09 Jan Habits that Cause Business Failure
There are many habits that cause businesses to fail. This much is certain.
In this series of articles we will be exploring some of the destructive habits we have noticed in our practice of coaching businesses, that people have adopted to undermine their ability to produce exceptional results.
Habit #1: Expecting results to happen overnight
We live in a culture of immediacy. We want everything now and we have a juvenile notion that if we start something it should produce results overnight. While intellectually we know this is not the case, emotionally and behaviourally, we operate like it is. We expect results instantaneously and when they do not happen, we stop what we are building, usually blaming something external to us for stopping the development process i.e. “The market is not ready” – or when that is not appropriate we just blame ourselves i.e. “I’m just not good at this.”
This habit stops the energy flow required to generate the capacity to build a business. This stopping stalls the developmental process over and over again so your business can’t really take off and gain momentum. This is a systematic waste of energy and if not managed, results in businesses failing as people think building is exhausting.
It’s not supposed to be exhausting! Human beings have the distinct quality to stop natural organic growth of a business – or any developmental process – from happening. Trees do not know how to stop growing. They just grow.
Here’s the truth: Launching a business is much like launching a rocket ship. If you do not have enough energy there is no way for a rocket to break free of the Earth’s gravity. Rocket ships require a tremendous amount of energy to enter orbit, and once in orbit they can operate on much less energy. The point is getting to orbit. The same is true for expecting results overnight: you need to do work to get the results you seek. To be effective, you must adopt a new habit that allows you to work without getting immediate results such that you can get into orbit. You must learn to do work and persist until results do happen around you and learn along the way what it actually takes to be a producer.
What you will find is that most people do not want to expend the energy it takes to build a business and usually require somebody else to feed off of as an “energy generator” to keep the game going. In the business world, these people are called executives. They are like batteries for people who cannot self-generate.
Habit #2: Skipping steps
The habit of skipping steps relates to expecting results overnight. In our drive to get the result now, we skip steps in an effort to get a quick fix and feel like we are achieving something. This is a survival tactic. One of the most common steps that gets skipped in businesses is occurs in the transition from marketing to sales. It is called “hard-sell.” This specifically happens when you are making an offer to someone who has no experience of needing and wanting what you are offering, yet you attempt to convince that person that they do need it through a wide variety of manipulative and coercive tactics. Sometimes people resort to lying and deception just so they can get the satisfaction of the quick result.
The bottom line is: skipping steps does not work. You may take 1 step forward but very quickly you will move 2 steps backwards.
Are you skipping steps? A good litmus test is seeing if you are not producing the results that you want.
Habit #3: Saying “I” a lot
Have you ever noticed how many times we say “I” in a day? “I did this!” or “I did that!” In our quest for attention and validation we become obsessed with using “I” not recognizing the simple truth that a business is really a team sport. And, we do not design our businesses to give us the attention and validation we require automatically, so we conjure up ploys to get it by manipulating others.
Some smart people think this is a “bad” thing to do, so they intellectualise this concept and cover it up cleverly by saying “We” a lot – even though they still mean “I.” This is the superficial cover-up that is really easily exposed by looking at the type of results people are producing. If the results they want are not there the “We” is simply a lie.
To really develop a new habit in this area requires one to acknowledge that you cannot build a business on your own. Even if you are a one person corporation you still require at least one customer to operate. Those people are still part of your team.