1. Avoid agenda pushers. They don’t have your best interest in mind. In fact, they don’t have ANY of your interests in mind. Are you hanging around the wrong people?
2. Avoid comparison shoppers. They’re not interested in value, only price. And if you’re not willing to come down to their level – that is, if you’re not wiling to compromise your value – they’ll find someone who will. So you know what? Fine. Let ‘em go. You’re better off. Are you disqualifying quick enough?
3. Avoid contrived joviality. It’s not authentic. It’s not approachable. It’s not cool. And even if it works for a little while, eventually, people can tell. Are you REALLY in that good of a mood, or do you just want people to THINK THAT your business isn’t really struggling?
4. Avoid either/or thinking. There are more than two answers. Your goal is to prevent premature cognitive commitment and come up with as many as possible. Odds are, the final twenty percent will be the best solutions. How many answers are you wiling to accept?
5. Avoid eye rollers. When people’s eyes roll, their ears close. When people’s ears close, their minds close. And when people’s minds close, so do their wallets. Yikes. How often are you saying things that make people roll their eyes?
6. Avoid fitting in. Start your own group. Be your own category. Fitting in is overrated. Fitting in is for highschoolers. Get over it. Do you really care if those jerks accept you as part of their crappy club?
7. Avoid inferior minds. They bring you down. They prevent your growth. Learn to discern who the Thinkers are. Hang with them. Soak it up. How many losers did you have lunch with last month?
8. Avoid mental censoring. Just say it. Be radically honest. It feels great, releases stress and is (usually) appreciated. Candor is rare and will serve you well. What do you really, really need to share that you’re afraid of saying?
9. Avoid mindless acceptance. Doubt is healthy. Ask questions first. It’s not authentic if you didn’t choose it. Do you believe this because you were taught to believe it, or because you actually believe it?
10. Avoid outdated frameworks. Get with the times. Update your stuff. Let go of your sacred cows. They have a tendency to produce rancid milk. What are you holding onto that still works, but is holding you back?
11. Avoid stock phrases. They’re too robotic and too perfect. Be careful. Learn to normalize your dialogue so it doesn’t come off too choreographed. People can tell. How are you getting a PhD in your own language?
12. Avoid telegraphing interest. Don’t need it so much. Whether it’s a sale or a date or more attention, just relax. Let go of expectations. When you expect nothing, failure is impossible. What are you seeking?
13. Avoid the always. Whatever everybody ‘always’ does, do the opposite. Or, whatever everybody ‘nobody’ does, do the opposite. Violate their expectations. Break a few patterns. People will notice. How are you making customers GASP?