This morning whilst on my way to pick my lads up ready for the day ahead my van brakes decided to go BANG! and send flying bits of metal down the road…My initial reaction was like FGS… Why has this happened, My day is going to be chaos now, why always on a Monday morning!!!
Whilst sitting in the repair centre, which luckily was only 60 seconds from where the van decided to give up the fight it dawned on me… This was totally avoidable and the fault was NOT the van but it was, in fact, It was totally MY FAULT. I had taken the decision to ignore all the warning signs over that past few weeks. The odd clunk here and the strange vibration there… My van was telling me there was an issue for weeks but I choose to ignore and now have to pay the price for this poor judgement, Pissed of clients that have now had to have their job postponed, loss of work for my team that was reliant on me and no doubt a bigger bill from the repair centre as they have had to deal with it at short notice.
I bet you are wondering ‘ Why is Wayne bleating on about his van breaking’ peoples van break down every day, Just get on with it’…
Well, there is a reason, a very big reason really. The scenario that I have described above is just a symptom of what can be a very dangerous habit that I in the past was subject too and I am damn sure a lot of you reading this are guilty of too.
Stop Ignoring the Warning Signs
It very rare that something bad just happens suddenly with no warning signs… Of course, sometimes SH*T does just happen but in most cases, the world around us will give us plenty of warning signs to try and get our attention to take action and deal with the situation before it becomes an emergency.
We have a tendency to have a bias towards short-term ‘WINS’ when in fact these wins are not really wins, In what happened to me today this is clearly evident, rather than take action and prepare a day to get the issue resolved, I was to busy just getting my daily tasks done without ever sticking my head above the parapet to take a look at the bigger picture.
Are you choosing to ignore the Warning Signs?
Men, in general, are the biggest culprits of this habit… whether it be their health, business or family, we men are very good pretending everything is ok! Saying that women can exhibit this trait too but from own life experience, MEN have shown to be the best at this.
Below is a list of some of what I feel are the most common early warning signs that sh*t needs to change.
Business early warn signs –
1. Income is flat or declining.
2. Difficulty in paying bills and/or meeting payroll.
3. Working more hours just to “hold on.”
4. Potential leads dwindling.
5. Client complaints increasing.
6. Passion for business waning.
7. Reducing prices to spark sales.
8. Client lifespan is declining.
9. Systems overwhelmed by demand.
10. Critical spending cut back.
11. Vital follow-up time postponed or put off.
12. Unable to honour commitments or meet deliverables.
13. Inability to keep up with the pace of growth. “Things” fall through the cracks.
14. Recommendations from clients falling
15. Dreading going to work
If any of the above apply to you, you are not alone… BUT you do need to start taking action to stop it from becoming a bigger issue.
I have found that simply setting some SMART goals can really help get any issue back on track, Make sure it is
Attainable (within a set time period),
Having a set, written down goal can really help you ACT on any warning signs that may be showing up in your business. In fact, you can use SMART goals in any aspect of your life to keep you driven and focussed and most importantly avoid the habit if Ignoring the warning signs.
Early signs scenario-
Drop in customer referrals.
SMART goal to help overcome
S- Increase Customer Referrals
M- Will Get 10 new referrals from my existing customers
A- Will will achive this by introducing a customer referral scheme
R- This will help us hit our income targets as well as keep us focused on great customer service, which a core value of our business.
T- Within the next 60 days this will be achieved
That’s as simple as it is, What I do is write my goals on plain A5 postcodes and have them dotted around van, office and home so that I keep getting exposed to them, this really helps me with achieving the goals I set and in return helps me stop small issues developing into big problems!
My question to you is ‘WHAT WARNING SIGNS ARE YOU IGNORING? ‘ and more importanly ‘WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT’.
Well, THIS IS WAYNE, Signing out for the day, remember don’t be a worrier… BE A WARRIOR