I'm often asked what “one thing” a solo business owner can do that would bring her to the financial success she wants. There are 4 behaviors that keep solo business owners stuck and small. Part of developing yourself as a business owner means monitoring yourself and changing these behaviors.
We solo business owners are the ones responsible for the direction and success of our businesses. While we may have teams to support us and coaches to guide us, we all must keep in touch with our own inner guidance system, too. I've worked with hundreds of capable, bright, hard-working business owners. Almost all of them had one or more of these four behaviors, and they were stuck at a plateau. These behaviors literally stop the flow of energy and keep us from opening the path to easier, quicker success.
Here's the big bad four:
1) Procrastination, which paralyzes us from taking action. We get to be procrastinators by avoiding what we are scared of, or trying to avoid risk at all costs, or insisting that everything be “perfect” before we launch it.
2) Self-doubt, which causes us to spend more time questioning what we do than actually getting out and doing it. Self-doubt is a killer of business. It keeps self-esteem in the toilet, too. Self-doubt hampers us from acting in faith, following our heart and our soul's purpose.
3) Fuzzy focus, which is often called “bright shiny object syndrome.” This means that we flit from project to project and idea to idea, never truly turning a laser-like focus onto one single thing that we carry to completion. Solo business owners are curious people. We are also idea people – we love a good idea! We can talk a good idea to death over coffee, lunch, and in networking meetings. Moving from bright idea to complete focus, which brings us to a product or service launch, is harder for us sometimes. If you have fuzzy focus you are not creating nearly the financial success you might have.
4) Thinking small. Sometimes I want to cry when I hear what a client's dream income is. One client, a Ph.D. from a very prestigious private university who had two teen-agers approaching college told me, “I'd love to make $20,000 this year.” Thinking small limits us in ways that are sometimes sad and often ridiculous. We all have opportunities only limited by our imagination and creativity – and our fears about stepping up and stepping out. My suggestion is to be outrageous in stating what you want to accomplish, then double it! Setting your sights high makes you aim high.
What behavior do you need to change that will have an impact on moving your business ahead? You can read more about developing yourself as a business owner in this related blog post about why your business may fail as it begins to grow. You might also find my 20 questions that will help you grow your business useful.