It rained most of the day yesterday. That means that today there will be dead worms all over my driveway.
When it rains for a long period of time, the ground becomes saturated. Worms must come to the surface to avoid drowning. They then crawl out onto the driveway. The sun comes out, it heats up, and the worms die on the hot driveway.
I would think that worms would eventually catch onto this phenomenon when relatives and community members don’t come back after a hard rain. It would make better sense to come out of the ground and just slide onto the edge of the driveway and away from the water. They wouldn’t get lost on the large span of asphalt, and they could keep the lush green grass in sight. Then, when it starts heating up they can easily slip back into the shelter of the grass.
Instead, they crawl way out onto the driveway and die. Worms are dumb.
Worms don’t have the capacity to keep from making the same mistakes over and over, but people do. Even though we know we have bad habits, we somehow manage to keep them. What bad habits are holding you back? What is it that you know you should be doing and haven’t yet begun?
Below are several habits that I find many business professionals have trouble dropping. How many of these do you have?
Does Not Return Calls On A Timely Basis
This is simple but many times overlooked. Maybe you fear rejection. Maybe you don’t want to deal with the issues that your clients are calling about. Whatever the reason, not calling on a timely basis sends a bad signal. It’s says, “I don’t care enough about you or your business to call right away.”
Now I’m not saying that all calls should be returned within fifteen minutes. However, your clients will respond more favorably when you call them back within a couple of hours rather then a couple of days.
Your Desk is a Mess
Ouch! Well, we’ve all been there at one time or another. The truth is that you can’t be as productive as possible if you can’t find what you’re looking for. Many times I see people who totally miss out on opportunities because of lack of organization.
How is your desk? What type of filing system do you have? Have you taken the time to create or obtain a system that will allow you to be totally productive?
Clean your office first. Then, implement a system that will allow you to maintain a cleared working area, and help you to work effectively, and on a timely basis.
If you’re not using a contact management system, get one! Whether you use a Mac or Windows operating system there are some great choices out there.
Don’t put off dealing with this one. It’s very simple; time is money. We’ve heard it before, and it’s true.
I work with business professionals who want to learn to make better choices. One fact that many people fail to realize is that a good choice today may not be as good in a week or a month.
By putting these issues off, your most valuable resource is slipping away; that is, time. Money is replaceable. Time is not. As a matter of fact, if I took all of your money from you and sent you off for two hours with the instructions to come back with some money, you would. You would find a way to come up with some money, but the two hours would be lost forever.
Making decisions today, or dealing with important issues today moves you closer to your goals at a faster pace. Your competition isn’t sitting still, and you shouldn’t be either.
Bad Money Management
Many business owners and sales professionals don’t spend enough time looking at their numbers. Where are you profits coming from? What are you greatest expenses? What factors affect these two items on your profit and loss statement?
Are you P & L savvy? Do you know how to read and interpret your statements? If you aren’t, take an accounting course at your community college, or talk with your accountant. Many times they have a course for their clients.
Often, the first thing I do when working with my tele-mentoring clients is to look at their expenses. It’s so easy to spend money, and so hard to make it.
Are there areas where you could cut back? Can you reduce costs? Every dollar taken out of expenses goes directly to the bottom line and your bank account.
Don’t just lump your credit card statements on your books. Break out each item and classify them correctly. Each month you should know where you money came from and where it went.
Now you are in a position to make great decisions.
Lack of Networking
Inevitably, we get caught up in the day-to-day operations of our business and don’t get out to meet new people and make new relationships.
Your success in business is based on two things; the choices you make, and the relationships you build. Meeting new people will add new life to your business. Your new contacts will lead you to others. That’s what networking is all about.
Each week look for one new networking opportunity. When you meet new people, follow up with a quick thank you card or note expressing that you were glad to meet them.
Look for ways to help your contacts. By doing this you will create a situation where people will be looking for ways to help you.
Cultivate relationships in the specific areas that you feel will be of most benefit to you and your company. Taking care of those relationships over time, you can watch your business grow.
No Continuing Educations
Over ninety-five per cent of all Americans do not read a non-fiction book after their last day of formal education. How sad.
You are compensated in this world based on the value you deliver. If you want to increase your compensation then you must increase your value. Learning and developing as a professional is how you increase your value.
Do you have a yearly continuing education plan? If not, you should develop one. Isolate where you need more knowledge and skills, then, go get ‘em!
Budget a certain amount of money each year for your personal development. If your company will pay for your education, that is great. If not, don’t let that hold you back. And, even if your company pays for some training, you may want to invest additional dollars in your own education.
It’s real simple. Are you worth it? If the answer is no then we have some real issues to deal with!
Worms may be dumb to crawl out onto the pavement and die, but you don’t have to. Drop your bad habits and replace them with new good ones, and you’ll be on your way to Building a Better Biz!