We’ve all been guilty of procrastinating. Whether it’s putting off going to the grocery store until your family is completely out of milk and bread, avoiding a difficult conversation you need to have with your spouse, or continually incurring late fees because you don’t pay your bills on time, procrastination is pretty common. While it’s never a good thing for anyone’s life, when you become an entrepreneurial advisor, it can have especially disastrous consequences.
One of the greatest things about starting your own business is how it leads to greater self-awareness and development. Nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to evaluating why we self-sabotage with habits like procrastination. Do you wonder why you put things off until you (or your clients) are in crisis mode? The answer may surprise you.
Why We Procrastinate as Entrepreneurs
The reasons we procrastinate are many, but I’m of the mind that most of the time, it has nothing to do with laziness or poor management skills. Everything from being overwhelmed to not knowing where to turn to for help can cause us to procrastinate, but studies have found that entrepreneurs tend to have one overreaching reason why they procrastinate: perfectionism. That’s right. It’s not because you’re sloppy or not committed to doing a good job—it’s the exact opposite. You’re so committed to doing things right that you wait for the ideal time to have tough conversations, deliver bad news, or push your clients to change their investing habits.
However, as you probably know, there never is an ideal time to tell your clients they may not be able to retire on time or that they could be headed for a late in life divorce. And the more you put it off, the harder the conversation gets. Here’s how procrastination can affect your business-and what you can do to start breaking your faulty habits.
How It Can Affect Our Business
Procrastination can upset clients, cause chaos, and take up valuable time and energy. If it gets too severe, it can even be one of the big contributing factors to the failure of your business. Here are some specific ways it can impact your business.
It Can Affect Others’ Trust in You The bedrock of your business is that your clients trust you to act in their best interest and provide sound advice as well as mentorship. If you put off a difficult conversation or neglect to send in vital paperwork, the trust they have in you can erode.
It Can Affect Your Trust in Yourself As entrepreneurs, we must trust ourselves to do the very best for our clients. If we continually procrastinate on important tasks, we may start questioning our own value.
It Can Keep You in Crisis Mode Are you continually in the ‘putting out fires’ mode? If so, you are squarely in a reactionary mindset and that’s a difficult place to operate from. To be a true fiduciary, you must be in proactive mode as much as possible and procrastinating is the enemy of being proactive.
What to Do
Okay, so you know you procrastinate and you know it’s having a negative impact on your business. So what now? Here are some tips on busting out of your procrastination rut.
Put Yourself in the Mindset of Your Future Self We tend to think of ourselves as two different people: future self and present self. While our future self knows we need to get things done proactively, present self would rather wait until the right time presents itself. And guess who makes all the decisions? That’s right, present self. When you find yourself procrastinating, put yourself in ‘future self’ mode and let that person make the decision.
Stop Thinking and Start Doing Overthinking and procrastination go hand in hand. We can justify almost anything—even putting off vital tasks or conversations—if we think about it long enough. When it comes to getting things done, stop thinking and start doing. It might even help to have a countdown, something along the lines of “On the count of 5, I will make this phone call.” It may sound silly, but believe me—it works.
Talk with a Mentor Sometimes we need some tough talk from a trusted person who has been in our shoes. This is when it comes in handy to have a network of mentors you can reach out to. When you feel the urge to procrastinate, call up one of your mentors and talk it through with them. Not only will this help you take action, but it can also help you learn more about why you are avoiding the task in the first place.
Don’t let procrastination be a thorn in the side of your entrepreneurial success. If you want to be a more proactive and valued fiduciary, consider checking out our site and our Evolved Financial Planner course where we talk about this and many other fundamentals to a seven-figure business.
How to Operate a 7-Figure Entrepreneurial Advisory Business