Your habits form the foundation, or source code, of your business. Is your source code sabotaging your business?
As an entrepreneur, I've made more mistakes than I can count. In the beginning, I didn't realize that my personal limitations would affect every project I pursued. I thought I could find powerful strategies and systems that would somehow launch me into success on their own.
I quickly realized that if I was going to be successful, it wouldn't be due to the strategy I was following but the effort and abilities I put into it. Regardless of whose strategy I used, I was the source code – the DNA of my business.
Attitude is everything. Any business, no matter how small, is a collection of people's habits, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses. When you're flying solo with a project, it's a reflection of you.
After multiple failures and extreme frustration, here's what I’ve learned about being the source code of my business.
1. My programmed habits prevented me from being effective.
Developing effective habits is like creating the right set of instructions on which to operate every single day. Your habits are the DNA of your day and, ultimately, your life.
DNA is the source code for our physical wellness. When instructions are misinterpreted by the cells, things go awry.
Looking for opportunities to be more effective in your business is like gene sequencing to treat cancer. Just like a doctor sequencing genes to screen for cancer, you need to sequence your habits to screen for inefficiencies. The moment you see yourself performing an action that doesn't work, you must make an effort to change it.
Habits are only hard to break because they're familiar and comfortable. Make friends with the outer edge of your comfort zone and you won't have any problem ditching the habits that hold you back.
2. I can't do everything my way.
When I was still fairly new to entrepreneurship, I tried out niche marketing for a while by building some mini-websites. I looked up to leaders in the field. I bought most of their digital marketing systems and SEO strategies, figuring they must be legitimate if others were achieving success. Their systems were legitimate, but the little bit of success I saw was short-lived. While others made it to the stratosphere, I never made it out of orbit.
Here's what I did wrong:
Anytime a system required me to perform an action I was uncomfortable with, I stopped. If excuses and procrastination didn't stop me, I looked for a way around it. If I had to make phone calls, I sent emails instead. If I was supposed to connect with potential business partners in person at a seminar, I'd stream the event from home and post in the chat box.
I convinced myself I was doing the work, but I was doing the work my way, which didn't amount to doing the work at all. I was ineffective without knowing it, and I wanted to blame my failures on the system.
Where are you being ineffective in your business? If you can find the answer to that question, you'll see where you've compromised. Wherever you compromise for comfort, you're at a severe disadvantage, even if you're using the most coveted strategy on the planet.
3. None of my projects can grow beyond me.
To be blunt, I realized that I needed to grow if I wanted my business to grow. A business isn't really a separate entity, despite what your tax forms say.
If your business can't run without you, then it won't grow beyond you.
Running a business or tackling any project requires as much personal growth as knowledge and execution of effective strategies. It requires identifying areas of your life that are out of sync with your intentions and goals. Most of all, it requires the willingness to abandon what isn't working, even if it means stepping out into the unknown and being uncomfortable.