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Small business retail advice: avoid being a victim in your business

If you find yourself blaming others or external factors for situations over which you have some level of control, it may be that you have a victim mentality.

While it can be easy to blame others and be self-forgiving, it serves no value to you or your business, though.

Some examples of blaming others are worrying about competitors who you think are copying your business, complaining about employees and things they did did that did not work out, being upset about the rent you pay, anger at being short of cash.

You choose what you stock, you hire and train employees, you signed the lease and you decide what money is spent.

Blaming others for any situation over which you have had some control holds you back; it denies you the opportunity to learn and improve.

Wallowing in self-pity can be destructive; it can lead one to want the comfort of failure, the right to blame anyone but themselves for a negative situation. It can see you seek negative situations, which is an utterly destructive place to be.

I have encountered plenty of newsagents with a victim mentality. In such situations, they miss what could be achieved by spending all their time blaming others.

If blaming others for business situations is something you notice yourself doing, consider seeking professional help. While you can break the cycle yourself, a professional can help you understand why and provide ways to identify and deal with it.

If seeking professional help does not appeal, consider meditation as a way to find calm and stillness and to be less controlled by negative victimhood thoughts.

I am no psychologist or therapist. My recommendation is that you start with a professional. That said, here are things I have done that help me focus on my role and the positive.

  1. On a noticeboard, at your desk, or somewhere in the business, have photos and other reminders of your successes. Be sure to look at them regularly.
  2. Celebrate your failures, the product that bombed, the ad that achieved nothing, the business initiative that lost money. Own them and your role in them.
  3. Exert your control. If you see something impacting your business you don’t like or want, be the business owner and say no early.
  4. Trust your gut. If you sense something is wrong somewhere in the business, address it immediately rather than wait for it to become an issue.
  5. Say no. If you don’t want to do something, say no.
  6. Make more informed decisions. Research more. Learn more. Be smarter.
  7. Always look beyond your border. Victims can think of their world as one in which they have minimal control when, in reality, they have control beyond what they allow themselves to see. Find a way to jump that wall.
  8. Nurture a workplace of accountability, where it is okay to make a mistake or take a bad decision.

Blaming someone else or other factors for something over which you have some control does not help you or your business. It may feel good. It achieves nothing.

Newsagency management

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