Starting your own business? You’ll be faced with a wide variety of bad habits to conquer. Many of these result from simple human nature. You’ll be full of a desire to do all the work that you can, you won’t want to hear about any bad news, and, most likely, your ego will puff up a bit. To be successful with this new business venture, you’ll have to override these instincts to make sure that you are getting the best possible results.
1. Refusing to Rest
While the desire to do as much as possible in a day is understandable, giving in to that temptation usually produces negative results. The reason is simple: you’re not a machine. As a human being, you need to rest and recharge your batteries on a regular basis. You also need to make sure that you’re eating properly and getting enough exercise. If your body isn’t running at its best, your mind won’t be doing so either.
A 2007 study by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine examined fatigue in the workplace. Though you may feel compelled to work constantly, despite exhaustion or fatigue, you’re doing yourself and your new business venture a disservice. “Well-rested, alert employees are critical to safe and productive operations,” the study concludes. So, next time you’re considering an all-nighter, ask yourself whether the work you do while fatigued will need to be redone after some rest.
2. Putting the Focus on You
It’s a bit of an ego-trip, being the master of your domain. If, however, you get preoccupied with self-importance and glorification you’ll be neglecting the real work that will make your company successful. Before you focus on speaking engagements, getting in front of cameras, or accumulating a lot of sycophants be sure your business is up and running and can function without you.
Those speaking engagements can come in handy later, when you’re ready to grow and expand your business. Networking can gain you access to great business partners, new employees and potential clients. Be sure you have the credibility — in the form of a functioning and proven business — to take the spotlight.
3. Procrastinating on Problem Solving
Dealing with product, finance, or personnel problems tends to take the buzz off of running a new business venture. Know what’s a bigger buzz-kill? Running a business into the ground by procrastinating unpleasant necessities. Start by choosing companies, products and people you can trust. AMEX small business credit cards, for example, provide you with the same buyer protection and customer service you expect from their personal cards. Thoroughly vetting potential employees may seem tedious, but that initial time investment can save you huge headaches in the long-run. Preemptively minimize problems where you can, and deal with them head-on when you can’t.
Just remember that the biggest mistake of all is being unwilling to admit that you’re human. Make changes when necessary in order to ensure the continued success of your new business venture.
Cover photo from Flickr user Michael Coghlan / mikecogh.
by Steven Schlagel