3 Ways to Avoid Complacency and Find Freedom in Your Business

Complacency is the enemy of entrepreneurship. In this blog post, the late, great John Alexandrov shares his relationship with complacency, including his 3 best tips on how to avoid it.

3 Ways to Avoid Complacency and Find Freedom in Your Business

John Alexandrov was an attorney in Massachusetts for over 30 years. He was best known as a leader, providing business legal services to entrepreneurs and business owners. John represented hundreds of business owners and entrepreneurs, and he was as well known for his business skills as he was for his legal skills.

Capable in all aspects of a business’s legal needs, he brought real-life business experience to the table as an entrepreneur and business owner himself. At the same time, John knew how to act decisively, lead, guide, and manage a team of C-level officers in any company to the effective resolution of their legal and business challenges.

John authored three books and audio programs. His book Affirmations of Wealth: 101 Secrets of Daily Success, was a bestseller. His audio programs created a wave of finan- cial momentum and wealth in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

We recorded a podcast interview with John in the fall of 2017. After his sudden, unfortunate demise at the end of the year, we wrestled with what to do with the show. Our family listened to it and said, “That is one of the best, if not the best episode we’ve heard — you should let others benefit from it. John was amazing!”

With that kind of feedback, we felt compelled to turn the content from that interview into a series of blog posts.


I think one of my biggest failures was not understanding the difference between complacency and moving your business forward without struggle. You can move a business forward without struggle, without anxiety, guilt, fear, or worry. You do it by implementing great business principles and surrounding yourself with very dedicated, loyal people who are committed to helping you grow your business by developing the right customers. You can do all of that without struggle—and that’s the opposite of complacency.

There was a point in my career when I had built up a very large, significant title company and real estate appraisal company—and I stopped caring. I was 29 years old and already a millionaire. People were patting me on my back, saying, “Geez, you’ve done so well. You’re great!” It was all nonsense.

I was listening to all the B.S. people were telling me, I bought into it, and I became complacent. I took my eye off the ball. I stopped focusing on developing the business. I passed off responsibilities to employees who didn’t have the ability to take care of those issues for me. Two years later, the bank was knocking on my door, foreclosing on 23 investment properties, taking my second home away, and telling me if I didn’t pay them a quarter of a million dollars, they’d put me out of business.

I had to learn to see the difference between complacency and being able to develop a business without struggle. I’d become complacent and I had to fight my way back. I’ll never allow that to happen again.

That was a mistake, but I wouldn’t undo it. Getting back on the right track was painful, but what I did 20 years ago put me where I am now—and I love where I am right now. I have gratitude for it. I believe that everything really does happen for a reason—but you’ve got to be open to acting on experience and inspiration.

Avoiding Complacency

So how do you avoid complacency to begin with? One way is to be in the right mastermind group.

The people in the right group are going to tell you to bring your financial statements every quarter or every month, and they’ll say, “OK, what’s your next goal? How are you going to get there? Fire this person? Hire that person?” I wasn’t in the right mastermind group when I was 29, but I know that Smart Real Estate Coach has masterminds for different levels of Associates around the country, and the nuggets and deals that have come out of those are nothing short of amazing. Everyone should be applying for his Associate program, for sure.

The second part is to not take yourself too seriously. Now, it’s important to have a strong ego, in the sense of a desire to do and have what you want in life. But if your ego gets out of control and you start thinking you’ve figured it all out, you’ll be afraid to ask the right questions when you can’t figure it out, the questions that will help you get where you want to go. You’ll be dead in the water, going nowhere. So check your ego at the door each day.

The third part is to inspire yourself by constantly putting yourself in the right physical and emotional environments. When you experience (or see someone else experience) something new, you can say, “I want that too. I want that for my family. I want that for my children. I want that so I can donate $100,000 to that school”. The mastermind, keeping your ego in check, and putting yourself in places that are inspiring to you—they’ll all help you avoid complacency.

Discipline Equals Freedom

If you want to have a hot dog stand and you have discipline you’ll have the very best hot dog stand. I learned this principle many years ago from a coach. He taught me something I never forgot, and I still make use of it today: “The more disciplined you are about anything, the more you’ll have of it,” he told me.

“The more disciplined you are with your money, what do you have? More money! The more disciplined you are with your time, what do you have? More free time!” It applies to nutrition and health, right on down the line. Discipline equals freedom.

The difficulty is that the word “discipline” is so often misinterpreted. We were “disciplined” as children, so we have a negative gut reaction to the word. But look at what the word really means. The word “disciple” is contained within the word “discipline.” A “disciple” is a follower of something.

When you’re the follower of great business principles and great businesspeople, you’re going to be a good businessperson. When you’re the follower of a good nutrition routine, you’re going to be healthy. When you’re the follower of having a great calendar and getting your appointments booked in task lists, you’re going to have more time.

It’s amazing how everything we’re talking about is exactly the support structure the Smart Real Estate Coach team has built for their Associates and students to benefit from. Chris is a big advocate of discipline; to this day, I use his Power of One Daily Discipline chart.

“Discipline” is a very positive and powerful word, not a negative word in any way, shape or form. If you take nothing else away from this chapter, remember that discipline equals freedom. The more disciplined you are with anything, the more you’ll have of it. Discipline means being the “disciple” of something, the follower of a system, a routine, the follower of business principles.