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7 Business Sins You Must Avoid - Everyone knows about the seven deadly sins. They’ve been examined from numerous different angles and contexts. Today we’ll be analysing them through a business lens.

You may think of gluttony, greed, pride, and even sloth, as the main sins which could be attributed to the business world. While the most common, all the sevens sins seep their way into this industry and if you want to get ahead and succeed, you have to learn how to stay clear of  them.
Source: by Adam Flockemann

Just like in the everyday world, if you don’t keep an eye out for these sins, they will find a way to derail you.

7. Pride

Certainly, if you've built a strong business that's doing well in its industry, you have every reason to be proud of your accomplishments. When it comes to sins, however, there is a fine line between pride and arrogance.  

When you reach a point where you are no  longer just proud, but see your business success as excess without regard for others,  the line between good and bad becomes blurred.

In the business world, pride means believing so strongly in one's own abilities that one forgets the journey to success was not a solo one. You forget about the people who helped you along the way. You disregard those who shaped you into the person you are today.

When you reach this point,you will begin to lose the support of the people, businesses, and other influences who have assisted you. Your company's foundation will be shattered as a result of your pride.

How do I resolve this?

INTERACT: When you find yourself constantly saying  “Let me finish…” or “I wasn’t done talking” (quite sternly, may I add), allow others to take up space as well. If you notice an individual desperately waiting to be heard, invite them to speak up “Hey, I’m curious about your thoughts on…”.  

Not only does this allow new ideas to flow in, but it also keeps you grounded, reminding you that  you journey to success is not solely about you.

ENJOY what you have rather than brag about it. Recognize that your possession of more  expensive items does not make you superior.

RECEIVE compliments graciously. Say “thank you” and mean it.

GIVE compliments. If someone is achieving  accomplishments after accomplishments, sincerely congratulate them. When  you nothing an individual with an ‘out of the box’ idea, give them a compliment. The secret here is to be sincere – people can smell a fake compliment from miles away.

“GOOD PRIDE” is clean, pure and constantly  seeks betterment. This is contrary to the harmful kind of pride which is neglectful (of  others), self-seeking and corrupt. Learning the difference and adopting the former will keep your rooted and help you succeed more than ever.

6. Greed

It is human nature to want more of the good life after a small taste of it – who would want to go back to their old life after experiencing success, money and maybe even celebrity status? Now here’s the thing, if you’re making millions and gaining a lot of success, you’re clearly doing something right with your business.

The problem rises, however, when greed kicks in; instead of focusing on what more the business can do to expand, the minds involved are more focused on how they can keep themselves at this high level. Business may start to make poor financial decisions in the  pursuit of material items associated with success.

Being aware of the greed is a great way to stay ahead of it. But sometimes, success comes ever so quickly that we lose track of it. Stay level-headed and follow these three rules to protect yourself:

The first rule is that you should never cut anything that generates a profit. Saving money does not earn you money. You make money by investing wisely. 

Second, you should never pay your  employees less than a fair wage. Your employees must believe that they are being paid at the same level as those around them. Otherwise, you'll  have a major turnout problem.

Finally, never undervalue the importance of the customer’s experience. Your customers have visited your establishment and have had an experience, and they continue to return in the hope that this will be repeated.

5. Lust

Longing for what you can't have, aside from steamy office romances, isn't going to help your business succeed. When it progresses beyond the stage of reasonable goals and into the realm of obsessive and uncontrollable passion, it becomes much easier to make rash decisions that may ultimately harm your business.

How to deal with it?

A personal vision is the business virtue that opposes Lust. What do you hope to get out of your company? You're in business for a  reason; the company is supposed to provide you with certain necessities in life. Are you certain about what they are and how you will obtain them?

Begin with the tangible indicators of your success as an entrepreneur. It could be as simple as: Work an average 35 hours a week. Own a house at the lake worth a fortune. 

Travel to Europe every two years. Put my child through medical school. Help lead a community agency dedicated to providing decent food for the poor. Teach a high school class in entrepreneurship.

Make your point clear. Your objectives should be  measurable so that you can track your progress. Once you've nailed it down, your Personal Vision begins to transform into a business vision.

Make a list of everything. ‘WRITE IT DOWN!’  says every coach and motivational author. Keep it nearby and refer to it frequently. Then, as a business owner, begin paying close attention  to your day-to-day activities.

Defeating Lust is the first step towards  success. As Cheshire Cat famously said; “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

4. Wrath

Everyone has a Dwight to their Jim. Everyone. Now if you haven’t watched the Office, a ‘Dwight’ is someone at work who really (and I mean REALLY) grinds your gears. This could be a co-worker who just won’t stop annoying you any chance they get. Or, an unsatisfied client who just can’t be pleased.  

Maybe a competitor who is always after  your clients. Whatever it may be, you and I both know that even the Dalai Lama would  have his patience tested with someone like this.

Here’s a little secret: some of these ‘characters’ know exactly what they’re doing. They want you to get angry, they want you to scream and pull your hair out. They want you to react.  

Why? Well there are too many reasons, but the most common one is that they want  some kind of ‘ammunition’ against you.

Don’t give them the satisfaction. People who  show anger or any kind of negative emotion aren’t looked at fondly in the business world.  

The higher your position is in the company; the worse people will think of you when  you show anger. “Is this REALLY the kind of guy you want running this company?” I can hear Dwight say with a smug smile.

Learn to be assertive instead of aggressive. That’s how you get respect. You’re here to play the long game.

3. Gluttony

Gluttony is caused by consuming more than you need. In the traditional sense, it refers to the consumption of food and drink, and alcohol has been known to tarnish the reputation of many a successful businessperson.

Outside of that, however, consuming more than is required can be extremely detrimental to a company.

Spending equals consumption. Overspending can very quickly lead to financial problems and subsequent failure. This can be because one purchases a larger building than required; selecting a company vehicle that costs a little more than what’s in the budget.  

Gluttony in business is a sure way to ruins. Delegate your responsibilities. Certain tasks can be difficult for some business owners to let go of. 

Putting too much on your proverbial plate may do more harm than good, especially if it jeopardizes your cash flow.

You can't do it all on your own, which is especially true when it comes to credit management.

With late payment showing no signs of abating, the amount of time businesses  spends chasing overdue invoices is increasing. This is often at the expense of newer invoices approaching their due date.

This can then lead to a never-ending cycle of late payments. To avoid this, it's critical to learn how to delegate and prioritize credit control tasks so that you can stay on top of your sales ledger at all times.

If you lack the necessary internal resources, you may wish to consider outsourcing all or a portion of this function instead. You can instead focus on other aspects of your business while your invoices are safe in the hands of the experts.

2. Envy

Envy exists in all of us. So many people are always looking for the next best thing and wanting way others have. The interesting this is that for some people, envy is a fantastic motivator. This is not always the case, however.

A vast majority of us keep forgetting to water our own grass all the while complaining that it’s greener on the other side.

If you are constantly looking around and wishing  for what others have, it is easy to lose sight of what you actually need to make your company a success.

Not all businesses are created equal, and just because another company in your industry has the latest and greatest tools doesn't always mean it's what you need. Be wary of envy and do not allow it to consume you.

How to deal with it: Reach out to your ‘competitors’ When you get that sinking feeling in your stomach, train yourself to do the polar opposite of your first instinct.  

Rather than withdrawing or attempting to  convince yourself that you are better than them, congratulate them on a job well done.

Avoid the scarcity mind-set. Believing that resources are scarce can sometimes be the root cause of your jealously. If you find yourself thinking that there’s only so much to go around, you have scarcity mind-set.

For example, ‘there’s only limited number of projects out there and my competitor gets almost all of them’ is scarcity mind-set. This causes envy because it leads you to think you are not good enough.  

Eliminate this paralysing mind-set and use  every prick of envy to self-evaluate yourself. Remember you can’t serve everyone. Think  of it like a burden of your shoulder.  

How stressful would it be if clients with all different kinds of needs were demanding your attention? It’s good that there ae other  companies out there who are good at what they do; focus on your niche so you find  your group of loyal clients.

1. Sloth

Growing a successful business requires a lot of hard work, and those who are unwilling to put in the effort are unlikely to succeed.  Avoidance of work is referred to as sloth,  and avoiding work is a significant  disadvantage of running a business.

In order to succeed you should: Keep a list of everything that needs to be done to combat the power of procrastination. 

Having it written down serves as a visual guide to keep you on track and ensures that no tasks are overlooked. Consider hiring more resources or outsourcing some tasks if your procrastination is caused by a lack of time to complete all of the tasks that need to be completed.

Well guys there you have it, avoid these sins and you should be good. With that being said, have a good  one and see you in the next post.

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