Complacency Will Kill Your Business






Airplanes rarely crash and burn. Airplane pilots operate super complex machinery, often under very tough weather conditions and yet, the probability of a plane crashing and burning is exceedingly low. It’s so rare that if a plane does crash, or even has a rough landing, it’s reported in the news.


Hundreds of small businesses crash and burn every day. And the reason for this difference is simple.


Pilots have a huge advantage over most business owners. Pilots are trained to operate by looking at a dashboard…and they know what key performance indicators (KPIs) they need to observe at all times to operate the plane. Having KPIs and looking at them inoculates pilots against ignorance and faulty decisions. And…pilots have someone outside of the plane talking to them during their takeoff and landing. Their on-the -ground-person is an air traffic controller.


It would be comical to expect any pilot to fly without having a dashboard, even if it’s a single engine plane much less a commercial jet. Likewise, it would be ridiculous for an airline pilot not to be connected to an air traffic controller, who is essentially another supplier of vital KIPs, and a sounding board about everything flying related.


On the other hand, many business owners don’t operate from a business dashboard. They rarely know what KPIs to use, much less which ones to focus on depending on the situation. This condition often leads to decision making being based on emotions vs. data, which can have disastrous results.


And, small business owners rarely have any sort of air traffic controller person talking to them and helping them make decisions and plans.




It’s out there right now. Lurking in the shadows of your success. You may know nothing about it, maybe have never heard about it. But it’s there hiding where you least expect to find it. It is the silent business killer that strikes without warning and can bring even the biggest and the brightest companies to their knees. What is this hidden terror of which I speak? In a word – COMPLACENCY.


Dictionary definition: Complacency is a feeling of quiet satisfaction or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation or condition.


Don’t think it can happen? It does, every day. It happens to small businesses. It happens to the big and mighty. It cares not of your size, length in business, or otherwise.


Complacency will quickly take you to a place where you are simply not aware of just how bad things are or are getting…to the place where you don’t appreciate the level and extent of the challenges you face or how to overcome them.


Complacency is a dangerous mental state. Left unresolved, it often can, and usually does, lead to small business failure.




First and foremost, be accountable to someone outside the inner loop who understands business and can help you avoid pitfalls and overcome obstacles to unlimited success. Hire a business coach and/or join a Mastermind Group. Never fly blind.


Second, work for daily small successes as they lead to bigger ones.


Third, start celebrating your progress and you’ll begin to notice the increase in your mental energy.


Fourth, hang around people who make a lot more money than you do. Big True fact: Your income will tent to be the average of the ten closest people with whom you associate. Birds of a feather really do flock together.


Fifth, never sit and wait for your “if only” moment. Avoid complacently always. It is essential to the long-term longevity of your enterprise.


Big fat Truth: You won’t find complacency in a small business owner who has a clear strong vision, up to date operational and growth plans and goals, plus good data and someone to talk to about those things.


Remember, complacency does not exist in the cockpit of an airplane. And there is no place for it in your small business either. Accountability keeps complacency at bay. Make it happen.