Do you know how?
Business overwhelm happens when you lose perspective about the relevance and value of what’s happening around you. Not all of these demands are productive and profitable. When you get caught up in business overwhelm, you lose perspective to prioritize.
How do you prioritize when every issue appears to be of equal importance? Do you go poking around searching for the root cause and overlook larger factors in your search for significant minutiae? What happens when you get everything straightened out and the next tsunami of daily crises washes over you and your business?
Here are 4 questions to ask yourself during your next attack of business overwhelm. Your goal: create a mental oasis, get your business head back on straight, and refocus about what’s important to you.
- Am I distracted by paying my dues? Many startups and small to midsize businesses feel they must “pay their dues” when starting out. They do business with anyone who hires them instead of targeting the sweet spot of their core capabilities. This tack is a great way to “fall into” a business that doesn’t resemble your original plans for success. Lead your business forward instead of going in a completely non-productive direction dictated by others. It’s not up to them. It is up to you.
- Have I been here before? You are on the “right” path; your business is humming along. Yet each day is exhausting. You are reacting to the marketplace: overwhelmed by tactical firefighting or endless RFQs / RFPs. Gain perspective. Each day is not a unique occurrence. Start connecting the dots. Is this unproductive scenario what you had in mind when you created your business? Busy work doesn’t create business, it just creates a flurry of busy-ness.
- Should I clean my business closet? Some customers and employees become demanding, risky and unprofitable. They hold you back from moving forward as a businessperson of worth. You spend too much time fixing what’s broken with rework, workarounds and negative outcomes. It’s time to cut your losses and remove barriers to your business pathway. Who or what is first?
- What is my ROI: financially, emotionally, professionally, personally after all is said and done? You can’t move forward until you understand what, or who, is holding you back. Sometimes that person is you and your willingness to make a decision on behalf of your company. If your management style is laid back, you are busy trying to be everyone’s friend. You become a business door mat instead of a business leader. You may be giving your staff the unintentional signal that they have the authority to make business decisions on your behalf. Ouch. What’s your choice moving forward?
Which tip will you put into play this month?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers like engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups to create sustainable business models and revenue strategies. Read more about developing productive business strategies in my book, Do YOU Mean Business. This post first appeared on LinkedIn and is reproduced with this author’s permission.