Assumptions have a dramatic effect on our small business success. We behave, as we believe. Therefore, assumptions have far reaching implications. From who's willing to pay for our products or services to what our business model “should” look like, assumptions sway business behaviors and, subsequently, how the business grows.
Have you noticed that if you think you don't have time, you actually don't have time! If you question the value of your services and, as a result, set your prices below market rate, you attract clients who can't afford to pay, and struggle under the weight of underearning.
Although these may have been valid conclusions at one time, wisdom, learning and experience change who we are and our circumstances. Do we continue holding assumptions created weeks, months, or years ago?
How Assumptions Dampened My Business Success
It's been almost 20 years now since my health took a beating. I was exhausted — all the time! I couldn’t get through a day without a 2-hour nap. Being a high-energy individual, I worried constantly that I wouldn't have enough energy to get me through all I needed and wanted to achieve in a day.
I “titered” my energy to make sure it lasted all day. Before long, I was turning down invitations, avoiding events, and modifying commitments. It wasn't pretty. My decision-making was measured…as was my business success.
I felt like a racehorse held in a stanchion. I wanted to run, and run fast, but I held myself back for years based on a conclusion that was made decades before. That is, until I tested the soundness of my assumption.
This is a Test!
As with any data-driven, strategic thinking business owner, testing an assumption is the only way to discern its legitimacy.
A philosophical question has been posed for years. Do we believe our way into a new behavior or behave our way into a new belief? Like the never-ending “which came first, the chicken or the egg”, it remains a point of discussion.
What assumptions have you made throughout the years? Put 60 seconds on the clock and make a list of your most common suppositions. Here are a few to get you started: I don’t have time. I don't have energy. I can't charge that rate. It'll never work. They'll never buy. They'll never buy from me.
How do they influence your behavior in a way that is counterproductive to your goals? Put another 60 on the clock to acknowledge their power.
Is it time to test their validity to see if they are still true for you today? You may be surprised, as I was, that assumptions you've been holding to for years are no longer true.
Now, that is real success!