Four Steps to Riding the Roller Coaster of Business
When I started off in business, I thought it would be easy. I’d work for myself and set my own hours, and life would be grand.
I was in for a rude awakening. There’s a lot more to being successful in business than getting a business card made.
What I wasn’t prepared for, and what still catches me by surprise from time to time, is the cyclical nature of business.
Everything ebbs and flows. I think it must be one of nature’s laws. Clients come and go, revenue rises and falls, and everything is in constant motion. Just when I think I have things figured out, something changes.
How you deal with it is the key to your success. If you shy away from these times, you’re essentially giving up. The trick is to hang in there and weather the storm.
Here are some of my personal coping strategies for handling the ups and downs we entrepreneurs face.
- Have a plan. This is so simple, yet so many people don’t do it. If you know what you’re trying to accomplish, you can stay focused. Our tendency is to take our eye off the prize when things get bumpy. We start to follow the brightest, shiniest object and forget what our main purpose is. Stay focused – it really does help. And your plan doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated – it just needs to give you direction. At a minimum, plan out your next 4 weeks of activities.
- Get support. One of the most helpful things to me when business isn’t smooth sailing is to talk to a mentor or support buddy. I have both, and I get great stuff from both of them. They encourage me, love me, and help me weed the crap out of my thinking. (I’m really bad to blame myself when things get hard.)
- Be grateful. This is another one that’s so obvious, we miss it. Stay in gratitude for the things that ARE working instead of focusing on the things that aren’t. What you focus on expands, so focus on the good things that happen. I have a habit right now of journaling regularly, and one of the things I do is to write down 5 pieces of evidence that things are going my way. It really helps.
Keep moving forward. When your business is going up and down, it’s really easy to get into so much self-doubt or self-criticism that you freeze. You’ll see it show up in overwhelm and procrastination. (This is what happens to me!). If you find this happening to you, go back to your plan and just take the next step. It’s really important to just keep moving forward.