It's no secret — bad business habits can crush your home business fast, whether it's your full-time business or a side gig that you're trying to grow with your limited time.

And it's amazing how fast we can get into bad practices that ultimately lead to bad business habits.

Habits such as…

  • learning without implementing
  • chasing shiny objects because you're looking for “something that works”
  • getting to work on your business with no plan and no idea what to do first

Here's what I've found from my years of growing my side business while working my full-time job…

Good habits can propel your business forward farther than you can imagine.  Bad habits can destroy your business just as quickly.

So let's dive into it.

Here are 5 bad business habits that can sink your side gig before it even gets off the ground… and how to turn them into positive habits that will work FOR you.

Bad Business Habit #1:  Allowing Your Negative Self-Talk To Stop You From Taking Action

Everyone has limiting beliefs.  But if you want your side gig to have a chance, you MUST take steps to counteract them.

Here are some of the most common limiting beliefs:

  • I'm not good enough
  • I don't know enough
  • I'm not smart enough
  • I don't have the time
  • I'm too old (or too young)
  • I'm not smart enough
  • I don't have the money to succeed
  • Why should anyone listen to me?

Any of these sound familiar?


So what can you do to counteract these limiting beliefs?

bad business habits


HACK: Follow The ABC's of turning your limiting beliefs into positive reinforcement.

AWARENESS: The first step is to become AWARE of your negative self-talk.  Sometimes these limiting beliefs go through our minds so often, we don't even pay attention.


BREAK THE PATTERN.  I use the word “STOP” when I find myself dwelling on a certain negative belief.

If I'm alone, I'll even say it out loud…


Whatever way you choose to do it, you must stop the pattern of allowing limiting beliefs to dominate the conversation in your head.


What's the evidence that it's true?  Are there other people who are less smart or have less time or less money who are crushing their side gig?

YES, of course.

Call out your limiting belief for what it is… mental garbage.

And then REPLACE this thought with a more positive and accurate version in your mind.



“I'm not smart enough to grow a successful side business.”

Replace this with…

“I have all the knowledge I need to start growing a successful business, and what I need to learn, I will pick up along the way.”

This, of course, will take some time.  Most likely these negative beliefs have been flooding your thoughts for some time.

But use the ABC hack every time you catch yourself buying into limiting beliefs.

After a while, they will stop having such power.

It's important that you stop allowing your negative, limiting beliefs to dominate your thoughts and go unchallenged.

They are the biggest reason your business isn't progressing as fast as you'd like.


Bad Business Habit #2:  Stop Buying Into The “I Don't Have Time” Excuse

“I don't have the time” is the most common of excuses that I hear as a business coach whose clients are mostly part-time in their business.

It's the most common… and also untrue.

Do you want the truth?

Lack of Time is Never The Reason For Your Lack of Results. 

It Always Comes Down To a Lack of Focus

I understand that you may want to challenge me on this, but trust me…

I've worked with hundreds of Part-Time Entrepreneurs over the years and I've yet to find one who TRULY didn't have enough time to grow a side business.  What they lacked was FOCUS.

Having said that, there are ways you can find more business time in your day and use it most efficiently.


HACK:  Take Control Of Your Time and Use It Most Wisely For Your Business

Resource:  My Part-Time Mastery Mini-Course

Here are 3 things you can do TODAY to get more results in your side business:

    1. Do a time audit.  Write down exactly how you spend your time each day.  Do this for one week.
    2. Look for both large chunks of time and the little nooks and crannies of your day that are currently going unused.
    3. Don't allow yourself to have “no production days” for your business.  Even on your busiest days, do something for your business.


Here's one more tip regarding your time…

Having more time will not necessarily translate into more action for your business.

Unless you are disciplined and treat your business like a 2nd job, more time won't help.

bad business habits

Bad Business Habit #3:  Having No Real Plan of Action

Imagine this scenario…

You work all day at your job, you come home tired and weary. 

You grab a quick dinner, spend some time with the family, and then…

Finally, sit down at your computer to get some work done on your business.

You sit there staring at the screen, wondering what to do.

You wish you had a plan, but instead, you drift over onto Facebook or YouTube and waste a couple of hours doing unproductive things.

You close your business in disgust and head to bed, frustrated and beating yourself up for not getting results yet again.

Now imagine doing the same exact thing over and over each night, and you most likely will end up quitting on your business (and your dreams).

What a terrible outcome!

Now imagine the same scenario but instead…

When you sit down at your computer you HAVE A PLAN and know EXACTLY what to do first for your business.

You've identified the 1-2 activities that are most important to get results and you prioritize them first before you do anything else.

Do you think the outcome will be different?

Of course, it will.


HACK:  Make a Plan of Action Prioritizing The Most Important Results-Driven Activities For Your Business

Create a Daily Method of Operation (DMO) that puts those money-making activities at the top of the list.


Write out that DMO and put it next to your computer so you can't miss it.

Never allow yourself to sit down at your computer without implementing your DMO.

You won't believe the results.

Bad Business Habit #4:  Learning Without Implementing

Back when I first started my side business, I knew I needed to learn the principles and concepts of marketing and business.

I was a healthcare professional with ZERO knowledge of business.

So correctly, I went about learning the skills needed to take on this new challenge in my life.

I quickly found trainers who resonated with me and began learning.

I was on webinars 5-6 nights/week (after work) and took vigorous notes.  I soon had several notebooks full of valuable tips and strategies for growing a side business.

What I didn't have was results.

But that's okay, I was still learning.

Here's the problem…

This pattern of attending nightly training webinars went on for MONTHS.

Learning with no implementation, no real action being taken.

And one night, when I crawled into bed after attending yet another webinar, my wife asked me the dreaded question…

“That's great, honey… did you make any money?”


Gut punch.

While I tried to assure her that all these trainings were a necessary step in my evolution as a marketer, I knew deep down that she was right.

I wasn't DOING anything with what I was learning.


Honestly, it was safer to learn than to act.

And therein lies the trap.

I call it falling into Professional Learner Syndrome and it can be a devastatingly bad habit that will crush your side business before it even gets off the ground.

Does any of this sound familiar?

If so, don't beat yourself up.  It's a common error and pretty easily fixed.


HACK:  Don't attend any more trainings until you implement what you just learned

There's one sure way to beat Professional Learner Syndrome —


Don't allow yourself to attend another training until you implement at least one thing you just learned.

Take action.

Get to work.

Evaluate the result.

Tweak and take action again.

Then and only then can you learn something new.

Try it… it works.

And yes, it's 100% safer to learn without doing.

It's also a sure way to ruin your business.


Bad Business Habit #5:  Spreading Yourself Too Thin

This bad business habit sneaks up on you and before you know it, you've got a serious problem.

We are all guilty of spreading ourself too thin in our lives at one point or another.

But when you do it repeatedly and it takes away time from your side business, that's a recipe for disaster.


HACK:  Learn To Say NO and Implement The Power of One

There are 2 hacks here that will help you break the bad business habit of spreading yourself too thin and diluting your efforts.

First, learn to say NO more often.

I know you want to help people.

I know you want to be liked.

We all do.

But when you're building a side business when time is thin, you must be proactive with how you spend it.

And you must be INTENTIONAL in your efforts.

That's the first and simplest way to take back your time.

Second, get into the habit of simplifying your business using the POWER OF ONE.

That means…

    • Focus on solving ONE PROBLEM
    • Focus on  mastering ONE SKILL
    • Focus on promoting ONE OFFER
    • Focus on using ONE PLATFORM
    • Focus on ONE LEAD SOURCE
    • Focus on committing to ONE YEAR

(Credit:  Ryan and Wesley McMorris)


Let me provide a real-life example…

Let's say you are a consultant in a Health and Wellness MLM that has products in weight loss, skincare, and supplements.

To try and solve all these problems and offers would be difficult for even a seasoned marketer, let alone someone just starting out.

Let's simplify using the Power of One:

  • SOLVE ONE PROBLEM:  Losing weight without dieting or extensive exercising
  • MASTER ONE SKILL:  Networking and prospecting
  • PROMOTE ONE OFFER:  Your company's weight loss offer
  • USE ONE PLATFORM:  Facebook
  • ONE LEAD SOURCE:  Facebook

So you might be thinking… WHAT?

What about all the other great products my company offers?

I'm not saying you have to turn away people who are interested in the other products.  But you need to simplify and the easiest way to do this is using the Power of One.


Let's Bring It Home

It's very easy to get into bad business habits that will subtly (or not so subtly) crash your side business.

Here's the formula for turning that around…

CHALLENGE your limiting beliefs and time excuses…

PRIORITIZE what matters most…

IMPLEMENT what you learn…

SIMPLIFY using the Power of One.


Put this plan into action and watch your business grow!


Suggested Business Resources

Aweber - building your list has never been so important.  Grab your Free Account.

InMotion Hosting - my preferred web-hosting service

Descript - by far the best video and audio editor I've ever used.

TubeBuddy - if you're doing videos, this will be your best friend

Legendary Marketer - lead generation and business creation platform for affiliate and network marketers.

Fearless Influencer Academy - learn the skills and strategies for growing any business online.


It's Your Time to SHINE!


Dr. Bob Clarke


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This post may contain affiliate links to products or services that I trust.  This means that if you make a purchase using the links included in this post, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for the support!


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