8 Ways You Sabotage Yourself in Business and 1 Simple Way To Fix It

Are you wearing a kick me sign?

As a business owner, I’ll bet you’re incredibly busy and find that there never seems to be enough hours in the day to complete all your work.

Have you ever noticed that some of your everyday activities are just deeply ingrained habits – driving your car, putting on your watch, brushing your teeth or taking a shower? You wouldn’t dream of not doing them, they are part of your routine and they just seem to happen automatically. In your business you also have habits such as checking your website, opening the mail, reading emails, grabbing a coffee and glancing at your diary. You do them without conscious “thought” and they seem to fill up hours in your day…

But what about all the actions you need to take in order to build a more profitable and efficient business? Like following up with your best customers, asking for referrals, strategic planning and goal setting to grow your business? When do you do these activities? Do they often get relegated to “tomorrow” or “sometime soon”?

If you’ve ever spent your day stuck in back to back meetings, answering routine questions from your team, responding to emails, helping other people, doing paperwork or tidying your office – you already know that these are “make busy” activities, and they will keep you trapped where you already are – just simply maintaining, not growing your business. By filling your days with these tasks, you sabotage yourself by avoiding the very activities that you know will really move your business forward and produce tangible results.

Your “make busy” work or habits create the magnificent illusion that you are hard at work, simply because you feel “flat out” and your day is full of tasks. Let’s be honest, you would actually rather do anything than face the activities you know would radically accelerate your business success NOW! In fact, you often get to the end of the day and say to yourself “It’s OK, I was really busy, I’ll just get to that marketing plan tomorrow.” Or “I just couldn’t find the time today to make that seminar on leadership or customer loyalty.”

If you are waiting for the right or best time to do these critical activities in your business, it will simply never come! There will always be other “busy work” to fill all of your available time. You need to find a way to make your business building activities an ingrained habit too, if you want to grow your bottom line and live the lifestyle of your dreams.

Do you relate to or identify with any of these common habits that you use to sabotage yourself?

1. Perfectionism – this tactic is insidious. It often immobilizes us from making a decision, starting a project or activity and signing off on a piece of important work. Most tasks don’t have to be 100% perfect, they just need to be good enough. The other way that this can show up is when you deceive yourself into believing that no-one else can do the job (even simple routine tasks) to your exacting standard, so you must do it ALL yourself. Follow the 80/20 rule, delegate what you do not have to do yourself and give yourself permission to be human!

2. Refusing to Let Go of The Past – Have you ever heard yourself say “last time I tried that, it didn’t work”? Or have you ever simply avoided doing something that you know you should or need to do but were afraid to do because “last time it didn’t work out the way you wanted it to”? Even though it’s a good idea to stop doing what clearly doesn’t work, it’s important to remember that the past does not necessarily equal the future. If you catch yourself finding reasons from the past to justify why you are not moving ahead toward your compelling future, stop NOW and take a good hard look at whether these are just cleverly disguised ways that you sabotage yourself.

3. Lack of Accountability – who is holding you accountable to the decisions you make and the actions you take in your own company? Isn’t that why you went into business for yourself in the first place – so that you could be the boss and do things your way? Find someone outside your business – a coach, mentor or trusted advisor that can act as a sounding board and hold you accountable to staying on track.  It will help you avoid all the ways you sabotage yourself.

4. Lack of vision, planning and specificity – if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Enough said. If you don’t have a 90 day, 1 year and 3 year business plan, you need to make this your number one priority in your business. Set a weekend aside and find a place where you will not be disturbed by anyone or anything. Set down your goals clearly and succinctly – get clear about the specifics (who, what, where, when and why) and set realistic deadlines for completion. Goals need to be written down in detail to allow your mind – which is a goal seeking mechanism – to do its magic.

5. Lack of focus – stay focused on the important task you are currently working on and only allow yourself to be diverted by real emergencies.  Getting hijacked by everyone else’s emergencies is one of the worst ways that you sabotage yourself.

6. Fear of Financials – you cannot have a truly successful business if you don’t know your numbers. Not knowing your numbers has already cost you time and money. Find someone who can explain your financials to you in plain English – learn the key drivers and indexes in your business (such as break even, productivity ratios, inventory turns, gross profit margins etc.) and track them daily.

7. No USP – the greatest product or service in the world will not sell if you have not clearly defined why someone should buy from you instead of your competitors. “Build it and they will come is a fallacy.” If you have not yet figured out what is unique about your product or service and found a compelling and cost effective way to communicate it in everything you do, you are literally flushing your marketing budget down the toilette.

8. No Testing and Measuring – this is the most-often overlooked way that you sabotage yourself. The simple act of testing and measuring everything in your business…and I mean everything…will save you thousands of dollars this year. No matter what “it” is, if you haven’t tested and measured “it”, you don’t really know if “it” works. And until you know if it works, you don’t have a reliable, predictable business that will run without out.

Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes. As you already know or suspect, some of the most common forms of self-sabotage are habits because they are deeply ingrained behaviours that take time to establish or eliminate. In the 1960’s a highly regarded plastic surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz discovered that it took 21 days for amputees to cease feeling phantom sensations in their amputated limb. From further observations and significant research he established that it takes 21 days to create a new habit.

Brain circuits take engrams (which are essentially “memory traces”) and produce neuroconnections and neuropathways only if they are bombarded for 21 days in a row. This means that our brain does not accept new data or information for a change of habit unless  it is repeated each day (without fail) for at least 21 days. Changing habits (whether positive or negative) can be done but it takes time and consistent effort.  This is the only reliable way that exists for you to remove all bad habits which allow you to sabotage yourself.

Do yourself a favour and identify today which form of self-sabotage is the primary one that is holding you back from having the business and lifestyle of your dreams. Make a plan on paper – specific decisions and actions that you can take to move forward in this aspect every single day for the next month. It is imperative to track your progress each day and I highly recommend finding an objective person outside of your business to hold you accountable to your plan, actions and results.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1784556

About The Author
Rhondalynn's life changed forever after the loss of her mother due to a senseless tragedy in 1992. She decided that despite her formal training and a promising career as a lawyer and chartered accountant, she wanted to do something more. So despite the fact she had already invested 10 years of her adult life in university and articling, she did the unthinkable. She left her high paid job as Commercial Manager for one of the largest corporations in the country, she re-trained herself in the sciences of the mind and she discovered a passion for writing and sharing her knowledge with business owners and executives. Rhondalynn has distilled the secrets to business success - that she learned from her life experience and working in GM level roles with Price Waterhouse Coopers, Max Factor, Village Cinemas, and Coles Group Ltd. - and produced a simple step-by-step process that you can apply to your business to boost your sales and bottom line. Rhondalynn can help you put strategies in place to grow your bottom line and ensure that your customers would never think of going elsewhere. She is the leading expert on harnessing the power of your brain and using it to improve your financial results in business. Rhondalynn is the author of On The Shoulders of Giants, Imagineering Your Destiny, Sobre Hombros deGigantes, Financial Foreplay®, and Sales Seduction. She has appeared on CNN, Bnet/CBS, Channel 7, Channel 9, Kochie's Business Builders and 3AW, and writes for Yahoo, MYOB, Fast Thinking, Sunday Life, Dynamic Business, Business Spectator and Australian Retailer.


  • By Pat Anderson 03 Sep 2011

    #2 is brilliant. I see/hear myself and others pulling this one everday. Thanks for this – I needed this message today. 🙂

  • By Kim Jacobs 05 Sep 2011

    I am doing a weekly review of my business progress with an external consultant. I have noticed a strange paradox. When I review the week against my list it’s usually better than I expected, but never as good as I would like. I usually start off explaing what got in the way of achieving key tasks but usually I can point to some progress on most of them, particularly the ones I got someone else to pick up or just assist me with. I repeatedly “bag out” myself for not completing a task whereas maybe the goal should be “some progess is all that is necessary”. After all even a glacier gets there eventually. It’s easier to accelerate a task you have started when it becomes urgent than to have to pick it up the 1st time under this urgent pressure and discover for the 1st time that key inputs are missing or it’s bigger and tougher than you ever imagined. When you start is more important than when you finish.

    The second paradox is that if I set myself the minor goal of progress on at least one key-task a day it’s seems pathetically unambtious. I am talking about working on at least one of the top 5 Key Tasks i have sat down and prioritized. I always think I should do better than that. But it’s a rare week I can list 5 key tasks seriously progressed during the past week or even one of these top 5 tasks hit hard at least 5 times in a week. Again my brain can’t seem to accept that a simple daily routine of getting something done on a Key Task every day is automatically going to produce a good week when reviwed. Finalizing Key Tasks is critical but via an unwise discounting of being able to report ” at least some progress” on my tasks every day last week I continually find myself procrastinating by doing less important small tasks that at least I can complete. The really pathetic thing about these tasks is usually someone else could have easily done them.

  • By Edgar 09 Jul 2013

    Thanks for your message today. Yes self sabotage the main cause of my problems. Your right making a plan and taking action is the key.

  • By Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs 21 Oct 2013

    Most people don’t realize that they are sabotaging themselves through their own hard work. Rhondalynn Korolak, a 17-year veteran of marketing and finance with degrees in law, accounting and therapy, opens our eyes to these common diversions. Besides giving practical advice, Rhondalynn sites a medical study to show what it takes to create new habits. Read Now […]

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