Aug 21 2010


“You must be very


  proud of yourself!”


“No, I own a business


and I have a life!”


Self-pride can, and almost always does, get in the way of progress — and even survival!

Self-pride. Now isn’t that like stubbornness? “Stop being so stubborn,” my stubborn mother used to say, “it’s gonna get you in trouble. People care about you as a person and they respect what you’ve accomplished, but no body cares about your honor except you   . . . not even me!”

So, yes, I am the son of a wise mother.

As a management consultant and entrepreneur coach for many years, I’ve seen my share of business and life failures. Research studies always point parental fingers to “being under-capitalized” as symptomatic of poor management and the key reason for business failure.

But rarely does anyone look beyond “poor management” being the ultimate culprit to see what else is lurking in the shadows . . . what else is there to account for business and life failures?

Someone should be looking. Why?

Because at the end of this fraying personal and business lifeline is a very heavy anchor that is best categorized as self-pride. It’s something that happens when you choose to get sidetracked from your business and life pursuits, to deal with some imagined threat to your ego.

You put day-to-day operations off to the side to entangle yourself in a legal suit that you know you’re right about just to gloat in satisfaction at having humiliated an annoying competitor, or to realize a thousand dollars payoff after legal expenses.

How much business is lost in the process of your ego-indulging diversions?

The minute the sidetracking starts, it has a tendency (like An object in motion tends to stay in motion) to snowball itself into an avalanche. And it doesn’t take long (sometimes just minutes!) to get to the point of completely immobilizing growth and survival modes.

In minor role applications, the sidetracking diverts needed attention from goal pursuits, family well-being, and from business and career opportunities and success.

Turning your spotlight inward takes the focus away from where you’re headed, and when it gets dark — you’re bound to trip over or run into some thing. You may or may not get up, or be able to.

In major role applications of this sidetracking, businesses go bankrupt, couples get divorced, children get abandoned, and some people can end up depressed enough to be taking their own lives as their failures become more pronounced.

What to do?

There’s always choice involved. Turn the other cheek! Why not? Is letting go so hard when you consider the consequences of holding on?

When you choose to feel insulted (you’ll know when you feel your face flush or knees wobble or stomach churn or head ache or fists clench), you need choose to stop where you are and stop whatever you’re doing.

Force yourself to take some (at least 3 or 4) really deep breaths, while saying to yourself with each inhale, “Healing energy into my body!” and with each exhale, “Stress and tension out of my body!” Remind yourself again that your behavior is your choice!

You can choose to escalate a situation or simply back away from it because it gets in the way of your success (and presumably because you prefer success to getting sidetracked). Getting (choosing to be) sidetracked is simply an admission that you have chosen for someone else to get inside your brain and control your behavior.

Don’t choose your self-pride over your self! or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far

Aug 09 2009

Thinking about starting a business?

Reality Check!


      Just in case  you’re star-struck with the idea of starting your own business venture, be aware that there’s a little more to it than flipping the black and red “Yes, We’re Open” and “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign twice a day.

There’s . . . 

  • money (at least twenty times more than you can even imagine needing!) 
  • industry experience, training and know-how
  • knowledge of the market and the competition
  • customers (you’re going to need a few to start)
  • suppliers (you’re going to need a few to start)
  • location (which is often critical, depending on the nature of the business)
  • utilities
  • a formal written business plan
  • investor and/or loan payback arrangements
  • basic office and business supplies
  • inventory of products and/or services
  • credibility (industry/community associations?)
  • advertising/marketing preparation
  • advertising/marketing implementation
  • an accountant
  • a lawyer
  • an advisory board
  • employees
  • a bank and bank account
  • maybe a post office box
  • maybe charge card or PayPal arrangements
  • maybe a charge card
  • furniture and equipment

…this could go on for pages!

     And don’t tie-up  your brain with this next thought, but you surely need to be conscious of the fact that 9 out of 11 new businesses fail in the first 3 years, and that it takes 5 years on average just to break even financially.

     Be aware that  most businesses fail because of poor management. Period. It’s common to hear that a new business didn’t make it because it was under-capitalized, but if you think about that for 2.5 seconds and can be honest about it, under-capitalization is:  poor management!

     You can be  a free-wheeling entrepreneurial spirit all you want, but reality dictates that you have to do some planning and have a ton more money than you think you need just to get up and running. This is a “haste-makes-waste” point in time where shortcuts don’t work.

     Of course there are always  Steve Jobs and Bill Gates success stories about starting in a garage and working “on a shoestring,” and I wish for you to be that kind of successful, but reality is that these two superstars are each one in trillions.   

     If all the above  thoughts have fueled your fire instead of discouraged you into retreating to the life of a bottom of the barrel employee, you might actually have what it takes to make it work. Go for it! (Oh, and if you need to call me for help, do it please before running out of money! Thank you.)

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Input aways welcome: (”Businessworks” in    subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  

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2 responses so far

Jun 30 2009


  Is Your Business   




     I am convinced that the number one reason for business failure is not the economy, not insufficient capital, not poor management, and not over-regulation by government, though all are symptomatic.

     Government interference is of course particularly irksome because it’s being crafted, dictated, and delivered by an arrogant socialist stampede of naive, incompetent leaders whose total business experience equals zero.

     So, what IS the number one reason for business failure?

     Dig deeper.  

     In the past few years, I personally experienced or had first-hand reported more than two dozen incidents involving owners, operators, and managers of sizeable, established businesses hurtling their business interests the wrong way down one-way streets with reckless abandon.

     All have either since collided or failed or are on their way

All have or had the following characteristics in common:

  • Lack of follow-through and a vested interest in maintaining the status quo (amazingly, even after hiring outside consultants to ignite, stimulate, and motivate!) 
  • Disregard for and disrespect of their employees, with tokenism providing the prevailing wind 
  • Disregard of the very talents and solutions they were outsourcing to shore up their own shortcomings (hard to believe, especially after paying for services, but true!) 
  • Complete resistance to initiate two-way “partnership style” communicating
  • Not having a sense of urgency.    

     I reduce all of these weaknesses to driving a business the wrong way on a one-way street. It’s noteworthy that many of them talk(ed) the good talk…but to themselves: Mission Statements with no teeth!

     Without keeping open to and encouraging two-way communication by exercising strong listening and feedback skills, by making assumptions instead of addressing differences, and by disregarding the very consulting input they were paying for (and then not providing feedback), they were/are setting themselves up for failure. 

The economy, under-capitalization, poor management, and over-regulation are excuses. Businesses succeed–even with all of these factors working against them–by communicating openly at all levels all of the time. Communicating openly at all levels all of the time is the ultimate trigger for business transparency.

Transparency, like pregnancy, cannot be half-way.

# # # or comment below. Thanks for visiting. 

Go for your goals, good night and God bless you!

One response so far


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