5 More Tips to Avoid Self Sabotage

Recently, we talked about how most small businesses don’t survive beyond their first five years, and even more small businesses don’t live to see their first decade. To combat this, we shared five tips small business owners can use to avoid self-sabotage.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the list stopped there and there were no more tips to keeping your business alive? If you want to live in blissful ignorance then you can stop reading now and believe that there are only five tips!

For everyone else, keep reading and let’s discuss five more tips to avoid self sabotage. There are plenty of scenarios that arise with running a small business that are outside of our control, but there are plenty of others that we can at the very least influence. After all, business life is hard enough without us making it harder on ourselves.

1. Ready Yourself for Rationality

If you want to date when this article was written, my small business just finished our holiday push to make the most of the holiday season. As such, I have spent a lot of my recent weekends in convention halls with other small businesses. All of us reaching out to expand our customer base. A bonus of these weekends is I get a chance to look at similar businesses and see what they are doing different.

One thing I had to remind myself of is that our business is still young. It can be pretty intimidating to look at the businesses that have years of experience on us and what products, tools, and services they can offer. It can also spur up some jealousy of what they have. What’s dangerous is to think that we have to have it right now!

In time those things can come, but trying to have all of the latest and greatest now could risk the future of the company. It’s important to prioritize what you need over what you want, and to look for what would be most effort and cost effective.

2. Plan for Rest. Burnout is Real

I’m willing to bet that you have a few things on your to do list right now. You may even be checking one of the items off right now. One of the harsh realities of being your own boss is know that there is always something you could be working on. Projects to continue, people to call, manufacturing to manage, etc. It can be overwhelming.

One of the items you shouldn’t forget to include on your list is to take care of yourself. Less than feeling like there is too much to do, a big de-motivator is feeling like there is no end in sight. In truth, there is no end, but taking a break for rest can make this more acceptable and manageable. Rest is also key to make your work time for more profitable, so don’t forget to take some recovery time.

3. Organize by Importance, Not Difficulty

Speaking of to do list, its also important to know how to prioritize your tasks. A common mistake is to tackle the shortest time to complete tasks first, and the longer items second. It also makes since in some circumstances. You do more in less time. Not all tasks, however, are created equal. Rather than working on what would be easiest, work on what is most vital to your company no matter how hard it is to get done or the time it will take.

Small and fast jobs can sometimes trick you into feeling you’ve accomplished more than you actually have. This false moral can wreck havoc on your time management and efficiency. Even though they can often take more time and effort, working towards completing important jobs for you company can give you the same feeling of accomplishment while also doing the greatest amount of good.

4. Don’t Become Too Busy to Learn

As if you didn’t need one more thing to juggle on your to do list, I’m about to give you one more. Don’t get too busy. Businesses can easily become all encompassing if you aren’t careful and this can spell doom. Free time you set aside for research, experimentation, and learning is needed to make sure your business still progresses and evolves. Becoming overwhelmed with only the day to day running will eventually lead to stagnation. If you want to progress and survive, you have to give yourself time to improve.

5. Act First and Be the Squeaky Wheel

One of the easiest traps to fall into is what I like to call, “I’m on hold.” I’m on hold is when you are waiting on someone else to get back to you or you are waiting on them to fulfill their part of a job before you are able to finish yours. Rather than wait passively on others, be the active member and call them to ask on their progress or remind them that you are waiting on them. No one wants to be the incessant caller, but when done tactfully it can be a gentle reminder and get your business rolling again faster.

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Steering clear of common stumbling blocks is vastly important to making sure you keep your business up and running. There will always plenty to keep track of and balance, but these few tips will help make sure you stay proactive and don’t make your job harder than it has to be.

Have some practices that you have already found help keep you going? Be sure to share them in the comments below to let us know how we can get NinjaShop to help you in all aspects of your business.

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About the Author

James McCluskey

James is an English teacher and content writer for WP Ninjas. His daily motivation is to constantly look for something new to learn. This has tragically turned him into a living encyclopedia of largely pointless information. When not teaching, writing, or learning, James is usually working with his wife, Megan, on fundraising and support for several nonprofit organizations. Excelsior!