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Indiscretion Can Kill Your Business

The quickest way to cancel out all the thought, work, energy, time and expense you've poured into promoting your business is with indiscretions. I'm not talking about giving your clients' confidential materials to their competitors, though that certainly will kill your business ­ I'm talking about the indiscretions that leak out of your mouth, such as:

  • Those inappropriate responses to anyone and everyone within earshot when you are dog-tired and have been up all night trying to meet a deadline.
  • Those mean-spirited criticisms of a competitor or client when you thought you were speaking with someone "safe."
  • Those discussions with prospects about what goes on behind the corporate doors of another client.
  • Those judgmental, negative, or derogatory remarks you make about anyone, any business, or anything to anyone who is a prospect, client, competitor, associate, subcontractor, or vendor.

Most of us only leak such indiscretions when we let our guard down for a moment, or when we want to impress the person in front of us, or when we're very ticked off at someone. Others of us are just so darn pessimistic and negative that bad-mouthing is our modis operandi ­ it's just how we move through life, so why should we change now?

"Heck, Rose, we've earned the right to criticise and complain haven't we? The economy is lousy right now. We're at war with terrorists. We're in a drought. And my dog doesn't like me anymore!"

Oops, there are all those too-human rationalizations coming to the fore again.

If you want your business to succeed, your indiscretions need to stop. Remember Mom's old adage "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything"? Your Mom was right.

I'll bet you aren't even aware of how often and when you are indiscrete. I certainly wasn't. (Sure, I'm human too, ya know!) If you'd asked me if I would ever engage in indiscretions that would hurt my business, I would have been aghast, even though I know better. I'm monitoring my own languaging these days. (And so is my Business Coach.) It's amazing how entrenched some thought patterns and language phrasing can become.

My personal rationalization about my indiscretions revolved around "The client has asked for my professional opinion about XYZ. And that's what she's paying me for. So here goes..." And then those nasty negative and indiscrete things gently drop from my tongue and I say "I've hired both ABC and XYZ companies to do work for me in the past. I've found ABC company to be difficult because..." and I'm off and running with all the things I don't particularly like about ABC company. But I'm turning it around, and so can you. I'm shifting my thought patterns to "I've hired both ABC and XYZ companies to do work for me in the past. I just love working with XYZ company because..."

Now, doesn't that look like the easiest shift in the world? But, as in all changes of habit, it may be simple, but it sure isn't easy!

Here's how to get on top of any indiscretions you might be leaking:

  • For the next two weeks, monitor your conversations and log your indiscretions. Use a section of your Business Journal for this. (You are keeping a Business Journal, aren't you? Oops, subject for another article.) Record the time of day, your mood, who you leaked to and exactly what you said.
  • At the end of the two weeks, review your log and look for patterns. Look for patterns in the phraseology and word usage. Look for patterns in the time of day. Look for patterns in your moods. Look for combinations of word usage and your moods. Look for patterns in who you leak to and your moods. Got the idea?
  • If you are being indiscrete more than you'd like to be, or if you'd just like to clean up your languaging, ask your Business Coach to help you shift your thought patterns and languaging.
  • One of my favorite techniques in changing my languaging is to put Post-It's on my computer screen, on the bathroom mirrors, above the phones, on my car's rear-view mirror, and on my office wall clock that have the wording or phrasing I'm working on getting rid of. Each time I use that wording, I add time to my daily walk. That does it for me! (I hate exercise, in case you didn't catch that.) For you, perhaps you'd do better to put $10 in a jar toward your vacation fun. Different rewards or punishments work for different people. Find what works for you and use it!

Copyright 2004, Rose Hill, Inc

____________________________________________

Rose Hill, Founder and Owner,of Biz Whiz Expert (http://www.SoloBizVille.com) and Team Member of Solo-E.Com (http://www.Solo-E.Com) has been self-employed since 1990. Knowing how to run corporate departments and how to market corporate entities, products, and services did nothing to prepare her for successfully running and marketing a one-person business. That is why Rose created the SoloBizVille and SoloBizU community - to specifically to help solo entrepreneurs jumpstart their business success without all the trial-and-error learning.

____________________________________________

*********** Find more articles like this at http://www.Solo-E.com ? Keeping Solo Entrepreneurs Juiced in Business and in Life. Our team of Solo Entrepreneurs are comprised of small business experts who support others in finding business success with the flexibility and freedom to have a life, too. Network with other freelancers, self-employed and Solo Entrepreneurs in our forums, enjoy our articles and newsletter, and find other online training opportunities. *****

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