One of the best parts about being in business is that we get to bring our full selves to the table. Our businesses are a reflection of who we are in the world, and it’s easy to get over-identified with them. When things are going well, the good habits we have help push us further down the field. When things are not going well, it gets scary, in the fear, we often resort to using habits that we think are helpful but end up causing more problems.
It happens consistently. Whenever I work with a business that is stalling: either slow in starting up, on a plateau or failing along the way, there’s one behavior I see in almost every single situation: the business owner’s compulsion to control, which increases with the level of their anxiety.
Most of us are not comfortable with creating something new and untested. But we are very comfortable about being pissed off about something. Creating conflict is the ultimate tool of distraction. It gets you fired up and sends your adrenaline surging which creates the illusion that you are doing something.
Sometimes when business owners get scared, they get paralyzed. All of a sudden, you get “busy” (Crisis erupts, house, kids, pets, etc). You stop answering e-mails and put projects off. Finding time to work on anything and everything except the important business project that you’re trying to grow is a sign you’ve fallen into stalling.
Collecting information and opinions.
It’s easy to feel safe doing research because it is passive. It doesn’t ask a whole lot of you. You just collect it. And if you’re collecting research that supports your argument or point of view, it’s probably making you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Which is all well and good but isn’t going to help you grow/launch/get your stuff live. So put down the books and start making your stuff go. It’s good to be informed. But too much info, too many opinions and you lose sight of your intuition/process. You see this a lot: you’re ready to aim and fire and at the last minute, choose to seek yet another opinion, thus throwing your whole game off.
You’re only going to know what you already know at any given time. This is why it is vital to get your business out there regardless because that’s when the next level of learning begins.