Often growth is talked about through learning and that is through courses or books or even seminars, however, one of the most overlooked ways of learning is through experience. In a previous post I was talking about change whether that was a choice to make a change in your business or whether that was a change that was pushed on you that was out of your control, either way, it makes no difference as there are a lot of benefits that can come from change and periods of transition within a business.
The same can be said for challenging times. Some of the greatest lessons can be learned from the obstacles business throws at you, and you will usually find that you grow as a person when the going gets tough. Let’s take a further look at some of the ways these challenges and periods of change will make you a better business owner and stronger leader.
During difficult times, you learn to rely on yourself and that; ultimately, you’re the one who has to change your current circumstances. Sometimes we need help, and that’s to be expected. Even on these occasions, it’s usually you who needs to determine whom to ask for assistance and to actually reach out to make contact. Challenge can be a catalyst for learning to take the initiative to do what must be done in order to get back on your feet.Nobody will make a decision for you and neither should they as the responsibility is on your shoulders, this can often be a liberating realisation as you move on and in a stronger position.
Never forget that being self reliant does not mean you are on your own as your team and your advisors/supporters will be there for you but when the crunch comes you have to rely on your own instinct and decision making abilities to get you and your business moving forward.
Challenges often take away something that we once relied on or valued. A loss of regular revenue, for example, this can really impact your confidence and your drive for your business especially if it was unexpected. Dealing with such losses can be difficult. When you are facing this challenge you can feel quite down, maybe even like a failure, It’s important to look at the bigger picture, be grateful for the opportunity in the first place and how that will have helped your business and you take another step forward. You may have learnt a new skill during that time, met a great business friend or earned revenue that you reinvested into growing another aspect of your business, it may have even made you decide that part of your business was not viable so the service you offered may not be one you offer in the future.
Whichever way you look at it looking with a view of gratitude will focus on the positives from the situation and allow you to move forward with confidence and a hunger to improve.
Let’s face it, sometimes in business, we get it wrong, we are human after all, we missed a deadline, forgot to send an email. Got complacent with a client. There are always lessons to be learnt for us as individuals running a business, there is as I always say ‘room for improvement’ and when we stop striving for that we turn around and our business is in trouble. A lot of clients are very understanding especially if your work is Business to Business, however, its how these situations are dealt with is what forges our development. It can be an incredibly humbling experience to have to face our own faults, but it’s one that usually leads us to be better in some way.
It’s natural to experience anger, pessimism, resentment or any other host of negative emotions when things go wrong. You’re not expected to be happy about setbacks or problems. However, getting stuck in despair will never move you toward a solution. If you want to improve your situation, it’s absolutely imperative that you develop a positive ‘can do’ attitude. It doesn’t matter if that attitude is one of determination, optimism or sheer stubbornness, As long as it’s used in a way to move you forward, you can count it as an asset.
Challenges are unavoidable in business. How you deal with them is what’s important. By taking on the tough times, you’ll gain a lot more than you ever expected and truly will become stronger in business.
Remember to take a look at the Business Success Dojo Club if you need ongoing support
To your success
One thing that is always certain in business and every small business owner knows is that change will always happen, things don’t and shouldn’t stay the same. As a business grows we have to change, when we get a quote come in, a new customer, a bigger office our first member of staff or even a new system to play with they all signify change.
Often it’s a change that we can control, like using a new email system for example, we know it’s going to be different, making that series of phone calls you really don’t want to do but know they need to be done, publishing your first ever blog post, other times it’s a change that is forced on us like a VA deciding to become employed or an employee resigning as they are moving on. These all cause change within the business and sometimes that change especially if it’s unexpected can be frightening and uncomfortable.
Learning how to deal with that fear IS something you can do, once you understand the reasons for it, how it can actually benefit you and ways to overcome it.
Change doesn’t have to be scary if you embrace it then you can learn how to use it to become a stronger business owner.
First of all, the biggest universal reason to be afraid of change is fear of the unknown. We feel safer in what we already understand and are familiar with. The unknown causes anxiety for lots of reasons, one of which is that this anxiousness is a protective measure. Our brains tell us that we can remain safe if we avoid what we can’t see, understand, know or process.
Another cause of this specific kind of fear is the false belief that there is only one correct way, when in fact many options lie ahead of you. It won’t be disastrous if you make the “wrong choice” because there are actually a number of ways you could go that could be completely right for you. Don’t get hung up on perfectionism or absolutes.
Self-doubt is another common reason to avoid change. You may think you’re not enough to navigate whatever life is currently throwing at you. That’s usually not the case. In fact, you’ve probably made lots of adjustments in your life before now you just haven’t credited yourself properly for it.
There are actually more benefits to change than negatives. Truly. For one, the personal growth potential times of transition offer can be limitless. You’ll learn so much about yourself and your capabilities during this time, along with gaining new skills.
Change also gives you the chance to examine your business and your goals. Change leads to progress, part of being in business is to always be moving forward, when a business stays still it becomes stagnant and before you know it you are in trouble You’ll gain opportunities through transformation that you never would have had if you’d stayed the same .
Finally, you’ll develop new skills as a person and leader like strength, resiliency and flexibility when you embrace variation.
Now let’s look at ways to overcome the anxiety that comes with fear of change. First, you want to try to reframe the negative stories you’re telling yourself. Focus on the positive things that could happen, instead of the bad. Take time to process your feelings about the change you’re facing and try to determine the causes. This type of honest assessment provides insights that make it easier to get a handle on your anxiety because you can name its source.
Another great strategy that works is to look back on accomplishments you’ve made during times of transition or instances in which you’ve gotten through tough adjustments. Knowing you’ve done it before can give you the confidence and motivation to do it again.Speaking with mentors and other business owners will also help as often knowing someone else has come through the other side of a challenge inspires us and shows that it can be done and you can do it to.
These suggestions are definitely not a comprehensive list, but they can get you started on the road to overcoming the fear of change. Once you begin to do that, you’ll find your world will open up immensely.
If you are looking for support then come and join the dojo club where business owners at all stages of their business are working together to tackle the daily challenges of being in business
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Facing challenges in business is a given. I defy anyone that has been in business, or who owns a small business for more than 5 minutes to say otherwise. What’s important is how you deal with these challenges when you’re face to face with them.
Big or small, you will encounter some difficulties and unexpectedly negative situations as you go through your business life. Sometimes it’s a blip on the radar. Others times may find you facing one obstacle after another. What is clear is that the way you tackle these can (and does) affect the outcome.
Let’s look at some strategic ways to deal with a business challenge. I know they will help you tremendously. Over time I have learned A LOT by going through some really tough times. I faced challenges that I never even knew existed. What I have learned is you don’t have to sit idly by as life throws obstacles in your way. Isn’t hindsight wonderful as it didn’t dawn on me at the time. These tips can help you hurdle a few business challenges and come out the other side stronger.
It can be hard to look at the big picture when you’re in the middle of what you believe to be a crisis. However, every situation is temporary. Your current situation will undoubtedly change, and you’ll move past it. Keeping this at the front of your mind can ease how you feel at the time and help you to think more clearly as you work to overcome your current obstacle. You’ll feel more able to think clearly and productively if you’re able to be optimistic about the future.
The first time I was in a situation (that almost bankrupted our business back in the early 2000’s) sent me into a downward spiral. I didn’t have the support to help me through it. But those of you that know me know I’m stubborn and I think that was probably the only thing that got us through it. What was fascinating was the next big hurdle we had to overcome didn’t feel so bad, it became more of an okay here we are where do we start to move past this?
Emotions run high when we are facing a challenging time in business. These feelings are usually of the negative kind. You may experience emotions like fear, anger, sadness, guilt and resentment as you try to manage a crisis. While these feelings are perfectly normal, they’re also counterproductive to finding solutions. It’s easy to get stuck in negative emotions.
When this happens, you’ll generally find yourself reacting blindly rather than making proactive decisions. Try to find a way or activity that will help you suppress these emotions, go for a walk, watch an uplifting film, have lunch with a friend. It doesn’t matter what it is but by letting that feeling sit for a while will really benefit you when you go back and tackle the issue with a much stronger and clearer mind. You’ll soon see your progress shift in a more positive direction.
In addition to trying to keep your focus on the future and positive outcomes during tough times, you may wish to remove yourself from the equation as well. What I mean by this is to try not to take it all personally. It’s so easy to get caught up in the ifs and buts and to feel like it’s some sort of personal vendetta that the world has against you, though it never is.
The time will come when you can look back and deal with what lead up to the situation but whilst you are there and it’s happening no good will come of focussing on how you got there. In fact, by focussing on why you’re here in this mess will lower your determination to overcome your business challenge. It will end up lowering your energy so it will feel much worse. Keep your eye firmly on moving past the situation and keep reminding yourself that it’s not personal, it’s not the end of the world and there is a reason why this is happening even if it’s not clear right now but it will make you stronger afterwards
I don’t mean to belittle or detract from the seriousness of anyone’s problems. Please know that’s not my intent when I say that it can be helpful to search for the value hardships may bring. Perhaps you’ll find none, but many times you just might. Business challenges often bring opportunity for change with them.
Change can be scary. It can also be transformative and exciting. Embrace any potential for the positive transformation you might find during the tough times, and you’ll feel more motivated to push past them.
When your business challenge has passed you will be able to look back far more objectively and see how the situation came about. It’s a clear way of growing and strengthening your business practices. No one can foresee issues. If we could we would never come across them but when they do come along embrace the challenge and know it will serve your business in the future even if that benefit isn’t clear right now.
These are a just few strategies I’ve found helpful when dealing with business challenges. Give them a try, and you may find yourself more in control of your situation than you realised you could be.
Feel free to share this with anyone going through a business challenge you may know that needs some inspiration to move through it.
To your success