Quit Whining… It’s Your Business

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

“Wah Wah Wah!”  My employee muttered as he walked past me.  “What was that?”  I asked in disbelief.  “Daryl you’re whining again and it’s really annoying” he said.

As I processed what my employee had just said to me, I was completely shocked that he actually had the nerve to call me out.  I also had the realization that he was right.  I was a whiner, and in those days that was the norm.  I complained about everything; that sales weren’t high enough, that employees weren’t doing their jobs correctly, or that certain customers were being unreasonable.  It really didn’t matter what the situation was, because I always had some valid and justifiable reason why I should complain about it.

Being called out as a whiner turned out to be a wonderful gift that employee gave to me.  It gave me chance to look at my actions and motives.  It gave me an opportunity to stop thinking of myself as a helpless victim of circumstance, and instead to start taking total responsibility for EVERYTHING that was happening inside my business.  That simple shift in my thinking not only made me more pleasant to the people around me, but had an overall positive effect on the business and its bottom line.

I was reminded of this incident with my employee the other day as I had a conversation with a business owner.  After hearing the words coming out of her mouth, I knew she perceived herself as a victim.  I listened to her explain to me how her accountant had ripped her off, how she has gone through countless numbers of ineffective managers, and how her employees won’t do their jobs correctly.  Listening to her gripe and complain for five minutes left me sucked the energy right out of me until I felt completely exhausted!

Taking Total Responsibility for Your Business

Taking total responsibility for your business simply means that no matter what happens in your business, you are responsible for it happening in the first place.  You refuse to blame any person or any situation for whatever might be happening to your business.  It doesn’t matter how big or small the issue is, or if you intentionally created the issue or not.  The fact remains that you and you alone, are responsible for it happening in the first place.

Being a whiner and not taking responsibility for your business is counterproductive, can limit your growth, and will make people not want to help you.  Nobody likes a complainer.  Since this is your business, here are some things to check to see if you are acting like a victim and being a whiner, or taking total responsibility for your business.

You Blame Other People

If you find yourself getting upset and blaming others on a regular basis you might be acting like a whiny victim.  Are you constantly annoyed at your employees?  Do you have vendors or contractors that upset you?  Do you have customers that push your hot buttons?  Are people not doing what you want?  Do you like to tell your complaints to other people, such as your friends and family?

Sure there may be some people that intentionally do mean terrible things to us.  Maybe they have some personal reason.  However, in most cases the reason an issue arises in the first place is because we allowed it to happen.  If employees aren’t doing things the way you want them to, your training, systems, or how they are held accountable might be the cause.  Your accountant may be in error because they didn’t file your taxes on time, but filing taxes on time is your overall responsibility, not theirs, and you are responsible for hiring them in the first place.  If you’re mad at a customer because they misunderstood one of your policies, do your policies need to be re-written?  No matter the circumstance, you allowed this to happen in the first place and it is your responsibility.

You Blame Situations

Do you blame the economy, changes in the industry, increased competition, or any other situation for how your business is performing?  Placing the blame on situations that seem out of our control is an easy attempt for us to try and remove our responsibility from what is happening in our business, and puts us in the middle of the whiner category.  Business is constantly evolving and changing, and it’s your responsibility to change and adapt with it.  If you catch yourself blaming outside situations for issues you are facing in your business, stop and ask yourself “What have I done, or not done, that allowed this to happen in my business?”  You may not like the answer, but at least you are taking total responsibility.

You Believe Things Are Unfair

If you ever catch yourself saying that something is unfair, you are living as a victim instead of taking total responsibility.  “Why do all these things happen to me?” “How come I can never get a break?” “Why do I always get beat up?” “This is so unfair.” If you hear yourself talking to yourself in this manner using these types of words then the chances are you are living your life as a victim.  Deciding whether something is fair or unfair is implies you are the victim of outside circumstances that are happening to you.   Sure there are plenty of things that can happen that we may not have expected, but how we choose to respond to them can mean the difference of taking responsibility or feeling like a victim.

Since we make the choice to be in our own business, we get to choose what happens in our business.  When we take total responsibility for our business, we have the opportunity to change the way things are.  Sometimes we need to be reminded if we are taking total responsibility for the good and bad that happens in our business, and not let victimhood get the best of us.

To your SUCCESS,

Daryl Murrow

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