Today everything is going at full speed. We hardly have time to breathe or think twice. We believe we should keep doing it and doing it and doing it. We tend to pay attention to big things in order to succeed and overlook some crucial everyday details that can totally prevent our success or slow it down. If you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, burned out or caught up in a never-ending cycle of chasing a distant success, here are 5 ways you may be sabotaging yourself:
UNABLE TO SAY NO
Don’t say YES when you really mean NO. If you do, you’re overcommitting yourself or you will end up living with some sorts of regrets. We sometimes overestimate people’s reaction if we say no. I used to say yes to almost all invitations/proposals coming my way (to be part of boards, committees or groups; to volunteer or to give a hand here and there, or to take on new projects that looked appealing…). I would feel exhausted, overwhelmed and mostly, I was living in “regrets” land – beating myself up secretly and wondering why in the world did I say yes to this or that! But being a woman of my word, I could not go back to say no and I had to deliver regardless. I felt miserable. The truth is: NOBODY will die if you say NO (trust me). And don’t go “over explaining” why you are saying no, because NO is a complete sentence. If you have difficulties saying NO, you could say you will get back with an answer in a few hours, days or weeks (depending on the urgency of the matter) since you appreciate the offer and you want to make sure you take the appropriate time to think about it and see if you can deliver. Remember, you have to prioritize. People will respect you for your honesty and professionalism.
LACKING CONFIDENCE OR BEING OVERLY CONFIDENT
Not having enough confidence can be a weakness or disadvantage in today’s tough and competitive market. It may prevent you from making some bold or risky moves that can be necessary to propel your business or career forward. It can even trick you into thinking you’re not worthy of a big contract, a promotion or an opportunity to be part of something spectacular. However, being overly confident can be very damaging to your business since it can trick you into thinking you are unbeatable, cannot fail or are above everyone else. And soon enough you stop learning or improving your craft. It can be perceived as arrogance and may damage your brand. A friend of mine, Dominique Anglade, now the Minister of Economic Development in Quebec, once said to me: there is a big difference between Modesty and Humility. Modesty is like a disease – that will slow you down, she said (I would add: an ‘image’ you’re trying to convey that erases your confidence). But Humility is a virtue, she said (I would add: a natural way of being that exudes gratitude, respect and confidence). To succeed in business you need a decent level of confidence in yourself, your team, your product, your business, your partners and the market.
HAVING TROUBLE DELEGATING
If you want something to be done well and quickly, DON’T do it yourself. I have been taught otherwise at the beginning and I know you may have heard the contrary too. I used to find it so hard to delegate, especially when it sometimes takes longer explaining to the other person what and how to do one particular task (you would have completed the whole thing by the time you finish all the explanation, I know). It took me a while to get there. But if you want to build long-term success and be effective in the long run, you have no choice. Delegating is the name of the game. After all, your team is there to help YOU. But delegating is not an easy task and when done wrong you can quickly destroy your business or seriously damage your brand; which is why at FC Success Academy we have a whole chapter about how to effectively delegate in your business in order to maximize productivity, leverage sales and fast-forward your success.
NOT HAVING A CLEAR VISION
Whatever you do, plan and start with the end in mind. It may not always be possible to anticipate all the great things that can happen in your business or career but if you can dream it and lay out a clear vision for what you have in mind, you drastically enhance your chance of succeeding. A business with no vision is like a boat with no captain… you will end up where ever the wind sends you. And chances are – you might not like that random destination. In our case, at the Fabienne Colas Foundation, we never start by saying we want to do another festival. We define why and what we want to do as a festival, and what the vision is behind that particular festival as well as the end goal. That is what guides our action plan and one of the reasons why our events are so successful with tens of thousands of festival-goers every year as well as international media coverage and major celebrities attending. Before Celine Dion became the world most popular singer, René Angélil had a clear vision of her being that popular and laid out a plan to achieve just that. You will always go as far as your vision. The clearer your vision, the more precise is your plan to get there.
NOT INVESTING IN YOUR EDUCATION
Years back, I thought I was a kind of a “genius” that could figure out all by myself the way to success. Since I was not afraid to take a risk I would try anything anytime with no clear plan hoping it would work because I’m a go-getter. Lord have I lost time, energy, resources and money!! I worked myself through exhaustion and had a burn out. One day, I discovered that quote by Warren Buffett that says: “It’s good to learn from your mistakes, but it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes”. And that was my AHA moment! I started to devour books and e-books, attend seminars and workshops, and take several online courses from people who have done what I was trying to do. I invested a lot of money in my learning (at a time when I hardly could afford it) but that was nothing compared to the money I have lost years before due to my lack of knowledge in my previous ventures. If you want to save resources, energy, money, and time: invest in yourself!!! Because, in today’s day and age, you simply cannot improvise your way up, you need a plan – step-by-step guides to getting you where you want to go and fast forward your success. This is exactly why we created FC Success Academy. For people like you who want to start their own business or take their existing business to new heights. This is the online course I wish I had taken when I started up.
Hope you found this article useful. Let me know what you’re struggling with when it comes to launching your own business, product or service and please share if you have other useful tips for new entrepreneurs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning actress, filmmaker, speaker and business owner, Fabienne Colas is the ‘Queen of Festivals’ and founder of a successful entertainment & media empire – which includes 7 successful festivals in Canada, the USA and Haiti; a production company and several other ventures. CEO/Founder of Zaza Production, Fabienne helps people unlock their greatness, launch their products and services, reposition their brand and bring their business to the next level.