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For the past few years, I’ve been working under the assumption that I am unable to grow peppers in my garden because of the elevation where I live.  Our property is typically 7-10 degrees cooler than those in town, and I don’t have any concrete structures around my garden to help generate or retain heat.  My argument goes like this: peppers need heat to grow, my garden lacks heat, therefore I can’t grow peppers.  This was a great story to make me feel better about how my pepper plants aren’t producing many peppers.

That is, until I went to my neighbor’s house.  My neighbor has healthy, green, high-producing pepper plants.  So I asked him what he uses to make his pepper plants look so good. His answer? Chicken manure.

I felt happy and deflated at the same time.  All I have to do is add chicken manure and I can have high producing pepper plants. But, his answer also made me realize that all the excuses I’ve been giving myself weren’t valid.  In order to get different results, I will need to do something different.

How about you?  What stories are you telling yourself about your business?  Are you having a hard time retaining employees because of the low unemployment rate, or could it be because you haven’t created a culture that makes people feel valued?  Are your sales down because your industry is slow or because your sales process isn’t effective?  Is productivity down because your employees don’t care about their jobs or is it possible they haven’t been given the tools they need to be successful?

We all tell stories to make ourselves feel better.  But when you aren’t getting the results you desire, it’s time to ask if you’ve been selling yourself a line of manure – or if, perhaps, you need to add some manure to your business? I’ll leave it to you to decide which will help you get the results you desire.