10 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Business Owners and Managers

10 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Business Owners and Managers

Written By
Bijith Nelson

Do you spend every waking minute at work? Do you find it difficult to take time out for yourself? Are you constantly working in a mess?

The Small Business Owner 

These people tend to be involved in every aspect of their business, from being the bookkeeper, marketer, human resources manager, mediator, customer liaison officer, and cleaner.

The smaller the business, the harder it is for the owner to delegate these functions because they dislike spending any money, and, in fairness, the dollars can be much tighter. However, many fail to realize that if they invest their dollars wisely in accessing the right type of goods and services to grow their businesses and be more effective, they will see positive changes occur over time. They can become more productive and profitable. It takes time to build a good “business mindset” and to be an effective leader.

The Manager 

Many of the managers I have come across suffer from similar challenges as small business owners. The key difference, of course, is that the business owner is responsible for his business and cannot escape that responsibility. If the business is profitable or non-profitable, it will impact that person personally, particularly financially.

10 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Business Owners 

Check out if you regularly practice these habits:

  • Don’t practice what you preach. 

Tell other people what to do, and don’t do it yourself. Set a poor example. 

  • Do not invest any time or money into developing yourself and your people.

Forget ongoing personal and professional development. The less you and they know, the more time, money, and energy you will waste. A surefire way to have an unmotivated and unproductive team, not to mention the loss of opportunities. 

  • Avoid planning at all costs

Continue to be reactive and do things on the spur of the moment. Don’t write a list of things to do each day, and definitely do not use a diary to plan out what you will do. This will ensure you have no time and no life.

  • Eat whatever you want to and don’t exercise

Being unfit and overweight will ensure you’ll feel tired and look awful. You’ll also be susceptible to sickness. A great way to ensure you won’t be able to cope with the pressures of your personal and professional lives

Spend most of your waking hours at work. Start work early and stay late. This will sap your energy and creativity—a surefire way to have unsatisfactory personal relationships. Next time you’re in a social situation outside of work, you won’t have anything else to talk about except work, work, work. In fact, people will avoid you because you’re boring!

  • Avoid looking after your clients/customers Ignore them unless they contact you. 

The fact that without them you wouldn’t be in business won’t matter. Do your utmost not to deliver on your promises, avoid following them up or returning their calls. After all, you’re a multi-millionaire and it wouldn’t matter to you if there was no one to purchase your goods and services. You can retire whenever you like. 

  • Procrastinate at all costs

Avoid making decisions and taking action. This will frustrate your people, and they’ll keep their ideas to help you and the business to themselves because they know you won’t take any action. A boss who procrastinates affects everyone else around him/her.

  • Be a Know-All 

Avoid asking your people for their feedback. Keep them out of the loop. Regular team meetings? If the unsuccessful business owner or manager doesn’t see the need to talk with his/her team,  it means they take time off and waste valuable company time. No need to listen to what they have to say; what would they know? If meetings are called, it’s only when there’s another) crisis. 

  • Never ask your clients/customers what they think about your products/services and the customer service (or is that a disservice?) You may be pleasantly surprised or horrified to find out the real truth. It is better not to know that you don’t have to change. 
  • Say  yes  all-day 

Let everyone interrupt you all day. Keep your office door open so people can wander in and talk to you. You can guarantee that you won’t get much work done.  But that doesn’t matter, does it? You’ve been doing it for so long now, why do anything differently? You want to be liked by everyone, regardless of the cost to you personally. As long as everyone else gets their work done, who cares if you work late to catch up? 

  • Avoid Delegation at all costs 

After all, no one is as good as you. Delegating or outsourcing means spending money if you run your own business. It’s better that you waste your time on secretarial tasks and doing the bookkeeping, because what else will you do with your time? 


If you are a business owner or manager and you can truthfully say that the 10 habits mentioned don’t apply to you because you do the exact opposite,  then congratulations, Your business/department must be thriving. Keep up the great work; you deserve to succeed. 

On the other hand, if you already have these habits firmly in place, then you are guaranteed not to succeed. You will leave work most days feeling stressed and unfulfilled. Is that what you really want? If so, then continue doing the same as you’ve always done. If not, then you must do something different. What are you prepared to do? 

If you know where to go or what to do to make the changes, then do it. If you’re unsure, then call me, but you better be serious about moving forward. I’m into making the most of my time and yours. 

The choice is yours to continue doing the same things or change. As mentioned many times before,  the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. 


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