You CAN Unstick Your Business, Through Business Transformation.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the many people that I encounter in my consulting work as a business coach.
If you believe what people say, then lots of folks are feeling “stuck” these days. They may not use the exact word, but man, do they sure feel “stuck” (trapped, unfulfilled, stagnant, unmotivated…) This feeling of general inertia and immobility is a recurring theme, whether we’re talking about people that feel unfulfilled at work, others who wish they could change industries, or the dreamers who want so passionately to leave the relative “security” (i.e. paycheck) of full-time employment to pursue their dream of starting a business. And there are the business owners who I consult with that have witnessed their company’s sales flat line the past few years and can’t escape the dead man’s zone of doing “business as usual.”
This topic of unsticking yourself is near and dear to my heart. I launched The Chazin Group in 2009 after deciding that 20 years in Corporate America was enough time wasted. I risked everything to go out on my own, to help as many people as I could unstick themselves. For some people I consult with, that means finding their dream job. For others, my work involves helping them realize their dream of starting their own business.
If you’re like the many folks who are feeling “stuck” these days, well cheer up! In my experience, there are many things that we can do to get us unstuck. However, be warned that unsticking yourself isn’t for the faint of heart. It demands a lot, from having the courage to initiate self-reflection and introspection by asking yourself often painful questions that demand brutal honesty. You MUST possess a willingness to embrace risk-taking, AND have a passion for lifelong learning. Oh yeah, you should also be the kind of person that loves moving along the roads less traveled, ESPECIALLY you business owners looking to achieve business transformation in these challenging times. Do you have what it takes to complete this heavy lifting? Great! Let’s get going!
* Ask yourself where your passions and strengths collide. Where they overlap, you have identified a very short list of potential ideal career options that you can and MUST pursue.
* What do you want your LEGACY to be? What do you want to leave behind when all is said and done. What do you want to be remembered for? Write these down, because you are going to hold yourself accountable to the list and set goals around achieving the highest priority items you define.
* Stop doing the same things over and over again expecting a different outcome. Einstein called this act “insanity” and he was right. I am always amazed at people who choose to do “More of the same” when it comes to the things that aren’t working in their lives. Activity for activity sake is a tremendous resource drain and ultimately self-defeating.
* Set regular times each day, week, and month to revisit your personal and professional goals. The goals we set often need to be re-calibrated based on our natural tendency to change our values, beliefs, and needs.
* Start writing your own blog. This is a great way to rekindle your passion is to start writing on subjects that you’re passionate about and possess a wealth of knowledge about and experience in. In fact, this is an important first step you can take to begin building your own reputational brand as a subject matter expert. Along these lines, start writing articles to submit to the media for possible publication, maybe even write a book you can self-publish. It’s what I did when I first went out on my own back in 2009 when I authored the book: “Bulletproof Your Career in Turbulent Times.”
* Make the commitment to pursue one new venture each week. Learn a new software package. Take a class to learn a new language. Start playing a new instrument. Do a jigsaw puzzle. It’s the act of udnertaking the unknown on a regular basis that has the potential to get you accustomed to venturing outside of your comfort zone.
* Attend one new group meeting every month that is entirely UNRELATED to your current field (business/industry)
* Hire a professional to help you unstick yourself (career coach, business coach, life coach, therapist, guru, accountant…they all count!)
* Embrace the art of visualization. When you are preparing to undertake a new activity it helps to take time out in a quiet place to visualize all of the steps necessary to complete the task. Clearing your mind of all interfering noise and thoughts to best focus on the task at hand is a tremendously self-empowering strategy. It’s a technique that world-class athletes, artists, and performers all utilize to achieve great performances. You can (and should) too!
* Revisit the assumptions you’ve made about what you can and cannot accomplish. All the negative things we say to ourselves about ourselves add up over time so that we immobilize ourselves with self doubt. It’s such a prevalent behavior of the human condition, that psychologists have a name for it. It’s called “Head trash.” What’s yours, and how are you going to overcome that?
* Approach the challenges that you face not as business people but as artists, performers, musicians do…utilizing creative problem solving strategies. Need help getting started? Check out INSEAD, business school to the world for inspiration!
* Read Jim Collins book “Good to Great!” In it, Collins makes the point that in today’s rapidly changing global environment, being good is no longer GOOD ENOUGH. According to Collins, good is the ENEMY of Great! Truer words have never been spoken. If we accept that we are performing at a high enough level, we never push ourselves to risk achieving the supposedly unachievable. The value to be gained by failing at a great pursuit is a lofty goal indeed.
So, there you have it. A list of immediately actionable strategies you can begin implementing tomorrow to unstick yourself and achieve all your wildest personal and professional goals.
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Coach