Person Writing On A NotePad

Have you been feeling like you’re constantly running into obstacles lately? 2020 started out with a bang and the bombs have been dropping ever since. You may not have control over what is happening in the world but you do have control over how you manage your thoughts, your business, your employees, and your relationships. This time of turmoil may be the greatest opportunity you have for success. Don’t let it pass you by, but don’t over control or complicate it either. These three steps will be your secret to ongoing success, no matter the outside circumstances.

1. Reflect

To properly prepare for future success you need to have an accurate picture of the current situation. I recently interviewed Ruoyun Xu Killian on MVP Business Podcast. She had a lot of great things to say about social media management and engagement because that’s what she does with her business, C3Nami. It was her insight into life and business, however, that really caught my attention. One of the things she said was “When you hit roadblocks it is an invitation to pause and realign.” This is one thing I believe business leaders and managers do not do nearly enough (especially in America). There’s so much emphasis on future projections, growth initiatives, and reactive thinking that there is no time set aside to just sit.

Am I suggesting that you just sit and do nothing? Yes! Sit in a comfy chair, or outside in the fresh air. Bring a notepad and your favorite writing instrument but don’t go with expectations. Breathe deeply for a few minutes and see what comes up. 

For most of us, our greatest fears, weaknesses, and failures flood the space between our ears. Write them down but continue to breathe. Turn up the corners of your mouth to create a slight smile and continue to breathe deeply. Reflect on the recent months. What has brought you joy? Where have you seen success? What is working with your teams, and your current business relationships? What is working with your personal relationships? Write these down too.

Spend as much time as you need reflecting on what is working well and bringing joy, comfort, or success to you and all those around you. 

Take a moment to remember what the purpose and passion behind your business is. What are you truly trying to do, and for whom? Write these down too.

Now, this is the most difficult and the most important part…just sit there. See what comes up.

2. Realign

Now that you have a clear and accurate reflection, lean into the ideas that came up. Bring them to your team and determine what you can do in order to more clearly and effectively make a difference in the lives of your customers. Where have your wheels left the tracks? How can you show and share your values through your business more accurately?

This is a great time to brainstorm like you did when you started the business. Allow yourself to think crazy thoughts. Put it all out on the table, whiteboard, sticky notes, whatever you’re using. Write out all the solutions, then go back through them. Don’t worry about how you’ll make them happen yet. First, order them by which ones will be the most effective, then by which ones light you up the most. 

3. Restart and Run

Gas up, put the key in the ignition, and restart your engine…Honestly, I know it’s not that easy, but give yourself permission to completely restart your business. No one said you have to keep doing the same thing at the same pace, with the same people until the end of time. Clearly define the vision you see for 5 and 10 years from now (think big), then identify the top 5 things each member of your team can do to get you moving in that direction. Pick up the book Traction by Gino Wickman and follow the EOS system if you’d like to put some structure to this but don’t let it overwhelm you. Each week, take another step, and one year from now you’ll look back and realize you’ve successfully navigated a complete restart of your entire business.

Give yourself permission to do it again, and again, and again. As you go through the years, when you hit roadblocks, take the time to reflect, assess, realign, and restart.

…and always remember to ask for help. Reach out to your network and see where they are willing to lend a hand. Perhaps you can help them as well.

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