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