Sloth - number 2 in a series of articles outlining seven common business mistakes to avoid. Kindly supplied by Jane Buswell of Business Fulcrum
Sloth is not a word you hear of much today, in fact most connect it with those rather whimsical three-toed long haired creatures. Frankly though, if you are inclined to apathy or laziness in certain areas of your business, you might as well go hang out in the jungle.
Our inactivity frequently stems from being afraid to leave our comfort zone, so we are scared to make that important sales call, or we shrink from completing those enormous tender applications.
Sloth also rears its ugly head in the daily delaying of doing the things we love to hate. Unfortunately these things are often business critical.
Not getting on with the tedious administration concerned with raising invoices and sending them out will seriously affect your cash flow. Not doing that mailshot because you cant bear the thought of inserting 20 individual addresses, of printing off the letters, of stuffing them in envelopes and finally posting them will ensure your business stagnates.
Sloth, of course, is aided and abetted by Distraction, one of the more minor business sins but nevertheless one to be watched. Distraction often hangs out with sole entrepreneurs working from home. It manifests itself in several diverse and devious ways. The child that needs a lift, the dog that needs a walk, the neighbour who pops in for a chat thinking if you are at home you are not at work (!); the employed partner who believes working from home gives you the flexibility to just do that little thing they meant to deal with last weekend...
Sloth can even wreck your reputation before you start out in business. I recently heard an interesting story regarding a would-be networker trying to raise his profile. He twice contacted a breakfast group and failed to turn up, another lunch time meeting was left with his name against an empty seat and the organisers of a speed networking group faced the challenge of his having skewed the even numbers required to make the event work.
Several movers and shakers in the business community now have a very clear impression of him before he has ever even popped up at an event – whoops!
So remember, when you are raising the profile of your business it requires energy – positive, consistent, upbeat, passionate energy – even when you feel like slinking off home for a large G & T. It is key to making you memorable and ultimately brings you clients who know you will absolutely put your energy into their job.
Follow Jane on her blog: http://businessfulcrum.blogspot.com