The 5 ‘S’ Words that could be Sabotaging Your Small Business Success

If your small business growth is stagnant and you’re feeling stuck, first of all take heart—we’ve all been there and you’re definitely in good company. That said, how long has this been going on? That’s the key question because if it’s been more than a short while this article about mindset is for you. It’s your wake up call.

The most important assets you have that allow you to take your passion, message or talent and create a profitable small business are your time, mental and emotional energy and your health. Nurturing and protecting them is crucial.

I’ve seen so many wonderfully talented women capable of great things finding themselves spinning their wheels and feeling guilty for not really achieving the success and recognition they deserve. If they are clients we work hard to get to the root cause of their personal roadblock so they can breakthrough and soar. There are many fears, habits and ways of thinking that can hold you back, but the first step is becoming aware of them, being honest with yourself, and then committing to sometimes radical change.

There are some roadblocks however, that I see over and over. They grab hold of your business and your life and wrap their ugly tentacles around it until all the juice is squeezed out…not a pretty picture. So I’m going to list them here—I call them the “S” words– in the hopes that you will recognize any that may be plaguing you and start to root them out and go after your dreams in a big way. These roadblocks will rob you of your time, energy and even your health if you let them. I’m really tackling some tough subjects here, but we need to talk, don’t we?

Self doubt –Everyone has self doubt from time to time. But when your core belief is that you can’t really get what you want because you really don’t deserve it, then that impacts every action you take and determines the results you get. Here are some of the statements I’ve heard from people who were questioning themselves.

“I know I’m charging too little. I’m afraid no one will buy”.
“I can’t learn to do that (website, blogging, social media, whatever) because it’s just too hard”.
“I don’t think I will ever make 6 figures doing this. It’s okay if I’m only making $10,000 a year”.
“I feel like a fraud when I market my services”.
“People will think I’m awful if I try to sell them something”.

When you see these statements on paper they seem very self-defeating, yet many people have these types of thoughts rumbling around their head all day long. How can you feel powerful and confident until you do some inner housecleaning?

Self-sacrifice—As women we are born nurturers, but when we take this too far, sacrificing our dreams and gifts to support others we deprive the world of the gifts we were meant to share and we feel frustrated and stunted. Sacrifice needs to be balanced like anything else in life. I spent years caught in self-sacrifice that kept me focusing on everyone’s dreams but my own. When I realized that fear was the cause of my relentless focus on the well being and achievements of those I loved rather than my own, I had a real breakthrough. Take a look at your life. Do you put everyone else ahead of you when it comes to time and energy?

Yes it’s true that something has to be sacrificed during the business building process. But that sacrifice is joyful because you’re doing what you love to do. So give this some thought, okay?

Saving others—Yes I was really great at this as well. We feel it’s our job to save our partners or children from all discomfort, pain and suffering, but we get lost in the shuffle. First of all you can’t save anyone and second of all, save yourself first or you won’t have the energy, health and happiness left to help others. There is a line that needs to be drawn between guiding and saving. Are you pouring energy into saving others in your life until you have no energy left for you? We all learn from the mistakes we make and that includes your loved ones.

Self sabotage—this is a “hidden under the rug” topic. Self sabotage happens when what we say we want and what we truly believe we can actually get don’t mesh. That causes us to find ways to procrastinate and make excuses for not going after our dreams or goals with total commitment. This is why I have a “no excuses” policy for myself and my clients. That means if week after week you are not doing what you know you need to do and what you say you’ll do then you are sabotaging yourself in some way and you have to own up to it and figure out why. I see this all the time and, gals; it’s time to start walking the walk. If you want it and you say you do, then find no more excuses not to go after what you want. Call yourself out each time you find a way to self-sabotage. Get an anti-sabotage buddy and keep each other honest. That’s actually the best idea.

Settling—this “S” word is the saddest of all. Where in your life are you simply settling because it’s easier than changing? This is not only about business; it’s about relationships, friendships, un-pursued dreams. We settle because we know it will take much more energy and courage to change. We know it might be scary. We know it might mean we have to actually make a bold statement and then live up to it. Ladies—stop settling. You are more powerful and deserving than you know and you can decide to live in that power. Each day make that choice again. Slowly, over time, you will stop being willing to settle any longer because you know settling is living in default mode.

Make a list of the “S” words that resonate with you and start working on eliminating them. My wish for you is that it will allow you to shine your beautiful light into the world.

1 Comment
  • Monica Strobel
    Posted at 04:23h, 23 July Reply

    Janis– Great thought! From another woman who is recently in “recovery” mode from those 5 S’s — I love your gentle but firm strategies to get to the S on the other side– shining. I’m going to do my best to shine today, reminding myself I’m allowing others to when I do! How do you especially suggest taming the self-sacrifice? Thanks!

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