Is Your Negativity Bias Affecting Your Business Success?

Humans have an inbuilt negativity bias. We’re hardwired for it. Something happens, and we tend to see the bad in it before the opportunity.

Some people are also ‘catastrophisers’, meaning they can turn anything into a catastrophe. 

  • Someone loses a sale, and there’s never going to be a new sale again!
  • They read an article about inflation, and suddenly they might as well close the doors on their business! 
  • They review their revenue for the past 3 months, and they go from a bad quarter to living in a cardboard box in the space of 5 minutes!

Can you relate?

We have a complicated relationship with negativity because as much as we say we don’t want it, we often thrive off it!

Have you ever noticed that there is always impending doom in the media? It’s because the drama hooks us in. It’s the perfect bait. The media wants your attention, and they’ve had a long time to master exactly how to do that.

But things are rarely as bad as we think.

Let’s look at a recession. The word ‘recession’ is scary. The way people talk about it strikes fear into the heart of business owners.

But a recession is a 20% contraction in a market, meaning we’re left with 80% of the market. So the majority is still available to you. Now, you could focus on the percentage gone, or you could plow ahead knowing that there are still more than enough opportunities for you to seize. 

The biggest weapon you have in business is your mind. 

What are your negativity biases?

The problem with negativity bias is that when we’re presented with something we perceive as a threat to our business or life, emotions run high. 

When emotion goes up, the logic goes down. This is the exact opposite of what we need in these situations. We need logic in these scenarios to stop ourselves from spiralling out of control. 

To do this, you first need to be aware of your own personal negativity biases. Once you become aware, you can use logic to overcome it.

Here are a few examples from our clients:

  1. Worried about not making enough sales and so not being able to make payroll. 
  2. What if something goes wrong with this job?
  3. I’m constantly putting out fires. There’s always something going wrong, and I need to drop what I’m doing to fix it.

Now let’s apply logic to these problems. We rarely challenge these thoughts, which leads to us spiralling out of control.

  1. How many times have you not been able to make payroll? – Probably never. You’ve never not made payroll, so why is this month going to be any different?
  2. You’re an experienced tradie who has had lots of happy clients. If you were bad this and did a bad job, you wouldn’t still be in the business.
  3. As a business owner, you’ve become good at putting out fires. But this is drama. And as much as you say you want to have processes in place, it’s a hard adjustment because it’s boring. There’s no thrill anymore.

A lot of the time, our worries start with the phrase – “What happens if…?” 

You’re worrying about scenarios that haven’t even happened, and probably will never happen. The only thing you’re achieving is wasting time and stressing yourself out. What could you achieve if you put all that energy into something constructive and positive?

Think about your negativity biases, and drama hooks, and write down your own statements of logic to refute them. Stay in control by giving yourself the tools to stop these negative thoughts from snowballing into catastrophes.

Remember – there is a direct correlation between your mindset and your success. Equip yourself with logic and be aware of your negativity.

Stop your negativity bias from derailing your business

At Business Benchmark Group, we help our clients focus on the 80% rather than dramatise the 20%. 

Our client grew their profits DURING Covid by 34%. How? Because we helped our clients keep their heads in the right place. They weren’t out there worrying about the 20%. They focused on what was available, and they went after it.

Our Facebook Group for Trades and Construction business owners has weekly live streams, extra tips, and accountability threads to help you knock down your roadblocks and break through your glass ceiling.


More Posts

Ready to run your business better?

Book your free business evaluation


Before you leave, why not do a quick 3 Minute Business Health Check and find out how much you're leaving on the table?