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“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 comment so far


  1. Hal Alpiar’s Blog » BUSINESS CRASHon 02 Mar 2011 at 9:58 pm

    […] Small business failures are blamed on as many reasons as there are small business, yet every single one of them reduces itself to poor management. […]

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