There is a thin line between your image (in front of others) and the image of your business. Your business is a faceless entity; for that reason, when people think about choosing a service or a product, they choose mainly based on how much they like the people behind your services or products.
When we decide we want something, we pay close attention, not only to the features of the product but also to the delivery method and how friendly the person seems who’s making the offer.
Unfortunately, sometimes we tend to forget that aspect, and we concentrate all our attention solely on the quality of our offer. “I have a great product; people should want it regardless if I’m smiling or not.”
These three bad habits can significantly damage your business, yet most of us miss them.
1. Blindly following business trends
Did you notice that if someone on the street points the finger at something, most people around start looking at that something, ignoring completely anything else that happens around them?
You might think you are much more aware of yourself and how your business should go than the average person walking on the street. The reality, however, is that as we tend to look where everyone else is looking, we also follow trends blindly.
As an example, someone discovered that asking questions keeps your audience engaged.
That advice has been repeated over and over, and now, most businesses start their videos, presentations, adverts, and messages with questions.
If your clients are seeing only your advert starting with questions, great. However, they see another ten before that; by the time they hear/see your message those questions become so annoying, and your message falls on deaf ears.
Yes, it’s a great thing to keep your business knowledge up to date and learn new ways of attracting business partners and clients.
You can build your confidence and critical thinking so that you can sort out what is profitable for you and what is not.
If we follow the same example from above (how to start presentations) there is a trend that will never go out of fashion, is engaging, and keeps your audience looking where you want them. That trend is to start with a story. Can you say no to a story? Most people can’t.
Therefore, not all trends are good, not all trends are bad. You know your business the best; just pick and choose, don’t follow blindly.
2. Failing to keep your sense of entitlement in check
People develop an excessive sense of entitlement for many different reasons, and the most disheartening thing about it is that those suffering from it don’t know it. For them, the world has been created to make them happy and fulfill all their needs and desires.
The good news is that people suffering from an excessive sense of entitlement are rare. The bad news is that most of us suffer from entitlement about different aspects of our life.
There are hard-working, honest, loving husbands that feel entitled to receive their wives’ full attention and accept nothing less. There are parents who feel entitled to mingle in their adult children’s affairs. There are business owners who feel entitled to ask for the moon from their employees on a sunny day.
Keep your sense of entitlement in check and embrace good habits that improve your life every day.
Because it can be quite hard to realize when you feel entitled, here’s a checklist. You know you’re feeling entitled if…
- …you don’t feel happy when you get what you want
- …you tend to judge harshly those who don’t behave as you wish
- …you don’t even bother to make excuses for not trying to get what you want
When these things happen to you, you just might feel entitled. The tricky thing about feeling entitled is that getting what you want doesn’t make you happy but puts you in a neutral mental and emotional state. Therefore, life becomes dull or tremendously frustrating.
3. “I can do it all” attitude
Most businesses are failing because the owner displays this attitude out of vanity or anxiety. The owner becomes the enemy within, killing the business bit by bit with his/her lack of social skills and tolerance.
“I can do it all” attitude alienates even the most loyal employees, scares off potential partners and drains the life out of the owner.
How can you recognize if you’re suffering from this attitude?
- You don’t allow your employees to do the job you hire them to do (thinking you know better, or feeling anxious about the result)
- Micromanage everything
- Feel scared to take a day off
- You’re reluctant to delegate
- You feel unsatisfied and criticize everything others do, saying something like “I would have done it better”
- Take on the duties of your employees
If the business owner suffers from “I can do it all” attitude, employees lose their confidence and sense of being useful. In the end, the owner gets crushed under the overwhelming number of things that must be done, and nothing gets done correctly or in time.
What are some other bad habits you would caution business owners to avoid?