3 Ways to Ensure You Won’t Succeed

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On January 2, 2012

I’m a pretty positive guy. Part of my role as a business coach is to encourage people and provide positive reinforcement. I usually talk with clients about their goals and the positive steps they can take to achieve those goals. But sometimes we get caught up in patterns of thinking and action that keep us from doing what we should be doing—what we want to be doing.

Sometimes those things are subtle. We’re not even aware of them. But not only do they not help us—they hinder us from achieving excellence. That’s why I want to take a quick look at three things that will ensure that you won’t succeed. Once you see them, you can avoid them like the plague.

Wait and See: Given the economic climate of the last couple of years, it’s not surprising that many businesses have adopted a “wait and see” attitude. Successful, innovative companies, however, don’t wait to see what everyone else is doing. They do their research. They prepare as best they can for what the market needs. And they lead the way. People (and other businesses) follow leaders—not other followers. One of the problems with “wait and see” is that there is always something to wait for, because the business landscape is always shifting. You need to develop the best plan possible, based on the best information available and then make adjustments as you move forward. No don’t need to be rash or act without thought, but waiters aren’t leaders.

The Same Old Thing: Some businesses live by the credo that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Unfortunately, a lot of businesses also die by that credo. You’re probably also familiar with Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you’re not satisfied with where your business is right now, you can’t do the same old thing and expect things to change. It’s true for your personal life and for your business. If you want things to look different, you have to make specific changes. (And if you want some guidance a specific plans to make these changes, I know a hall-of-fame business coach who’d be delighted to work with you on that!)

Bright Shiny Objects: The flip side of doing “the same old thing” is chasing after what I like to call “bright shiny objects.” This could be going gung-ho after the latest hot business idea or fad. Or it could be pursuing a business objective that really doesn’t line up with your overall goals (but seems important at the time). Sometimes the bright, shiny object is a new technology that does all kinds of cool things—except take your business where you want and need it to go. New things are fun and exciting. You should keep your eyes open for new developments and new tools that can give you a competitive advantage. But don’t get distracted by things just because they’re bright and shiny and new. Ask yourself how they will help you accomplish specific goals and objectives. If you can’t answer that, specifically, that’s the perfect time to employ “wait and see”!