“Help, I can’t get ahead!”

By Marianne Renner, Leadership Coach, Author, Speaker

“I’m good at what I do, and I’m a hard worker. So why am I not as successful as I’d like?”

Whether you’re trying to advance your career or grow your business, you might be sabotaging your success without realizing it.

According to Forbes, there are an average of 118 applicants for every job posting. About 20% of those applicants demonstrate enough qualification to be invited for an interview.

That means 20 people being considered for one job are good at what they do and likely to be hard-working based on the achievements demonstrated on their resumes.

So, while being hard-working and good at what you do is certainly a critical set of factors, it’s merely a good start.

Here are 4 ways you could be sabotaging your success in career or business without even realizing it.


Employee vs. Consultant mindset. If you’re showing up to your job (or even your business) with an employee mindset, you’re crushing any hopes of success.

An employee mindset focuses on “getting.” I want to get more vacation time, more money or a lighter workload that seems “fair.” An employee mindset is task-oriented: “how many tasks can I get done in 8 hours?”

A consultant mindset is focused on “giving.” A consultant asks, “how can I add value to my organization or customer? How can I better serve and use my unique talents and skills to help solve the problem at hand?” A consultant mindset is focused on value rather than number of tasks completed per hour.


Complaining vs. Gratitude.

Try keeping track of how many times throughout the day you’re complaining about a customer demand, an unfair competitor, or a co-worker who gets preferential treatment. Complaining does nothing to add to your success. Rather it reduces your chances of creating value and any positive change.

If you can catch yourself in the middle of a complaining thought, replace it with a thought of gratitude. Any thought will do no matter how seemingly great or small. What you focus on expands. Therefore, if you find more things to be grateful for, more great things will start showing up.


Blame vs. Own your role.

Much like complaining, blaming people or circumstances keeps you spinning your wheels and stuck in the mud. Oh there’s a lot of action, but you’re not moving anywhere.

This is a tough one because it’s not easy to look at a problem and ask yourself the question, “what’s my role in this situation?” No one wants to admit they play a role in a negative situation, especially when it appears that someone or something else is to blame.

The good news is that you are pretty much the only thing you have control over. If you’re willing to look at your role, you gain a great sense of empowerment. You have a choice to take a new action that results in a new outcome, with a greater chance of success.


Bad branding vs. Intentional branding.

Whether you’re a business owner or employee, branding matters. In most cases, very little focus is placed on branding in the workplace. You have a brand whether you realize it or not.

Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. That’s happening whether you want it to or not.

What do you want people to be saying?

How can you impact that message?

The best way to build your brand is to build relationships both in your career and business.

Think about what you want to be known for and carry those qualities into your career and business relationships.


If you commit to improving these four areas, success will follow. The new job, the promotion, the business revenue will be knocking at your door.

Download FREE leadership resources to eliminate success sabotage!

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