Are You Unknowingly Self-Sabotaging Your Success?

Are you feeling like you want more income and impact, but you’re afraid you’re too burned out to handle the workload?

Photo: Tara Newman, Business & Leadership Coach; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Tara Newman, Business & Leadership Coach; Source: Courtesy Photo

Have you ever secretly (or not so secretly) desired to grow your business into an empire of epic proportions?

You know you have it in you.

You know you were born for greatness.

But as soon as you declare your desire for more income, impact, and influence you have a minor freak out.

You think, “If I have any more success than I currently have, how will I be able to handle it? I’m already exhausted and feeling burned out.”

And just like that all the sales that might have been headed your way vaporize into thin air. I know because I’ve seen it happen to my clients and it’s actually happened to me.


Can you handle success?

Last year, just as I was about to hit my biggest month in sales, I freaked out. When I say “freaked out”, I mean head between my legs and hyperventilating.

I considered, “If this client actually says yes, how will I be able to handle all of the work? I’m exhausted, my adrenals are dragging and I’m already sucking down venti coffees on my lunch hour.” And just like that the sale fell through.

Have you ever experienced a situation like that?

Your mind flashes to all those people you know making 6 and 7 figures and wonder “what do they have that I don’t?”
” More efficient adrenals? Cast iron stomach to handle greater quantities of coffee? Maybe they are aliens and don’t require sleep?

Nope, nope, and nope!

As a business and leadership coach, working high achieving and high performing business leaders for almost 20 years, I’ve had a front row seat to the behaviors that drive revenue and the ones that will leave you broke.

Whether you are a zero figure business or a seven figure business, the starting point is this:


Stop the ‘type A control freak who has to do all things’ vibe. It’s holding you back. Striving to overachieve and then crashing from exhaustion creates inconsistency. Focusing on pleasing people —especially the wrong kind of people — is draining your energy.


Leadership hacks that fuel success

Now that I’ve told you want you can stop doing, let’s focus you on what works instead. Here are three leadership hacks that will bring in more income (without working 24/7).


1. Focus on the critical few

When you’re busy doing “all the things”, you’re distracting yourself from the most important tasks that will move your business forward. 

Bold leaders know their vital few and focus on those things 80% of the time. Their vital few are the things needed to work on their business and not in their business.

These high level tasks have maximum impact including generating revenue, building relationships and leading their team. These are tasks that only you can do. You can’t outsource or delegate them.

The law of the vital few is Pareto’s Principle where 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions. 

These tasks may incorporate the leader’s strengths and business’ core values. The vital few are the priorities on which all decisions are based and where they focus the majority of their time.


2. Commit to consistent performance

When you strive for overachievement instead of consistent performance, you get inconsistent results (i.e. inconsistent income). 

When we focus on overachieving, we often set goals for the wrong reasons or stretch too far outside our comfort zone. Both of these things drain our energy and create fatigue.



Fatigue leads to underperforming or worse failure. 

Bold leaders know that over achievement doesn’t equal fulfillment. To smooth out your performance make sure you are taking a holistic view of your business. Treat it like a marathon and not a sprint.

Be vigilant with all things self-care and wellness. Don’t burn the candle at both ends. When you’re running your business, sleep, nutrition, hydration, and exercise are also important success factors. Measure your success by revenue and other intangible metrics that gauge ease, freedom, and joy.


3. Remember, people are important

People are at the center of your business (even if it’s product-based). It’s essential to build relationships with customers, clients, and peers from a place of service and influence.



There are plenty of things that can drain your energy as a leader. More often than not, it’s a specific person or group of people. Let me give a few examples.

Have you ever taken one person’s feedback and given it more weight than you should? What about allowing someone to take up more time than you have to give?

The way you add to your bottom line is to show up as a leader and serve from a place of generosity and service. And this requires strong boundaries developed from a place of compassion and commitment. These boundaries come from a place of honoring your relationships and it demonstrates the importance you place on all people.


If you’re feeling like you want more income and impact, but you’re afraid you’re too burned out to handle the workload, know that it’s not about the workload. 

It’s about your leadership. More specifically it’s about focusing on your critical few, consistent performance and honoring the people in your business.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Tara Newman is a Business and Leadership Coach who works with ambitious clients to help them step off the high achiever hamster wheel and into their leadership so they can grow their businesses without burning out. Tara is the founder of a thriving online Facebook community, The Bold Leadership Collective, where she shows up daily to hold conversations on what it really takes to grow as a leader so you can have the income, impact, and influence you desire. Connect with @thetaranewman on Instagram.



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