Running a business is really hard work. So much so that it can become demoralising at times and make people want to give up. There are so many examples of businesses that have failed, purely because the owner and operator of that business didn’t have the fortitude to carry on, to keep putting the work in, and to keep trying. The question that I often find myself asking people is, are you doing enough?

Are you disengaging for your own good or, are you just running away?

When you hit hard times in your business it can be all too easy to say to yourself, “I need time away. I need to do something else, I need to get away from this.” 

When you do that, are you doing what’s right for you or are you just running away from the problem? In some cases, that is the right thing to do, for you. But a lot of the time it’s just running away from the problem. I have witnessed many people complain online about how their business is struggling and when they hit those hard times, their immediate responses to take time off. I really do understand. It can be scary when you hit the hard times, I’ve been there many times.

Are you doing enough of the things that matter?

If you’re struggling, if you’re not getting any sales, you’re not getting anywhere then you don’t need to go and spend a day paddleboarding, or having a pub lunch or whatever it is to reflect upon your future. You need to knuckle down and do the work, you need to actually create momentum in your business, you need to do something, you need to work. There is no way around that. 

Reflection and all that good stuff has its place. It does, it is truly wonderful. But when you’re struggling, when your business is falling apart. You don’t need to step away from your business and reflect on it, you need to double down on what does work, you need to try more things, and you need to do more things in order to find out what else is going to work. Find what else is going to help you elevate yourself out of this particular situation.

Reflection needs to stem from a positive outlook, are you doing enough work on your mindset?

When you are in a bad place, when your business is in a bad place, and you step away from it, to “reflect”, you are not in the right frame of mind to be reflecting upon your future, because you’re feeling like shit. Therefore your Outlook matches your perspective, matches. Your mindset skews the results.

In those moments, you need to do something positive. If your business is struggling, the thing that you can do the easiest, although, also the hardest thing you can do that is positive, is to keep going to keep trying. 

Are you doing enough investigation into why it’s not working?

If you’re not getting enough sales, why? Is it your marketing? Then try something else in your marketing, try a different approach. Is it the way that you handle sales calls? Well then try a different approach. Is it that you’re just not having enough conversations with people? Then talk to more people, show up, and do your thing. Share your knowledge, your expertise, provide value, and have fun. 

Then, and only then, think about your future. Do so from a positive position, a positive state of mind. When you’re down in the dumps it’s not the right time to be considering your future. Because everything is doom and gloom when you are in a negative mindset. You need to approach that sort of thought, with some positivity. 

Reframe your questions so they actually lead to solutions

Instead of thinking about how you can run away from your problem, think about how you can solve it. “I’m not getting enough sales, how can I get more sales?” instead of “Should I continue on with this business”. “How can I improve this business, how can I make it better, how can I make it work?” These are the questions you need to ask yourself. 

Hard times impact us all. I have been there and I have no doubt that you’ve been there too. But you need to keep going, you need to do something. Doing something is always better than doing nothing, and spending a day paddleboarding, partying, going shopping, or whatever it is you do in those moments, is doing nothing. Yes, it feels nice to do those things but, that feeling is temporary. And, far more importantly, it has no impact on you moving forward. But if you instead created some momentum in your business, that would have an impact on you moving forward.

Identify the cause of your struggle and work on it

There are many reasons why your business could be struggling, many (but not all) of them are in your control. So, that limits the number of things that you can do, which is wonderful, because that means you have a finite list of things that you can try, that you can push to improve, and that you can work on. So write up that list and work on it. 

Create that list of possibilities and pick one to work on. If your business is struggling then it needs more of you, not less of you. I cannot stress that enough. There is no magical business fairy that’s going to come and wave their magic wand and make it so that you don’t have to do anything. You have work to do. Even if you have no customers, you have work to do. Because your work you have to do is in generating that custom, building brand awareness, creating a network of people that rely upon your business in some way. Start building that trust and that likability, start building that network, start creating customers.

If you honestly don’t know why you are struggling then it is time to seek out some help

If you ask yourself if you are doing enough and you cannot come up with an answer then it may well be time to seek out some help. As an entrepreneur, business owner, whatever label you give yourself, it can feel a lot like you have no choice but to go it alone. The reality is very different though, even the lone ranger had help. Having a trusted network of people around you is truly invaluable. These people become unofficial team members. I have already written a piece about recognising and utilising the unofficial members of your team, something you can find here 

When you have consulted your network and you still come up short it would be a good idea to seek out some coaching or mentoring, a service that I myself offer. If you think about all of the most successful people in the world and did some investigation into their lives you would find that they too have had mentors in their lives. People that have helped them walk the line and become successful. If you would like to seek out some help of that kind then head over to my company website and send me a message, which can be done via the contact page 

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