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!!
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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
Kevin Arrow is the CEO of the Online Visibility Academy where ethical entrepreneurs can train in digital marketing skills
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