People often ask me, "When it comes to my business, how can I stay stuck? I love chasing my tail." So I thought it might be useful to reveal my secrets for the four best strategies I've seen for getting nowhere with your business.
Strategy #1: Do not have fun, and whatever you do, don't be yourself. Every time you catch yourself having fun, change your approach so you are doing what the experts tell you do to. This goes double for making choices where you get to be yourself. If they have a formula for success, do that and don't put any of your personality into it. Better yet, learn programs where you have to try to be someone you're not. For instance, if you're an introvert, hire a coach who made millions speaking from the stage. If you hate writing emails, start an internet business instead of going out in your local community. These strategies will not only keep the money from flowing, they will make you really, really unhappy – providing an even better basis for getting stuck and then spinning your wheels.
Strategy #2: Avoid doing whatever scares the shit out of you by claiming that more analysis and introspection is necessary. This tactic works like a charm. You can use it for years – even decades – to help you get nowhere. The ego loves to send you on this wild good chase of "I wonder why I'm so fearful of doing this; I'd better examine it," or "I have a childhood wound that prevents me from creating and sending out my speaker sheet. I'd better work on healing that before I take any more action." I have seen this paralyze more creative, wise people than any other strategy. It's super effective! If, on the other hand, you want to move past those fears, at times this is the most appropriate advice: Sometimes you just gotta grow a pair, you know? (See fancy graphic.)
Strategy #3: Keep buying how-to programs that aren't appropriate for your stage of business, for your natural style or for your business platform. This strategy came out a winner several years ago as slick talkers the world over began to market how-to programs promising quick, easy money.
As I've blogged about before, it's super important to look at what stage your business is in before you plop down your hard-earned cash. To make this strategy the most effective, though, you'll also want to choose programs created by someone who doesn't share many of your talents or traits, and who talks a lot about their lavish lifestyles and their "I was living under the railroad tracks until I invented this extremely easy way to make a million dollars in just six months" story.
(I noticed, by the way, that many of these folks live in La Jolla, California, a beautiful suburb of San Diego with Pacific Ocean views. I don't know if this is their mecca or just a coincidence. It certainly has great weather!)
Strategy 4: The Perpetual Seeker. This one rocks. That's the obsessive inability to make a decision or commit to something – whether it's a business, a brand, a project or even a person. As soon as you say, "I've got it!", or "That's the thing I really need, not all this get-rich-quick stuff!", your ego whispers in your ear that you might come up with something better, or that you should wait and see what else comes along.
Like when you have the greatest idea ever for a brand or tagline. Or you come across the thing that you actually need, something non-hypey that will teach you an actual skill to help you meet you particular goals, and the seller doesn't even talk about how rich she is or how poor she used to be.
For the record, I live in Chicago, mecca of Bulls fans and corrupt politicians. We also have water views, but they're of Lake Michigan. And it's freaking cold here in the winter. That kind of misery requires a certain depth of character to tolerate year after year, I think, and still be the upbeat and unsarcastic person I am.
I hope these strategies have provided some helpful ideas for staying stuck in your business. To summarize, the best things to do if you want to get nowhere are:
1) Don't have fun and whatever you do, don't be yourself. Being yourself attracts clients and having fun attracts even better clients. Stear clear of both of these!
2) Analyze to death why you aren't taking action, instead of taking action. Trust me, the human psyche is pretty complex, so that's definitely a rabbit hole you'll never find your way out of.
3) Buy how-to programs that make unrealistic promises, or that aren't appropriate for your stage of business, or are offered by people who aren't aligned with your talents and traits.
4) Be a perpetual seeker instead of commmitting to a decision. That will definitely land you on the corner of Getting Nowhere and Fast.