Recently I was asked to speak on a panel at a Ladies Who Long Lunch event with two other amazing women (Amy Willis and Courtney Stevens) about business life and our journeys. Lots of genuine conversations were had and we ran out of time to be asked the final question. My response, I feel, is one that may help some of you. And so, here it is. The question was “What advice would you give to someone who is struggling in their business right now?”
Caveat: Now, I don’t have all the answers, and sometimes we all need a little more than a pep talk. So, please reach out to a professional should you feel your safety or mental health is at risk.
Life and business both are filled with ups and downs, and it’s during the challenging moments that our true character and resilience are tested. If you find yourself struggling, feeling overwhelmed, or unsure about your next steps, remember that you do have the power to turn things around. Here are six steps I personally use to help navigate these difficult times and regain my own momentum.
Stop and assess the situation:
When faced with adversity, take a step back and pause. Reflect on the situation objectively, free from judgement and emotional reactivity. Be kind to yourself. If this means going for a walk, turning up the music and dancing, or taking a mental health day do it. By creating space for clarity, you can gain a deeper understanding of what’s happening and begin to see potential solutions.
Identify what is working and what isn’t:
Take an honest inventory of your current circumstances. Identify the aspects of your business or life that are working well and bringing you satisfaction, as well as those that aren’t serving your goals or values. This evaluation will help you focus your energy on what truly matters.
Identify the emotions present, and their impact:
Recognise the emotions that arise within you and how they are influencing your decision-making and overall well-being. Are these emotions aligned with your core values, or are they pushing you further away from them? Acknowledge the impact of these emotions and be willing to address them. Understanding where the emotions are coming from is key to being able to address the current situation and also respond better in future.
Determine what you can control, influence, or can’t control:
Separate the elements within your situation that you have control over from those that you don’t. Understand that while you may not have control over external circumstances, you always have control over your response and mindset. Focus on empowering yourself by taking charge of what you can control. The things you can’t control…do they really matter.
Ask yourself, “HOW CAN I?”:
Shift your mindset from a place of limitation to one of possibility.’ HOW’ will allow the mind to start looking for possibilities. ‘CAN’ is in the affirmative and enables you to move forward. ‘I’ gives ownership to the situation and means you take charge of your actions. This empowering question encourages resourcefulness and invites you to explore new avenues. I have often found myself talking to myself asking this question and moments later bewildered why I hadn’t thought of the solution or idea earlier.
Determine the small steps to move forward:
Break down your goals into smaller, more manageable steps. Choose one small action that you can take immediately to move forward. Remember, progress is often made through consistent, incremental steps. By taking action, you build momentum and create a positive ripple effect in your business or life.
Struggles and challenges are part of the human experience, but they also present opportunities for growth and transformation. I have found my greatest pivots and opportunities have come out of adversity. I call these moments business crises. Where we become uncomfortable and have to make decisions . This is where the greatest growth is. Embrace the power within you to assess, adapt, and take action, knowing that each small step will move you closer to your desired outcome.
If you feel you need to untangle your business thoughts and gain an outside perspective, arrange a chat. We can work them out together and build a strategy to move forward in the direction you want.
A couple of links that maybe of help to seek other information: Business.gov.au mental health and support or your local Chamber of Commerce
Ph.D, A.K.S. (2023). Understanding the Circles of Influence, Concern, and Control. [online] PositivePsychology.com. Available at: https://positivepsychology.com/circles-of-influence/.
Bar Am, J., Furstenthal, L., Jorge, F. and Roth, E. (2020). Innovation in a crisis: Why it is more critical than ever | McKinsey. [online] www.mckinsey.com. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/innovation-in-a-crisis-why-it-is-more-critical-than-ever.
Linda Eller-Shein: https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-and-yellow-stop-sticker-1749900/
Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/collage-photo-of-woman-3812743/
Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-woman-in-deep-thought-3768144/