April 7, 2019

Habits, beliefs, routines, and relationships

Is your business being dragged down by old habits or beliefs or routines or relationships that have outlived their usefulness? Questioning these things on a semi-regular basis can keep cruft from accumulating on your workday.

Why is this important?

Because as service providers, our #1 cost is time and I would guess that the #2 cost for most people is stress. Decreasing both of these will have an instantaneous net positive effect on your profits and quality of life.

Following are some examples of habits, beliefs, routines, and relationships that service providers might want to (re)consider. Not all of them will apply to you but hopefully they’ll get your gears turning...


Do you grab your phone every time a progress bar pops up on your computer?

Do you listen to podcasts in the background while you’re working?

Do you go on social media repeatedly during the work day?

Do you check email multiple times throughout the day?

Do you check your website/podcast/social media stats every day?

Do you feel like you are always running late?


“Sales is sleazy.”

“Once I perfect my product, clients will magically show up to buy it.”

“Hourly billing is the only fair way to sell my services.”

“My time is inherently valuable and clients owe me what it’s worth.”

“I should charge different clients the same amount for the same projects.”

“I need to educate my clients about the nuances of my craft so they’ll see the value in my work.”

“Those who can’t do teach.”

“I could never blog daily.”

“Checking email only once every day or two would put me out of business.”

“My un-billable activities should be minimized.”

“Marketing is a waste of time unless it has a direct and immediate effect on my income.”

“If I share my experience for free, my competitors will steal it and/or clients will never need to hire me.”

“Clients all want to spend as little as possible.”

“My industry is being destroyed by undercutting amateurs.”


Consider the position of your desk, the quality of your chair, the accessibility of your most used books, files, and other physical reference materials. Is your workspace set up optimally?

What about the location of the trash can, the coffee maker, the water cooler, the fridge, the vacuum, etc... are they in the best place or are they where you arbitrarily decided to set them up when you first moved in?

Are you happy with the number and location and organization of your power cords and outlets?

Are you happy with the quality of and control you have over your lighting, both natural and electric? What about climate control?

Has detritus collected on your desk, your bookcases, or your counters?

Where do you put your phone while you are working?

How do you prevent interruptions when you need to stay focused?

Do you have emails in your inbox that are more than a week old?

Is your commute optimal? What about your parking situation? What if you took another mode of transportation? Could you work from home a few days per week?


Do you have old clients who you continue to serve even though the relationship is no longer beneficial for one or both of you?

Are you running an affiliate program that hasn’t really panned out how you hoped?

Do you have a business partner who has “checked out” but is still on the payroll?

Do you have an employee who is poisoning the culture with a negative attitude?

Are you in a group of colleagues who regularly indulge in commiseration and client bashing?


Did this list trigger anything for you? Did you have an aha moment? What should I add? Do you have others that I should share with folks?