There is the standard check-list of things to things to think about when running a business, including staff levels, training, sales and marketing, finance and IT to name but a few, but what if you have all of this in place and are still struggling; could there be something else stopping your business from being the success you deserve?
In my last blog we explored Limiting Beliefs; what they are and how they are created, and these could be the unseen barrier in your professional life, as well as personally.
“Yes, everything is simple. It’s people who complicate things.”Albert Camus
The workplace can be full of set beliefs or habits, those things that happen just because that’s always the way things have been done.
A lot of companies have been caught out by the sudden, and drastic change that the current pandemic has forced upon them. Survival has probably been more about a companies ability to change and adapt.
One of the worst ‘negative beliefs’ is based on the mentality that it’s all about the sales. The departments behind the scenes, such as finance and accounting departments are not seen as important as the ‘money making’ teams; it has meant that they have been under-resourced and under-utilised.
As soon as the pandemic hit the back of house teams have suddenly become more important. With everyone working from home, IT has become an even more important than it was; it’s the same with finance, the companies I have seen that have invested in good finance systems and procedures were able to make decisions far more quickly than those that didn’t. This is not really the time to realise that your figures are inaccurate, and your company is not exactly performing as you thought it was.
I could talk for days about the importance of having good finance systems and procedures in place, but lets get back to the negative beliefs…..
Let’s take working from home as an example. Before the Lockdown, most of my clients wanted me to be in their office when working for them, and it made sense, to a point, especially as some of the work I was doing was training, which is easier when done face-to-face, or in groups.
Working in an office is the ingrained way of working; it’s the way things have always been done, an unwritten rule.
There are arguments for and against working from home, but I’m not going to debate these right now; the point I want to highlight is that the belief that work has to be done in an office could, in some cases, actually be limiting a business and it took a global pandemic for some companies to realise the potential of working in a different way. Giving up the leases on office space has saved companies a lot of money.
“Your not stuck. You’re just committed to certain patterns of behaviour because they helped you in the past. Now those behaviours have become more harmful than helpful. The reason why you can’t move forward is because you keep applying an old formula to a new level in your life. Change the formula to get different results.”Emily Maroutian
During my work, I have come across some extraordinary limiting beliefs, and some which are more subtle and that many of us may be able to relate to; here are some of them:
I was in a training course Facebook group, and a fellow group member shared her story; when she was 8 years old, her father left and her and her mum were left with nothing. Since that time she has gone through a cycle of losing pretty much everything, every 8 years.
A London client, wouldn’t open post, including letters from his bank; he had lost heavily in a business deal that went wrong and since then worries that letters from the bank will be bad news.
Another client once said to me that ‘money isn’t real’; she came from a relatively wealthy background, and when her business ran into financial difficulty her mum would bail her out.
So many business owners and CEO’s bring their own past experiences of work into their business, and this can either be a force for good, or extremely negative. I’m thinking here of a client who worked for a large, international company where the working ethos had everyone working until they literally dropped; and this belief was transferred into the smaller company that she was brought in to run.
We all have stories of that nightmare manager, or poor, stressful working conditions, but rather than changing this ethos when we get to a position of power/responsibility we seem to default to our experience, despite always saying we never would.
It’s the mentality of ‘I had it tough, so now it’s your turn’ which gets passed on, rather than ‘I had it tough and I don’t want anyone to experience what I went through’.
My husband struggles with mental ill health, which was caused by work related stress, so I am very conscious of health and wellbeing in the workplace; the stats that show how much money and time is lost due to ill health at work are astonishing, however despite this, some companies still stick to the old belief of overworking employees and generating a culture of fear where even taking a lunch break is frowned upon.
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”Carl Jung
Most of the negative beliefs start at the top, at the CEO or senior managers, the decision makers, and filter down through the company. What if those beliefs were removed? What if they were replaced with positive, forward thinking beliefs; how different would your company be?