If you are like most people, you would probably like to complain from time to time about the economy, about the markets, about how things change too fast or about how you do not get enough time. Moan Moan Moan!
However, moaning does not solve problems. Instead, you can follow the “No BCD” theory and avoid blaming, complaining and defensiveness. In this way, you will have a totally different perspective, handle situations much better and take control of your destiny. A really practical way to do this is to develop better habits.
What are the bad habits you have?
We all have different bad habits, but when it comes to business, here are the 4 most common ones:
- Lack of concentration: every day, there will be things you will try to do and then you will “run out of time” or succumb to distractions. But if you are honest, you had time and there was a way: you simply lacked attention.
- You are too kind: how many times have you taken a project that was not profitable because “you felt sorry for them”. This not only really harms him, but also damages in many ways the relationship he has with that client or client
- Promising and not fulfilling: whether it’s something you have said to your team, your clients or your suppliers, if you do not match your words with your actions, over time, others will believe it less and less.
- Leaving opportunities at the table: usually, people complain in businesses that do not have enough (money / sales / support), when in fact they have them, they just did not ask for it. Within your existing network there is probably everything you need, just ask.
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy
Think about it. You can observe each of these bad habits and replace them with new and better ones. Imagine…
- If you created habits that made you concentrate better: you would be more productive, with the same amount of time.
- If you learned good ways to set limits: you will have a better time delivering your services or products and you will feel more rewarded.
- If you kept better track of your promises: you would feel less stressed and overwhelmed.
- If you took more advantage of those opportunities, you would earn more money and inject energy of welcome to those who are ready and willing to work with you. The side effect would be that you could delegate things you do not love and you’re not good at other more capable people, and replace those activities with the things you love!
Breaking those bad habits
Over the years, I have managed to create more limits and space for me to be efficient and effective in my work. There are ways to do it: some habits that I have learned from others who have experienced and overcome similar problems, and some are the product of my own experiments. Look down!
1. Sprints (for productivity)
I have to say that this is so effective. I meet at least one other person in a cafeteria or member club, if not in my office with my teammates. We plan to do 30 or 45 minutes of work and perform between 3 and 5 sprints in a session. Blocking 4 hours together I find that it works well.
Each one says what we will work on and then we get going. Speaking is not allowed, focusing only on the task we are talking about. When the stopwatch sounds, we stop, compare notes on progress, make a mini break and make another. Honestly, it’s my most productive time, and it makes you realize how much time we lose in distractions and even regret having too much work.
“A bad habit never disappears miraculously. It’s an undo-it-yourself project.” – Abigail Van Buren
2. A small task (for motivation to break a bad habit)
I have done this now twice with 2 different friends. We talk about the bad habits we each have, whatever they may be. We give ourselves a new rule or habit to follow during a period of two weeks. It must be an assignment of “INTELLIGENT” objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and with specific deadlines.
3. Low fruit (for grabbing opportunities)
You simply make a list of people you already know that:
- It fits in your target market but you still do not work with you
- Fit in your target market, but I have not worked with you for a while
- Experience problems that you know you can solve
- Have your own network of contacts or audience, which is very similar to the people you want to talk to.
- Have experience in things that you find challenging and, most likely, the answers to your current challenges.
Once you have this list, create some initial disclosure scripts written for text, email or phone calls and then review your list, sending requests, greetings, questions, etc. In the mindset of the people who receive these outreach messages, you will find that each conversation will be, at a minimum, a learning opportunity and will undoubtedly lead to more “yes” than if you did not do this exercise.
4. The minimum criteria (to establish limits).
If you discover that your bad habits mean you say “yes” too often when you should be saying “no”, it works very well. You just need to write a specific list of criteria to answer the question “Whenever I do this, first I need the following things to be true.”
For example, you only hire a client who pays less than a certain minimum threshold, who has committed in writing to meet your specific set of guidelines for your responsibilities during the project. There are many ways you can use the “minimum criteria” technique and you can share your rules with friends and colleagues to take responsibility.
Now, with all this information, I hope you feel more motivated and that you can no longer remember your excuses.