Getting to Complacent and How to Stop

As I was reading an article yesterday, I felt as if I was hit between the eyes. The author was discussing the phenomenon of complacency, which essentially means you take action, hit a mark, but then stop the momentum that got you there. Wow – I had to raise my hand and answer ‘Guilty!”

There have been times when I’ve gotten plenty of clients for my business, which felt really good, but then slacked off a bit, leadingme to feel a bit of panic; it did, however, make me get more serious about my marketing efforts. I hear this same pattern, and struggle, from other business owners I work with.

What leads one to getting to complacent? Well, motivation is one reason; when you start out going after a goal you set, your motivation will be high and you will work daily to achieve that goal. But, once reached, it can feel comfortable; you may rest on your laurels in thinking that all is good and will continue that way. So you stop the effort you had taken.

And, things will be good until things slow down, sometimes waaayyy down. Now, that stream of customers or clients are not walking in the door.  You only recognize it when you look at your bank account and see more zeros than heroes, forcing you to go back and rev up to get clients back in the door.

I think we’ve seen this from some big retailers, who thought their name and brand was enough, such as Circuit City, Blockbuster and, now, Toys R Us. There is never a time to get to complacent if you’re in a business.

This also applies if you are an employee in a business – you get known by the work and output you do, which means you have to be on your A-game at all times. It also applies if you are on a diet – those five pounds lost can quickly become 5 gained, or more, if not attentive.

How do you prevent getting complacent, or stop if you are in this state? Here are 3 tips to show you how:

  1. Become attentive to your situation – if you know your numbers (which you should), how are things going? Are the orders, number of clients, money, traffic, etc. increasing, staying the same or declining? If your answer is the last two, then you have been complacent. It means you have either slowed down in your marketing efforts or you are taking the wrong actions, or both. Keeping track of your numbers will prevent complacency and can deter disaster.
  2. Become aware of your motivation, or lack thereof – complacency occurs due to a lack of motivation, either you reached the goal or it was too big/not challenging enough/you got bored. When you know what motivates you and the meaning behind it, i.e. the ‘why,’ you will be able to take advantage or your up times and prevent low ones. These are the drivers so knowing how you work goes a long way to being more productive and seeing results.
  3. Get an accountability partner – this is one of the best and smartest ways to prevent complacency as an accountability partner will keep you focused on the important tasks you need to doing, to keep those numbers in mind, and will hold you accountable to the results. A coach, or a mentor, are great examples of accountability partners who have your best in mind; their focus is to get you to the point of where you said you want to go and won’t let you slide down the complacency path.

Don’t allow your business to suffer. Take charge now so you can keep doing the very things you had in mind when you started your business. As Rich Litvin says, “Safety is the enemy of success.”

Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting  She works with small business owners & solopreneurs who want to achieve measurable and life-long improvements in their performance so they can make more money, have greater satisfaction and achieve personal and professional success. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and for leadership development. If you’re struggling, why not stop and contact us today to turn this around – be the success you are meant to be!

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