If you are facing a tough situation or challenge right now, this post is just for you.
It’s not uncommon for a small business owner to look at their numbers for the month, see there’s a problem, then panic. Often, this panic motivates them to do something that creates a much bigger problem.
When times are good and we feel confident, it’s easy to make decisions with a clear mind and with an eye on the future. We nurture relationships. We plant the seeds of ideas. We allow things to proceed at the correct speed, for them to develop correctly.
When times are tough and we are worried, it’s harder to think clearly. The worry often causes us to make bad decisions. I call these worry-induced, snap decisions, scrambling tactics. When our thinking enters this state, we rob our ideas of the time they need, in order to develop correctly. Instead, we push. We harvest the crops, before they have a chance to grow.
We not only fail to improve our current situation, we often create far bigger problems as the marketplace sees us panic.
Tough situations require smart thinking
An alternative approach, is to run the situation through a check list. This is just a sample check list, yours will look different depending on your situation.
- Who do I know, who has the; equipment, connections, ideas, answers, experience or funding etc, which I need? Name names. These people could provide exactly what you need.
- What do I already know, which could provide the answer I need? In the heat of a worrying situation, it’s easy to forget that we may have been in a similar situation before and found a way out of it. Think back to ways you dealt with past challenges and how they may help you come through.
- How can I frame this tough situation, so I think of the best possible answers? The way you frame or phrase a question has a huge impact on the quality of answers you get. For example:
- The question: ‘How can I get out of this mess?”, is vague and unproductive.
- The question: “How can I attract a high value client in the next 30 days and enjoy the process?”, is specific and positive.
Finally, regarding that list of useful people I mention in the first point, build those connections before you need them. As a business owner, there is a proven, direct link between your success and the people you have credible access to. You should constantly be on the lookout for useful, interesting people, who you can help and who may one day be able to help you too.