Beware This Deadly Thinking Trap

Terri Lonier

One of the deadliest traps a soloist can fall into is thinking: "Been There, Done That." It sneaks up on you, particularly if you've been working independently for a while. Why is it so perilous? Because...

1. You think the past will equal the future.
If your business has been cruising along, or you've had steady and loyal clients, you may be tempted to think this cycle will continue. To count on it is risky. Similarly, if you've been struggling for a while, you may believe that your company might never turn around. Both scenarios can change -- and quickly.

2. You become oblivious.
Adopting a "Been There, Done That" attitude can blind you to many things, including: the changing needs of your customers, new processes or technologies that could improve your workflow (and your profits), fading (or increasing) demand for specific products or services, and developments and trends in your industry that bring opportunities. To succeed, solo businesses must remain nimble -- and that means paying attention.

3. You get bored.
When soloists get bored, they start thinking up all sorts of new ideas and distractions. Channeled in an appropriate way, these innovative meanderings can bring fresh energy to your business. Too many of them, however, can undermine your focus and leave you scattered.

Sometimes it really is time to move on because you've "been there, done that." You've charted the terrain in detail and are ready for new vistas. The challenge is to be clear in your intention. Ask yourself: Am I seeking a momentary detour, or brand new territory to explore?

-- Terri Lonier, Founder,
This article first appeared in the Working Solo newsletter:

Copyright 2010, author retains ownership. All Rights Reserved.

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