Addicted to losing
Some problem gamblers are not addicted to winning, but addicted to losing. They are more comfortable with losing than winning and will self-sabotage any winning streak in order to feel the pain of losing. Some business people are the same and stay a failing business complaining all the while as the business goes under. Business is a tough field to be in and we can have bad luck but our choices make the difference in how we handle our luck. We can choose to bounce back from bad luck.
You may have seen a business person who is constantly failing. They always have an explanation why their business isn't doing well. They may talk about the tough competition. They might blame governments (local, state, or federal) for interfering in their business. Or any other possible causes. Never do they talk about their own choices.
Business is tough. It has been that way ever since businesses were started. After being kicked out of the Garden of Eden, Adam may have complained about the weeds in the fields. Pictures of hunter-gatherer societies often show people who are living on the edge of starvation. Most hunters take days to have a successful hunt. We actually have it good compared to how life was before we started planting crops and harvesting them.
Yes, there is bad luck. Those who crashed in the latest winter storm know just how bad things can get. There are random events, thefts, and illnesses. All of which can destroy our businesses and our financial futures. Often, it is our reaction to these events that make the bigger impact than the actual event.
Our assumptions about our own limits often are the most limiting aspects of our business. In his book, Ed Whitacre makes the case that GM was its own worst problem before the bankruptcy. The managers thought that they knew enough already when in reality, they lacked basic understandings. When we take hard looks at our businesses, we may be able to see where things are not working out the way that we think they should. That offers us the opportunity to be open to new directions, new markets, and new ways of even doing the basics of our businesses.
We have the power to choose new paths. Even the person who is complaining about how bad business is has the power to choose to change. We can start with an honest evaluation of where things really are in the business. Yes, there are many people for whom a full inventory of the business will be a new action and many for whom it will be a painful experience. But that painful honesty is the starting point for knowing what to change.
For example, we may inventory our marketing efforts and decide that they are not working correctly. We can then choose to change who does them, what the message we want to give, or even to whom we want to market.
Any addiction can be tamed. An addiction to losing requires honesty about the addiction, openness to seeing new ways of living, and a willingness to take painful steps to change.