Profitability gremlins are limiting beliefs that hinder your ability to engage in the activities that will grow your bottom line.

You act on these limiting beliefs in ways that impact your productivity or deter your focus. Profitability gremlins are often self-imposed limits, thinking small or unconsciously finding ways to sabotage the success you truly desire.

You may recognize one or more of these profitability gremlins in your business:


Excuses are reasons you use to avoid engaging in the right actions your business. You think the reason has a higher priority over the actions that will move your business (and your bottom line profits), forward. Excuses are procrastination personified.

You say, “I’m too busy with…”


“I don’t have time because of…” or  “________ is my priority…”

In your mind, you believe your reason is justified. The point is you find a reason to avoid taking the actions that will increase your income and grow your bottom line.

Case in point, I often give my clients the assignment of making daily sales calls to their ideal clients.  When I ask how things are going, I hear things like,

“I had to go to…”


“I didn’t get chance to…”


“I forgot…”


“Something came up.”

These are all excuses! When we explore these reasons, my clients ultimately own up to the excuses and we work on shifting their behavior.


Distractions challenge your ability to focus on what’s truly important.  Often times, distractions prevent you from being present to what’s right in front of you. Shiny object syndrome keeps you thinking there’s always something “better.” You’re always chasing that next shiny object.

You tell yourself,

“That looks like more of what I want or need.”


“I want more of that…”

Chasing those shining objects will result in a string of unfinished projects, unfulfilled commitments or lack of profitability.

“Guru-hopping” is an example of shiny object syndrome and a huge distraction. That’s what I call it when you go from working with one expert to the next. I ask clients enrolled in my programs at More Coaching Clients Sales and Marketing Academy to fully commit to my programs by working with me and no other business, sales or marketing coaches while they’re in my program. It’s because I know that philosophical differences or conflicting intentions often impede their success. I’ve seen it happen way too many times!

Here are a few other distractions or time wasters:

  • social media distractions, profitability gremlinsText messaging or instant messaging
  • Checking emails
  • Unnecessary meetings/phone calls
  • Unnecessary interruptions
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Clutter: Physical and Virtual
  • Social Media: selfies, uploading, posting, Facebooking, LinkedIn-in’, YouTubin’, Instagram’in or Twitter-in’
  • Web surfing


Complacency or settling for less than what you truly deserve keeps you from achieving the profitability you desire. When you are settling for less, there are a number of ways it can show up in your business. For example, complacency may show up as you not taking advantage of opportunities presented or as in your inability to say no. Think of it this way: If you’re saying yes to things that don’t honor or serve you, you’re also saying no to things that do honor and serve you. Same thing!

Tolerations or settling are also reflected in your personal appearance or the state of your mental or physical environments. It’s because when you’re in the space of complacency, you’ve lowered your personal standards and you are completely out of alignment with what you deserve. Complacency means you are not operating your life or business with integrity.

As I’m writing this a few tolerations of my own are surfacing in my mind. Ouch! #GratefulHuman

Being stuck in the past

Being stuck in the past means you have unresolved matters in your life. You ruminate over past situations and conversations or you constantly look back at your past mistakes. You would rather focus on the pain of your history or choose to stay in the emotions of your past. You view your current relationships through the same lens as those previous experiences.

You say, “When I was…”


“I remember when _______ happened…”

AND, you paint every new experience with the broad stroke of your past.

When you create silent contracts with people or have unreasonable expectations about their behavior, it is one of the byproducts of being stuck in the past. When others don’t do what you expect them to, you point to it as validation for your beliefs about your past.

This is going in a circle or what I call Circling Atlanta. Interstate 285 is a complete circle or perimeter around the city of Atlanta. It’s often used to distinguish the actual city limits from communities or cities outside of the city limits that are still considered part of Metro Atlanta. If you’re stuck in the past, your focus is always on completing that circle rather than using the “exit ramps” to forge new adventures and create new relationships.

Short-Term Point of View 

Short-term point of view means you have a narrow or limited perspective about your future. I’m talking about the old adage, You can’t see the forest for the trees. It means you’re keenly focused on completing your daily tasks without the understanding how they connect to your future. Your perspective is so limited that you have no clue how it aligns with your overall vision or purpose.

While it’s great to have a list of daily tasks to guide your efforts, you must be able to step back to confirm that they are aligned with the big vision you have for growing your bottom line profits.

Remember that gremlins are fueled by fear: fear of what you know or fear of what you don’t know; or, fear of failure or fear of success (or, what either of those could change in your life). You are afraid of the change so your inner saboteur blocks your path to profitability.

As you work to create consistent income and grow your bottom line profits, it’s human nature to encounter profitability gremlins. The first step is to recognize the profitability gremlins so you can create counter actions to get your profitability back on track and keep it there.

What profitability gremlins do you face in your business?

Share your thoughts in comments.

Called a “Force of Nature” and trendsetter in the coaching industry because of her fearless approach to innovation, Wendy Y. Bailey has been supporting entrepreneurial leaders, coaches, speakers, trainers, consultants and emerging thought leaders for more than sixteen years. She is a two-time bestselling author, sought-after mentor coach and sales speaker for her fierce and dynamic dedication to inspiring individuals, groups and organizations to create extraordinary results. Affectionately called “WendyY” by her clients, business associates and colleagues, she is an internationally known thought leader and has made a global impact in coaching as an innovative CEO and mentor coach, serving the US and in countries like the UK, Sweden, Spain and Italy.