superstition

10 08 2012

Mixing business with superstitionA few days ago, I heard something that chilled me. To. The. Bone.

A new acquaintance complimented me on my 4-wheeled transport. Do you have goosebumps yet? No? Good, because that’s not the scary part.

I am fiercely proud of my car – not because it’s beautiful (it is), but because I worked so hard to make that purchase possible. Where one person sees a hunk of steel on wheels, I see restructuring MY life to give my BUSINESS life – long hours of mind-cramping design sessions, intense dedication to exceeding expectations, balancing precariously on the diplomatic highwire, sweating bullets over deadlines, epic mental battles with self-doubt, and more all-nighters than you can shake a stick at.

I shared an abbreviated version of this with the complimenting party, and she responded with:

“Oh, boy… you’re in trouble. It’s when you care about something that bad things happen. I couldn’t care less about my car – see? [gesturing grandly at a rusted out minivan] – and nothing’s happened to it.”

If the hair isn’t crawling on the back of your neck, check yourself for a pulse.

This kind of superstitious negativity is the antichrist of entrepreneurship (and, in my opinion, humanity). This is the reason – read: excuse – to hunker below sub-mediocrity. But if you don’t care about your business, who will?

As an entrepreneur, YOU DON’T DO mediocrity.

Contrary to hoodoo-voodoo beliefs, rational pride (emphasis on “rational”) in your achievements is NOT the beginning of the end. It’s a crucial element of business growth.  If you quake with each new customer, cringe at each dollar earned, and flatline every time you make a business conquest, your company – and you – will be lucky to survive a week.

I challenge you to place rational value in the things you’ve earned – whether it be money, success, fame, or the positive perks that result from them. You worked hard for these. They are motivators, and motivators are what give us drive to achieve, and continue achieving, greatness.

What are your thoughts regarding mixing business with superstition?

Next Blog: DMT Artistry’s business rebranding took a turn for the exciting, as I’ve just moved to my new office. For now, it’s a playground of cardboard boxes and construction materials, but it’s given me new incentive to put my logo on the renovation fast-track. I’ll be back in another 2 weeks with the next installment of The DMT Idea Board. Thanks for reading!

“I had only one superstition. I made sure to touch all the bases when I hit a home run.”  ~Babe Ruth

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

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.