Ever feel like throwing in the towel? Chucking it all down the tubes? All that hard work? All that time? All that money spent…and wasted?
Sure. Why not. Maybe you should. I’m sure there is something on the boob tube. There are still a few more months before the Soaps go off the air….better catch them while you can. Judge Judy is throwing the book at somebody, that could be fun, oh…or on some other channel, somebody is sure to find out if they are the baby’s father today…
…or…better still, maybe catch a few rays of sun before the summer ends. Winter will be here before you know it.
Why not? It’s not like you are really making the kind of money you were hoping to, are you?
I’m sure it’s not your fault. Come on….let’s just toss it all aside and head to the beach. Why put in all that time and effort for nothing? It’s all out of our control anyhow…I mean, we work and work and work, and it’s not like we can MAKE the clients come. We do all this stuff and NOTHING HAPPENS…
Maybe we should just give up.
That out of control snake-like voice of gloom and doom sneaks up on all of us from time to time. It can destroy motivation. In fact, feeling out of control is one of the biggest de-motivators of all time. Just when you need to get motivated the most and make things happen, it feels like you are moving through an ocean of sludge. It’s all you can do to get your behind out of bed, let alone muster up the energy to succeed as a creative entrepreneur.
So what can you do to fight off that sneaky snake whispering in your ear?
Taking Back Control to Take Back your Business
Understand This is All Your Choice. Chances are nobody is forcing you to become a creative entrepreneur in charge of your own company, doing what you love, working where you want, when you want. It just feels like there is a big monster whipping you day after day, sitting on your head. It isn’t true. Well, it sort of is. That monster might be you. We can be rotten bosses to ourselves, slave masters of the worst kind. You might want to have a talk with the boss and let him/her know that one of the reasons you started this business was to enjoy it. Remind yourself why you love this business in the first place and work out a little strategic balance for work and play time. Too much of either and things begin to unravel.
Determine Highest and Best Use Of Time. Some of the reason we feel so out of control is because we are working our tails off and we can’t show any pay-off for our efforts. Perhaps the time you are spending isn’t being used as strategically as it possibly could. Take a look at where your hours are going and where the payoff is. If it isn’t clear, hiring a business coach to help you evaluate how you are spending your time and energy will save you time, money and energy in the long run and could literally save your business.
Minimize Miscommunication. Ineffective communication ruins relationships, projects, costs time and money and destroys self-esteem. There is nothing worse than thinking you are on the right track only to find you are not even close. Spend the extra time to be clear, concise, and make sure everyone is working toward the same vision. Sometimes taking the time to talk it out is all it takes to get back on track.
Accept Responsibility–For Everything. Here is a hint. In business, it is always your fault. Even when it wasn’t. Why? Because everything that happens to you can become a learning experience and your worst nightmare clients will become your very best teachers if you will let them. Instead of unraveling whenever situations go sideways, take a deep breath, grab a notebook and pen and take a seat in the classroom at the School of Hard Knocks. They have an amazing business program and you can learn a lot from the worst business situations you have ever been in.
Re-visit the Vision. When everything begins to get foggy and out of control, go back to the beginning and remember your Big WHY for doing this in the first place. Who are you trying to help? What is your heartfelt mission? What’s it all about anyway? It is a great idea to have this all written out somewhere when you are in control so that when you aren’t- you can pull it right out for a quick emergency fix.
Control the Moment. We can’t always control everything. But we can control this next moment and the choice we make about it. One day, one hour, one minute isn’t just a saying for recovering addicts; it is a handy reset button for business owners too. When that panic feeling sets in, stop, breathe and focus and narrow your focus to this one moment in time. Forget the future. What action can you do this one very moment that can move the ball forward, even one tiny bit? Do that. Then control the moment after that.
Feeling out of control will happen from time to time. It is part of being a business owner. Actually, it is part of being a human being. The trick is minimizing the amount of time spent each time you feel out of control by recognizing it as soon as that snake starts whispering in your ear. Listen, stay alert and when you hear that negative garbage starting to penetrate your mind, don’t head for the sofa! Take action. You will be back in control in no time at all.