Author: Jayson DeMers Contributor
Dear Business Owner,
I’m sorry I have to be the one to tell you.
It would have been better coming from one of your close friends, but since they didn’t do it, I guess it falls on me.
You see, you have a number of nasty habits that are keeping you from being the successful business owner you always thought you would be. And it’s ok; I don’t blame you. We all fall into these ruts, and can use a good kick in the pants from time to time.
So consider this YOUR kick in the pants.
Here are 7 reasons you won’t ever be successful (and how you can prove me wrong).
1. You Spend Too Much Time on Facebook.
I know you need to be on Facebook for your business; we all do. The problem is that you’re not using it for business; you’re mindlessly thumbing through updates that make no difference to your life, falling victim to one of the biggest time sucks known to man.
But of course I’m not just talking about Facebook here…you know your social network of choice. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Vine or even MySpace (you know who you are).
According to research by Social Media Examiner, 62% of marketers are on social media for 6 hours or more per week, and a whopping 17% are on more than 20 hours per week.
And in case you’re saying, ‘but I’m not a marketer!’ Well, you’re not off the hook. Other research shows that the average American user spends 3+ hours on social networking each day.
That’s a lot of time you’re never going to get back.
2. You Think You’re Working Hard. But You Aren’t.
I’m really proud of you for putting in your 8-10 hours a day! I really am. The problem is that breaks, interruptions and distractions are actually eating away a HUGE chunk of your day. Way more than you even realize.
Have you ever used Rescue Time to measure how productive your day actually is? This software program measures the amount of time you spend in each software program throughout your day. It’s easy to think you’re working hard, but if you actually track how and where you’re spending your time online, you may be surprised at what gets revealed.
Is there something you dream of doing one day? Maybe a side business you’ve been working on here or there?
What do you do when the workday ends? Do you spend your evenings on the couch watching TV? That’s time you could be spending working on your business idea, side project or personal brand that could one day become your full-time job.
If you have a dream, invest your most valuable personal asset – your time – and that dream could come to fruition way sooner than you ever thought possible.
3. You Aren’t Efficient.
Okay, so you’re telling me you do track your time, and it appears you’re working harder than I originally thought. Your time tracking software seems to indicate that you’re making good use of your time, and not letting distractions make too much of a dent in your workday. Well done!
But – and I hate to have to tell you this – you could be doing much better. Yes, you’re working hard, but there are ways your hard work can be even more productive. You know the saying: It’s not just about working harder, it’s about working smarter.
4. You Give Up Too Easily.
So today stunk, hey? Things didn’t go your way? People aren’t appreciating you? You’re feeling unmotivated and uninspired?
Join the club.
Welcome to the life of an entrepreneur. In the words of Newt Gingrich, “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did”.
True entrepreneurs work hard, and don’t give up when things don’t go their way. They keep working, they keep trying, they keep banging their heads against the wall until they break through, if they have to.
YOU are a true entrepreneur! You can do this!
5. You Can’t Imagine Payoff Years From Now for Work That You do Today.
Tasks that you can complete in a day or two, and that have immediate payoff are AWESOME. Addictive, even.
But every successful entrepreneur knows that in order to build something strong and sustainable, you have to invest time now; and the results often don’t manifest themselves for years.
If you can’t deal with that, you simply aren’t thinking long-term enough. If you can only think about short-term rewards like what your next paycheck will look like because of work you did this week, it’s time to reevaluate your goals.
Some of what you do will have short-term results, but much of building a sustainable business is doing grunt work now, and reaping the rewards far off in the future.
6. You Aren’t Taking Risks.
I get it. It feels way better not to stick your neck out and do stuff that you could fail at. Playing it safe is warm, cozy and comfortable.
But, (you know what I’m going to say here, right?), there are no rewards without risk. I suppose it’s possible that some good things can happen without risk, but how often is a business built on pure luck? On things being handed to you on a silver platter?
Taking risks is part of the job description, and while failing doesn’t feel very good, you know what does? Failing, failing, failing, and then suddenly, SUCCESS. Now you don’t feel so bad about your failures, because you see that it was only through the failures that you learned the right way to succeed.
7. You Don’t Take Opportunities.
Finally, dear business owner, it’s not just about not taking enough risks. Strangely enough, taking opportunities can also be difficult. And it’s not just because opportunities come disguised as risk.
Have you seen the movie ‘Yes Man’? The main character, Carl Allen (played by Jim Carrey), decides to escape the loneliness and humdrum-ness of his life by simply saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes his way – even simple ones.
Once he starts saying yes, amazing things start happening to him. Things he couldn’t have imagined. And all because he simply said, ‘yes’!
I’m not saying you need to run yourself ragged saying yes to everyone and everything that comes your way. What I am saying is sometimes the greatest rewards come from saying yes to opportunities that may be slightly scary or uncomfortable.
Look for opportunities in unexpected places, and you just might be surprised at what you find.
I hope this didn’t come across as too harsh. I know you’re trying, and that you mean well.
I actually totally believe you can be successful; you just need to get a handle on these 7 bad habits.