I love people watching. I love guessing what is going through their mind as I watch. There is so much to learn by studying human behavior. It’s easy to apply the lessons to my life and in turn, to my business.

I was sitting in an airport lounge. An alarm went off. I looked up. Nobody moved. The agents at the gate continued to go about their business. The other passengers continued to read, talk on their phones and mind their own business.

What should I do? The alarm was loud and insistent. I got up and asked the agent. I was told that it was just a test and not to worry. I went back to where I was sitting.

As I sat down I got to thinking. Why was I the only one who seemed concerned? Why wasn’t anyone else moving? When did it become okay to ignore alarms, let alone one in an airport?

As it happened there was nothing to worry about in this situation; however, here are a few lessons I learned.

Why was I the only one concerned? Humans are pack animals. When we see others ignoring something we feel safe ignoring it, too. On the other hand, when we see others panicking about something, we are more likely to panic, even if there is nothing to panic about.

Lesson learned: Decide for yourself if there is something you need to pay attention to. Just because someone tells you the situation is fine (or that there’s a problem) take a moment to assess the situation for yourself. This will allow you to make the right decision for you and your business.

Why wasn’t anyone else moving? There is comfort in not standing out.

Lesson Learned: The magic in your life and business happens when you stand out. That is what marketing and advertising are for, to help you stand out from your competition. It’s not only okay to stand out, it’s vital for your business’ survival.

When did it become okay to ignore alarms? It’s easier to leave things as they are and just hope that everything is all right. I see clients ignoring alarms every day in their business. It might be that you think a potential client is going to be difficult but you take them on anyway. Maybe you miss deadlines, or have a tendency to get so involved in the day-to-day of your business that you don’t do any long term planning.

Lesson Learned: Sometimes alarms are subtle and they feel like a nagging feeling in your gut that alerts you to a possible problem. Sometimes the alarm blares in your face. When you ignore alarms you risk disaster. Pay attention to the alarms (especially the subtle ones) and then trust yourself to make decisions and even change direction, based on what you learn.

Now look at your business. What alarms are you ignoring? What is it time for you to start paying attention to? Take a moment to listen to that alarm.

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a speaker, author and business coach. She is a business strategist and productivity expert for entrepreneurs. Carrie helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they want and create simple and straight-forward plans to get there. She is the author of "Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm and Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit!" Free resources at http://carriegreenecoaching.com/