Do you ever feel like your business challenges are worse than what other businesses go through?
Do you often think other businesses are doing better than yours?
Do you wonder what you’re doing wrong to have so many problems in your business?
As a business owner, it’s common to compare your business to others and wonder how well they are really doing.
Without knowing what other businesses go through, you may think you are the only one struggling with team issues, tight cashflow, poor profit, customer complaints, or a lack of leads.
To protect their image, business owners often keep their true situation private. Not wanting their competition or clients to know they have challenges, they’ll say “we’re flat out!” and keep up the facade that business is always great.
You may fall for the psychological trap of ‘comparing and despairing’. Just like on social media, where it’s easy to contrast your own behind-the-scenes with others’ highlight reels, you can start to believe that everyone else’s business is doing better than yours.
As business coaches, we are in the privileged position of seeing the truth behind the outward image. Even though we don’t work with broken businesses, but rather those that want to go from good to great – we know that no matter how successful a business appears, one thing is constant – challenges. Just like waves on the ocean that keep coming, problems are a part of every business.
Particularly this year, so many businesses are doing it tough. They are relying on the lifeline of JobKeeper, and wondering what to do when it ends in September. Many have staff on reduced hours, or have had to let staff go. The constant threat of business restrictions due to Covid-19 has many on edge. But from the outside things may appear ‘business as usual’.
So if challenges are inevitable, what’s the secret to overcoming them?
To succeed in business, you must focus on what you can control.
In Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, he outlines the concept of circles of influence and control.
Imagine a target with three rings. On the outside is the largest circle, which is full of things we have no control over. In business this may be the weather, the economy, and certain recent pandemics…
The next slightly smaller circle is what we can influence but not control. This contains the actions of our prospects and clients (whom we can influence by our marketing and customer service), and our preparedness for the unexpected (for instance, having procedures in place to ensure the health and safety of our team and customers).
The smallest circle contains the very few things we can control in business – including our thought processes (what we focus on) and our behaviour (decisions and actions).
How other businesses are faring is out of your control. What you must focus on is what you can do to ensure you overcome your challenges quickly and effectively.
To get ahead you need to tackle challenges early while they are still small, by growing your own ability to overcome them.
It’s not the business without challenges that comes out in front, but the business which overcomes its challenges the fastest.
When faced with challenges in life and in business, you have three options.
- Turn around and run in the other direction
It may sound comical, but this is a common response to challenges. Some think that if they flee in the other direction, they can outrun any problem. Ever known someone to change their situation but end up facing similar problems down the track? Even when you run, some problems follow you wherever you go. As you haven’t learned to deal with them, you’ll be in the same position next time they appear.
- Stand still, ignore them, and hope they go away
Just like running away, this choice does nothing to defeat your challenges or grow your own ability to deal with them. In fact, ignoring your problems often makes them grow larger. It’s almost as though they increase in size to demand your attention!
- Face them and tackle them head on
Addressing problems immediately is the choice made by the most successful business leaders we know. When you choose to confront your challenges, you are forced to grow to overcome them. When you do this, instead of your problems growing, YOU grow. Next time you face a similar situation you’ll overcome it easily, and be ready to jump the next hurdle that appears.
Business is a journey of constant and never-ending improvement, and problems are often the push we need to grow and take our business to the next level.
If you’re ready to overcome the challenges in your business, contact us for a chat.
We look forward to hearing from you.