1 - Lack of integrity
It’s hard to watch an organization tout values, such as “built on integrity” and “trust,” yet in the blink of an eye, the leader will do certain contradictory things (i.e. have their assistant say, “He is in a meeting right now,” when he or she is actually not in a meeting).
It’s my belief that when businesses hire a vendor, it’s imperative their core values align. Otherwise, there will be frustration, deceit, and ultimately a severed relationship (not to mention wasted time for both parties).
The best example of all time is the industry of “marketing.” I cannot begin to tell you how many of my clients have come to us saying, “We’ve been burned by 3 other marketing companies who literally took our money and now we cannot get a returned email or phone call from them!”
You may disagree with me, but I truly feel the problem can be easily avoided. How? The company hiring the vendor needs to ask questions like, “Can you tell us stories of when you had to stand by your core values?”If the company blank stares or gives you a lame excuse as to why core values are not important, then it’s time to run for the hills! No matter how great the offering sounds, you need to pack up and run.
2 - Social media time suck
This one was destroying me and I had NO idea! Then I read an article about the downsides of social media and how these networks can destroy productivity. Silly me, I always looked at the fun part of it!
Then I added up the wasted hours of scrolling and clicking, and clicking, and clicking…and after 1 week, I was throwing away 4 hours of precious time that I could spend growing my business.
The solution was simple and right in front of my eyes.
3 - Chasing ghosts (no focus; trying to do too many deals)
One day you’re landing new consulting clients, the next day you’re starting an Internet store selling seashells, and then next week you’re thinking of partnering up with a friend who you think is sitting on the next gold rush opportunity.
When you chase 2 squirrels at the same time, it’s a guarantee you won’t catch either of them!
4 - Putting down the competition (my personal pet peeve)
Ever wonder why you don’t land certain deals? You feel the presentation went well, there was a great relationship started, and you answered all of the questions perfectly…or did you?
5 - Thinking you have a never-ending cash cow
Not all businesses last forever.
“Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” – Babe Ruth, Legendary Home Run hitter and Baseball Hall of Famer.
Some businesses are cyclical, others are recession proof, but the highest percentage of businesses are not recession proof.
6 - Not studying blind spots
Advisory boards and business owners have plenty of wisdom. Everything looks fine and dandy, and things are running smoothly. Then comes the phone call of all phone calls that no entrepreneur wants to experience…the dreaded lawsuit.
Six months after the dust settles, you’re saying, “If only I would have….”
Whatever you filled in the blank with is the exact thing you should have been working through all along…specifically with someone wiser and more experienced than you are!
7 - Steak & ale syndrome!
You start making the big bucks and along with it comes the fancy dinners. Nothing wrong with that, but keep in mind you need great health to continue on your entrepreneur venture! Being overweight, sick all of the time, and constantly low on energy is the sure way to douse your chances of success.
I personally got beat up over the steak and ale syndrome. But then it became the staple of my “healthy living” turnaround, which amounted to getting off the blood pressure medications that were dragging me down.
8 - Networking paralysis
I am personally against networking events because everyone is in schmooze mode and it’s hard to get a good read on people. In addition, they flat out do not work for my type of personality. There are people who mingle and meet 100 people in one evening, all at a very high level. Then there are people who meet one other person, but get to know them very deeply. I am the latter, which makes networking events not a good use of my time.
My point is this: Do the math on the success rate of your last handful of networking events. If they work for you, that’s great– keep up the attendance and continue shining! If you flat out hate them and don’t get much business from them, stop going! Every entrepreneur has “their way,” and the most important thing is that you find “your way” and stick to it, which means NOT letting people talk you out of what works for you.
9 - DIY syndrome (especially with websites & branding)
Let’s say you have a 1 million dollar business and you work 60 hours/week. Your hourly wage would be $347/hr. Your best and most productive use of time is doing the one thing that got you to where you are, and the one thing that will get you to where you want to go. Your best use of time is NOT to handle menial $10/hr tasks! I wish I had one penny (yes, that’s correct and not a typo) for every time a fellow entrepreneur said, “It just takes a couple of seconds. That’s why I do it.” That is the furthest thing from the truth. Here’s why:
Example: Adding a new picture to your website– a task that entrepreneurs are SURE takes only 1 minute 🙂
Here’s the CORRECT process: You first get the thought to add the new picture, then you think of where you want to add it, then you sit down at the computer and find your login, then you login to the website, then you locate the page you are adding the picture to, then you find the picture on your computer, then you upload the picture to the correct page, then you write the proper alt tags to the picture, then you view the page to make sure you haven’t screwed it up or the picture hasn’t thrown anything out of whack, then you view the page on your mobile device to make sure the picture looks right, then you view the page on your ipad to make sure the picture looks right, AND lastly, you probably STILL need assistance, so you have to email your web team to help you finish the task. 30 minutes later, your 1-minute task is STILL incomplete.