What to do when all else has failed?
As a business owner I often have multiple roles to juggle. Father, husband, Director, Small Business Consultant, Financial Advisor, Community Volunteer, etc., etc. The list goes on and on. I may not be alone as I know many of you have multiple roles and responsibilities, just like myself.
However, it often seems that because you are focused on so many things, something may not work out as you planned and sometimes at the wrong time, when you have had your plate full already. At that stage you can be tempted to throw in the towel and give up.
Basically I think you have three choices:
1. Throw your hands up in the air in despair and give up, or
2. Face the issue directly in the eye and become creative to overcome it, or
3. Focus on something else
The choice is yours! We may all agree that 1 and 3 may not be appropriate since we have already committed the time on that project, relationship, new service, etc.
So what do we do when all else has failed?
Here is a list of mind jugglers:
1. Go back to the concept – why did I start this in the first place? What am I trying to achieve? What did I do wrong? Does this feel right? Was my concept right in the first place? Should I look at this from a different angle?
2. Get help – seek the help of an expert in the issue we are dealing with. It is true that we cannot be experts at everything. Not all expert help costs anything…so it may not be a paid professional, but a friend or family with the expertise and whose opinion you value. It may also involve getting feedback from your clients using a survey or focus group. The key here is not to delay, get help as quickly as possible, before it is too late!
3. Take some time to reflect on the issue…take as long as you need or can afford. This should be some solitary time where you are completely relaxed and can focus on the issue at hand without any distraction. Usually it involves going into a different environment.
4. Let go and give it time – maybe your idea just needs some more time to bear fruit? Maybe your plans were too optimistic or aggressive? Maybe the new product or service just needs some more time in the market? Sometimes you can go only as fast as the market and the decision maker would go..so be patient. When I mean let go, I do not mean letting go forever. To clarify, let go for now, if you can afford to. Reserve sometime in the future to come back to the stagnant problem!!! Also people need time, just give the situation sometime and it may turn around.
5. Get a new team or team members – you may be working on a project with internal and/or external team members and it is not working out. Maybe it is time to change the team composition, assign new roles or bring in an external consultant?
6. Ask yourself, are you trying to re-invent the wheel? Many times we rush off into doing something, that has already been done before, has some system or way of doing that works, yet for the thrill of it, we decide to chart our own destiny…Google it!! Save time and money, it may be as easy as that!
7. Exercise – many times my mind becomes clogged up! My creative juices dry up. Soon after hitting the soccer field and playing a hard game out in the open air, my mind is clearer and I would come up with an idea I did not think about before. It is just that simple!
8. Don’t give up! There is a season for everything. We were never promised that our life will be without trials and tribulation, valleys and mountains. Sometimes victory lies just over the next hill, over the next mountain. We just need to keep walking up that slope one step at a time. We have to have faith in what we were called to be and do. Have faith in our product or service, have faith in the concept we started or relationship we committed to many, many years ago. It is in the darkest hour that our faith is tested and if we persist, we will have victory. The victory is not for the fastest but for those who endure to the end! So keep trying, keep experimenting until you get the secret formula, that special recipe! Remember that vision you had when you started out, keep it in your mind’s eye and keep walking up that mountain. It will pass!
9. Positive Attitude – are we looking at the problem from the position of half full or half empty? Many times my clients and friends would tell me, Dane you are always so positive! Well, why shouldn’t we be? Most of us who live in North America are the most wealthiest and most educated than most people around the world. We also have access to more information than ever before. Why should I be negative? The world is full of solutions. I prefer to look at the side of the coin which is half full. I choose to believe that there is a practical solution for everything; it is just that it has not been figured out yet. I often say, “don’t tell me about problems, tell me about solutions”! We have to be careful that we are not continuously living in the darkness of what does not work instead of the light of what is working. Maybe it may be an idea to focus on what is working and build on this, instead of obsessing on what does not work! This often ignites the positive energy and confidence to solve the issues that are not working.
10. Remember past successes! If you are a professional or business owner, I estimate that in the past you must have been successful in something. A simple thing as getting your Degree, is not easy! You did it, you successfully attained your degree and you got a job. You can solve problems! You are not a quitter! So why start now?
11. The final one on my list is “good ole prayer”! Often when all has failed I would take my unsolvable problem to my creator and I would get revelations to the problem I never thought possible. When all else fails I would often take it to prayer on my knees and then wait for the Lord Almighty to send me an answer, patiently.
All these things have worked for me in my over 20 years in business and I hope it works for you! Have a great day!
Dane King is the President of Stratking Advisory Services www.stratking.org which provides professional services to small businesses across Canada and wealth management services to professionals in Ontario. For over 20 years Dane has helped corporations and individuals increase profitability and/or grow wealth. Dane holds several professional designations such as Certified Management Accountant, Chartered Marketer and Financial Management Advisor, etc. His mission in life is to make a difference in people’s lives. He can be reached at 1-888-865-3870 or email at email@example.com