How trash talk can trash your bottom line

Trash talk will trash your bottom line.

“What a jerk!”

That was my thought early this morning when I opened my blinds to see my across-the-street neighbor had, once again, parked his pick-up truck – complete with attached fishing boat – in front of my house.

Since I’ve been busting my butt for a number of years to change my unproductive mental talk to something that works better for me, I immediately recognized this as yet another opportunity to practice. (Yippee.)

And I also got to thinking: Just how does habitual trash talk impact your business results? Is it really a bad thing, or is it just a natural reaction to frustration or irritation?

Here’s what I came up with.

Trash talk turns you into a victim of circumstances.

The more you concentrate on how “she done me wrong,” the more you turn over control of your outcomes to outside people and events. This, in turn, creates a victim mindset, whether you realize it or not, and it can lead to what Dr. Martin Seligman calls “learned helplessness.”

And just how effectively and successfully will you increase your bottom line if you act like a turtle on her back? (Hint: not very.)

Negativity wastes your energy.

The only person whose thoughts and actions you can truly control is you. Getting caught up grumbling about someone else’s behavior – when there’s zero chance of changing it – means all the energy you’re putting into that is unavailable for little things like marketing to your ideal prospects. This counts as a Bad Thing for your bottom line.

Complaints derail your creativity.

It’s pretty much impossible to exist in two different emotional states simultaneously. If you’re caught up in negative feelings like resentment, you won’t have the bandwidth to experience the excitement (and the profit) that comes from creatively solving problems for your clients.

You get to ask yourself: Do you get paid for being irritable or for being creative?

Focusing on what you don’t want gets you more of the same.

Allowing yourself to notice and focus on every damn thing that goes wrong or frustrates you is a sure way to create a downward spiral of negative thought and action. If you’re a proponent of the Law of Attraction, you’re familiar with this concept: What you focus your attention on is what you experience more of in your world.


Self-talk is a powerful business-development tool.


Will your bottom line benefit from thinking only about the prospects you didn’t sign or the vendors who didn’t make you a good deal? Or will it ultimately grow as a result of you identifying everything that’s going great, focusing on that, and doing more of it? Hmmm…..

Trash talk makes you unappealing to be around.

We’ve all experienced the sheer ick of being around energy suckers: those people who carry their own personal black cloud of pessimism and negativity around with them.

If you’re one of them, how likely is it that prospects will be drawn to work with you? And, if not many people work with you, how healthy will your bottom line be?


Remember that “jerk” neighbor of mine who parked in front of my house? By having an awareness of my initial, unthinking reaction to his behavior, I was able to shift my thinking (and feeling) dramatically:

What’s your style of habitual talk – trash or treasure? Let me know how you keep yourself from getting dragged down by negative thoughts.

And, if you’re reading this from a deep well of dismal, I can help.

My specialty is showing entrepreneurs how to get out of their own way so they can be on their way to a healthier bottom line. A huge part of that is knowing how to dump the trash talk and replace it with thoughts – and actions – that are pure gold.

If you realize there’s a wistful, wouldn’t-that-be-great thought floating through your head right now, act on it: Grab a spot in my calendar for a no-risk get-acquainted call.

You and I might or might not do good work together, and this call will be a great way to figure out which it is. Neither one of us is committed to anything other than a 40-minute conversation, so let’s do this thing and see what shakes out.

What do you think about that?

(BTW, thanks to Nicolas Nova for posting the trash image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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