Charging Back Uphill: Blasting out of a Stall.
(Just joining us? Read our series on “3 Great reasons why what worked before isn’t working now” Start it here)
So, you got Stuck.
Your future used to be “So bright you had to wear shades”
Now you’re not sure you should appear in public at all. Maybe ever.
Nah. You can do it.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Get a fresh set of eyes to look you over:
We’re often blind to our own need to change. Get some feedback from a new coach, some “disinterested” friends, teenagers (they generally don’t hold their opinions back, especially around social media). And consider what feedback you got recently and ignored. What didn’t you do or change because you “knew better”? Give it some consideration. Perhaps try a small test, don’t realign your every principle or move your entire marketing budget, but give an alternate approach a real test, even if only in a small section of your business.
2. What is the other guy doing that is working?
Look at your competition, both your old competition and any new players. What’s different? What’s working for them? Don’t instantly adopt it, just take a look, see if it might benefit your business plan.
3. What are your 80/20’s? Put some laser focus on them.
Pareto said 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. Take a look at your 80/20’s. What’s working? Parse the ad budget, evaluate the social media push, streamline the plans to a manageable level. And then take a look at where you are spending a lot of effort and just not seeing the results anymore. Shoot the Elephant. Master the art of saying No. Pull the darn tooth. Have that Uncomfortable Conversation that ties your stomach in knots every day. Refocus.
4. Tell a New Story.
No, this does NOT mean lying to yourself. It does mean looking for parts of the narrative of your business or personal story that you may not have paid attention to before. I have always described myself as a business turnaround or start-up expert. But I am also someone who can focus and fix the areas of business that are messy and “un-fun”, which allows others to keep driving revenue by focusing on the areas that they’re great at while I handle the messy stuff. Some people are looking for me to do just that. So what’s your story? Are you telling people it in the way they need to hear it and how they want to hear it? Here’s some ideas on that subject. And a thought or two on Reframing. A great book on how to do this on a personal level? Read “Body of Work” by Pamela Slim.
5. Try one new thing. Today. And do the same thing Tomorrow.
And don’t spend too long thinking about it. Try a new route to work. Call ten new clients and try a different sales pitch. Take an online translation tool and transfer your resume or website into another language. Then translate it into another very different language (make sure they’re not similar, use something like a Romance language followed by a Cyrillic language). Then translate it back into English. Does the new translation give you any ideas? Sometimes it’s a word or phrase that can make all the difference. Change the way you structure your day, do the sales calls first and don’t answer email until noon. Drop one of the activities that wasn’t working and replace it with something that makes you a bit nervous but that you have always thought might work. Get way out of your comfort zone with that one. Set a budget for “new things.” Big Businesses call it R&D but you can call it the “Rut Stopper” budget. Take a chunk you’re willing to risk and commit.
Need more ideas? Try some of these articles we’ve written before:
Or just have a good laugh and start again tomorrow.
And if you didn’t do it already, subscribe to our website and download your free copy of “Reading the Terrain; a Field guide for speedreading the Corporate Landscape”. No one’s going to bombard you with emails or sell your name to anyone. We’ll just send you a newsletter once a week you can forward to others who are trying to create change. And teach you some really good stuff. Take it from the woman who once lost out to the Fulton County Rat Poison Lady and a Freight train. There are some mistakes you don’t want to have to make yourself.