This Could Be the Year!
What bad practices do entrepreneurs and small business owners need to abandon in 2019?
By David Cox | January 08, 2019
As much as I enjoy the NFL playoffs and college basketball’s March Madness, I’m the first to admit that one of the most exciting days in American professional sports is the opening day of the Major League Baseball season.
Millions of loyal fans will fill ballparks throughout the country on March 28 of this year to show support for their favorite team. It’s the day that all pro baseball fans are confident, optimistic, and have nothing but good things to say about their favorite team’s players, the manager, and even the “front office.”
Regardless of what happened last year, pro baseball’s opening day begins with a sense of hope for these die-hard fans. There’s an excitement in the air you can express in one sentence: “This could be the year!”
Entrepreneurs and small business owners understand that feeling because it’s the same way they feel about their business as a new year begins. However, the old axiom is true: “No progress occurs without some change.” So, if you want your business to be more successful in 2019, what are you going to do to make that happen?
Five practices you need to stop in 2019
Countless articles and books promote good practices you can start to achieve further growth and development in your business. Instead, I’d like to suggest five bad practices you need to “stop.”
Stop hanging on to plans and ideas that didn’t work out.
You may have spent a lot of time and money on ideas and plans that didn’t produce the results you expected. I can assure you that investing more time and energy will not make them any more successful.
Sometimes things just don’t work out. There is nothing to gain in bringing an idea that didn’t work into the new year unless you want to waste more time and money. Move on and devote time to your next “big idea,” you know, the one that might work.
Stop spending time on projects and functions that don’t pay anything.
Whether you’re a contractor or a consultant, monetizing your time and your talents is a primary responsibility. You’ll never have a successful business and enjoy the life you want if you give your time and skills away without compensation.
Stop trying to “go it alone.”
You need to find a mentor and build a network of peer professionals. You’ll benefit from a professional in your field who can provide occasional guidance and sound advice. It can be beneficial to have a mentor who is more experienced and more successful than you, to help you reach your goals. A network of peer professionals may be as close as an online professional association, trade association, or a social media group.
Stop complaining about your lack of business achievements.
I’ve heard entrepreneurs and business owners complain about economic conditions or blame customers for lack of positive outcomes. I’ve seen individuals invest vast sums of money in their startup in hopes of success, but fail to achieve anything because they didn’t set goals. The goals you set need to be specific, measurable, and achievable, with a deadline for completion.
Stop including negative people in your inner circle.
Complainers, naysayers, and other negative people come in all shapes, sizes, and categories. How about those close to you? Do they support and encourage your efforts, or do they always have a problem, complaint, or a negative remark about anything you’re working to accomplish?
I’m not suggesting that you avoid anyone who criticizes or disagrees with you. Your success may depend on your willingness to listen to objective opinions and adjust as necessary. I am suggesting that if you’re around too many negative people, it may be beneficial to build a new, more positive network of professionals. Choose your closest friends from among those who encourage rather than discourage you.
“This could be the year!”
Marshall Goldsmith, Executive Coach, Consultant, and the author of “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There” stated, “What keeps good leaders from becoming even better is not that they don’t know what good behaviors to start, it’s that they are in total denial of the bad behaviors they desperately need to stop.”
The practices you need to stop may not require any financial expense but may call for the courage to acknowledge a bad decision, change course, or risk offending someone. I encourage you to begin 2019 with the willingness to make the changes necessary to accelerate your progress. If you do, you may be surprised how much you might achieve.
I wish you the best of success for 2019!