For this guest blog I’m delighted to welcome SUE RITCHIE who explores how we often self sabotage our own business….and how to avoid doing it!
How to get out of your own way: 7 things to ‘stop’ in order to ‘go’
When was the last time you had one of ‘those’ days? The days when the duvet beckons more than the desk or networking feels like it’s ‘not-working’. The days when running your own business feels like hard work, and the fun has gone out of it. The days when you wonder why you’re not back in the office
Chances are if you’re an entrepreneur, they could be pretty frequent. Having a ‘wobbly’ day can be scary, de-motivating and paralyse you. Overwhelm and inaction can descend frighteningly quickly.
Mindset is a major key to success for those in business – get it wrong and all the business and marketing plans in the world won’t make any difference. Mindset is down to us; we are in control of how we think and how we behave.
Are you getting in your own way? Is the way that you’re thinking and behaving sabotaging your own progress? Could it be that ‘those’ days are the result of pressing the ‘stop’ button rather than the ‘go’ one?
Here are 7 ideas to help you stop:
- Making excuses. Are you a professional procrastinator, or do you have a nice line in blame? Or are you so busy focussing on why you can’t do something that you’re completely ignoring what you can do? Making excuses hides inaction. As the saying goes, you can make excuses or you can make progress but you can’t make both. Take a long hard look at exactly what’s stopping you – how much of it is in your control? What can you do something about?
- Doubting yourself. Self-belief is a pre-requisite in business. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, why on earth should anyone else? List your skills, talents and achievements. Use a journal to record your past employment history and get some feedback from others, and believe it. Use it to repair your wobbly view of yourself.
- Doing what you’ve always done. Maybe it’s time to begin to look again at how you do things. Are you networking in the same places and getting the same results? Are your social media or marketing efforts ending up in the same way – lots of effort with little return? If you’re not getting the results you want, then you need to begin making some small changes and see what happens.
- Going it alone. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, especially if you work from home. Identify your ‘team’ and use them; we all have an informal one around us, we just need to look closely at people’s traits and understand the role they play in our life. Make sure you have someone you can ask for advice, someone who will challenge you and someone who will champion you.
- Wishing things would change. Have you identified your vision? Can you see where you want to be? That’s great. Visualisation is a very effective technique used by successful athletes and sports people, it’s true. But it’s often combined with ten hours training or practice every day. Just sitting there and imagining your future will not make it happen; you also need to do something. Stop wishing and start doing, however small.
- Burying your head. You need to develop a flexible and realistic attitude towards your business. Face up to challenges and develop a plan for tackling them. Problems don’t disappear; neither do unopened bank statements or unpaid bills. These cause sleepless nights and stress-related illness. Ask advice, talk to others, be honest with yourself; if things aren’t going to plan, it’s time to make another one.
- Using a scattergun. Focus. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t. Focus on where you are going, not where you’ve been. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on what you can do, not what others can do. Keep your goal in mind and ensure everything you do, every day, is geared towards attaining it
What else do you need to ‘stop’ in order to ‘go’? How have you managed to press the ‘go’ button?
Sue Ritchie is a coach and freelance trainer who works with individuals and teams to help them be happy, confident and successful in the workplace. She can be found at www.youtimecoaching.co.uk and tweets at @susanjritchie