Taking our business to the next level is what we all desire. Be it touching more lives, more freedom, or more profits. We all want to push our businesses to its potential. Growing a successful business has its share of challenges. The execution of our desires for our business and ourselves are met with some serious hurdles. These are the 3 reasons I find to be the difficulties we have to overcome in order to achieve the goals.
1. Don’t Think Growth Is Important
Sometimes we fail to recognise the fact that continuously growing our business is a necessity. The pace at which we move forward is not important, the fact we move forward is. This enables us to keep our eyes open to various opportunities around us. We either lose the drive to push further, or become very comfortable where we are. This is when we become business owners and are no longer entrepreneurs. This comes with also having achieved success. We feel we have reached the top and fail to see the moving world pass us by.
In my jewellery business for the longest time we did certain tasks a particular way, just because they worked previously. We ignored the fact that the world was moving from a brick and mortar business setup to an online world. Now, realised its importance and are moving towards it.
2. Tackling New Problem With Old Solutions
When the television challenged the world of the radio, few companies understood its capabilities and used it to get in front of their audience. Today with social media some companies are still approaching it as television, spending money for advertisements hoping for success. There are right times to advertise on social media, but there are even more effective ways to get in front of a perfect audience, like blogging, posting correct content and most important of all engaging with the person. Treating social media and television as the same will not result in the positive outcome in the long run. Facebook is already controlling the reach of each post, ensuring that if good content is not created; we will have to pay to reach our audiences.
Tackling the challenges we face head on rather than seeking to leverage it is one of the four responses that are counterproductive in today’s business environment according to Jugaad authors Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja. Social media platforms are the perfect example. Business owners just publish content on them without investing the time to understand it and use those platforms for their advantage.
In order to be successful, we don’t have to look for new tactics but fundamentally shift our business thinking.
3. Face Constraints
After taking the time to find and learn about the world today, we face our next hurdle; constraints. Be in finances, expertise, or the world’s favourite, time. Constraints have a way of only presenting themselves as a negative; I however, am slowly, becoming a fan of constraints.
About 2 years ago, when I started on this entrepreneurial journey, I came across a simplicity model by Courtney Carver, called Project 333. It challenges us to wear 33 items of clothing for 3 months. At first, it seemed impossible for me, but I decided to try it out for however long I could last. I selected my 35 items (I cheated a little), and kept all other clothes away. After sometime I completely forgot about the clothes that were stashed away, and getting ready became easier. I didn’t have 25 shirts and trousers to choose from. I only had a few, and the decision was much easier.
There are many places where constraints have actually worked to get our creative juices flowing. A mentor of mine, Todd Herman describes a constraint as a personally defined parameter for developing a better way of thinking, feeling and doing something. We rather set the constraints in the areas we can than have them overwhelm us. Steve jobs famously worn the same clothing do avoid having making the decision of what to wear. Mark Zuckerberg is similar with his grey sweaters. Twitter with its 140 character limit. And even shorter is 6 word stories for some amazing creative stories.
Today we face a lot of decision fatigue. It is the diminishing quality of decisions we make as the day progresses. With the choices we face, we have a lot of decisions to make. Actually eliminating the decisions we make that are not really meaningful, I believe, should actually be restricted and used to our advantage. Save energy to make bigger and better decisions, both personally and professionally.
Using constraints to our advantage will create innovators who will drastically change the world we live in.
We will always face challenges in our business, it is a great sign that we are actually growing. We have to be clear on where we want to go and be flexible to learn and implement various ways of getting there. Hurdles will always come up; our ability to understand and overcome them will determine our success.