4 Steps for Turning a Big Problem into a Fresh Start for Your Business
I’m going to take a wild guess and say you’re probably facing a challenge in your business right now.
We’re pretty much always running up against some obstacle in our careers. It doesn’t matter what you do or how far you’ve advanced—there will always be a new difficulty to overcome.
Now, this sounds like it would be one of the biggest downsides to being a business owner. Confronting new challenges every day? Constantly facing our own shortcomings and opposing forces? Sounds exhausting, right?
But here’s how I see it.
Our struggles force us to grow, innovate, and motivate our teams to achieve more. The challenges we face aren’t just surmountable; they’re the reason we end up discovering new opportunities and making more money.
I believe so strongly in the power of the struggle that I’ve built my brand and company culture around it. 911 Restoration is The Fresh Start Company. Every member of our team is dedicated to turning a tough situation into a new beginning… an opportunity to be better than before.
This is how we approach our clients’ property crises, and it’s how we deal with new obstacles in our own offices.
You can do the same. You can turn whatever you’re wrestling with today into a major turning point for your business.
Let me show you how.
Step 1: Stop thinking about what you don’t want.
When we’re faced with a problem in our business, we tend to get fixated on the negative: who’s at fault, what went wrong, why we’ll never get ahead… you get the idea.
Inevitably, this obsession makes everything worse. Why?
Because our energy follows our focus.
If your marketing is failing you and you keep thinking you’ll never overcome this problem because you’re just a terrible marketer, guess what?
Your energy is going to go towards resistance. You will resist opportunities to learn and improve your marketing strategy. You may even pull back on your old strategy, figuring it’s hopeless anyway.
It may not even occur to you to look for a marketing expert in your network who can give you advice until you can afford to hire a marketer. This is what happens when we fixate on what’s not working. We don’t see the myriad opportunities surrounding us.
If you want a Fresh Start, stop ruminating on roadblocks. Focus your mental energy on the outcome you do want.
Step 2: Find the pattern; find control.
We think all the problems in our business are the work of a force outside ourselves. A tough competitor. Shifting customer expectations. An unmotivated team. We are merely victims of our circumstances.
This is a comforting interpretation of our obstacles.
But it’s not the truth. The truth is, we have control over what happens next. And if you can’t see how you can take control in your current situation, it’s time to look back on where you’ve been.
Reflect on similar challenges you’ve faced in the past. Set aside any thoughts about who or what caused the problem. Instead, ask yourself:
- How did I address the problem?
- Why didn’t it work?
- Do I find myself responding to every problem with the same attitude?
- Who do I tend to blame for problems in my business?
- Have peers or mentors offered me the same piece of advice multiple times? Did I take the advice? Why or why not?
I encourage you to actually write down your observations. When you put it in writing, it’s easier to see the patterns that emerge.
Often when we examine our history of struggle, we often find we’re caught in a cycle. We discover that our business is only stuck because we keep trying to solve problems using methods that don’t work.
By noting patterns in the way you address problems, you quickly discover issues within your own mindset. You might notice that you avoid asking for help, you try to shame your team into doing better, or you ignore the problem until it becomes more than you can handle.
As a business owner, it also helps to look for patterns in your team as a whole. Your team’s habits can show you where communication breaks down or what attitudes might be tanking morale and motivation.
Just remember that you are the leader of your business. That means the first person you need to work on is yourself, because your team is a reflection of the way you lead. This brings me to step three.
Step 3: Identify what you’re resisting.
Our problems often show us what we’re resisting—especially when we start seeing the patterns.
Odds are good that when you reflect on the way you solve problems, you see a solution you keep avoiding.
Maybe it’s a skill you need to develop but won’t try for fear of failure. Or it could be a bold move you’re afraid to make.
For a long time, I resisted staff meetings. I’d struggled with a stutter all my life, and speaking in front of a group left me feeling anxious and vulnerable. I spent years insisting that I was “The Idea Guy” and left team leaders to communicate with employees on my behalf.
It wasn’t until I started losing a grip on my company’s direction that I realized I had no choice. I had to confront my own fears so I could connect with my team and guide them to success.
Whatever it is you don’t want to do… whatever you’re afraid of or anxious about… that’s going to be the action that creates your Fresh Start. That’s right: you have to walk towards your fear.
Here’s how you do it.
Step 4: Start with one small change.
My Fresh Start began with one-on-one meetings with employees. It wasn’t the most comfortable thing, but I at least knew I could handle one-on-one conversations. After all, I did really enjoy connecting with people, and I wanted to understand my staff on a deeper level.
From there, I graduated to leading staff meetings. I volunteered to speak to high school students about overcoming struggle and creating a life on their terms. Before long, I was able to speak in front of our franchisees at the 911 Restoration franchise convention.
I was not comfortable in any of these situations. Not at first. But each one was manageable because I allowed my transformation to happen gradually.
It’s so easy to feel trapped by our own resistance when we get stuck on the massive size of the big-picture task before us. It’s important to remember:
A challenge is not a permanent obstacle just because it’s too big to fix in a day.
A Fresh Start takes time… especially when it requires us to change old habits. Start simple. What is one thing you can do today to work towards the kind of change that will turn things around for your business?
Really, that’s what this all comes down to: being willing to change, to learn, to be wildly uncomfortable for a little while so you can build an exceptional business in the long run.
You can turn any crisis into a Fresh Start. You have that power.
So… what new beginning is this day offering you?
Further Resources on This Topic
Blog Post: How to Revive Your Flatlining Business
Free Video Course: Cultivating a Growth Mindset on the Job