Are you insane? I know that’s a strange and provocative question to ask but if you are like a lot of business owners, it’s a valid question for you to consider. Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. Sounds like a crazy thing to do, right? Well it is . . . and you have probably done it countless times in your business (and your life) over the years.
When you hit an obstacle or a plateau in your business where you are feeling stuck and frustrated by not getting the results you want, is your approach to dig in, hunker down and try harder? Yes?!? The good news is that you are doing what many smart, driven business owners do, so you are not alone. The bad news is that you just bought yourself a ticket on the crazy train. Digging in and trying harder usually means doing the same things you have been doing (the ones that got you where you are) with more intensity and focus . . . which usually leads to getting the same results . . . which leads to digging in further and trying even harder . . . and then, well you get the picture. That is Einstein’s definition of insanity.
Change is hard. I get it. And there are so many reasons why it’s just easier to keep doing the same things even though they aren’t getting the results you want. “That’s the way it’s always been done”. . . . . “This worked for me before so it will work again”. . . . . “There’s so much information out there and I get so overwhelmed that I’ll just stick with what I know”. . . . . “I don’t want to waste my time trying something that isn’t guaranteed to work”. Any of those sound familiar?
Here’s the good news. You don’t have to jump on the Crazy Train every time you hit a stuck point. Here are some things you can do instead.
Find a trusted advisor. A person who is outside your business and even outside your industry who has the skills and insight to help you identify exactly where you are stuck and what is keeping you there.
This is a risk for many business owners because opening up your business to outside eyes makes you vulnerable. It feels like stepping on stage to be judged and critiqued. You have so much of your identity wrapped up in your business that feedback, no matter how helpful, can feel like harsh criticism and suggestions for change can feel like condemnation.
A good trusted advisor can help you gain a new, broader perspective of your business and out of the box ways to grow and expand that you might never consider on your own. Their job is not to judge you. Their job is to support you and help you get where you want to go.
Research how other business owners have handled a similar issue. Once you know where you are stuck and what is keeping you there, you can begin to research how other businesses have handled similar situations. This research will help you identify what knowledge, skills and information you need to change directions, get unstuck and move forward.
By doing your research you will get to see the options available to you. It is your responsibility to evaluate them and decide which one(s) is the right one for you and your business. You may decide none of them work for you but you are inspired to try something creative and completely different. Research opens up possibilities and possibilities are the foundational energies for expansion and growth.
Develop a group of supportive colleagues. This can be a formal mastermind group run by a coach or mentor or an informal group of local business owners who are willing to meet regularly and support each other. The most important part aspect of the group is that it is a place where you can bring problems and get different perspectives, possible solutions and moral support.
If you want more information about joining a mastermind or starting your own, please contact me.
Okay, so now you know you have options. Next time you find yourself riding the Crazy Train headed to Insanity Island, know it is a choice and you can get off anytime you want.
I’d love to hear your comments on this post and how it applies (or not) to your business.