By now I think we have come to the honest conclusion that being in business can and does have its share of challenges. We can’t escape it. There will be times when we have the choice to make the change and sometimes we are totally blindsided and forced to overcome a challenge or do things differently. either way one thing that is guaranteed is that with change there will be emotion, and often the feelings you have will be initially negative ones, Fear, Anxiety, Anger, Resentment or maybe even Loss they can rear their ugly heads at any point and can take over our thoughts going forward if we allow them to.
Let’s take a look at how I have learnt to take those feelings and kick them to the kerb and switch my thinking into one that works for me and the business. o remember im not a psycologist or any for of mindset expert but i have been running business for many years and have experienced so many challenges i could give Anneka Rice a run for her money.
One of the best ways to go from bad feelings to more useful ones is to reframe your thoughts (bit coachy speak but the only word i could think of ) surrounding the emotions. The way you think has a big influence on the way you feel and approach anything. Take some time and start to think differently about your challenge.
For example, you may have had a member of your team resign, this can have a profound effect on your business especialy a small business as our teams are so important, however you could see this as an opportunity, to bring in a different personality, a slightly different skill set something maybe the business has been lacking. It could be an opportunity to shake up some of the duties they were performing for your business so you could incorporate a slightly different model going forward. New team members although they need training often can bring in so many benefits with thier new enthusiasm that it can become anhub of inspiration and energy for the whole business.
Visualization is something that works really well, in my younger days i used to play a huge amount of pool and on a critical shot i would take the time to cue up the shot and in my mind i could see the ball going exactly where i wanted it to go, the more i focussed on it the bigger the chance it was going to be a successful shot. I didn’t realise at the time what this type of technique was it was only in recent years when i had used the same technique when doing things in my business i realised this was a type of visualisation.
I use this all the time now and even though it sounds a bit mad and believe me i can be sceptical about these things it did work for me ( in most cases) There are programs and people out there like fellow Dojo member Steve Cole who can really help you to understand just how visualisation can help you in your business.
If you need a quick tranquil effect in times of high anxiety, or you are feeling overwhelmed, meditation or focused breathing can help. I have a particular favourite called ‘Lazy River’ that really calms my thinking and helps me approach any challenges in a more balanced way. 20 minutes listening to that always helps.
You don’t have to be an expert on meditating for it to be effective; The simple act of sitting in silence and focusing on your breath is enough to calm emotions that are running high.
Esther Nagel from Balance and Breathe is my goto person for this if i need support she does all sorts of breathe work and it really does make a difference when you are feeling those negative emotions knocking at the door.
Finally, consider what will happen if you do nothing.
In business especially change is often a pre cursor to growth which is what alot of business owners want. That doesn’t mean it isn’t tied in with all of these emotions and often we are not prepared for them when they do hit us.
Look back at when oyu launched your business, look further at other changes in your working life that have bought about positivity, these are so often overlooked or brushed aside as past therefore not relevant. You couldn’t be more wrong if you think that, Looking back can often help us shape the future, knowing we have been through challenges and are still here , still in business, the world didn’t swallow us up you will soon realise that by just looking back change really can and does bring excitment and some truly amazing things into our business and our own lives.
Essentially, fear and excitement are very closely related emotions. A few tweaks can take you from the negative to a more positive rather quickly. It’s really all about the way you CHOOSE to approach it. Give these strategies a try to see which ones work best for you.
To your Success
When we talk about challenges in business often it can all seem a bit much, we overcomplicate the way forward and then become overwhelmed to the point of inaction so the challenge becomes bigger and darker than it started out as.
It really doesn’t have to be this way!!
I’ve talked in previous blog posts about breaking things down into achievable goals to help us overcome the challenges we face as business owners and how that helps us to handle the overwhelm that can come as a result of a planned or unexpected change in our business. Now I am going to take you to the next level and show you just how easy it can be to use that concept to overcome even the scariest of challenges in your business.
When you’re faced with a big hurdle in your business, you can tackle it much easier when you take on small actions, rather than thinking you have to do it all and make it happen right now. Let me show you just how to break it down, from challenge to micro-steps.
First, you need to take stock of your situation. Look at the problem. Write down exactly what you need most, what the end goal is. For example, If you have had a big business expense come in, a tax bill, a new piece of equipment that’s essential or anything else that may have occurred. Start by writing down the amount of money you need and when you need it (see I told you it was simple). Now that you know exactly what you’re up against, it’s time to take that major problem and turn it into something manageable.
The next step is to brainstorm. You’ve got your pen and paper in front of you, so start jotting down any and every idea you can think of that can help you obtain the things you need to do. In my example, you need cash for an unexpected expense. You can write down all of the ways you can obtain this, by doing a flash sale, creating a new product, selling a block of coaching for a special price, look at outstanding invoices where clients may owe you money and follow those up, look at your outgoings and see where you may be throwing money away each month. As a business owner our income and ability to sell are often only limited by our imagination and if you need cash in by a deadline then often you will make this happen.
After your brainstorming session, you need to assess the solutions you’ve gathered. Now we are moving away from our creative thinking and problem solving to reality, working out which of our ideas are feasible and achievable in line with our goals.
Write your ideas down again in order of which seem the most realistic and easily attainable. Throw out ones that are simply too outrageous. Stick the tricky ones at the bottom of your list.
You can keep the list for future development as you may have stumbled across an absolute gem that doesn’t fit right now with the immediacy of your situation but further down the line and with some planning you could create an addition to your business.
Now it’s time to make a plan. Start with the first solution you wrote down, and write out small steps you can take to make that idea a reality. The smaller the better. These tiny actions are easier to approach than your overwhelmingly larger goal. As you complete each one, you’ll start to feel more confident and see your goal coming closer to reality.
If you decide to skip the planning part you will find feelings of overwhelm creeping back in, your plan is your map to solving your current issue, it’s where you will look back to ensure you are on track and that your goals will be met. DO NOT rely on memory or think you have this sussed without going through this phase as you will find time creeping by and your plan will feel non existent.
You will find it helpful to purchase a goal planner, we use these and are incredible for keeping projects on track, you may decide on an online system to keep you going maybe some form of project management system both of these mean daily interaction with your plan so you keep firmly in your mind what you need to do to reach your objective.
Finally, you will need to take action, marking each micro-step off as it’s completed. This can be where you need to dig deep and kick in the self-discipline, it’s easy to start out well-intentioned and let it fall off after a few days however you will never reach your objective if you allow yourself to do that. You have formulated your plan, you have your tools to support you, if necessary join a club like the business success dojo club and find other business owners to help keep you moving forward Before long, you’ll start to move closer toward getting the job done and seeing the positive results. In my example, your available funds will start to grow. Every little bit counts.
There’s no need to get stuck in overwhelm when faced with challenges. Breaking it down into micro steps, formulating a well thought out and achievable plan and taking action will help you reach the goals you need to overcome nearly any obstacle.
Remember support is always at hand you just have to reach out
to your success
I’m focusing a lot of time at the moment on the blog talking about change. Why is that?
As a small business owner or an entrepreneur, change will be part of your life, its inevitable. When I first started my own business back in 2002 it was a shock to the system to be facing changes and challenges so frequently. For some reason I thought it would be like an employee, having stability and small challenges along the way.
I had to embrace change very early on and either decide it was going to be my ally to help me and my business or something to fear. I took the former option which is partly why 16 years later I’m still in business.
I work weekly with my clients helping and supporting them through the business success dojo club to embrace and welcome change as it actually brings us much more as business owners than just having overcome an obstacle or challenge.
Taking time to focus on the positive and finding the good in change is yet another strategy that can help you to better deal with business challenges. Let me show you some ways that can happen.
With change comes adaptability. We need to adapt in order to roll with the punches. You’ll soon discover some ofyour greatest strengths as you figure out how to handle what’s in your path.
Perhaps you’re more creative than you realized when you did your brainstorming activity. Maybe you find out just how reliable a network you have who have rallied around to support and help you. You may have had to make some cold calls or contact people you were putting off (because it was a job you thought you wouldn’t enjoy) but having done it you realise you have a real flare for it.
Change can really bring out the best in us.
Another quality you may not have realized you possessed is resiliency. A resilient person gets back up when life knocks them down. Often, we have no choice but to keep going and not give up. Adversity can truly show you your potential to bounce back.
Resilience is much bigger than just a paragraph in a blog post but it’s truly something that most small business owners will have even if up to this point its been an untapped resource. When we recognise it exists in almost every business owner then we can really start to build our courage, as we know that our resilience will allow us to become braver and face almost anything business and life throws our way.
There are times in which change requires you to learn something completely new to you. This type of personal development is invaluable. Gaining new skills or discovering unknown personality traits is always welcome. If you know our story then you will not be surprised to know it was during a particularly tough time in business in the early 2000’s that due to a change ie the recession we had to learn how to market more effectively. This skill lead us onto our onlinevisibilityacademy.com business and more recently the launch of the Dojo club. At the time it seemed like a real uphill battle, but we will forever be grateful that the tough times made us realise we were pretty good at marketing small businesses, and that opened up new opportunities for us.
All of the above are byproducts of change that can lead to a tremendous boost in self-confidence for you. When you handle a big change like a boss, you can’t help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Discovering just how strong, resilient, smart, innovative and creative you can be brings with it a tremendous feeling of achievement like no other.
Finally, change sometimes requires us to completely change direction… There are some business events that are so big that they will never leave you the same. And that can be okay. In fact, it can be absolutely amazing in some cases. When something happens that causes you to do a complete turnaround without your consent, it can leave you feeling powerless. Turn that feeling around by considering the ways you can adapt to this and make it work to your advantage.
Unexpected change is often the kick in the backside we actually needed to move to the next stage of business.
Going back to my story, if it hadn’t been for my ruptured appendix I may still be running a transport business instead of running the Dojo Club and the Online visibility Academy which we love and enjoy doing.
While all of these things may not apply to your situation, I hope you can at least see what reframing the idea of change can do for your outlook. By altering the way you look at your circumstances, you can move forward in a more positive way.
To Your Success
P.S If you’d like to be surrounded by people who will help you transition the changes check out the Business Success Dojo.
Sometimes the biggest obstacle we face in moving forward after a major change has occurred in our business is our own sense of overwhelm.
It’s scary to wonder where to go from here or how to dig ourselves out of a tough situation. It often seems easier to do nothing or to wallow in self-pity. Now I am no mindset coach and neither do I aspire to be so but I am experienced in business and in supporting business people that are running around like a headless chicken with no real direction on where to go next with their business. I believe we probably all have been there at one time or another. I recall having the feelings of not knowing what to do first, where to turn for help or which direction to go in. That’s when you have to implement a plan of action. Even taking one tiny step forward is a start.
I found that by setting micro-goals really helped when I was facing these changes, I ‘m a big supporter of planning and setting goals but micro goals took this to a really different level for me when I was flailing
Here’s where you can start
Brainstorming helps to unload whats running through your head, It’s amazing how creative even the most self-proclaimed uncreative people can be. Take some time to write down all of the ideas you have for ways you can move ahead in your current situation. No matter how small or how far-fetched in fact the more outrageous the better, just get them out. Then begin to break it all down into tangible, manageable and realistic steps you can actually take to overcome your problem. This act alone may help you to feel more powerful and in control of your business, as you can now see the possibilities that may have been blurred before.
Next, you’ll want to set some realistic milestones or checkpoints to help to keep yourself on track. Again, consider taking baby steps to help you overcome the overwhelm by setting your check-ins fairly regularly. Making your first goal post something readily attainable will help to increase your confidence, as well as your motivation to make it to the next milestone. Creating these assessment points also forces you to develop some sort of plan for your goal, rather than just hoping things will get better.
Take time to regularly review your original goal in order to be sure it’s still working for you or that you’re even still on the right path. Sometimes we find ourselves set on achieving something that’s no longer in our best interests simply because we’re too stubborn or scared to assess our circumstances. Reflect honestly on where you’re going looking back on the milestones you’ve passed so far. If it feels right in your gut, keep on moving forward. Should something seem off or if you’re not making the progress you’d hoped, go back to the drawing board. Take notes on your situation,
If you are finding that you are not hitting your milestones don’t panic or mentally beat yourself up , being aware is a great step forward, reset your milestones and keep going, feel proud in the fact that your resolve and determination won’t be wobbled by missing a milestone and that your 3 stage micro plan will be your leaning post for you to move through your challenges with success in its future.
Doing something is always better than doing nothing. This is true when facing times of change. Follow these suggestions for gaining control over the obstacles in your life and moving ahead one baby step at a time. You’ll soon see that what you want can be achieved.
Sometimes help is needed as it can be a lonely journey working through these things alone, I felt that way in my early days in business and found a way to overcome that feeling, if you feel the same way, that you want some support and a business sounding board then I invite you to take a look here at the Business success dojo Club you will be right a home and in a very safe space to be able to explore and overcome your challenges
To Your Continued Success