7 ways to avoid getting ‘snowed in’* by your business

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AKA that overwhelmed feeling like you’re having snowballs hiffed at you!

Throughout my networks, I regularly meet entrepreneurs and small business owners who are feeling overwhelmed by their business. Often they’ve started their business from nothing because they’re really passionate about something, or really good at something, and built a really solid business in a short space of time. However, all of a sudden they’ve found that their business feels like it’s getting away from them and taking over their lives. They’ve lost their balance. Their health or relationships might be starting to suffer.

This is what I like to refer to as the first peak. They’ve pushed themselves, climbed the mountain, and reached the first summit, only to find that the tools they bought with them aren’t suitable for climbing the next peak they see ahead of them. The terrain has changed, and unless they get new tools, they’re not going to be able to go any further.

But, it’s not always a case that they can stay where they are. Sometimes the weather is changing, clouds are rolling in, and the pressure is getting on them to take change before “something bad” happens.

Unlike being at the top of the mountain, in entrepreneur-land, the ‘something bad’ usually comes in forms such as:

  • Burn out for the business owner or their team
  • Team members getting fed up and leaving
  • Clients losing faith and leaving
  • The inability to finish work by when it’s promised
  • Running out of money or other resources

Etc. Etc.

This makes me so sad to see because usually, it’s so avoidable!
I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs find the right tools so that they can continue onwards with their climb.

Here are 7 ways to help you avoid getting stuck on the cliff face of overwhelm:

Make the decision that you want things to change

I know this might sound crazy, but because change can be seen as uncomfortable and overwhelming, especially if you are already feeling overwhelmed, sometimes all that’s stopping you from moving forward is yourself and a decision.

One of my favourite sayings is:

“you’re only one decision away from a totally different life”

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So, if that’s you, think about it…

Ask yourself:

What’s stopping you from making this decision?

What innovative ways could you use to overcome these things so that you can make the decision to change?

Who can you ask to support you with this?

Put some time aside in your diary to address things.

I know, I know, you’re shaking your head and going “seriously, is this it?”

Yep, it’s is. And it’s quite simple; once you’ve made the decision you want things to be different, if you don’t put aside time in your diary to actually plan for them to be different, nothing is going to change.

That feeling of being stuck and overwhelmed is unlikely to go away by itself.

(it might – in which case I’d suggest that you pat yourself on the back you awesome thing).

But mostly, it won’t.

Most people find that the overwhelm actually grows.

Because you’re still good at what you do, and you still care about what you do, so you’re still growing what you do.

Where can you fit some time to take some time for you and make a plan for some action?

Go diary it in before something else pops up and distracts you!

Review and take a measure of where things are at…

Before you go changing anything up you need a strategy. And before you can get a strategy, you need to know where you’re at.

What are the weak links in your business that are contributing the most to this feeling of overwhelm?

What is performing really well?

The best tool I know of for answering this easily is our BOSS Test.

Seriously, if you haven’t already, go take The BOSS Test.

It’ll measure and tell you where you’re at in 30 areas of your business and give you key actions to take to improve those areas.

Boom.

You’ll have just got a solid measure of your business in around 30 minutes, and this will help you know what to prioritise (the basis for your strategy).

Work out your strategy

Now that you know what the weakest links are, as you’ve done The BOSS Test, what are some key actions you can take to improve things? This is where your strategy comes into play.

Ask yourself:

Who in your team is going to lead the change?
(if that’s you, then how much time are you going to need and where is that going to fit in?)

What are the desired outcomes you want/need?
(or in our mountain example – what does the top of the next peak look like for you?)

Who can you go to for advice to ensure that this is the best strategy for you?

Who is going to keep you accountable?

Nail your How!

Now that you’ve got your strategy, and you know what you’re aiming to achieve, how are you going to achieve this?

Your ‘how’ is basically your systems.

I’ve talked about this before, but I’ll say it again…

Make sure at this point that your ‘how’ is SMART.

Remember, your solution needs to be:

  • Scalable – it should be able to grow with you so that you don’t quickly end up in the same position
  • Measurable – so that you know it’s working!
  • Affordable – so that you ensure it’s sustainable for you
  • Realistic – are your time frames, costs and estimates of return realistic? Make sure you do your homework before rushing into something that may not actually help you.
  • Teachable – make sure your team are on board. No point putting in a process or a new system that no one is going to use. That’ll just add to your frustration.

Get some accountability and make sure you schedule in your reviews…

Just as we talked about at the beginning – change can be hard. Especially if you’re already feeling overwhelmed.
You will need accountability.
You will need to review things regularly.
Don’t skip this part or things won’t change.

If that feels too hard, then it’s likely you need number 7…

Get some help

If you’re already struggling, chances are you can’t solve this on your own. Who can you get to help you through this process?

If the answer is, you don’t know – get in touch, I’d love to help.

Hope that helps!

Kat

Kat Soper - The Helpful Academy

About the author:

Kat Soper is the Founder and Head Trainer of The Helpful Academy Online Business School.

Kat is passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses succeed and achieve their business goals so that they can achieve the lifestyle they desire (and deserve).

If you’d like individualised help with growing your business, check out our services.


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  • I love the mountain analogy too. I definitely feel we’re at the top of one of those peeks at the moment, which is worth acknowledging and celebrating, but to get to the next peek we definitely need some time out to review and plan SMART for 2019. We’ve been doing this with our clients, now we need to set aside time in the diary for our own dream year 2019! Great post and reminder. Thanks

  • “The terrain has changed, and unless they get new tools, they’re not going to be able to go any further.” This makes so much sense – often what works well at the beginning doesn’t work so well as our businesses evolve.

  • Awesome article! I have felt like I was at my peak in my business at some point and almost gave up because I felt like I couldn’t figure out a better strategy. I will definitely use these tips to keep me motivated.

  • This post was meant for me to see it because I was struggling with feeling overwhelmed this week. I’m bookmarking this page – it is so helpful. I especially need to change my approach to my freelancing business, I can’t keep expecting to do things that same way but have different results.

  • Step 3 is my favorite! I make sure I do weekly reviews reflecting on what went well and what didn’t go as I wanted so I know what to improve in the future, and what to continue doing if it’s bringing me good results. Such a great post 🙂

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