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Defeating your worst enemy (It’s not who you think)

Oct. 18, 2017
Think of your worst enemy. Was it a grade school bully whose scars still linger in your mind? A business partnership gone sour? A cut-throat competitor?

Think of your worst enemy.

Was it a grade school bully whose scars still linger in your mind? A business partnership gone sour? A cut-throat competitor? An angry ex-customer with an axe to grind?

While those people may cause you a lot of stress each day, and could certainly be up there on the list of your worst enemies, the bad news is, they are not your very worst enemy. YOU are.

Yes, you are your own worst enemy.

And you are hurting your work as a contractor.

“How am I my own worst enemy?”

Everyone was born with a blank slate of thoughts and emotions. These thoughts and emotions developed over time, usually under the guidance of influential people in our lives like parents and teachers.

They taught you good things like manners and arithmetic; like the importance of brushing your teeth and how to read and write.

Unfortunately, they also inadvertently taught you bad things — things that hurt you and your business or hold you back from greater success.

For example, maybe you remember hearing those influential people telling you:

·               Money doesn’t grow on trees

·               A penny saved is a penny earned

·               Don’t reach too high, you don’t want to be like those snobby rich people

Or maybe it wasn’t their words exactly but the things they did. For example, perhaps you watched your father put in a grueling 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM work schedule and call it “an honest day’s work.”

These words and actions taught us harmful lessons that stick with us today, even though we are adults.

For example, you might equate your father’s grueling “honest day’s work” as the benchmark of effort, which means you somehow feel guilt for aspiring to work less than that.

Or another example: you might remember the lesson that money doesn’t grow on trees so you work hard to save every dollar you can because you know there may not be another one, instead of reinvesting to grow your business.

These are called “limiting beliefs” and they can hurt — and even kill — your business.

These lessons may have been well-meaning, but they reflected the mindsets of the people who taught them to you and are not necessarily the truth. Yet, they persist in your mind. The ideas and attitudes you have today that direct you and your business are built from the sometimes flawed lessons that your parents and teachers taught you years ago.

In my own business, I thought I had to be present and make all the decisions. As soon as I discovered that this mindset was holding me back, I built a strong leadership team and empowered them to make decisions — and eventually built a business where I didn’t have an office in my headquarters because I didn’t need to go into the office each day.

I was my own worst enemy, believing that my own decision-making was the one thing holding the company together. I had to break that thinking and it changed everything.

In your business, the same thing is happening: you are being guided by invisible ideas and concepts that are hurting you. They cause you to make decisions that keep you from succeeding at your highest potential.

Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it.

How to stop being your own worst enemy

It’s a simple process to change these limiting beliefs, although it can take some practice to make it permanently stick.

First, identify the limiting belief that you have.

Second, figure out how it’s hurting you — for example, what is the business impact or the financial impact or the relationship impact. (Those long, gruelling hours, for example, might be bad on your marriage and your health, and they probably also reduce the overall value of your time).

Third, clearly state the limiting belief — better yet, write it on a paper. Then shred that paper. (Yes, the physical act of shredding the paper does help.)

Fourth, articulate a better belief and repeat it to yourself until you remember it. For example, instead of believing that “money doesn’t grow on trees,” remind yourself that, “there are income-generating opportunities everywhere.”

Fifth, actively seek out evidence and experiences that support this new empowering belief, and make decisions based on this belief.


Some people will read this article and think this is all weird, “woo-woo” stuff. But it’s not. Your thoughts today are the product of influencers from years ago. And although they taught you many great skills, they also unintentionally taught you limiting beliefs that still hold you back today. Fortunately, every contractor who wants to grow can replace these limiting beliefs with empowering ones, and will discover greater business success with a whole new mindset.

Mike Agugliaro is the “Business Warrior” and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting, training and mentoring firm, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building and selling Gold Medal Service, New Jersey’s largest and most respected home service company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit

About the Author

Mike Agugliaro | Founder

Mike Agugliaro is a Business Warrior on a mission to change the lives and businesses of service business owners. Mike and his business partner started and grew a struggling home service company into a multi-million dollar empire before selling the company in 2017. Today Mike is an author, speaker, and mentor; and he's the co-founder of CEO Warrior, a high level coaching and training organization for home service businesses. Learn more about Mike and CEO Warrior at

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