Even the most successful entrepreneurs find themselves feeling frustrated, unhappy and at something of a loss at certain times, often with no easily definable cause.
It applies to life in general, not just business; that sense of dissatisfaction, of feeling you could have done better, or that you’re not fulfilled by what you’re doing. Some people feel guilty that they apparently have so much in comparison to other people yet still find they’re struggling to enjoy their lives. Others become angry that they’ve worked so hard yet don’t have as much to show for their efforts as they imagined they would. Everyone comes up against these kinds of roadblocks in life, but there are positive actions you can take to get yourself back on track.
Physical and mental health
If you’re not feeling like yourself, the first question you should ask is whether you are as healthy as you could be. If you’ve spent the last five years working all hours, devoting all your time and energies to building a business but neglecting your own well-being, it’s quite likely you’ve become fatigued or even burnt out. Physical and mental health are essential in a high pressure, demanding role as a business owner, so if you’re trying to cope with a health condition, it adds an extra level of stress that can become unsupportable. Many chronic illnesses like diabetes have very few symptoms at first, and their progress is so slow and steady you could be entirely unaware that there’s anything wrong until you become so tired and are struggling so badly you are forced to visit the doctor. Mental health problems can start in exactly the same slow, insidious way; you may think you’re doing fine until one day you find you are unable to get out of bed. Looking after your health shouldn’t be something you fit in when you have the time, it should be a priority. If you’re feeling below par, the first step is to get yourself checked out and start any necessary treatment.
When you created your original business plan, you would have made forecasts about where you wanted to be in terms of business growth, revenue, and profitability in five or more years’ time. If those years have passed and you haven’t quite achieved what you set out to, it can seem like a failure on your part. However, you need to examine your circumstances and be realistic about what you’ve achieved, and what hasn’t gone as planned. This isn’t an exercise in finding blame elsewhere for not reaching your original goals, but a practical assessment of why your path hasn’t followed quite the route you envisaged. For instance, there may have been significant economic changes that you couldn’t have foreseen, just as there were in 2008. There might have been new technologies, new competitors, or changes in client expectations that similarly couldn’t have been predicted, and that have caused you to find it more difficult to flourish. You may have had personal problems that interfered with your ability to progress the business as quickly as you intended, or you may simply have made mistakes that have held you back.
The point is that these kinds of events happen all the time, to everyone. Adapting and overcoming these obstacles is all part of the role of being an entrepreneur, and rather than seeing change as the enemy, you need to look for the opportunities it presents. If there’s been a change in the market which you serve, how can you adapt your business model to not only cope with what’s happened but take advantage of it? If you’ve made mistakes, what have you learned from them? How have you improved your business as a result of things going wrong? Problems can be overcome, and even capitalised upon, if you apply your mind to resolving them and looking for ways to improve your business as a result. Dwelling on the past and focusing on what went wrong are fruitless exercises that gain you nothing. Learn from the experience and move on, and remember to appreciate everything that did go well and that you did get right. Feeling gratitude for good fortune and a sense of achievement at all the successes you’ve had will go a long way towards ridding you of your roadblocks.
If you’re a true entrepreneur, you’ll know the value that other people provide in your business. Trying to go it alone and not asking for help doesn’t show you’re strong and clever, instead, they demonstrate pig-headedness and short-sightedness. Everyone benefits from some assistance, and if you’re finding it hard to muster the enthusiasm to give your business the attention it deserves, seeking advice from an outside source like a business coach could be the answer. Business coaches are trained professionals with an understanding of both human psychology and successful business operations, and by having an outside perspective, they’ll be ideally placed to see what your problem is. They can use assessment tools to uncover your strengths and weaknesses and get to the truth about how you view yourself and your environment. They will talk to you, observe how you run the business, and come up with a plan to help you find your motivation once more. They can’t work miracles, and the results will depend on how well you follow their advice, but if you genuinely want to overcome your business roadblocks, a coach can be an invaluable source of support and guidance. Have a look at this website for more information about business coaches and what they do.
Finding yourself inexplicably disillusioned with your business and struggling to raise the enthusiasm you used to possess are depressing and frustrating ways to feel. When this happens to you, remember this is a surprisingly common occurrence, and very few entrepreneurs go through their careers without facing these kinds of roadblocks at some stage. The important thing is not to plod on in hopes the situation will resolve itself, or feel like you should sell up and start again. Tackle this problem the same way you would any other in your business, by assessing your situation and finding the appropriate help, and you’ll soon see those roadblocks crumbling away.