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Why Businesses Fail

You’ve already heard it: 90% of business startups end up in failures. Of those who do stay in business, a very small percentage do well – perhaps about 2% - the rest just get by, barely survive, or stay mediocre.

Why such a high rate of failure? I believe it’s because we have not identified and developed the right business habits that produce the results we want. This is why reading books does not make us successful, healthy, fit, wealthy or even happy. Neither do writing a thesis or graduating with Honors from an Ivy League University.

Business Building is a sport. You can’t learn how to play tennis or golf by reading a book, writing a thesis or graduating with Honors after two years of intense studies. The theoretical knowledge is a good start, but to truly master the sport, we need to engage with it emotionally, enjoy it, practice it often, and master it in small incremental steps.

What we habitually, consistently do, perhaps even without thinking, like driving a car, defines us to a great extent. Our habits drive our successes and our failures. Our habits make us efficient or inefficient. Our habits make us healthy or unhealthy, sharp or dull, wealthy or poor.

Because a business is made of people, the same holds true for businesses. The habits of a business defines its character. Habits drive its successes and failures. Habits make it thrive or wither away and die. Habits make it a market leader or a mediocre survivor. Habits bring out great lines of successful products or failures after failures.

Good business habits bring us good results. Bad business habits bring us bad results. Great business habits bring great results and terrific business habits bring us terrific business results.

Needless to say, breaking old habits is difficult. So is building new ones. What makes this process - of breaking old habits and building new ones - especially difficult is the fact that we often really don’t know what habit we should be adopting. We really don’t know what the best practices are for our business’ success.

I have been researching this subject - the best business practices and habits for a successful business - for over 12 years. Some of what I have found is simple common sense. Some of it is truly ground-breaking. And much of it seems like ground-breaking stuff but it really is common sense. It only seems like it’s ground-breaking because the commonly acceptable behavior is so non-common-sensical. Crazy, I know. But there it is.

If we are to succeed as a business, we must committ to reinventing ourselves as the world around us changes. Obviously, continuous reinvention, in small, incremental steps, is far easier than abrupt reinvention.

There is no better way to reinvent our business than to examine, and then change, its business habits, slowly, deliberately, incrementally and constantly. When was the last time you took a long and hard look at your business habits? Are you reinventing your business or are you stuck in the same old habits? Are you driving the change or are you being driven by change?

Want to experience business habits in action? Join us at our next 360 Business Club “business workout session” where you get to practice business-building with like-minded business leaders. 

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