Here is a picture of my front yard. Today is the first day of spring in Boston. You’d never know it by the looks of things. There are still piles of 2-foot snow drifts sprinkled around my neighborhood. Gross.
Last year at this time there were 2-inch crocus buds popping up by my walk-way. Yesterday, I actually got down on my hands and knees in the mud to see if I could find even the tiniest beginnings of a sprout….nothing, absolutely nothing. What the heck is going on? Where is the warm weather?
Waiting for flowers to bloom is one thing, waiting for your business to bloom is quite another.
Whether you are just starting out or you have been in business a while, we all have periods where we wish our progress was faster. In the beginning, you are just trying to get clients in the door, but even as we move forward and our projects and goals get bigger, the sense of wanting to see a quick return on our efforts remains.
It is incredibly hard to be patient, especially when it feels like you’ve worked hard and you have nothing to show for it. Waiting can feel like the long, cold winter when every time you look at your bank account the number is the same or your Facebook “likes” are static or even if it feels like you just can’t get ahead of your to-do list.
When progress feels stalled, it’s easy to get frustrated. It may even be tempting to give up.
Before you throw in the towel, here are few things to consider:
1. You may not be focusing on the right activities. If you want to grow tulips, don’t plant pumpkin seeds. You may be working your buns off, but being busy and being productive are not the same thing. Take a look at your current list of activities and see which ones are a) absolutely necessary to run your business b) which ones have historically led to the kinds of results you are looking for. If an activity doesn’t fall into one of those two categories, either cut back on it or ditch it completely.
2. Shake things up. If you have been trying to lose the same 5 lbs. for the past six months, obviously your routine isn’t working. Something has to change. Maybe you need to up your cardio or lift heavier weights. Or perhaps you need to cut back on carbs. You can bitch and moan all you want about how well you eat and that you hit the gym every morning, but if it ain’t working, it ain’t working. Something’s gotta change. What do you need to change in your business?
3. Implement good systems. The reason most of us don’t jump off a ledge when winter lingers is because we know there is a rhythm to the seasons. Spring follows winter, summer follows spring… There is a distinct order and system to nature which creates predictability and efficiency. If you are not using systems in your business, you are leaving things to chance which will definitely slow down your progress.
And finally, be patient, this too shall pass. Unless there is some catastrophic, global shift in the environment, you know winter will indeed end and spring will eventually usher in warmer weather. The same is true in your business, if you stay the course and keep laying the seeds, eventually you will see results. It may take longer than you had wished, but it will happen.
“You never fail until you stop trying.”–Albert Einstein
I love to hear your voice!
What is it you are waiting for in your business? What do you do to try to increase the rate of return on your efforts?
Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.
If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.