It’s not fun to talk about our challenges, especially the ones we haven’t quite overcome yet. Admitting that we’re having trouble can be hard. We look around and only see the thriving happy businesses. But getting real about the challenges you face is absolutely necessary to your business growth. And deep down, we all know that no one has it easy. We’re all struggling with our own set of challenges – even the businesses that seem to have it all together.
Getting familiar with your challenges will give you an even clearer sense of direction because it will help you determine specific and effective next steps. You’ll be able to make mindful decisions about how to invest your time and resources to have the best effect on your brand, business, and life. And you’ll feel like a superhero as you move forward and begin to overcome the obstacles in your way.
But in order to get familiar with your challenges, you have to commit to being completely honest with yourself. If something is a challenge, don’t be afraid of calling it what it is. If it’s been in the back of your mind that you’re not getting enough clients or you don’t really get social media, stop pushing the thoughts back. It’s only by looking our problems in the eye that we can be empowered to find solutions.
So, step one of tapping into your challenges is simply acknowledging them. Give them a home on paper by writing down all the issues affecting your business right now. Some of these may be strictly business, but many will feel deeply personal. A mompreneur like me, for example, will probably include something about feeling burned out by taking care of the kiddos. As a small business owner, your life and business are woven together. The challenges you face in life directly affect your business, so don’t try to keep them in separate compartments.
Compare your challenges to what you already know about your brand.How are these challenges affecting your story? Are they affecting your passion and the reason why you started your business? How do they fit in with your values? Going back to the values your business is built on could lead you to a solution very quickly. Lastly, how do they affect your goals? Are they keeping you from taking some of the steps and plans you laid out for the year?
Knowing how your challenges affect your brand should help you prioritize them. Circle the most pressing ones. Did you write anything down that’s been keeping you from investing time into your business? Is there something that’s draining your resources or costing you money? Or something that keeps you feeling frustrated or steals your joy? Focus in on the challenges causing the most pain right now. Taking care of them first will get you to a better place faster and free you to better handle the other smaller challenges.
With your challenges prioritized, it’s time to give them an actionable plan. How can you move past these obstacles in a way that fits in with your brand and benefits your business the most? Creating a plan for these challenges may mean tweaking the plans you made for your goals. But if there’s something making if difficult for you to move forward, it’s better to address it now. And if you’re lucky, some of your goal planning and challenge-defeating planning will overlap and you’ll be moving forward at double speed!
It can tough to recognize and give our challenges some thought. Maybe you’ve made some mistakes and some of the challenges you’re facing were born out of your own actions. But your challenges aren’t failures. They’re only bumps along the road. They may knock you down, but don’t let them stop you or keep you from getting back on your feet! Look them in the eye and tell them about how you’ll overcome them and make your business even more awesome thanks to them. You’ve totally got this!
Your action steps for the week:
- Acknowledge your challenges by writing them down.
- Analyze and prioritize by comparing them to what you know about your brand.
- Make a plan for the most pressing challenges and start on it!
- Remember to keep your chin up! These are only challenges, not failures.