By George Obst, Certified SCORE Mentor

No matter what our age and experience, no matter whether we are in business for ourselves, or working for someone else, our pattern of beliefs and behaviors are echoed every day and every week. Call it our routine, our repetitive behaviors are the backbone of our actions. We hope these behaviors give us the results we are seeking, and help us achieve our dreams and goals. However, all too often, we don’t examine these behaviors in the cold light of day, and determine the effectiveness of our behavioral patterns. Usually, these very repetitive patterns of behavior are roadblocks to constructive change. We get “stuck” in our old familiar ways, and over time, we diminish both our effectiveness in our personal relationships and business dealings. Gradually, and over time, we fall into what I call developmental retardation.

What are our roadblocks to change? I can think of three:

  • We don’t have time. We are so busy in our business and personal lives that we don’t take the time to think about how we could do things better.
  • We are so comfortable with our patterns of behavior and communication that we just don’t want to change – i.e. we are in a rut.
  • “Thinking” is hard work. It’s just plain easier to rationalize why changes won’t work, rather than thinking about how changes might improve results.

Successful entrepreneurs travel on a road of continuous improvement, recognizing that as the world changes, they too must change. They examine the activities and results achieved, and accept the premise that personal growth is the key to successful businesses and people relationships. Past successes do not ensure tomorrow’s success.

Successful entrepreneurs are in a continuous state of examining their actions and learning new skill sets to enhance their performance. They know they will not be “comfortable” with new behaviors, but are confident that this road of continuous improvement is essential to “living the dream” and optimizing results. They live by the adage,


Successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with folks who are honest in their communications, not sugar coating their comments because they think that’s what the boss wants to hear. They create a climate that encourages constructive dialogue including ideas that are different from the boss.

SCORE, a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration, has certified mentors who will not sugar coat their comments, and will provide guidance to entrepreneurs starting businesses or to existing businesses who want to be on a road of continuous improvement.  Call 602 745- 7250,  or click here to make your appointment with a SCORE mentor today.  There is no cost, except your time commitment to work on your “improvement program”.

About the Author:

George Obst is a Certified SCORE mentor with more than 30 years experience profitably managing and growing businesses, including start-ups, purchasing, financing and selling businesses.

No Pain No Gain!