As life (and business) gets busier and busier, now more than ever, business owners all around Australia are reporting they are feeling the effects and deathly grip known as anxiety and overwhelm.
Today, I want to share with you a very practical system that you can use every time you feel stuck on the inside of your business.
Before we even begin, I want to put your mind to ease. As a business owner, feeling anxious, overwhelmed and discouraged at times is 100% normal. Anyone who has been in business for more than 30 days knows this.
The realities are, that business is hard. If you’re striving for delivering more value than anyone else in your marketplace, then it’s natural that you are going to be pushing your limits. But if you don’t have a system to manage this process, what ends up happening is you’ll start spending too much time worrying, and not enough time winning.
It’s my goal to help you navigate the feelings of anxiety and overwhelm as a business owner, so you can get back on track to win.
While many may attempt to complicate it, anxiety is actually very simply defined. It’s fearing that somewhere in the future you will experience more pain than pleasure.
Now, these feelings might be rational or irrational, imagined or real. But in any case, the result for you is the same..you’re stuck, suffering and have no idea what to do next!
The good news is, below I have prepared a simple system for you to follow and implement. This means you’ll now have the tools to free yourself from feeling stuck, and actually get moving again.
Let’s do it.
Step 1: Identify What is Causing the Anxiety
The first thing you’ll want to do, is get really clear on what is causing the problem. Ask yourself a series of questions (sample below), until you’ve clearly identified what the problem actually is.
To do this, I recommend you use your $5 psychologist (a $5 hardcover journal you can carry everywhere you go) and write (+ answer) the following questions.
Keep writing until you feel confident you know you’ve ‘got it’
What is truly causing this challenge?
What is it I am avoiding?
What am I really fearing here?
Why am I feeling this way?
You may wish to bullet point your answers, or have a conversation with yourself. Either way, the goal is the same: find the root cause.
(Note: These questions are purposely asking the same question in different ways. This is designed to help you see the problem from slightly different angles. You do not have to answer all four, but instead, just ask one at a time until you’ve nailed the problem.)
Step 2: What is the Goal?
Now you’ve identified what is causing the issue, you’ll notice the reason you’re feeling anxious about it, is that you’re not where you’d like to be.
You may not be making the money you’d like make, you may not be attracting the quality leads that you’d love to turn a healthy profit, or maybe you’re just overwhelmed with the entire process.
In any case, if you want to start making progress again and breakthrough this plateau, you must define the goal.
What I’ve found from working with service based business owners from a variety of industries, is very often, more than 50% of the anxiety and overwhelm they’re feeling, is due to a lack of clarity over what the actual goal is.
So what is your goal?
How much money do you want to make?
How many clients do you want to work with each day, week, month and year?
How big do you want your business
What does a perfect business look like for you?
We’re going to get to the planning section next, but if you don’t define where you want to be before moving on, you won’t be able to solve the problem.
Take the time to discover what success looks like for you.
Step 3: Build An Action Plan
OK, you’ve now discovered the cause of your anxiety and overwhelm, and also identified where you would like to be (your goal), it’s time to now build the plan to get you there.
To help in this process, I want you to think about the last three big things you’ve accomplished in your life. Anything that you’re proud of yourself for achieving.
Now I want you to ask yourself, how many of these happened by accident? The answer will always be zero. Anything worthwhile that you’ve achieved once started with a plan. That plan was then acted up, and eventually, through hard work, persistence and some creative thought, it resulted in an outcome. It’s simple. Plans work.
It’s true that success is never linear, and that in pursuit of a goal, you’ll often be taken off the original path (in order to learn some necessary lessons along your personal journey), but the one thing I know about success for sure is if you don’t have a plan to achieve it, you’ll never get there.
To do this, you’ll need to think about where you are now, where you want to be (both defined in steps 1 and 2) and then brainstorm every step in the process to get there.
This will take work. New results require new thinking.
Again, using your journal, outline, brainstorm and detail the elements of the plan to get clear on the action steps (inputs) required. While the outcome is what you desire, that is not within your control. Inputs however are. And those are what’s going to make it happen.
For example, let’s just say your goal was to earn $200,000 in personal income, here are some of the elements that need to go into your plan…
How many clients do I need per week/month/year to make this?
How many products to do I need to sell?
How many appointments do I need to set each week/month?
How will I secure those appointments?
How much will I invest into marketing, advertising, savings, and growth?
Keep thinking until you have clarity over the steps and build it into a plan to help you get there.
Step 4: Tracking Progress
Lastly, if you want to ensure you’re winning, you must keep on top of progress. This is the step that most people neglect. They might enjoy the planning process, or the actioning, but when it comes to reviewing and tracking, many shy away from it. It’s most likely because in the beginning, it’s easy to get away with NOT doing this. Because the little things are just that...little.
As Jim Rohn says: ‘the easiest things to do, are also the easiest things NOT to do.’
Soon enough however, from little things, big things grow. And like a snowball rolling down a mountain, small problems neglected start to gain significant momentum. Soon enough, just like that snowball, those small things become very difficult to stop.
When I first started in my business, no-one showed me the crucial numbers to track. I really was flying blind a lot of the time, and was just using my bank account at the end of the month to track whether I was doing good, or doing bad. That’s a terrible way to run a business.
To help you avoid that pain of confusion and anxiety around not knowing how you’re doing, I want to share with you the crucial numbers you’ll want to track on the inside of your business if you wish to stay on top of things.
Here is a snapshot of what I (and all of my clients) fill in weekly. You may wish to start using something similar in your business. I promise you it will remove a huge chunk of your anxiety and overwhelm around the numbers, and be one of the wisest investments of time you ever make. 5 minutes a week, to save hours upon hours of frustration.
Don’t let the snowball get too big. Stay on top of things and track the numbers that count. This will help.
Trusting this all makes sense for you.
Remember, in business (and life), the realer you get with yourself, the realer life things will get around you. The key (as with all matters of importance), is to take full responsibility for where you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there.
The above system will help...but only if you use it.
Let me know if there are any questions by dropping a comment below - I’d be happy to clarify anything that will help you get back on track.