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Are You Sabotaging Your Own Business Success?

Do you remember being employed? Whether it was a long time ago or recent, I’m sure you can remember your boss. Disgruntled staff will tell stories and give examples of why they think their boss is an idiot. These feelings are based on knowing a few pieces of a much larger jigsaw puzzle. However, opinion…

Do you remember being employed?

Whether it was a long time ago or recent, I’m sure you can remember your boss.

Disgruntled staff will tell stories and give examples of why they think their boss is an idiot. These feelings are based on knowing a few pieces of a much larger jigsaw puzzle. However, opinion creates attitude, which in turn creates actions or in some cases lack of action. The result of this negativity is that somebody receives sub-standard work.

Unless you had a great boss, I’m sure you can recall a time, or indeed many times when you were unhappy at work, either because something was said, not said, or something did/didn’t happen that you wanted. Maybe at some point in time, you were in complete opposition to a decision that had been taken. Can you remember the feeling? Following this decision, it’s likely you also made a counter decision consciously or sub-consciously that meant the business wouldn’t get the best from you.

So let’s fast forward to today, with you being the ‘boss’…

OK, it’s my intention with this article to keep you in a retrospective mood, for good reason…your future success.

Do you know there are two versions of you? Without you becoming defensive, or irritated by where this article is leading, just stay in the moment and accept this is possible. There is the daily boss who is making decisions, sometimes based on what you think you should do or what others expect you should do. This is the person who is weighing up all of the pros and cons of making a decision whilst simultaneously being driven by outside forces such as the wages must be paid for all employees, the rent or mortgage must be paid at home etc.

question-answerThen there is the other you…this is the person who created the company and yet may have forgotten the most important reasons why the business was created. Take a moment to stop and answer this, “what was it that made you want to start your business in this industry?”

When answering this question, you should be thinking about the numerous “whys”. This is a person with passion and creativity. It takes something special to create a business and build it. I’m expecting this is the same person who could sit with their best friend and listen to their troubles, giving lots of advice. I wonder whether, when you’re in this mode that you have a few guilty feelings realizing what you’re not doing yourself.

Recognising you have these two distinct personalities is the first stage in changing your fortunes. Perhaps, over time, there has been a dominant side to your character, not so much driven by passion but driven by need. Each week, decisions are made based on the current needs of your staff, your customers, your bankers, etc.

But what about you? Finding the creative you again, what decisions would you make? It’s important to disregard resources. By the way, it’s been said that when a business is short of resources this is due to the lack of resourcefulness of the owners and/or managers. This happens a lot when the creative you is suppressed and the other you takes over.

Break free of the downward cycle

Yes you are in a cycle, because behaviours are repeated over and again – you are conditioned to this. If you have made decisions due to the condition of “lack of” then these could be the decisions that are sabotaging your success. By feeling there is a “lack of” in your life, you are saying you are smaller than the thing you are lacking. And yet, we are all incredible, creative beings that are so much more than this.

First of all, it’s important to recognize that it’s OK to be afraid, nervous, lacking ideas, stuck in a rut etc. That’s in the past and the fact that you are reading this article means that you are changing your present through recognition and realization. It doesn’t have to be in your future either, which has infinite opportunities and possibilities. Take a minute to recognize, these feelings and simply accept them.

By recognizing feelings, you are being true to yourself. When you are being true to yourself, this is the first place for creativity. This is the place you need to be when making decisions…in a state of honesty. Whilst you’re here, look at your business, feel your business and then get busy…

  • Which areas do you consider you’ve made incorrect decisions or the outcome wasn’t how you intended? How can this be fixed?
  • Where are the opportunities for your business in 2017? Why are these important? (Remember, you are deciding from a state of passion for what you do).
  • Why is it important to change the thinking in your organization?

Some people believe that they need a sign to recognize where they are in their business or personal life. And, some even decide what the sign must be. There could be an “if, then” scenario being played e.g. “if we sell over 1 million widgets this year, then I’ll be happy, I’ll recognize I/we are successful.” What happened here is that emotion is transferred into the future and this is where this persons  happiness occurs. Rather than be happy now, they are looking for a much bigger sign that they see as having more meaning. Let’s say as a business owner you feel that you need to withdraw from a contract. The fact you feel this way is the sign. You shouldn’t need outside validation. However, some people will dismiss their own feelings, fail to make the right decision and continue waiting for another reason to leave the same contract…they are still looking for the sign.

Why not do this…

Recognise that your thoughts are the sign you need. Rather than use the phrase “if, when” how about simply asking “how are we going to sell 1 million widgets next year?” Now you are in creative mode and you should record any and every possibility. This is not the time to allow anything except passion into this conversation. I wonder how many great ideas you and your team can and will generate? This is only the first step.

You see, knowing the how is only the first element. You must also recognize why it is important to achieve. What does this level of achievement mean to you? What does it give you? Without having a very strong why, it is easy to get lost in the day to day side-shows that will sabotage your business. Your reason(s) why IS the driving force in your business, so it’s best to ensure there is lots of emotion invested in it.

Most small businesses do not report to a board. However, you may need to report to the bank. Whilst the bank deals in cold, hard facts, your passion for your future, where you are going as a business etc is very important. Never lose sight of this.


People sabotage their business success through making decisions whilst in the wrong state of mind. To break free of this, it’s important to be true to yourself and those around you. At one time, you may have been employed. You may have looked for a sign to leave the business and do something else. Yes, an event may have occurred which you took as the sign. The real sign was knowing that you wanted to leave.

It’s time to re-connect with the person who started the business and the reason why it began. What was the passion that drove you to take a leap into the unknown? This is the place where your future lies. By remaining in the place of being true to yourself, you will find the answers, find the resources and find the results you are looking for. Good luck.

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