How to Best Deal with the Ups, the Downs, and the Smackdowns
Imagine this. The growth / success of your business is represented by a line on a graph going from lower left to upper right. Are you picturing a straight line? If so, I get it. That would be natural. But, as a business coach and a business owner myself, I’m here to tell ya, there’s no such thing as a straight line when it comes to growing your business or the pace at which business comes in.
Regardless of whether you’re doing quite well or kinda struggling to get things rolling, progress usually looks more irregular, with peaks and valleys … like a sine wave … only maybe less smooth.
It’s a pattern you see over and over in nature, as well as in human affairs.
The bottom line is this. There are ups and downs.
You might be saying, well duh, tell me something I don’t know.
And yet, I’ve worked with a lot of folks who are thrown off their game by the dips, as if they weren’t ever gonna occur. They seem taken aback by the disappointments and the outright smackdowns that are bound to come their way from time to time.
Disappointment makes the rounds, and everybody gets a visit at a fairly regular interval.
That’s just life. That’s just business.
So, what are the things I’ve learned from going through my share of dips, and more importantly, having coached hundreds of people who have experienced setbacks large and small? What have I learned from seeing how they reacted?
The people who do the best are the folks who buckle down and recommit to doing whatever it takes when things get rocky. The most successful get disappointed like the rest of us, but they bounce back and look at setbacks as opportunities to cleverly rethink their strategy … or take advantage of the winnowing of competition that occurs in an economic slowdown, for example.
But even if you can’t go all the way to being opportunistic in the face of adversity, what’s important is your ability to roll with the punches and not get knocked out.
What’s important is to keep taking the action necessary to move things forward. In particular, I see folks who get easily discouraged and don’t give their current strategy a fair chance to succeed.
We watch a lot of baseball. It’s a game characterized by failure. A batter makes an out roughly 70-75% of the time.
But just because you’ve struck out two or three or six times in a row, doesn’t mean you won’t homer the next time up.
At the very least, hang in there and wait for the next upswing in the sine wave. In the best case, double down, confident that when your break comes … when you experience an upswing in the fortunes of your business … you’ll be that much better positioned to reap the benefits.
One other thing. When you’re riding high and things are working out just about as well as they could, celebrate! You got a big contract or a bunch of new clients? Jump up and down like you won the world series. Give us a couple of woo hoo’s. Don’t take it for granted. Congratulate yourself. That didn’t happen by accident. You did it, and you should be proud of your accomplishment. I see far too many people who are hesitant to celebrate. That’s not good!
On the flip side, when you lose a contract or fail to retain a client, don’t beat yourself up or get too discouraged.
It’s just life … and the sine wave … doin’ their thing. Happens to everybody. Even the best hitters of all time went through slumps.
All that matters is that, in the end, you wind up bringing your talents to bear to help as many people as possible and make a good living doing it.
The ups and downs are just that … ups and downs.
What matters is the overall angle of ascent on the chart over time. Anything up is good … and the steeper the better.
To succeed, first you must endure. Not to suffer, but simply to persist.
And so, the best advice I can give you as a business coach is this. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer … and just keep offering it, the very best you can … no matter what.
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