As someone who has run several businesses, I know firsthand that there are never enough hours in a day to accomplish everything we need to do. It’s no secret that running a business can be exhausting, but sometimes, what we think is a lack of energy may actually be the result of something else – energy vampires. These can be small, seemingly harmless tasks or situations that we tolerate, but that ultimately weigh us down and sap our energy. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you some effective tips on how to identify different types of energy vampires, how to minimize their impact, and how to make the most of every precious hour of your day.
What Is An Energy Vampire?
Energy vampires tend to suck the life out of you and leave you feeling depleted and unproductive.
They can come in different forms: the demanding client who always wants more than what was initially agreed upon, an employee who is constantly late, or even the never-ending to-do list that seems to get longer with each passing day.
Dealing with these energy vampires can zap your motivation and hinder your productivity. Energy vampires prey on your mental energy and self-esteem.
Who has time to stay on top of their goals when they’re constantly being drained of their life force?
Many people refuse to recognize that tolerating energy vampires can be detrimental to your productivity and success as a business person or entrepreneur as well as your own health and well-being.
Are You Tolerating Energy Vampires?
Yes, it’s unfortunate. However, energy vampires exist all around you, constantly draining you of the precious energy you need to be your best. These so-called energy vampires tend to show up in various forms: people, places, things, circumstances, experiences, etc. I call them tolerations.
Some Examples of Challenges that Can Be Tolerations
As a business coach, I have observed many obstacles and responsibilities businesses and entrepreneurs deal with. Here’s a list of common challenges that entrepreneurs sometimes ignore or tolerate:
- Administrative tasks: Many entrepreneurs find managing administrative tasks including scheduling appointments, responding to emails, and organizing files tedious. These tasks may seem trivial, but they can consume a lot of time, leading to decreased productivity.
- Bookkeeping: Keeping track of finances, creating invoices, and filing taxes can be overwhelming for entrepreneurs who lack an accounting or finance background. Poor bookkeeping can lead to financial mismanagement and legal problems down the line.
- Marketing: Entrepreneurs must effectively market their products or services to grow their businesses. Creating and implementing marketing strategies requires time and expertise that some entrepreneurs do not have.
- Sales: Sales are the lifeblood of any business, and entrepreneurs often struggle to generate consistent sales. Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to pitch their products and services, close deals, and track their sales pipeline.
- HR and legal issues: As businesses grow, entrepreneurs must navigate various HR and legal issues such as hiring, firing, contracts, and compliance. These can be daunting tasks for entrepreneurs without a legal or HR background.
Overlooking or neglecting these areas can significantly impact the success of a business. For example, poor bookkeeping can lead to legal problems, inadequate marketing can leave a business struggling to get clients, and HR and legal problems can lead to costly lawsuits.
Tips on Dealing with Business Challenges and Tolerations
To tackle these obstacles, entrepreneurs can consider outsourcing or delegating these tasks to experts in a particular field.
For example, they can hire a virtual assistant to handle administrative tasks or outsource their bookkeeping to a professional accountant.
They can join professional networking groups and associations to get out there and connect with other entrepreneurs and businesses.
Or they can hire an experienced business coach who has already been there and done that to learn more about marketing and sales strategies.
Bottom line—tolerations hold you back. They stunt your growth. And your small business can only grow to the level you do!
Common Signs You Are Tolerating Energy Vampires in Your Business
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of tolerating energy vampires within their business, rather than addressing them head-on. Here are some common signs that may indicate you are tolerating problems in your business:
- You are constantly putting out fires – if you find yourself constantly dealing with unexpected issues that arise every day, then there may be underlying problems in your business that you are not addressing.
- You feel like you are constantly working but never making any real progress – this can be a sign that you are stuck in a cycle of dealing with the same problems over and over again.
- You frequently make excuses for things that are not working within your business – instead of taking responsibility and finding the real issues you justify the problem’s existence.
- You shy away from difficult conversations – if you are avoiding conversations with team members, vendors, or partners that may be uncomfortable or confrontational.
- You find yourself distracted by non-essential tasks or activities. If you’re constantly busy with small details and administrative tasks rather than focusing on your business’s larger goals, this may be a sign of more significant larger problems.
- Your employees or team members are unmotivated or disinterested. If your team members lack motivation, it could be a sign that they feel the problems within your business are not being addressed, leading to burnout and disengagement.
Now that we clearly understand these energy vampires that could be lurking in your business, let’s accept responsibility for tolerating them so that we can clear your path, act and eliminate them. Let’s discover what’s possible!
A Simple 6-step System To Eliminate Tolerations
The following is a simple 6-step system for effectively dealing with those energy vampir tolerations in your business and life.
1. Acknowledge There’s A Problem
First and foremost, you need to come to terms with the fact that you currently harbor tolerations. No need to feel guilty. We all do. But realize these tolerations can drastically impact your ability to be your best.
2. Identify Tolerations
Take 10 minutes maximum and brainstorm as many people, places, things, circumstances, or experiences that just aren’t serving you. These are the stuff in your life that you are putting up with—they are tolerations.
Think about all the areas of your life, such as Health & Appearance, Spiritual & Religious, Free Time, Career, Personal Development, Relationships, Community & Charity, and Financial & Wealth.
What are you currently tolerating that is cluttering up your mind and potentially holding you back from achieving your true potential?
Some examples of “tolerations” are:
3. Evaluate Tolerations
This step aims to properly evaluate each toleration individually and decide what to do about it. Luckily, there are only three courses of action to choose from. You can either:
- “Accept” the toleration,
- “Mitigate” the toleration, or
- “Eliminate” the toleration.
Realize that there is no wrong choice here so long as whatever you choose is for the right reason, doesn’t hurt anyone (including you), and serves your greater good.
Accepting a toleration means that you will continue to allow it to continue unhampered.
Mitigating a toleration means that you will take some strides to lessen its impact but not remove it altogether.
Eliminating a toleration means that you will do just that—remove it altogether.
4. Prioritize Tolerations
As for the remaining tolerations (those slated to either mitigate or eliminate), prioritize them based upon:
To accomplish this, take your list of tolerations and drop each of them into one of the four buckets of the Tolerations Matrix. For example, if the toleration is both High Impact and Easy To Solve, place it in Quadrant 1. If it is neither, place it in Quadrant 4.
Here, the intent is to handle tolerations in quadrant order and then numerical order—starting with Quadrant 1.
The 5-Minute Rule
There is one scenario where it’s okay and many times recommended to momentarily not follow the Tolerations Matrix. That is when a specific toleration can be fully and adequately handled in 5 minutes or less. No formal plan is needed. Just focus on it, nail it, and get it out of the way!
Otherwise, following the Tolerations Matrix is best.
5. Plan Your Work
Take the highest priority toleration and list out the steps needed to either mitigate or eliminate that toleration. Be sure to at least include for each step when that step is due to be completed and who will hold you accountable for completing it.
6. Work Your Plan
Diligently and methodically work your plan to ease the burden of your tolerations one by one!
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Reflect Your Way To Success
Be clear that playing ostrich by hiding your head in the sand is not effective for solving your problems. Heck, maybe you will get lucky sometimes, and they’ll disappear. However, it’s not likely to be enough of a solution to help you level up your business.
Many of my clients have been using this simple 6-step system to eliminate tolerations—in their lives and businesses—for many years now and have benefited tremendously. I also, of course, have used it effectively for many years now.
So please adopt and adapt this system for you and your business and immediately eliminate the energy vampires and tolerations more efficiently and effectively!
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