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

Apr 26 2009


Rule 1: Chunk it up!


If your job is to paint the Brooklyn Bridge, and your goal is to paint the Brooklyn Bridge, you’ll never make it!. If, on the other hand, your goal is to paint the first 100 feet of cable on the northeast quadrant by one week from Friday, and the first 100 feet of cable on the southwest quadrant by two weeks from Friday, and so on, and keep it flexible based on weather, etc, you will undoubtedly succeed.

If you put “clean house” on your list, it won’t happen. If you chunk it up into a series of small tasks like vacuum the second floor carpets, fold and put away the laundry, wash the first floor windows on the front of the house, de-clutter the kitchen counter, and so on, you will have much greater success.

Being specific and reducing the monster chores to small individual tasks not only keeps you on track, it serves to motivate as well because you’ll gain a sense of accomplishment each time you complete an item and cross it off your list (use a second color, by the way, to be able to still read what was on the list and keep track at the end of the day).

And interruptions? Life is an interruption! When interruptions come along add them to your list. (You run into a bee’s nest while painting the bridge and it takes an extra hour to get rid of it? Add “get rid of bee’s nest” to your list and then cross it out when you’ve taken care of it. While washing the first floor windows, you notice an overgrown shrub that’s scratching against the house siding? Add “trim overgrown shrub in front” to your list and cross it out when you’ve taken care of it.)

Keep reviewing your list of goals to see better ways to chunk it up. As you achieve or complete each chunk, cross it out, and add new chunks. Never-ending? Yes, goal-setting, like exercise and eating right, require commitment to changing your lifestyle. No one achieves their goals by dabbling with them. If you’re serious about goal-setting and pursuits, you need to be constantly monitoring them.

It helps to have a weekly checklist of goal criteria to be certain that you’re on track with keeping your goals specific, flexible, realistic, and due-dated. Without all four of these criteria, you have only a wish. Wishes, like hopes, get us nowhere. Action gets us somewhere. Any action is better than no action. Chunking up what you need to do and where you need to go works light year’s better than “paint the bridge” and “clean the house.” Now apply the same dynamics to your business and business planning.

# # #


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 !

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