There are plenty of tips out there – and I’ve shared several myself – of practices to implement, things to do, choices to make, that will build your business for success.
Too often, though, we are a little too timid to address habits we need to avoid altogether. With success comes growth, and let’s just say I’m providing you the opportunity to grow a little (or a lot!) today.
Habits can be a wonderful tool, if they’re being used in the right ways and for the right purposes. I’m sharing 5 business habits you not only need to avoid, but if you’re guilty of them currently, you may need to repent. It’s okay – we’re here to help. Read on to find out how.
1. All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Approach
I’m not talking about spending your lunch hours at your local buffet eatery, though you might not want to make a habit of that, either.
The entrepreneurial world has endless resources, upgrades, connections, etc. You truly can take your pick of a little of this, a little of that – and the people you can choose from to help you accomplish your goals are innumerable.
It’s tempting to try this outsource person, that outsource company, this tech, that software, and switch it all up at any time. Nibbling here and there, not liking your first taste, and jumping on to the next available buffet item (virtual crew member) isn’t the best approach.
Getting to know someone virtually is hard, and takes time to work out the kinks. Don’t go running to another option at the first sign of presumed awkwardness with whomever you began work with. Stick it out and focus on building the relationship. Don’t let opportunities go to waste just because something that appears fresher makes its debut on the buffet line. Stick with what you know won’t upset your gut.
2. Doing It Yourself
I get it. “It will just take five minutes.” “It’s quicker if I just do it myself.” “It would take too long to train someone.” Do these phrases sound familiar? If so, I’ve got some bad news: you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Those “five minutes” will add up over time. You could get distracted, and what you thought would only take you five minutes has now taken three weeks, and it still isn’t finished. One task may only take you ten minutes a day, but by not training someone else to do it, are you really saving yourself any time? That’s almost an hour per week on ONE task! Wouldn’t you rather spend that hour on the back nine? Or at lunch with a potential client? Yes, you would.
We use Jing video clips. They record up to 5 minute clips from your screen, and the recipient can save the link and watch the clip(s) however many times they need to. The important part is, the task is off your plate, and you can spend those precious minutes building your business, rather than your to-do list.
3. Vague & Unclear Communication
Are you a snippet communicator? Do you trap others in confusion by leaving out details? Stop it! Don’t start at point D without covering points A, B, or C first. By practicing verbal shorthand, you’re shorting your team – and your bottom line – by eliminating details that may be crucial to the operation.
Don’t get stuck in the mindset of, “Well I know what I meant!” Good for you. If you’re the only one who knew what you meant, though, that’s not helping anyone. Don’t ever assume those you’re speaking to understand where you’re coming from to start with. Your mind is running a million miles a minute. Give them the background and let them catch up.
Cover all the bases, take time for questions from others, and make sure YOU ask before the conversation ends if you need to clarify anything. Dropping a communication bomb and leaving the scene before it explodes is an entrepreneurial crime.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Have I made myself clear?
4. Bells & Whistles Overload
Don’t get sucked in to the lure of the newest, brightest, shiniest objects. Just because it’s newer doesn’t mean it’s better. It especially doesn’t mean it’s better for you. If you’re using techniques, software, etc. that are working really well for you and another product comes out, you don’t have to drop what’s working to try what’s new.
Think of it in terms of medications. There are always new medications coming out to treat the same ailments. Along with those new medications, though, are a mile-long list of side-effects. You’ve been taking the same medication for a while and you’re feeling healthy. But…what about the new pill?
Don’t do it. Don’t switch your meds. The new pill might cure your backache, but it will also give you headaches, dizziness, bladder control issues, and bloating to contend with. To counter those, you have to take four additional new pills. Gosh golly – if only you’d stayed with your first medication instead of trying the new stuff.
Keep it simple. Simple means not complicated. Not complicated means you’re happy. You being happy means everyone around you is happy. Everyone around you being happy means you’re doing it right.
5. Being An Idea Snob
Are you in the position you’re in because you’re the only person who comes up with great ideas? Or maybe your ideas are the only ideas that matter?
If you’re on the high-horse of sole-idea-ownership, you’re going to be riding alone for a long while. You may have great ideas, fantastic suggestions, or be an outright genius – but those traits don’t give you the right to shut the ideas of others out.
Be open to suggestions from others, and especially be open to feedback. Even if your idea is fabulous, someone else may have a single tweak that can improve it ten-fold. You putting stock and value in the input of your team (and of your clients) will give you far more return on your ideas than closing that opportunity off for others.
If your team cares about your business and helping you succeed, they’ll always be on the lookout for streamlining processes, generating new and fresh content, and creating new opportunities for success. Listen to them. They just might change the course of your business for the better.
There you have it, folks. The top 5 business habits you need to avoid, and possibly repent for.
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