6 Deadly Sins of Business Owners and How to Overcome Them
For everything we do, there are a billion ways we could do them better. And we may not realize there is better or that we are holding ourselves back, until we get called out. I’m about to call out the consultant, the business owner, salesperson… and even the coach on your sins.
So, if you even remotely have a business up and running, better listen up! Everyone, even the smartest and most confident of us fall into these sins often. And the worst part is that we don’t know that we are doing it.
You want to remain at the top in your business, stand out in your niche market and be the go to in your industry. But to get up there, there are certain sins you should never get caught in, no matter the temptation. These sins range from fear, to apathy, ignorance, complacency and the worst of all, greed, etc.
As a person in the coaching business, professional services, consultancy et al, these sins and more could ruin you fast. Just like a rust, it begins gradually until it eats so deep, it can’t be erased.
And by the time you are ready to make amends, it will be too late. In the case of your business, it could be irredeemably stagnant or dead and gone.
So, how would you feel if you discovered these sins you are so enmeshed in and found ways to conquer them?
Overcoming them will cause a dramatic scale up both in your business and personal life. And because I want you to be free and succeed — I will be discussing the 6 deadly sins that can hold you back and how to blast through them below. Keep reading.
Lots of business owners are okay knowing just about a little or nothing of their products or services, but that is a red flag.
I walked into a mall recently to get a facial scrub. I needed a facial scrub for a combination and sensitive skin. Guess what? The mall attendant didn’t only “not know” what that was, but tried to pass off a face cleanser to me with so much confidence.
I was shocked for a while at such level of ignorance, then I stepped up to another attendant who went down the aisle and pulled it right out.
As a salesperson, business owner, marketer, coach, etc., you must know your products and services inside out!
You should know it better than anyone else and never leave any information to chance. You will encounter clients who come to you armed with enough information that may test even your expertise.
All they need is someone who knows in-depth what they are talking about to nail a conviction.
Take a study of all there is to know about your product or service and study more. This enhances your knowledge and ability to present it to clients when need be.
In the course of study, you may also get to discover more benefits, than what every other person knows about the service or product.
This I must confess, is the sin I hate the most, so let me talk about it and get it off my poor chest. Greed is a sin that makes you want it all, even when it is not convenient or at the expense of yourself and others.
This is a force that propels us to strive for more than basic comfort and survival (which is good), to something extremely flamboyant at a rough expense. What then happens?
We also end up putting our business and clients above ourselves and families, negating our responsibilities to them.
We work on and on for almost 100 hours a week, with ill health, weight gain, loneliness, broken hearts and all at the end. This also transcends to business in all spheres, where a person wants to have it all.
We get into a competition so fierce that we resort to underhanded means in getting ahead. You’d end up smearing your dignity for something transient. This is a common sin that everyone is prone to, so how do you handle?
Take out time every week to list out the things you are grateful for, both in business and in your life. This will reinforce your mind on things that matter to you, and make you hold them dear. It will also help you see how much success you made, which is an assurance that you can do more without undue pressure.
As a coach, consultant or a professional service provider, there are things you hold dear and progress you made to be where you are. Make them a focal point of every step you take. Be content, yet proactive and you will always catch yourself when falling into greed.
When you encounter a setback in your business, you have the choice to review what went wrong and make proper adjustment. An option which will leave things better than they were.
Failure of settling in to make things right sets you on a roller coaster. You would make the same mistakes and worse, keeping you in a shackle of many wrongs. It will be one disappointment mounting over the other, and then another, until you can’t get off.
This vicious cycle drains all the goodness in you, leaving an unhappy and unsuccessful person. You’d see negativity in everything and feel the need to fight your way through, which leads to desperation.
This further defines desperation as the emotional state in which one feels hopeless and without options.
Therefore, before going in over your head when you encounter a challenge in your work, services or coaching business… check out the following:
- Review all your goals and adjust where necessary
- Appreciate your clients and request ways which you can add some more value to them
- Contact clients who didn’t return all of a sudden to find out why. And if they now give their business to another, seek to know why. If it was the case of no business, seek to know how you can help.
- Ask for referrals from clients
- Upgrade yourself by investing in your personal and professional growth
This simmers down the desperation and puts you to productive work.
In clear terms, one can define apathy to be the lack of emotion, interest or concern. This is basically a state of indifference, an emotion people take as shield to mask the ability to get hurt. This is the easiest way to dissociate from unhappy situations and it is unhealthy when over extended.
When we encounter disappointments, objections or rejections in business, most people sink into apathy to bury the hurt. It makes them feel better by dissociating themselves from the hurt.
Such habit in turn can kill all the zeal to move forward in your business. You’d stop prospecting and giving your best because the interest is dead. You have become indifferent.
To be successful in sales or coaching business, you should know where to draw the line and maintain a balance. Everyone is apathetic at one point or the other.
We take up an indifferent character, because we don’t want the hurt, challenges and disappointment to get to us. But the problem is when you pitch a permanent tent in the apathetic camp.
Be vigilant about the onset of apathy, get an accountability partner that will call you out on it. Learn to be optimistic and proactive, by acknowledging your successes and working at your weaknesses. If you allow apathy to take control, you’d never grow from rejections and disappointment.
You would shut yourself out and this in turn will stop you from reaching your business goal.
This often occurs with business owners who have achieved a certain measure of success in life. You have a sound client base, hit most of your goals, and cashed out huge paychecks… what’s next? You decide to relax.
You get to a point where you rest on your laurels, because you feel that you’ve mastered your craft. You’re comforted with the belief that if you are relevant now, you’d always be relevant. This is where complacency sets in. It is a stage of deceptive comfort.
Truth is that, sometimes, you may not realize you’ve gone complacent until the effect starts setting in. You get to work one day, and you aren’t the person everyone is raving about anymore, but someone else.
You try to apply that winning method that helped you close deals every time with clients… and it is either they aren’t falling for it anymore, or they got it from someone else already.
Complacency stifles growth by making you believe that you are there already.
The attack method is to celebrate every win, but set more goals as you go. You win, you celebrate and move onto the next. Always seek for new challenges to surmount in your industry, and you should never stop until you retire.
Every day is a new one with new business experiences. Do not bank on the successes of yesterday, but the breakthroughs of the future. Every business owner is only as good as their last successes. Create a healthy balance between greed, arrogance and complacency. Do more!
We all have certain amounts of fear in us, regardless of how successful we are at our jobs. You fear that you are going to fail even before you start.
The fear comes in different forms which could range from approaching prospects as a sales person… to fear of taking on a new venture or expanding as a business owner, etc.
It is more common in salespersons who will rather pitch to a person they feel is below them, than gun for that high-ticket client. This may be borne out of fear of rejection, flopping, or a total failure due to inadequate preparation.
The first line of action is to find the cause of that fear and work on it. And when you get to the root cause, flood it with light. The only thing that can scare you is what you keep hidden. Shining a light on it makes it lose its potency.
Build yourself and create ways to overcome your fear.
Lastly, understand that you are not perfect and you need to cut yourself some slack.
This is what sets the successful business owners apart from the unsuccessful. They find their fears, call it out by working on it, and get better at accepting and overcoming.
As a consultant, professional business owner, or coach, you will be caught in these sins sometimes, because you are not perfect. You are bound to succumb to the human fallibility. But your ability to get up and make changes when you are down is where the real power lies.
So, I have talked about the 6 deadly sins business owners commit, which include ignorance, greed, complacency, fear, apathy and desperation. I also discussed ways on how to overcome them.