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Business Owners: Maybe You Should Give Up


Sounds harsh, I know… but it’s good advice that could save your business or get you thinking about your business differently. Read on.

As owner-operators we fall into familiar patterns that directly affect our business on a daily basis. We tend to work on areas of the business that we are good at and neglect the areas we’re not so good at. We also tend to think that we can do no wrong.

I firmly believe that many businesses succeed - not because of what they’ve done, but in spite of what they have done. Even though they have made many poor decisions and avoided attention in critical areas that they still have enjoyed some success and the doors stay open.


My suggestion for your business is to just give up. Now. Before it’s too late.


Give up being right. Accept the possibility that there may be a better way, a good idea or another process that may be more effective that what you’re doing right now.

Give up doing jobs in the business that can be performed by others. Stop thinking that no one in the business can do those functions as good as you do them. While it may be true, it is better to focus on success and not perfection, and it frees you up to do more important functions in the business.

Give up trying to do too many things at once. Multitasking is not as effective as some may believe it to be. Better to finish a few things all the way through than to end the day with fifteen unfinished projects.

Give up the distractions. In the Information Age, the constant availability and incessant updates of social media, email and texting are a huge distraction away from pure thinking and problem solving necessary to be successful. Check email periodically and turn of phone notifications when possible.

Give up old habits. Change is good. It shouldn’t be scary or unsettling. Shake things up and try doing things differently or in a different order. Think differently and try new ways of looking at a problem or when thinking of solutions.

Give up negative thinking and disappointment. Don’t let setbacks, crises, obstacles, and little disappointments get you down - you’ll lose energy, effectiveness, and momentum. Learn to let go, move on, and overcome. When it pipes up, tell the negative voice in your head to, “just shut up!” and then get back to work.

Give up trying to save employees that are poisoning your company. Many business owners (myself included) have been “held hostage” by employees that are slowly hurting the company. Employees that are unenthusiastic, short, or downright rude to your customers. Employees that, over time, rationalize the amount of effort versus the dollar amount paid. Employees that “get by” with things that cause resentment with the rest of the staff. The list can go on and on. Many times the thought of the whole hiring process and costs of training (short term expense)  make us overlook the huge long-term cost of an employee that is bad for morale or actually driving current and repeat business away.


Many of the points above illustrate a change in mindset. I cannot emphasize enough how important a healthy and strong mindset is when owning a business. You need to remove the blankets from the mirrors around you, take a good hard look at yourself often. Recognize successful actions and congratulate yourself on them. Also recognize your mistakes, failures and shortcomings and own them. Take responsibility and make note of how you can improve in those areas. You will be a better business owner, employer and on a path to future success.

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