I’ve had something on my mind lately. Actually walking through some of my own personal growth challenges and I have come face to face with something I haven’t paid much attention to in the past. Not that the problem or challenge didn’t exist, I guess I just wasn’t conscious of it.
Oh…but I am now.
I believe for some, you might be able to relate and learn from my own challenges and what I am going through.
I’ve made some important decisions regarding my business lately. Expansion and growth kind of stuff. You know…the kind of stuff you probably think about all the time as a business owner. (By the way, some of the things I am doing WILL be of interest to some of my wonderful followers. Perhaps YOU! So be on the lookout. If you can’t wait to hear about it, shoot me an email or give me a call).
The trouble all started when I stopped thinking about moving forward and started taking action.
The fact is I was experiencing the problem before I took action but it went to a whole new level once I started moving.
The problem was tension. Now I know you know what tension is.
It’s the feeling you get when you are standing still but KNOW you should be moving. It’s that uncomfortable feeling of knowing where you are is not where you would like to be.
It’s also the feeling you get when you start moving and you are experiencing uncharted waters. You know. Pressing beyond what feels comfortable. Taking chances.
So I had tension before I started moving. Then I experienced a whole new level of tension once I started moving.
Reality #1 – Unless you’ve achieved a level of complacency or ambivalence to your business and life, you are going to experience some tension when you aren’t taking action. Something inside will be prompting you. Always! Accepting and acknowledging this truth is the first step in managing it.
Now once I started moving, in addition to the tension, I encountered a whole new problem.
It was almost as if the forces of the universe, an enemy, had decided to come against me and my pursuits and oppose me.
I was clearly being challenged. Every time I took a step forward, I was getting knocked back two steps.
I was suddenly faced with a choice. Retreat or advance.
I knew if I retreated, I wouldn’t be feeling the resistance anymore. Just the tension and knowing that I didn’t want to go back to where I was.
If I continue to advance, I knew I was going to have to do something different. I was going to have to apply a level of effort, intelligence or approach things in a new way.
Choice made. Advance!
Doing things differently; adopting a new approach includes one or more of these three points.
1- Get you mind right and in the game.
It really comes down to commitment. A choice. A resolve.
Successful people – business owners – set a goal, establish a vision and decide that they won’t quit or give up.
Over the years of working with business owners, quite frankly, this is the primary reason why I see so many fail to accomplish the things they set out to accomplish. They run into resistance and their personal resolve and commitment isn’t strong enough to deal with the resistance.
They will blame outside circumstances and others. But the problem is between their ears.
Lesson 1: Learn to stick with “it” no matter what. But you have to know what “it” is first. Set a goal you are firmly committed to achieving. Then decide there are no other options other than to make it happen.
It also helps to rally people around you who will encourage, support and fight with you…even when you encounter extreme resistance.
2 – Engage in the right work.
In order to accomplish your goal you have to know what the right work and actions to take. I’ve discovered that in order to break through barriers, I can’t do the same things the same way.
In business, the right work is strategic work. It means asking the right questions. Asking and answering the questions IS THE WORK.
The book Art of War by Sun Tsu, which according to some people is the greatest military strategy book of all time, offers great examples of the responses that come from asking the right questions first.
“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril” – Sun Tzu
In business it’s like saying, study yourself and your competition before engaging in advertising activities. The appropriate strategic questions might be:
What strengths do we have over our competition? What can we do better than anyone else? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How can we position ourselves to capture the market we can serve best.
Asking and answering these things IS strategic work.
If you are not engaging in asking the right question, you might not be doing the right work in the business.
Here are some other pretty cool business related strategies from Art of War. Click here to read them.
Lesson 2: Have the guts to do the right work, to change your approach, to stop doing the same things you have done every day. You might lose a battle or two along the way but you will win the war in the end.
3- Do work the right way.
This is tricky because there are so many different approaches that could achieve the results you want. One of the ways to maximize your odds to find the best approach is to understand this very important philosophy:
The key to success of any business is dependent on the quality of its systems. Improve your systems improve your business.
With that in mind, doing the work the right way means that you are always looking to create and innovate the best system.
There are four elements that will help you develop great systems.
1- Define the goal of the system. You must know the purpose of the system and how it is performing. If I place an ad in a publication, my goal might be to maximize the number of qualified prospects that call my company to set an appointment.
2- Then create the system itself. In the example above, create a great ad. If you don’t have a system to create an ad that will produce the result, find someone that has a track record for creating ads that convert.
3- Engage the system and track. You have to make sure the system is working. In the case of the advertisement, I would then need to track how many calls I get from the ad I placed.
4- Innovate as needed. Based on the performance of the system, you may need to make a strategic decision to improve the system. Sometimes the best decision is to leave it alone and work on a system or area of the business that isn’t performing as well.
I started this whole conversation around the subject of tension and resistance.
I’ve concluded that we are going to experience tension and resistance when we advance towards any goal or endeavor. I also know that we can minimize the tension and resistance by managing our mindset, engaging in the right work and developing the best systems.
The key, like most things, is to do it.
Here I go.
How about you?