Have you ever felt like everything that could possibly go wrong has? Have you ever thought you were so far in a corner that you didn’t have room to breathe, much less move? Has it ever seemed as if the crushing weight of the entire world was on your shoulders – and your name isn’t Atlas? If you have, then join the club! That’s part of the life of an entrepreneur. (If you haven’t, I submit that you may not fully understand the question – or we should all get some of whatever they’re putting in the water out your way!)
“Thanks for the pity-party invite, but what do I do to fix it?!” is the question that often comes to mind next. The answer lies in doing a few simple things:
- Get a reality check
- Assess your strengths
- Improve your weaknesses
Get a Reality Check
Be honest with yourself. Is it even possible for everything to go wrong? The fact that you’re reading this means first that you can read (or at least have something read to you), and more importantly, you’re breathing. To me, being alive is the best place to start because without life all other things become academic. When you’re “backed into a corner,” is it because there are no options – or because there are no options you like? Could it be that, because you have a “no way out” mentality that you’re not seeing what you can do, or even that you’re not creatively examining new ways of doing things? And who of us really carries the weight of the world? Whatever your particular beliefs, I’m sure you’ll agree that none of us are the creator of all things, so by extension we are not responsible for all the world’s problems. To deal with what we’re facing, we need “a check-up from the neck up” to get rid of any “stinkin’ thinking” we’ve developed.
Things really aren’t as bad as they seem. However, we do face challenges. With an adjusted view of our current reality, we’re now ready to face them. Which leads us to the next step.
Assess Your Strengths
You likely have what you need to overcome the difficulties you face, or at least get started in the right direction. So the first step is to take stock of what you can do. David Byrd encourages taking a “Perspective Analysis.” First, take a blank sheet of paper and fold it down the center. On the left hand side, describe the challenges you face. This defines your Current Reality. This may sound like dwelling on the negative, but it’s really the opposite. By defining your current reality, you have a clear picture of exactly which challenges you face. Now, on the right hand side of the sheet, start listing what steps you can take today to address those challenges. This becomes your Can-Do List. No matter how long or short this list is, you now have a blueprint of the steps you need to take right away. In fact, you should fold the Current Reality portion of the sheet under the Can-Do List so that the latter becomes the only thing you see. This isn’t about ignoring the challenges. In fact, those challenges are sure to remind you daily they’re still around. However, the things you can do aren’t that insistent. You need to create a reminder system for your strengths so you remember to take action on them.
Now you’ve got a game plan to get you out of the gates. Yet you may still need help in totally addressing some of the challenges you face. This brings us to the last part.
Improve Your Weaknesses
None of us are good at everything. Sure, talented individuals exist who seem to have reasonable proficiency in almost everything. Yet those same people will tell you where they fall short. So everyone, even that wunderkind prodigy, needs help. We all have areas needing improvement. Recognizing that is liberating! Because you know the areas in which you are weaker, you can now either get someone to help you with them or teach you how to handle them. Basically, you just told yourself that you don’t have to go it alone. Now you can start investing in yourself.
This is perhaps the greatest investment you can make, yet one that is often overlooked. Darren Hardy made a commitment to invest 10% of his income into education and personal development. As you can imagine, the more successful you become, the harder it is to accomplish that task – yet the more necessary it is if you intend to continue performing at a high level. Such personal development leads to fantastic improvements in all areas of life, including business. Jim Rohn said “Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” Therefore we must always strive to improve.
How do you go about working on your weaknesses, thus turning them into strengths? Some simple steps are buying (or borrowing from your local public library) books that help mold your thinking or develop skills. Sign up for online courses and webinars (many are free, others are not, but the real question is “what value do they bring?”). Take classes offered locally. In the business arena, you can find courses offered by the Small Business Administration and other government entities, whether federal, state, or local. The list is literally endless. My clients who utilize any of the various Small Business Plans offered by LegalShield have access to an extensive distance learning library consisting of video presentations and written tutorials presented by experts in various fields. This gives them access to quality training on demand, allowing them to fit personal development into their schedules.
Whichever route you choose, make sure to invest in yourself and work on becoming a high-performing, problem solving, six (or more) figure income earner rather than working on the income. It can’t be said enough: The best investment you make is the one you make in yourself.
So – I didn’t show you how to carry the weight of the world. Instead, I showed that you can handle what you’re carrying. If you really feel I’ve short-changed you, give me a call. I’ll be happy to talk it over with you.