“I’m SO frustrated… I feel like I’ve given it my all but it’s just not working!”
‘Kim’ arrived at our meeting clearly upset and struggling under darkening clouds of self-doubt. She sat down, let out a big sigh and shared the painful truth that her business just wasn’t working out the way she’d hoped. As she gave vent to her frustration, it was plain to see she was feeling deflated and directionless: “I know it’s not working…. but I have no idea how to fix it. I’m beginning to think that maybe I’m just not cut out for this!”
Kim had become ‘lost’ in a vicious cycle – as her anxiety increased so it became harder and harder to think of different ways of achieving her desired result… her only ‘strategy’ was to do more of the same, with a few ad-hoc decisions made from a place of lack, fear and panic thrown in for good measure!
It’s a common trap that we can easily fall into
I commonly see clients stuck in this place, trying to fix things by doing more and more of whatever approach is not working! But as Kim found out the hard way, ‘doing more of the same’ isn’t what you’d call an effective solution!
If something doesn’t work, why keep doing it?
As the saying goes, ‘If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.” …. and so it follows that if what we’re doing doesn’t work, we need to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT to get a different outcome.
But the truth is, we ALL get stuck sometimes – Kim, you, me…. ALL of us… it’s part of being in an ever evolving thing called business! So what we need is a solid process to help get us unstuck and moving in the right direction again – here’s the process I use with my clients that can work for you too!
Acknowledge what is
It’s all too easy for us to stick to familiar ground even even when we KNOW it’s madness to keep doing the same thing and expect different results! When we’re working with something we’ve created… something that’s an expression of ourselves, it can be a real challenge to admit that things aren’t right but your first ‘do something different’ step is simply to acknowledge something needs to change – you need to be brutally honest, about your business, about yourself and what you’re doing. This acknowledgement serves as a catalyst for change.
When you’re stuck, everything starts to feel daunting and overwhelming, so set an intention to DO something to change the status quo. Intention is the starting point of all change and is the most powerful, creative resource available to us in this situation, helping to reignite our energy, redirect our thoughts, get into action and find a new way forward.
Find some objective clarity
Without clarity it’s hard to achieve virtually anything – and in business, we can get so immersed in the minutiae of our everyday tasks and routines that we gradually lose sight of our greater vision…. and sometimes, even the reason we began our businesses in the first place!
If your business is not reflecting what you want and desire, then perhaps it is because you are not clear with yourself about what those things are. Clarity is the essential ingredient that will ultimately enable you to figure out the best way to get out there and make the difference you so badly want to make.
Start where you are
The place to begin is ALWAYS the same – by looking at the evidence right in front of you, right now. I KNOW how challenging this can be when you already know that you won’t like what you see! But the whole point is to rectify this situation so that you DO like what you see. And you know what they say, ‘no pain, no gain’!
To help my clients when they feel stuck or directionless, I take them through the Magic Map process which provides a powerful shot of clarity, focus and action to help them get back on the right path and get moving again.
In a Magic Map session we look at ‘the six essentials’ :
1) you 2) your clients 3) your offering – services/products 4) your revenue model – how you make money 5) marketing – how you communicate and connect with your clients and finally, 6) the systems and processes you use
In each section I ask you to consider a number of important, key statements such as:
- ‘All my services have clearly defined results and benefits.’
- ‘I’m clear about how much money I want to make in terms of income and profit.’
- ‘I’m crystal clear about the special group of people I can help’
I then ask you to rate your current level of satisfaction with each statement in turn on a scale of 1 to 10.
At the end of this process we end up with a simple, clear, visual ‘map’ which might well look something like the image here – an objective reality check of what’s actually going on….as well as what’s NOT going on!
When you feel ‘lost’ and directionless, it is incredibly powerful to be able to pull out and get a clear overview of the bigger picture. It clears your mind for higher-level thinking, freeing you up to enter a world of possibility.
Explore the gaps
The ‘world of possibility’ lies in the gap between your current position on the scale and a 10, so this is a really fertile area to explore! Which we do by asking some simple, powerful questions such as:
- What would I be doing differently for me to rate this aspect of my business a 10?
- What outcomes am I really looking to achieve here?
- Are certain parts of my business impacting negatively on everything else?
- What has positively contributed to where I am now? (Even if you’re only on a very low score.)
As a result, new (and different!) ideas and opportunities come into focus enabling you to make deliberate, intentional and purposeful new choices.
You can’t expect to find a new destination if you stay on the same path.
If the actions you’re taking aren’t giving you the results you seek, repeating those actions again and again is just going to give you those same results indefinitely (along with a whole heap of frustration!) and that’s never going to be an effective strategy in anyone’s book! So….when things aren’t working, it’s time to think about how you can do things diffferently.
Over to you!
Have you been in a situation where things just weren’t working in your business? I’d love to know what you did and how you got things back on track.
Please share your experience and wisdom in the Comments below – I read them all!