Ten Ways to Suck at Business

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This week’s article is a light-hearted look at the ten ways to suck at business. I’ve made many mistakes setting up my coaching practice. Behind every mistake is a lesson learned. Every business has ups and downs, good days and bad days no matter how long you’ve been doing it and no matter how much you love it. If you know what not to do, there’s a good chance you’ll make positive decisions that support you to move in the right direction.


Article of the Week: Ten Ways to Suck at Business

There are so many articles out there about success and having breakthroughs in business. I’m all for discovering the myriad of ways that work. However, playing in the nether-regions of failing and falling short of the mark can sometimes teach you more than your accomplishments ever will. This week I got a bit playful and decided to write about how to suck at business. Here are the ten ways to make sure you make a mess of things.

  1. Adopt a policy of blame. Don’t take responsibility for anything. Blame your abusive parents, societal dysfunction, your profession, your kids, your friends and your suppliers. Blame the weather, the economy or your divorce. Point the finger and never ask ‘how can I change this situation by reframing it so that it works for me in fulfilling and functional ways?’
  2. Don’t make any plans. Don’t keep a diary and definitely don’t plan more than 24 hours in advance. Do everything at the last minute, including preparing for important meetings and appointments
  3. Constantly complain. Complain about your customers. Have a good whinge about how tired you feel, how much of a burden it all is and how overwhelmed you feel. Take on the most dastardly states of being you can possibly muster – fatigue, anger, resentment, resistance and fear and add to them by whining about how none of them can be changed. Have a policy of maintaining a bad attitude.
  4. Be jealous of other people’s success. Practice the art of being Schadenfreude. This is a German word which means ‘harm-joy’ and describes the state of joy or pleasure derived from seeing another fail or suffer misfortune.
  5. Be miserly. Don’t give away anything for free, don’t let generosity or charity enter the picture. Be a penny pincher and keep as much as you can for yourself. Come from a place of lack. Be certain that there’s not enough for everyone.
  6. Be suspicious and don’t trust a soul. Keep everything to yourself and guard it jealously in case someone pinches it. Don’t collaborate on anything in case someone steals your ideas. Compete like you’re the only one who matters. Never share openly, honestly or with your heart. Plot and connive to make sure you’re the last one standing.
  7. Make your business all about you. Don’t think about anyone else but yourself. Don’t come from a place of service and never put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Focus on how you can serve your own selfish needs and impulses.
  8. Ignore your intuition. Do business with people that make you feel awful and don’t give you a good vibe.
  9. Surround yourself with other negative people. Misery loves company so find all the other whiners, blamers and complainers and surround yourself with them
  10. Live in the past. Dwell on all your past failures to ensure you repeat them over and over. Don’t even picture your future success. Make sure you only look back and reflect on everything you’ve lost.

If you can think of any more, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below. If you’re struggling with any of these, I’d also love to hear your guilty confession. One of my biggest challenges has been around blame and responsibility. For years I blamed my single parent status and a whole host of other things that kept me stuck in a place of victimhood. It wasn’t until I took full responsibility for my thoughts, words and actions that things started to shift – in a big way. I still relapse from time to time. We’re all human beings doing the best we can. What is the one thing you have the biggest challenge with from the list above and how can you set about changing it?

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Lisa Fitzpatrick


  1. kelli on September 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Lisa
    Great tips here. A couple in particular really resonated with me. Not taking responsibility is a huge issue. At first glance, it is very easy to blame outside circumstances for our problems because they have impacted us in some way. But, we always have the choice on how to respond to the challenges. Giving away our power will not make for a successful enterprise. I am also big on following intuition. It can be challenging at times though since we are so conditioned to think things through logically, analzye,etc… but that part of us already knows.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Indigo Ocean on September 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Bottom line, your attitude will determine your altitude. Your business can’t rise any higher than your frame of mind allows it to. I really appreciate your sharing these reminders with everyone. Many people don’t even realize how their worry and negativity are actually causing the bad results they are experiencing. They never try anything different, so they have no basis of comparison.

  3. kelli on September 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Lisa
    I left a comment the other day but I got an error message when I submitted; the site now is showing two comments but they are not showing up for me so don’t know if one of them is mine. So, recommenting just in case. I really loved this post and you brought up a lot of great points. I really liked the one about not dwelling on the past in particular because once we realize the power of our minds in creating out reality, the past ceases to matter because we are working on releasing the beliefs that led to those circumstances. When the inside changes, the outside has no choice but to change with it. The blame is a big one too. We always have the choice on how to respond to the challenges presented to us by outside circumstances–sometimes it can be really hard, but ultimately we have a lot of power to overcome and dictate how our life turns out. Great stuff!

  4. Nathalie on September 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm


    Too funny. And yet so true.

    I’m not perfect, so I’ve fallen into this.

    This year I spent 6K on a business coach. I ignored my intuition. I built a business that had zero soul. I started over the minute I finished working with her. I guess I did listen to it — it just took me a while.

    I’m going to print it out and keep it.


    • Lisa on September 16, 2014 at 1:42 am

      hi Nathalie, I’m so sorry to hear of that expensive adventure and you sound really wise with what you’ve learnt from it all. I think we’ve all fallen into the traps I described in my article! Thank you so much for stopping by. You’re always welcome here 🙂 Namaste, Lisa

  5. Virginia on September 16, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Delightfully funny ! What’s sad is that it seems some folks actually do these things on a regular basis and may not realize it.

    • Lisa on September 16, 2014 at 1:48 am

      Thanks Virginia, it’s true that these can be a regular habit for people. It’s so fortunate when we become aware of doing it so that we can lift ourselves into better ways of doing things! Thank you so much for stopping by, namaste, Lisa

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