6 Simple Ways to Lift Yourself Out of a Business Rut
Every loss you encounter allows negativity and stagnation to creep in but it also gives a chance to look and work at things from a fresh perspective
With the year coming to an end, many businesses will be at a point of reflection of what went good and bad. When you or someone you know start to think that it has been a year of losses, shift it around to say that it has indeed been a year of possibilities and opportunities.
Every loss you encounter is a chance to look and work at things from a fresh perspective and start again. Every loss is a chance for betterment and taking the next step for a more positive outcome. Every loss should be a celebration because it is a reminder that you tried even though it is not the outcome you were hoping for. That is far better than not even having an outcome due to inaction. Every loss is a new possibility but it can be extremely difficult to embrace this mindset when you’re going through a period of pain and struggle.
Here are six steps that will help you get rid of negativity and stagnation.
Embrace the curveballs
If you play baseball or heard a bit about the game, you would be familiar with the term “curveballs”. Curveball is basically a kind of pitch or throw, which makes the ball veer to the left or curve so that it makes it a lot harder to hit. It is an expression used often in life when we say that a few curveballs were thrown our way when we refer to something unexpected or disruptive that happened in our lives. With less than two weeks remaining in the year, it’s natural to think of your highlight reel (both positive and negative) but more importantly, don’t look at the negative reel as something, which needs to be packed up and stored in the attic.
There is ample wisdom that can be leveraged from unpleasant or disruptive incidents. If you had a few curveballs thrown at you and you couldn’t hit them, don’t ask yourself why you got hit. Ask what you can learn from the hit. That is a much more productive way of combating a situation that just sometimes doesn’t have all the answers. But you have the control and power to create the answers.
Sometimes a hit can be a literal wake up call, to finally look at the big picture. To realize that you have been in control all along and that you have everything that you need in you to make things happen. You don’t need miracles to shift your life, you only need the mindset.
Create value in multiple dimensions
The advantage of being a small business is that you can pretty much squeeze yourself into lots of gaps and fill voids. For instance, when you partner with fair trade artisans, you are giving them a platform that they may not ordinarily have had. Or when you donate a portion of your sales proceeds to an organization or charity of choice, you are adding more resources for them to complete more initiatives, or when you collaborate internationally, you are creating awareness of another business also looking to make their mark in the world. Large organizations and businesses sometimes run dedicated campaigns for months and focus all energy and resources on a singular dimension.
As a small business, sometimes you just don’t have that luxury but you work with what you have and there will be times when you will be stretched in different directions. But you know what? Totally use that to your advantage, don’t ever think of it as a flaw. The farther you spread the seeds, the better the growth. The smaller you are, the more value you can create in more dimensions.
Be grounded in the present
Many times, we find ourselves focusing on that awkward void or vacuum —the gap between where we are currently in life and where we would like to be. However, in business, you really need to be a warrior to analyze your present situation and then draw from it to advance into your next phase. Being grounded in the present should not be mistaken for staying in stagnation. It means being kind to yourself and reminding you of how far you have come to be in this current phase and to take things one step at a time. It means embracing all that you have done and tried to reach your current status and then using that moment to grow in yourself. It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves and feel like a failure but the present is not final. It is a process and stage in your life that will eventually lead you to where you want to be with your mindful, little daily steps and actions.
Keep it simple
In a world ridden with complexities, sometimes all we crave for is the simplicity in everything. We want things said to us in a clear and concise manner and to break down complex concepts in a digestible way. While some of us may enjoy the challenge to analyze difficult scenarios, a majority of us would prefer a simple message. In life and in business, when things get tough, we look for a way for our brains to grasp the easiest thing and to connect with simplicity. How can you remove the clutter and keep things simple and workable today?
Size never matters, agility does
We live in a world today where size doesn’t matter to make a difference. Many companies started with a sole trader or as a partnership between just two people but because of their agility and great intentions and efforts to make a positive impact to society, they grew so large and have made a tremendous difference to both their bottom line and the broader communities. The fast will beat the slow and those with inclusive, diverse and innovative ideas will be at the forefront of trailblazers.
Turn frustrations into inspiration
A customer's complaint and feedback should be viewed as tools and gifts to arm oneself with better business tactics and improve business division. Take them seriously and turn their frustrations and gaps into inspiration for your business. Where you think you can be the solution for your consumers, go to them and prove your worth and concept.
Gaayathri is the Australia-based founder and creator of Baby Peppers, an ethical and sustainable business specializing in heritage techniques and slow fashion while invested in making a social change.