Change Your Habits & Grow Your Business
Last year I have talked a lot about how many business owners get locked into specific patterns of behavior (habits) that produce specific results. Unfortunately, most of the time these aren't the results the business owner was looking for… since those results tend to be a lack of revenue and profits for their business.
Over the years I have seen that one of the main problems is the unproductive behavioral patterns the business owner uses daily. These patterns have become ingrained into their subconscious mind as habit patterns. To be successful these patterns (habits) must be changed, and they must be changed on a subconscious level so the business owner replaces the old unproductive habits with new productive ones. But is this really possible?
Here's how the sequence works, whether we like it or not. Our thoughts produce specific beliefs. Those beliefs produce specific actions, and those actions produce specific results. If you aren't getting the results you want, then you MUST change your thoughts and beliefs so that you begin to take different actions… and taking those actions over a period of time create habits.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts - what he thinks, he becomes.” Mahatma Ghandi
An Example From The Animal World
Perhaps the following story will put everything into perspective…
Think about a newborn elephant at the zoo or the circus. The first thing the keepers do is drive a huge steel stake deep into the ground and attach a heavy rope to it. The other end of the rope is tied around the back foot of the baby elephant. The baby struggles and strains pulling against the rope trying to break free.
After many attempts, it learns through repetition that the effort is futile, and it finally gives up. It now "believes" it can never break free, and the end result is that it stops trying. From that point forward, the steel stake and massive rope are no longer needed.
If you look at the adult elephants nearby, you will notice they are also tethered to a stake, but in an entirely different way. Instead of a steel stake, there is a small wooden stake. Instead of a massive rope tied around the rear leg, there is a flimsy piece of string. That alone keeps this massive animal in its place.
These elephants have been mentally conditioned to "believe" they cannot break free of their constraints, so they don't even try. They "believe" they will never break free of the rope, and that belief leads to a specific "action" which is to stop wasting energy pulling on the rope, and that leads to a specific "result" which is to keep the elephant in place using minimal restraint.
Mental Conditioning Of Small Business Owners
Is the mentality of the small business owner any different?
Small business owners have been mentally conditioned to behave a certain way. They have specific beliefs… such as "in order to make more money, I have to work harder. "No pain, no gain." "Money doesn't grow on trees." "If I don't do it myself, it will never get done."
This type of belief leads to a specific action, which is to work more hours and put forth more effort in a vain attempt to increase revenue and profits. That leads to specific results, which are feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and frustration… that more and more effort is required, even though results don't seem to appear… and in most cases, diminish.
Here are just some examples of how this may manifest in our lives:
Increased level of stress and frustration
Making excuses for missed deadlines
Lack of strategic thinking time (no real plan on how to grow the business)
Choosing work over time with your children
Answering the phone during family time or spouse time
Regularly eating fast food meals
As a small business owner, your top priority is to remove the mental barriers that are sabotaging your success. You need to get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities, and learn how to hire, assign, delegate or barter your non income-producing and less productive tasks.
"Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success."
Robert J. Ringer (Author of Million Dollar Habits)
To your success,
Simon Zryd, Business and Productivity Coach