By  , Digital Sales & Marketing Coach

How do I know if a victim mindset is limiting my small business success?

How do I know if a victim mindset is limiting my small business success?

I talk a lot about responsibility.

It’s a re-occurring theme because it’s absolutely critical to achieving big success, yet so many business people that I meet willingly give away responsibility for their future and for their lives.

They do it sub-consciously most of the time.

It comes out and shows itself though, in how they talk about themselves and their business. So many things are someone else’s fault. Let me tell you now, no one ever got rich blaming someone or something else. Ever.

These examples all took place more than a year before the world changed with Covid-19.

“No one eats out in the first quarter” a restaurant owner (genuinely) told me. What!?!

“There’s still no work. People just aren’t spending money on extensions” a local builder friend explained to me a year before Coronavirus. What!?!

“Businesses in my town won’t spend £99 a month on marketing” someone else whined to me. What!?!

These three people are all victims.

As I said, the examples above were from before Coronavirus hit.

Since the 2020 lockdown, there are many responsible business owners who have unfortunately been hit badly. It was a very sad time and they couldn’t do much to avoid their businesses failing. My heart really goes out to them. It was a shocking time.

But there are many more business owners who gave up and let the March/April/May 2020 Covid-19 lockdown take away their customers. They too became victims because they didn’t react to what was happening around them.

Many didn’t use the time to become stronger.

During any future difficulties, they will blame lockdown or the recession.

But for many businesses, the lockdown presented opportunities. If it wasn’t to actively sell, or pivot, it was to get their marketing, sales and follow-up resolved so they could come out of the madness a better business.

In 1912 the Titanic hit an iceberg because of a basic steering error, and only sank as fast as it did because an official persuaded the captain to continue sailing.

For many business owners, the business outcome can be very different if you take responsibility and steer your ship in the right direction.

The restaurant owner, the builder and the marketer who I mentioned above are all victims. They are martyrs on the altar of ‘Someone Else’s Fault’ – and their mindset guarantees that they will never be wealthy, never run super-successful businesses and that life will always be hard.

That’s a big price to pay for absolving yourself of blame. Not a great life.

Truth is that most people blame everyone but themselves.

A lot of people will blame the 2020 lockdown and recession for failings, but in reality, many similar businesses and competitors were successful in those times.

The difference is, those businesses took responsibility.

They made things happen.

I know many business owners who did really well during the 2020 lockdown.

Was it easy?


Did any of them have to homeschool, and go through other serious challenges during the 2020 lockdown.


But they focused and got really pro-active at persuading people to buy from them during the lockdown, or after.

They didn’t sit back and wallow in self-pity and misery. They got on the front foot. Had good offers, worked their database, created awareness, asked for conversations, ramped up their marketing (at a time when everyone else cut back and therefore got a much bigger ‘share of the voice’) and created the success.

My builder friend is like a spoilt child who’s had his favourite toy taken away.

For years he didn’t need to do any marketing at all. Customers found him, through word of mouth and he’s always had a steady stream of business and a nice flow of jobs.

In recent years when the ‘natural spring’ dried up he turned into a victim. All he needs to do is get off his a_*@ and go find the work. Yes Covid-19 got in the way, but many of his customers stuck at home used the time their home improvements. So when everything opened up, they spent money with the companies and builders who had got their marketing right.

Him getting active to find work will mean he will need to do different things to what he’s done before. He’ll have to get the list of approved planning apps from the council and approach each one.

He can go back to all his happy customers and ask them for help, “Is there anything you want doing?” Or “Do you know anyone thinking of having work done?”

He can schmooze with all the local architects, he can sort his website out and spend a few quid on Google Ads, he can do a bit of networking or shock horror, he could even advertise.

None of this stuff is difficult, but it needs him to take responsibility.

There’s plenty of work out there – it’s just that he’s not getting it – and that’s his fault, because he’s being lazy and complacent.

The same is true of the marketing sales person. All he has to do is do what we do. But he won’t. The models are there, the tools are there, everything he needs to be hugely successful is sat waiting for him to grab them and put them into action.

But he won’t.

He’d rather whinge and whine than work. He’d rather be a victim than learn something new. He’d rather be poor, in his comfort zone, than risk getting rich outside it. Sad really.

I know not all business owners think like this. There are some ambitious, high achievers but there are plenty irresponsible, complacent, low achievers too.

The first group continues to fly. They study the content of articles like this and pull out what they can use. They decide how to use it, and then deploy it. Straightaway. That’s what successful people do.

The other group either aren’t reading this or think it looks a bit ‘heavy going’, or perhaps they skim it and decide they know all this already (even though they’re not doing even a fraction of it in their business).

Heck most of ‘em haven’t even read this article. They’re too busy on Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind which group you’re in.

But you should.

It’s your business.

Your life.

Your family and your bank account…

If you don’t put the right kind of hard work in now, you’ll miss out and it won’t surprise you if competitors take charge.

Over to you.

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