“Enough already. That’s it. No more. It’s over.”
Ever had a day like that?
I used to quit my business when a tough stretch dragged on for too many months.
Maybe you’ve felt the same way at times.
It feels great to just quit.
Then, I start planning my retirement to a Greek island (that’s my fantasy anyway – what’s yours?).
Eventually, it passes.
Instead of dreaming about quitting your business, what if you decided to quit a bunch of behaviours? Those old and tired ingrained habits that stop your business from becoming what you want it to become. Then what happens?
Here are a few things you might want to quit before you throw the baby out with the bathwater:
1. Quit ‘doing’
Most of us equate achieving with ‘doing’. For something to be achieved, I’ll grant you, you have to take some action.
Yet after a long time in business, we can find ourselves ‘doing’ constantly. Our days are filled with endless ‘doing’. Yet months or years down the road, we realise that we still haven’t created the business we dreamt of.
So quit doing and start thinking.
Strategically. Long-term (yes, even if you’re already old).
Doing the right things gets you closer to your goal. And it’s only by stopping and thinking about what those ‘right things’ are that you get to ‘do’ the right things.
2. Quit complaining
If something is not working in your business, quit complaining and start fixing it.
I don’t mean superficially fixing things as you’ve done in the past. I mean commit and really dig in, taking it slowly and fixing the issue once and for all.
If you’ve got a team member who just doesn’t work, deal with it. Put the time into training them, or let them go.
If you’ve known for years that a process is convoluted and doesn’t add value to clients, sit down and fix it.
3. Quit trying to do it quick
On Day 1 of my Uncover Your Business Potential programme, I explain to delegates that “we won’t do things quickly, we’ll do things right.”
I have to be honest, I’ve wasted years of my life trying to “get there” fast. If there’s one piece of business wisdom I could pass on, it would be to quit trying to do things quickly. “Do it right and do it once” is the mantra, even if it takes weeks or months to fix each issue.
In the case of getting your team right, it might even take years, but it’s worth it. You won’t be able to grow fast and scale until your team is right. So focus on that until it’s done.
4. Quit holding on to everything
In most small businesses, everything eventually comes back through the business owner, so they become the bottleneck.
Think about your own firm:
- Do you have to check reports, letters or emails before they get sent to clients?
- Do you pay invoices to suppliers?
- Do you negotiate with BT about your telephone system?
Or a myriad of other jobs that you tell yourself only you can do.
Quit that and start handing out responsibilities to the team that work for you. Start giving your team decision-making responsibilities in their department or area of expertise.
It’s a great way to be building your own future leaders. Many of your team secretly think they could make better decisions than you. Why not let them try and also learn in the process that it’s not always as simple as it looks from the sidelines.
5. Quit trying to clear your to-do list
Quit trying to get everything on your to-do list done. That’s not the route to success.
You’ve got to do the stuff that will make the most difference, yet we all run around telling ourselves that ticking off loads of to-dos is productivity.
Yeah, but it’s not effectiveness and effectiveness wins by a factor of 100.
Quitting is great
We could all progress further and faster by quitting a bunch of behaviours that just don’t serve us any longer.
Maybe some of them never did.
What are you going to quit?
Feel free to send me your quit list.
Related: Hygiene vs Health: And Why You Need To Know the Difference for Your Advisory