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