Do you have a “Stop Doing List?” We’ve all heard of a to-do list. I want to advocate that you create the opposite.
The “Not-Do” list.
Because these things are the boat anchor that you are constantly dragging around behind you. Imagine how much better and faster you can become if you stop doing this stupid stuff.
Stop Needing Permission
You don’t need anyone’s permission to start doing something. Whether it is making a simple sales call or starting a business, the answer is the same.
Send that email. Place that call. Create that video. Launch that YouTube channel. Build that podcast. Start that business.
The power rests in your hands already. All you need to do is to put them to work.
Stop Putting Things Off
Have you said these things?
“I’ll get to that on Friday.”
“We’ll start when we have some time.”
“When COVID levels out, we’ll start.”
“I’ll begin when I learn how to do it.”
People are always looking for an excuse to kick the can down the road. Are you one of those people?
Think back to this time last year. What were you going to do again? Do you still have that notebook full of goals and scribbled ideas? Why didn’t you start?
There is no waiting. Only action. Stop putting things off. Just start.
Take a small step. Even if it is jotting down some notes, or looking up something on the internet. Do it. Then do the next thing. Then, the next.
Schedule some uninterrupted time for about 30-minutes on a Tuesday to work on it some more. Before you know it, you’ve completed the project. The key to success is to start before you are ready.
Remember the old saying, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second-best time is today.”
Stop Wasting Time
Some say money is your most precious commodity, but for me, it is always time. You can always make more money. Time, on the other hand, doesn’t come back.
Think about the activities that you or your team do every day. How much of that is wasted time? If you don’t know, just quietly, casually observe your team working.
Are they organized? Prepared? Do they have to do things over because of poor quality or mistakes?
How much time is spent essentially doing “busy” work instead of profitable work?
And let’s make sure we mention the elephant in the room, social media. How much of your day is distracted by Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok? What about your team? Do you really need to answer someone’s dumb question on Facebook?
Sure, I’m all for kicking back and relaxing. But, if you have deadlines and work to do that is just silly.
Yes, we all know there are problems out there in the world. How about sharing some positivity for a change?
Teddy Roosevelt has a great quote on this, “Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining.”
And guess what? That’s how the world sees you when you complain about whatever just triggered you.
What if the next time you wanted to complain, you shared something in your life that was awesome. Beautiful. Incredible. Funny.
Stop Not Being Accountable
Accountability. Do you have that? In both yourself and your company?
When you say you are going to do something, does it happen? Like magic? Every time?
Here’s a tip. People respond positively when things match the expectations that they have in their heads. It needs to be there on time. The product should work. It should be easy. Quality comes first.
Yeah, all that stuff.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s going to be ok if there was a mistake. A flaw. Something happened. That’s life. The real question is what are you going to do about it?
This year, step up. Own both the victory and the defeat. Make it right.
Stop Not Listening
Yes, you heard me. I want to you put your phone away when you are talking. Quit thinking about something else.
Become an active listener and be engaged in the conversations that you are already having. People notice.
Not listening to what is being said is a huge problem in this industry as that contributes to a good number of the mistakes and mis-read expectations that we have to deal with on a daily basis.
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Stop Making Excuses
There always seems to be a reason why something doesn’t happen the way it should.
Pick your favorite.
Sales are low. Quality is off. You are running late. Inventory is short. Receiving didn’t check in the goods. Whatever.
What your customers hear all the time is excuses as to why something isn’t the way it should be. Stop making excuses.
Start solving the problems instead. Everytime you or one of your staff makes an excuse as to why something didn’t happen the way it should, that needs to go up on a whiteboard in your office.
This excuse becomes a challenge to solve so it doesn’t happen again. Prioritize this. Own it.
Excuses cost you daily.
Stop Not Knowing Your Numbers
I hate to break it to you, but this industry thrives on data. The shops that are data freaks are always ahead of the game in terms of profitability, sales, and craftsmanship.
They are leaving you in the dust my friend.
And when I say numbers I mean these:
- Financial numbers – not just top line sales, but bottom line profit. You should know these like the back of your hand.
- Production numbers – what is the average daily capacity and hourly velocity of all of your equipment? Not what the manufacturer says, but your real daily numbers.
- What is your average amount of time your teams experience downtime every day?
- What is your average cost per impression. By the way, an impression is a unit of work. A 100 piece order with a front and back print is 200 impressions that have to be printed.
- How many conversations, leads, presentation, estimates, etc. does your sales team produce a day? What is the cycle time for those that are heading to production? Build your forecast.
- Is your company doing better, getting worse, or staying the same? What are you going to be doing about it?
Stop Fearing Failure
Do you fear failure?
Nelson Mandela had a great quote on failure. “I never lose. I either win, or learn.”
Failure is a data point. It tells you something didn’t work. Try again, but this time do it differently.
So, with your sales, or decoration techniques, or how you motivate your team…how many failures are you racking up a week? What are you trying?
What if instead of counting victories, we counted failures instead? Could you make the number of failures you have a key performance metric for your growth this year?
Mark Coudray taught me a great acronym for FEAR. “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Most of the time our fear of failure has to do with the perception of others. What if you lean into it? Fail more so you can learn.
Think about where you would be this time next year.
Stop Forgetting To Have Fun
How fun is it to work in your company? For real.
Does your staff REALLY want to come to work? As in, they can’t wait to get there, because it is so fun to work there?
I’m not saying that we have to bring in clowns or stand up comedians as staff members. But I do want you to consider that your team spends the majority of their waking moments with you every day.
So, you can create a positive, fun, and energy filled place to work…or it can be the opposite. It’s up to you.
If I had a vote, I’d vote for more fun. Wouldn’t you?
So make it happen.
Oh, and By The Way
I made a list of forty other things you can stop doing too. So that makes fifty for this article. Check these out:
- Stop Taking Dumb Jobs
- Stop Double Stroking Your Underbase
- Stop Not Cleaning Up After Yourself
- Stop Procrastinating
- Stop Thinking You Have All the Answers
- Stop Being So Serious
- Stop Being a Jerk
- Stop Eating Crap
- Stop Being Afraid
- Stop Taking Every Order
- Stop Being Too Busy for Breaks
- Stop Replying to Email Instantly
- Stop Eating Lunch At Your Desk
- Stop Gossiping
- Stop Waiting for the Perfect Time
- Stop Criticizing
- Stop Avoiding Feedback
- Stop Beating Yourself Up
- Stop Stalling Your Growth
- Stop Isolating Yourself
- Stop Burning Bridges
- Stop Being Difficult
- Stop Putting Up with Toxic People
- Stop Over-Promising
- Stop Trying to be Perfect
- Stop Always Saying Yes
- Stop Doing The Easy Thing First
- Stop Trying to Do Everything at Once
- Stop Multi-Tasking
- Stop Being Triggered
- Stop Micromanaging
- Stop “Winging It”
- Stop Having Pointless Meetings
- Stop Being Messy
- Stop Wasting Time
- Stop Interrupting
- Stop Being Late
- Stop Overworking
- Stop Talking Over People
- Stop Making Lists – Ok, I added that just to see if you would read to the bottom.
“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” Robert H. Schuler
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” – Colin Powell
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