The Worst Habit in Business
An entrepreneur wakes up in the morning, eats breakfast, showers, puts on her best clothes, and heads to the office with the best intentions of drumming up new business that day. But she zooms through the day focusing on everything but making the calls, although she does occasionally think that she should pick up the phone.
A newly appointed sales manager heads to the office with a tough situation at the top of his mind. A salesperson on his team is just not living up to expectations. The sales manager knows he has to have a tough talk with that salesperson, but he drives home that evening with another day of less-than-stellar results on the books.
A senior insurance executive drives to the office in the morning, and on the way he remembers that he needs to take a life insurance professional certification exam. He hasn’t had to take an exam since his twenties, which was twenty-five years ago, and new regulations in the industry require it. But he drives home that evening one day closer to forced retirement.
A consultant walks into her home office. She looks at the clock. It’s 8:45 a.m. She looks at her schedule and sees that she signed up for a local Board of Trade luncheon for today. The idea of networking made a lot of sense when she scheduled it. As she sits down at her desk, however, she begins to think of reasons she shouldn’t go to the luncheon and meet new people: What if John, my most annoying client, is there? I’ll meet someone new but not know what to say. What if someone asks me what I do? What if someone asks me if I have children? I’m forty years old and don’t have children. What if someone asks me, “How’s business?” I haven’t brought in a new client in seven months. She fritters away her morning, and at 11:30 a.m. she justifies to herself that she is too busy to go out and network. She ends her day thinking that she put in a good day’s work, but she has a nagging feeling that it’s not the whole truth.
Why do these professionals begin their days with the best intentions but then avoid doing what needs to be done?
The habit of avoidance is the hardest habit to break—in business and in life in general. Why?
Avoidance has a massive snowball effect. Typically, the habit is rooted in some creative interpretation of childhood experiences in which we form beliefs about ourselves. Something planted negative associations in your mind. I’m not good at meeting new people. I’m not good at having tough discussions with people. Sales is beneath me. Taking tests equals pain; therefore, I don’t take tests. The more we use the habit of avoidance to delay or avoid doing these things, the more our negative self-image is validated. At the end of the day, our self-image says, “I told you so.”
I believe it could be argued that the habit of avoidance is the worst habit in business!
Critical question: What are you avoiding today?
On Sunday morning I will be sending a 5-step formula to my private email list that has helped me get over the habit of avoidance. If you are interested I welcome you to check it out. Click Here.
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