Fatigue: The Worst Possible Growth Strategy for Your Small Business

03/10/2015 04:28 pm ET | Updated May 09, 2015

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Let's face it. Every small business owner needs - and wants - an "edge" to grow as quickly and easily as possible. We dig through industry secrets, plow through top business blogs, and cajole our colleagues into spilling the beans on what makes their business tick. Yet, one of the best-kept growth strategies is actually within our grasp.

While wilting away on the treadmill recently, I heard a news report on the far-reaching impact of tired airline pilots. Egads! (Not what a white knuckled airline traveler needs to hear.) Although the report was applicable to cargo airline pilots, the devastating effects of fatigue remain - fatigue leads to preventable errors that, in the case of the airlines, can kill.

The news story got me thinking about the impact of fatigue on our ability to perform in our own business, and more importantly, in the businesses of those we serve - our clients.

Whether fatigue is instigated by a lack of sleep, working long hours, too many decisions, poor health, stress, or all of the above, the fact remains the same - there is no up side to exhaustion.

The Entrepreneurial Fatigue Syndrome

What happens when an entrepreneur is tired? In case you need a little prompting, allow me to point out a few of my personal favorites:
• Crankiness
• Lack of focus
• Disorganization
• Easily distracted
• Forgetfulness

Am I missing any?

These lovely attributes contribute to:
• Inattentiveness to clients needs
• Excessive and avoidable mistakes
• Anger inappropriately directed at colleagues
• Resistance to change
• Impulsiveness
• Inability to prioritize
• Overlooking small and vital details
• Decision dodging, and the best one of all...
• Doing nothing

And, all of these attractive behaviors lead to:
• Lashing out at valued clients
• Missing critical deadlines causing clients to lose valuable time in the marketplace
• Unnecessary costs incurred as a result of fixing fatigue errors

We could go on and on but I'm certain you get the point. In fact, we've had a front row seat to the flick called "fatigue." It's not pretty.

Fatigue, exhaustion, tiredness, weariness...call it what you will, it's one vicious, ugly cycle for you and your clients.

Unfortunately, fatigue is all too common a part of the business equation and it comes at a high cost to you, your health, your family, and your clients. And, yes...it is the worst possible growth strategy for your business!

The next time you're too tired to pole-vault over a chalk mark, take two of these...

Take a nap. Take care of yourself. Take the day off. Take a vacation. Take a long weekend. Take a cruise. Take a long walk. Take a break.....