10 Bad ‘Business’ Habits to Break

While it is hard to kick a bad habit, you can get on a one-track mission to break these common bad business habits.

Habits. We all have them. Some good; others not so good.

But it’s the negative behavioral patterns – bad habits – that can easily break your business — self-destructive behavior that reaps no reward.

To be a successful entrepreneur, you must master your short-comings. According to renowned scholar, world recognized marketing authority, and author Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth — every good company has bad habits.

In his book, The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies: … And How to Break Them, Dr. Sheth asserts that you should “shine a light on the dark places in your business. Uncover self-destructive habits before they destroy you. The blinders, culture conflicts, and corporate denial. The competitive myopia.”

Business lessons can be costly. So instead of trial by fire, it’s best to learn by example.

Understandably it is hard to kick a bad habit, but with effort, self-observation, and dedication you can get on a one-track mission to break the most common bad business habits.

Here’s where to start:

1. Lack of focus.

It’s easy to get distracted because most distractions aren’t always negative. In fact, many are wrapped up in beautiful packages – alluring, tempting and seemingly innocent attention-grabbers. But divided attention, when it comes to your priorities can have long-term residual affects that leave you wondering, “where did the time go?” and “why haven’t I accomplished X,Y, and Z yet?”

If you’re feeling this way it’s time to raise the stakes and get back into the game. Stop multitasking, train your brain and rebuild your attention span. “Paying attention, for long periods of time, is a form of endurance athleticism. Like running a marathon, it requires practice and training to get the most out of it.”

2. Doing it all without delegation.

When you start a business, inevitably you will wear multiple hats. But from day one you should start thinking, “how can I work myself out of these ‘roles?’

Start small. Outline daily, weekly and monthly administrative tasks that are required of your business. Then hire a virtual assistant or an intern to manage these tactical aspects immediately. Ensure your new hire is accountable and ask him or her to share a weekly status report calendar that indicates due dates, on-going deliverables and finalized projects.

3. Waiting for the perfect time.

It’s easy to get caught up in the waiting conundrum. Some of us are worse than others. It’s a state of mind that says: In the near or distant future, a set of conditions will be ideal in my life that will usher me into my next move in business and timing will be perfect.

More often than not, the elephant in the room is this: An excuse, self-inflicted obstacles, and blame on external situations enable you to let days and years go by waiting for someone to turn the lights on and introduce you to your destiny. Here’s the truth: timing will never be perfect to do what you need to do in business. Set goals, make plans, prioritize, execute, measure and repeat.

4. Bottle-necking business decisions.

Does every single thing need to slide by your desk before it’s a-go? If so, it may be time to release the bottle-neck choke hold on your company — you.

If we’re honest with each other, we can admit that as entrepreneurs we like to be in control. When we’re not it feels like we’re driving a car without brakes. But in order for your business to grow and thrive, it’s important to bring on smart, specialized people you trust — and empower them to call some shots. Whether it’s 1 or 100, make people in your organization accountable and let them rise to the occasion.


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