Why resisting change will only hurt your business

opinion expressed by entrepreneur Contributors are yours.

When I’m training people in digital marketing for their businesses, one thing I come across is this huge resistance to change. Even when I’ve proved to them how to use strategies that will propel their businesses to new levels, and they know they should, most still have a hard time.

To be successful as entrepreneurs, most of us need to change something in our lives: our habits, our managerial style, our systems or even the products or services we provide. When markets change, you have to pivot and adapt. When you experience ongoing issues in your business, you have to change. We know it so far, change still feels daunting. But if our lives were on the line, we would make a change, wouldn’t we? Well, maybe not.

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Most would rather risk death than change

Alan Deutschman. wrote a book called change or die, In this, he says that cardiological studies show that 9 out of 10 people who are at risk of heart attack will not make the changes they need to make. They have been instructed not to smoke, drink and eat less, avoid too much stress and regular exercise – all things they need to do to give them the best chance of survival. Their doctors tell them that if they don’t follow it, they will probably die. Yet when you check in with them again a year later, 9 out of 10 still haven’t changed.

Well, Mutual of Omaha got smart and realized they were paying way too much for heart bypass surgery and angioplasty. In the early 1990s, they Partnered with Dr. Dean Ornish To run an experiment from UCSF. They took 194 patients who had clogged arteries and had terrible habits. He gave them the same instructions everyone else got about healthy lifestyle habits, but added things like meditation, support groups, aerobics classes, and expert trainers to help them stop smoking. He ran this program for a year and then left everyone on his own. Three years later, 77 percent of the patients were still doing what they needed to do. They did not require surgery, and some even reversed their condition.

what was the difference? I’d say it has to do with three main things: support, accountability and expert coaching or mentoring.

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1. Find a Support Group of Your Peers

It is actually the concept of masterminding that is one of Napoleon Hill’s 13 Keys to Success. It is meeting with people who share your drive to succeed. They don’t need to be in your industry. In fact, sometimes, it’s better if they’re not. But they need to be like-minded and come together “in the spirit of harmony”.

A mastermind group has all kinds of practical benefits. For one, it gives you additional years of experience. If you’ve been in the business for three years and someone else in the group for seven years, that adds up to 10 years of experience to attract. It brings you different perspectives about the issues or problems you are dealing with. A mastermind group can be inspired when you encourage each other to succeed. It can help pump you up when you look like a brick wall. The group can inspire you when you see others succeed. A mastermind can come up with a bunch of creative ideas that are outside your own little box. And when you need to make some sort of change, they can support you as you do so.

2. Get an Expert Coach or Mentor

I have had many great coaches and mentors in my career. Some are for different aspects of my business. Others for certain phases of my business or for my own development as a leader. Having a great coach or mentor is where you want to go so they know what it takes to get you there. When I chose a coach to help me with leadership skills, he was a really great leader. When I got coaching for public speaking, he didn’t just teach – he himself was a great public speaker.

A great coach helps keep you focused, whether it’s on the skills you need to learn or what you need to do for the next step in your business. And when you get off track, they can redirect you. A coach or mentor can give you honest insight into what you are doing that may be holding you back and other options that will serve you more. A good coach can help guide you through tough transition periods or big changes, so you keep your eye on the rewards.

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3. Take Accountability

A key benefit of coaches, mentors and professional support groups is accountability. Accountability means taking responsibility for your actions and being true to your results. You do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. And if not, you take responsibility for what you did and fix it. This is what builds trust between you and others, whether it is your shareholders and your investors or your spouse and children. We all really want that confidence, so you’re motivated to do what you need to do.

As an entrepreneur, often the only one to whom you are accountable is yourself. It’s your dreams and goals on the line. And it’s all too easy for most of us to put ourselves down instead of someone else. A coach or mastermind group can stand in for that “other”. You are eager to retain their trust so that you are automatically more motivated to follow.

Nine out of 10 people fail to make changes even in life or death situations. With the accountability they provide, along with a great mastermind group and expert coaching/advice, you can be among the 77% who make the changes you need to succeed.