5 Ways to Stop Failing in Business Everyday: Success Habits for Small Biz Success

I know, it’s an ugly thought, failure. But you may be right in the middle of it on a daily basis and not even realize it. Oh sure, you are probably noticing a drop in your sales, or perhaps you’ve just hit a plateau (nice word for stalled out.) And if you don’t know about these, then who can blame you. Success habits aren’t something taught in school but instead learned by experience (often painful and expensive.)  This might be just the reality check you need to resuscitate your business. Let’s dive in, here are 5 ways you may be failing:

Motivational Speaker, Business Success Speaker, Sales Trainer, Success Coach for Interior Designers, Marketing Strategist, Failure Expert
Learning by Osmosis

#1 Learning by Osmosis
This isn’t going to happen. You can sign up for every program imaginable, buy every program available, invest in all the desktop and shelf help you want to, you absolutely will not get ahead by association. You have to take action. Just owning a program doesn’t change your business, taking the steps outlined (often hard and time consuming) will change your business and your bottom line. Suffering the delusion that ownership somehow equates to success is a leading cause of failure.

#2 Success by Association
This doesn’t work. You can join all the swanky masterminds you want to. You can be a VIP member of both online and offline clubs. Until or unless you get involved, active, both giving back as well as getting value, nothing in your business will change. You have to take action. Just being a member of anything doesn’t ensure your success. In fact by merely investing your monies like this, you are ensuring failure because you are paying for something you aren’t acting on and that is a big waste of dollars.

#3 Library of Possibilities
So does the guy with the biggest library of resources automatically succeed? Nope, not even close. The only way this would work is if it was the person with the biggest library of dog-earred page resources, highlighted passages, and actions taken. Having resources at your fingertips is pretty useless if you don’t actually use them. If you fill up your shelves with the best resources and your rolodex (I now old fashioned, but sounds friendlier than database) with the best contacts but never act on them, you are going to fail.

#4 Doing It All Yourself
This is one of the biggest mistakes made. Capitalize on your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. When you spend all of your time chasing your weaknesses and trying to compensate you have no time left to leverage your strengths. No one makes it to the top of any industry, field, or professional alone, it takes a village, a team (virtual or real), and the sooner you start to build yours the faster you will escape the clutches of potential failure and move into the grasp of success.

Social Media Speaker, Motivational Speaker, Melissa Galt, How to Stop Failing in Business, Failure Expert
It’s Not About the Numbers

#5 Building Numbers Instead of Relationships
I know it can be impressive to see someone with 100K followers on Twitter, or 5K friends on Facebook or 2K connections on LinkedIn. Get over it! I know first hand folks who have all of that and more and they are flat broke failures. It’s not that they aren’t liked, it’s that they are afraid to ask for the sale. These folks are popular peacocks. They thrive on the admiration of others but it doesn’t fill their bank account and on one knows it. You’d be far better served by a much smaller list of much hotter buyers and focusing your time on what they want that you will deliver in both product and service.

Here’s the bottom line, when you invest in a program, teleclass, webinar, or live event. Dive in, do the work, make the progress, reap the rewards. When you are in the middle of one, don’t buy another until you have completed the first one. Stop throwing your money away on too many resources and too few results. Don’t join anything unless you truly have the time and focus to commit to getting involved. A bunch of logos on your website for “stuff” you belong to, really doesn’t mean anything and it certainly doesn’t equate to financial success. It is so easy to get sidetracked inot the rabbit holes of knowledge, tactics, techniques, state of the art software, and the lastest networks, stay focused. Keep your goals written on an index card and with you every day. Stay glued to your mission and the difference you bring to your market. For every path you wander down, you are losing valuable time and focus. Give yourself permission to say NO to the many bright shiny opportunities that show up.  Success habits take time to build and benefit from, start now.

When you have experienced an “aha” moment in this post, please share your thoughts and stories below. I value every comment and respond to my readers. You COUNT!

Oh and as always, I love to connect online so be sure to catch me on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Let me know how I can help bring your success closer and be sure to look at my contacts and ask for any introductions you see that will get you closer to your dreams.


  1. says

    I just got done ‘spring cleaning’ my desk this weekend of all the products, CD’s and books I bought but never read….I buy this stuff with the best intentions but never follow through. I am not buying ANYTHING else until I have gained the knowledge of the stuff already in front of me…and I scheduled time in my calendar to do it. Great blog -thanks!

  2. says

    Oh Melissa, you’ve nailed it with this post!
    I was just having a conversation yesterday with a mastermind buddy/coaching client/friend who asked me (both as a coach and a friend) “Why do you think I continue to fall short of my goals?”. My coach voice replied “When you ask yourself that question, what answer do you get?” and my friend voice replied “Because you’re not doing the work! You’re not taking deliberate action on the basic, basic things you know you need to do — even the ones you have proven will grow your business!”
    And of course, I’m guilty of the same thing sometimes, too!
    Thanks for the reminder that no matter how much information we gather, or how many groups we join, or famous people we connect ourselves to, WE HAVE TO DO THE WORK of growing ourselves. And often, it’s the basics we don’t do with the routine required to truly make a difference.
    Thanks for being a true voice of reason and an inspiration.
    Wishing you well-

    • says

      Hey Nanette,

      Great to hear from you always. Yes, we all do fall into this trap, some more than others. The work is what makes it ours and makes it worthwhile otherwise it’s wishing and hoping!


      PS. Wonder if that is why Byron Katie calls her program The Work?!

  3. Carol Mathias says

    Melissa this is soooo true and helpful. Love the simple low-tech idea of written goals on an index card. It is so easy to say yes to the next great idea, but never nurturing our own inspiration and passion. Thanks for all the wise and helpful things you share. Your type of leadership and honest grit is exactly what I needed!

    • says


      Thanks so much, always glad to share techniques and tools that work. And goodness knows simple trumps complicated and tech every day of the week.

      Hugs, Melissa

  4. says

    Every item on this list is true. I know because I’ve gone through them and still experiencing a couple. My biggest obstacle to success, I would say, is taking action. Sometimes I get blinsided by little things and I fail to act on what I have learned.

  5. Josh says


    You’ve just discribed me in your article, it is very practical and informational. I have the biggest library of resources, yet no sales to prove… no action, guess I need a kick… eh?

    What is my prescription? Thanks.

    • says

      You are not alone, just few business owners admit it. Now that you are aware, it’s time to stop adding to that desktop collection and start implementing an action plan.

      Hugs, Melissa

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