5 Habits that Are Holding Your Business Back

You have an idea of where you want your business to go. Sure, you have some major obstacles to overcome. You know you can do it this year.

But what happened to last years goals? What went wrong?

It’s not fun to take a look back at last years mistakes. What could have been or what might have been, or the inevitable if only.

Instead, be honest about what you could do differently to move your business forward this year. No harsh judgments, just a realization that you have may have to change things to reach your business goals.

1. You Never Put Your Phone Away

This is certainly a sign of our times, but 29% of mobile phone users say their phone is the first and last thing they look at each day. Perhaps then it’s not surprising that 52% of smartphone users check more than once every hour!

In the modern world of instant everything, you probably feel like you have to check your phone every few minutes to see if there is anything you missed. Maybe an important email from a client, or a question about a potential sale. However, we don’t have to be connected 24/7 to be a success. Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, stresses that we shouldn’t be a slave to connectivity. He advised us to only check email twice a day or once every 10 days.

That may sound extreme to some, but add up how much time you spend looking at your phone each day. Then compare that to the actual times there was an emergency you needed to deal with right that second. Find a balance that doesn’t tie you to your phone, and still allows you to run your business.

2. You Always Said Yes

This is both a personal and professional bad habit. They need someone to coach little league, be a Girl Scout leader, or bake cookies for the PTO bake sale. Or your client just needs one more tweak on their website (at no additional cost), a quick business lunch that will stretch hours, or someone wants you to cover for them – again.

The point is they need you!

Sure it’s nice to be needed, but at what cost? If you have a goal for your business, you have to focus on that goal first. No excuses allowed. You have to start saying no to everything that isn’t a true priority. And you’re the only one that understand what your true priorities really are.

3. You Didn’t Dare to Try

In the world of business, it’s easy to get stuck in one mindset: stick with what you’re good at. That seems to be sensible, except no one ever reached their full potential from only doing what they felt comfortable doing.

Instead of holding back this year, vow to take a few chances. If you know you’ve got something awesome to share, now is the time to try.

Here’s a few ideas to get you motivated:

Try public speaking:

It doesn’t have to be at the next TED event, as you can certainly start small. Offer to speak to a small group, like a networking club, a support group, or the local Kiwanis club. The key is to dip your toes into public speaking to build your confidence before trying your luck as a paid public speaker.

Sell your expertise:

eBooks, courses, and digital downloads are the hottest things online to sell. Create your masterpiece and then find the right platform to sell it on. If you’re selling online classes or digital downloads try Selz, or Amazon for printed books.

The point is to try something you’ve never done before. Remember, there are no limitations on your business except those you put there yourself.

4. You Accepted Being Overrun with Emails

We get thousands of emails every year. We voluntarily enter our name to get something free, and inevitably get added to yet another email list. Sure, some of the emails we get are important. But we get approximately 122 business emails per day – including incredibly promotional stuff!

How can anyone possibly keep up?

Obviously, the key is to decrease the number of emails to those that are actually important, and those that you really want to read. Try using Unroll Me to mass unsubcribe from email lists you don’t want to be on. And try using a system like Gmail, that has different tabs including Priority, Social and Promotion. Sure some emails end up as spam or in the wrong tab, but the vast majority end up where they should be.

5. You Believed You Would Miss Something

Social media may actually be destroying our businesses.

In the article The Social Network: Is Facebook Killing Us?,  the author equates our social media use to a drug addiction. And that may not be far from the truth. The average U.S. consumer spends at least 40 minutes on Facebook per day. While that may be during personal time, it is just as likely to happen while supposedly working.

Some may say that we’ve come to accept social media use as the norm. However, it’s the same principle as smartphone usage – it’s a bad habit. Social media is a distraction like any other, and the only thing you’re missing out on is growing your business.

Moving Forward This Year

Instead of making resolutions to work harder, focus on eliminating the habits that are truly holding your business back. Again, it’s not about feeling guilty about past behaviors but understanding what you can do differently this year.

Create a plan, set some boundaries and don’t be afraid to try something new. Remember, unless you figure out what didn’t work last year, you won’t know what to change this year. Don’t look back next year and say I should have…

Make changes this year.