Self-awareness and Knowledge among business owners can make or break companies. In 2020, my meetings with thousand-plus owners and client involvement across the market spectrum revealed the critical importance of self-awareness and knowledge to ultimate success or failure.
Three areas standing out above all others are:
- Head trash;
- Deep work/substantial self-awareness;
- Meeting people where they are instead of where you want them to be.
Many business owners with incredible creative product and service skills and talents fail to extend that creativity to interpersonal or intra-personal matters. Ideas to improve the world fly off the shelf, but lacking in the equation is improving the people living in that world.
Owners belittle themselves, those they employ, and those they serve and partner with -often because of deep-seated self-doubts and profound lack of self-esteem. When not berating themselves for poor performance, they often berate others for not seeing things their way.
This pervasive lack of respect for themselves and others eventually transforms businesses that could thrive into also-rans or, worse yet, total failures.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the three areas that will make or break a business.
Head trash: When owners refuse to see their own value
Head trash is an all-too-common affliction among business owners. It was present and “stinking up the joint” in a clear majority of the conversations I’ve had in the last year. It’s a very apt term that I adopted during conversations with my good friend Anson Ross Thompson of the Thompson Group (Commercial and Personal Insurance) a long time ago.
I describe it as the voices in your head you hear all day long in every quiet time, discussion, and interaction with people. It’s the little guy/gal sitting on your shoulder talking to you—telling you
“you’re not good enough,”
“you can’t do this,”
“that is stupid,”
“you’re not really prepared to launch,”
“you’re not a leader,”
“don’t do it,”
or my personal favorite
“they’ll never listen to you.”
Yes, we all have it. Anyone that says they don’t either isn’t a business owner or leader, OR they are gravely not self-aware!
So, what you are to do with this “head trash?”
Realize first, it’s just that…in your head. Your brain makes it up! It’s feelings. But feelings are just that. They are NOT necessarily the primary motivator for taking (or not taking) action. Let them exist freely without feeling obligated to do anything further. The fun part of this is to let your other voices (e.g., your can-do persona) argue with the “head trash” guy. Or simply move on past the voices! Seek out counsel from a friend or advisor…or dare I say, a business coach.
A few good bible verses on this subject:
Proverbs 12:15 ESV
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 15:22 ESV
Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.
Ultimately, you’re the master of what you think, feel, and act upon. You can ignore or incorporate voices as you see fit. The first step when it comes to “head trash” is to shed sunlight on it. Use your self-awareness to identify it, pull it out of the shadows and decide what—if anything—to do as a result.
Work on yourself, get to know yourself, inside and out – spend some time/energy
on it. I guarantee it will be worth the investment in time/money/energy. I can help you shed some light on your “head trash” and how best to manage it.
Contact me to start down the path.