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Oct
25

How To Stay Strong When Your Business Falters

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If you work for yourself, particularly if you are literally the only “employee”, staying motivated when your business is stumbling along is a daunting challenge.

Many solo business owners have to bear the burden of fear and doubt themselves, and it’s a HEAVY burden. Often times you take the burden to bed with you at night, and you wake up with it in the morning.

The fear causes you to lose focus, and a quiet form of panic makes it difficult to concentrate.

Been there, done that, and I’ve got the t-shirt.

Over the years, I have learned a few things that have helped me through some rocky times. I’m blessed to be on the “other side” now, but it hasn’t been easy. Hopefully the following tips will help you if times are tough.

#1 Find a mentor or a coach. EXTREMELY important. I have had two mentors over the years, and quite frankly, I would have quit many times if I didn’t have their support. I prefer coaches that have “real world” experience similar to my own, but that’s just a personal preference. Even though I have attained a level of success, I still “report” to my mentor as much as I can. My coaches constantly help me look at my situation differently with a new set of “eyes”. We coaches refer to that as “reframing.”They also help me stay focused, and hold me accoutable for moving forward toward my goals. Let’s face it, in most cases, solo business owners have no help with staying focused. For me the ideal coach acts as a consultant, and can assist me with the “business” end of my business. I assume the role of a coach and a consultant for my clients, as well.

#2 Analyze your business activities to determines what’s working and what’s not. It is real important to identify the core activities that are most responsible for moving your business forward. Upon close analysis, you may discover that you are spending too much time on activities that have very little to do with client or customer acquisition.

#3 Begin a regular exercise program. Discuss with your physician a good starting point for your program, and STICK WITH IT!Aerobic exercise is particularly valuable because it helps to relieve sress. Aerobic exercise is exercise that keeps your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. Examples of aerobic exercise would include brisk walking, jogging, riding a stationary bike, lap swimming, and low impact aerobics. Exercising aerobically improves the transport of oxygen to your brain, so it is super for your concentration.

#4 Take a break from work, and have fun! Make the break at least one full day, and preferably a weekend. Plan recreational activities that you enjoy, and probably haven’t done for awhile. Let your friends and business associates know that you are going to be “out of pocket”, and not to call you unless it is an emergency.

*5 Surround yourself with supportive people. We all know the people in our lives that are on our side through thick and thin. Let those people know that you are experiencing tough times with your business, and keep in touch with them regularly. Offer them mutual support as well. AVOID non-supportive people like the plague!

#6) Read inpirational success stories of people that have overcome obstacles to achieve success. Pick a time every day to do your reading. Listen to motivation CDs in your car, or while you are exercising.

Tip #7 is from Winston Churchill, “Never, Never, Never, give up!”

Have you ever had a business that failed? Have you ever been with a company that went out of business? Leave a comment and let us know how you handled the situation. Any questions? Great, because I have answers! Leave a question in the “comments” box, and I’ll answer it within 24 hours.

Be sure to “tweet” this post to your followers on Twitter, and share it with your Facebook friends. They will appreciate it!

Comments

  1. Marty Page says:

    Michael- Actually, it was my dad’s landscaping business that failed. It really tore him up and affected his health. He just couldn’t keep pace with all the other companies that hired illegal aliens for next to nothing. You made some great suggestions, although I hope i never have to use them.
    Later-

    Marty

    • Mike says:

      Sorry to hear about your dad’s business. Did he ever start another? Sometimes, the best way to get over “falling off a horse” is to get right back on and ride! Thanks for stopping by, Marty!

  2. Julia G says:

    Hi Michael,
    I could SO relate to everything you had to say in this post. ESPECIALLY the tip about taking time away from your business. It’s hard to do when your business is doing bad, but getting away really can change your attitude. You come back refreshed and ready to go! Thanks for the great info you always provide!

    Julia

  3. Walt Hampton says:

    Wonderful points, Michael. Especially #4 and #5. It’s so easy, when times get tough. to double down into the trenches, working more and ignoring health and wellness when, really, it’s about working smarter, not necessarily harder. And when we take care of ourselves, we are more focused, efficient and productive.

    The Churchill quote is spot on – stay the course; be relentless.

    Thanks for the great thoughts.

    Walt

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Walt! As fit as you are, I’m not surprised at your comment. You are a great role model regarding discipline and hard work! Thanks for your comment!
      Michael

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