Are you tired of feeling stuck in your business, desperately seeking growth and success? There are often many things that hold us back that we aren’t even aware of. It’s only when we face them and overcome them that we see the real growth and opportunities waiting for us!
In my latest episode of Shop Talk, “Real Talk: The Things That Are Keeping You Stuck,” I reveal the hidden obstacles that are hindering your business growth – plus the key to overcoming them! You will discover techniques to break free from stagnation and conquer those seemingly insurmountable roadblocks that have held you back for far too long.
Don’t let your dreams slip away. Unlock the secrets to business growth and ignite your entrepreneurial journey today. Check out this episode and be the architect of your own success story!
Snapshot of this episode:
- 7:30 – Time Management
- 20:03 – Perfectionism
- 32:08 – Fear
- 37:06 – Comparison
- 41:02 – Not Getting Help
- 48:46 – Break Free From What’s Holding You Back
If you’re familiar with what I do, you know I typically share marketing strategies that work. But today is going to be different. Instead, I want to have a “real talk” about what keeps you stuck and prevents you from growing your business (and you might not even know it).
If you know me, you know I love to “talk shop” and share strategies, but anything new you learn only works if you implement it! Your business WILL NOT grow because you learned another strategy. However, you will succeed because you fully IMPLEMENT the wisdom you’ve gained!
If you are here today, then I know you are feeling stuck. Things are probably not moving along in your business like you hope they would, and you’re ready for a change. Whether you still need to figure out what’s got you stuck or are ready to learn how to get unstuck – either way, you’re in the right place!
My goal today is to provide you with some insight, tough love, and encouragement you need to break through. But it’s important to recognize that success won’t come solely from listening to motivational talks or gathering more information. It requires action, commitment, and a willingness to push through obstacles.
So, let’s dive deep into the reasons why you might be stuck. Are you procrastinating, lacking focus, or fearing failure? Maybe you’re playing it safe, avoiding risks, or struggling with self-doubt. Whatever the reasons, it’s time to confront them head-on and, more importantly, move past them!
I encourage you to be brutally honest with yourself. Take inventory of your actions and mindset. Identify the patterns keeping you stagnant and commit to breaking free from them. Remember, change starts with awareness.
One more thing: It’s time to step up and take ownership of your success. No one else can do it for you. No magic strategy or external factor will suddenly transform your business. It’s up to you to put in the work, implement the strategies you learn, and push through even when facing challenges.
I want to challenge you right now to pull out a sheet of paper and write down the things you feel are holding you back. I’ve got six key challenges I see people struggling with all the time, let’s see if any of these resonate with you.
I also want to mention that I am coming to you today without judgment. I’ve faced these same challenges in my own business, and my goal is to vulnerably share how I’ve moved past these roadblocks in hopes that it will help you as well!
I guess what I’m trying to say is you are not alone. I’m sure all entrepreneurs experience similar challenges. Still, the ones who dare to push through are the ones that emerge stronger and build successful businesses.
With that said, let’s dive in!
One thing I see a lot that holds entrepreneurs back is time management. Now, hear me – I’m not saying a lack of time. Instead, it’s a mindset around time. Bottom line? Stop saying you don’t have time. The equilibrium of life and growing your business is time. Some spend it – some waste it (just like money).
The Oldest Excuse in the Book
A message I’ve shared for 20+ years now is, “If it’s important enough, you’ll find a way; if not, you’ll find an excuse.”
There is NO obstacle you are facing right now that can’t be overcome (except health and death). If you think about that for a moment, there’s so much power there.
There is NO obstacle that you can’t overcome. When you believe that, your mind instantly goes to work to problem solve. But, when you decide to take on the victim mindset that you don’t have enough time, this limiting belief tells you that you aren’t in control of your time. This causes you to give your power away. That’s not something that happens to you; it’s a decision you make.
I don’t have time to record a 30-minute video.
But, if your kid broke their arm, you’d make time.
I don’t have time to write those sales emails.
But, if you got a new coaching client you had to work with, you’d find time.
“If it’s important enough, you’ll find a way; if not, you’ll find an excuse.”
Now let’s talk about setting boundaries. Why are boundaries so important? Summed up in one statement: “Givers have to set limits because takers never will.” There are a lot of demands on our time from friends, family, clients, and even ourselves. Setting boundaries will help you to reclaim your freedom and flexibility. Here’s how you can do that:
- Treat it like a job till it pays you like a business: When you work for an employer, there is a certain expectation on your level of output. You only call in sick when you are legitimately too sick to come in, and you get the work done each day that is expected of you. Make sure you are giving your business the same dedication. We all love the freedom and flexibility of being a business owner, but that is earned through your commitment to your business.
- Use your freedom and flexibility wisely: Once you have reached a level where you have more freedom and flexibility, be careful not to take advantage of it. You may be able to work the hours you want or enjoy the perks of a mobile office, but taking regular three-hour breaks in the middle of a workday is not the best use of your time.
- Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should: This is a boundary you often have to set with other people. I remember when my husband left his job to help me with my business. Since he has a reputation for being very skilled at building furniture and other handy projects, suddenly, everyone wanted his help. But he didn’t leave his job to help people with their furniture – he left it to help me with my business. So, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
- Your lack of preparation does not make it my emergency: When someone you are working with comes to you with a problem, look at it objectively. If the person is panicking because they dropped the ball on a project, that stress doesn’t automatically transfer to you. Make sure you are not taking on responsibilities that belong to someone else. Your primary focus needs to be your business.
- Why I fired a $200,000 client: We had a client that, literally every day, we were putting out fires for. This was a client we had taken from $0 to $1 million in revenue. They were so ecstatic they wanted a customized experience with our company that involved an agreement where we would get a share of their revenue equaling around $200,000 a year. The problem was that the arrangement made them feel as if they owned me and my team. Eventually, I had to make the decision to let them go. It was a difficult decision, but the morning after it was final, I woke up with this incredible weight lifted off my shoulders!
Perfectionism is a thief. It may seem like it’s doing you favors, but it’s one of the biggest things holding you back from growing your business. Here’s a social media post I just wrote about it…
“Perfectionism is the thief of progress and peace of mind. It lurks in the shadows, silently sabotaging our efforts by setting impossibly high standards and fostering an unhealthy obsession with flawless outcomes.
When we fall victim to perfectionism, we become paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes or falling short of our own unrealistic expectations. This thief steals our ability to take risks, experiment, and learn from failures, as it constantly demands flawlessness and prevents us from embracing imperfection as an essential part of growth. It robs us of the joy and satisfaction of completing tasks and reaching milestones, as we are never satisfied with our achievements. “
I don’t know about you, but that’s how I felt for a long time. In fact, I wore perfectionism like a badge of honor. So if this resonates with you, I want to share with you how to spot perfectionism:
- High self-imposed standards: Perfectionists set unrealistically high expectations for themselves and strive for flawlessness in everything they do.
- Excessive focus on details (I call this “majoring in minor things” ): They tend to get caught up in small details and may have difficulty staying focused on the bigger picture.
- All-or-nothing thinking: Perfectionists often think in extremes, believing that if something is not perfect, it is a complete failure.
- Procrastination: Due to fear of failing to meet their own high standards, perfectionists typically delay starting or completing tasks/projects.
- Difficulty delegating: They have a strong desire to maintain control over tasks and may find it challenging to delegate work to others.
- Overemphasis on productivity (workaholic): Perfectionists may prioritize productivity above their own well-being, pushing themselves to work excessively long hours. One of the biggest things that shifted my business was setting office hours like regular businesses!
- Avoidance of risks: Due to the fear of failure, they may avoid taking risks or trying new things, sticking to what they already know they can do well.
- Emotional distress: Perfectionists may experience anxiety, stress, and frustration when they perceive their efforts as falling short of perfection.
- Harsh self-criticism: They are highly self-critical and rarely acknowledge their achievements. Even minor mistakes can lead to self-blame and feelings of inadequacy.
- Fear of judgment: Perfectionists are often concerned about what others think of them and seek constant approval and validation.
Do any of those sound familiar? If so, recognize where these stem from and adopt the mindset of “version done is better than version none.” This is one of our core coaching philosophies that we use to guide clients into action.
Now let’s talk about…
Cullen said this one day, and I thought it was genius: “It’s easier to live in your dreams than to face reality. If you aren’t taking action because of fear, you can’t change your reality.”
Unfortunately, we see fear showing its ugly head all the time.
Here’s what I do to overcome fear. My hope is that it will help you overcome yours!
- Acknowledge the fear: Understand it’s a natural response designed to keep you safe – but it doesn’t have to control you.
- Identify the source of the fear: As I said, fear is designed to keep you safe. It is natural. If you’re in the woods alone and feel afraid, that’s a good thing; it keeps you aware of your surroundings to keep yourself safe. But, if you are a business owner and fear making videos to get your business in front of your audience, that’s F.E.A.R. (false evidence appearing real). It’s not real; it’s in your head. It’s not protecting you; it’s sabotaging you!
- Feel the fear and do it anyway: Successful people feel fear too. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Live in that moment. Feel all the feelings. Then take action despite how you feel.
Social media is dangerous. People are spending too much time comparing their lives to others.
Here are a few tips to help you with this:
- Limit your exposure to things that trigger you: Be mindful of who you hang with and your social media exposure. Surround yourself with positive influences and supportive people who inspire and uplift you.
- Focus on your own journey and progress: Each of us has a unique story that makes us who we are. Part of my story includes a father who died when I was young and a mother who struggled with mental illness and schizophrenia. My brother and I missed 50% of every school year because my mom couldn’t get us to school, and eventually, we were placed in foster care. My story looks different from other people’s, but it is still mine, and it has shaped me into who I am today. And I promise yours has done the same for you.
- Know you are extraordinary: Comparing yourself to others diminishes your worth and hinders your self-confidence. Embrace what makes you special.
- Literally, write your story: Any time you find yourself comparing, shift your focus to your story. Acknowledge things you’ve overcome to get to where you’re at. I was at an event this weekend and was (again) reminded of the power of stories in connecting with people. I’m thinking about creating a story journal. If you’d be interested in something like that, drop the word ‘journal’ in the comments, and I’ll shoot you a copy.
Not Getting Help
This one can be a big one for entrepreneurs. There are a few reasons why entrepreneurs don’t ask for help:
- Fear of vulnerability: Entrepreneurship often requires a level of independence and self-reliance. Asking for help can make us feel vulnerable as if we’re admitting a weakness or lack of expertise. This fear can hinder our willingness to reach out and seek assistance.
- Desire for control: Entrepreneurs are typically driven individuals who want to maintain control over their businesses. Asking for help may be perceived as relinquishing some of that control, which can be uncomfortable or unsettling.
- Perfectionism: Because you are running a business, there is a lot of self-imposed pressure to perform. And the perfectionism I discussed earlier sets in big-time.
- Not willing to invest in getting the help they need: The sooner you are willing to invest in your business (hire your first coach, hire your first team member, purchase that program), I mean to make an investment that stretches you – the flood gates will open up for you!
- You will work harder.
- You will focus on an ROI.
- You will get uncomfortable.
The challenges with not asking for help:
- Overburdening yourself: Trying to handle every aspect of your business alone can lead to overwhelm and burnout. Without help, you may find yourself stretched thin and unable to effectively manage all the necessary tasks and responsibilities.
- Lack of expertise: No one is an expert in every aspect of business. Not seeking help means missing out on the opportunity to leverage the skills and knowledge of others who specialize in areas where you may have limited expertise. This can result in suboptimal decision-making and potential mistakes hindering your business’s growth.
- Limited perspective and insights: Collaboration and seeking advice from others can bring fresh perspectives and insights. By not getting help, you may miss out on valuable ideas, feedback, and alternative approaches that could enhance your business strategies and problem-solving abilities.
- Missed opportunities for networking and partnerships: Building connections and relationships in the business world is crucial for growth and success. By not seeking help or collaborating with others, you may miss out on networking opportunities and potential partnerships that could open doors for your business.
- Inefficient use of resources: Trying to do everything on your own can result in inefficient allocation of resources, both in terms of time and finances. Getting help allows you to delegate tasks, streamline processes, and leverage the expertise of others, ultimately leading to better resource management and optimization.
- Slower growth and progress: Without support and assistance, your business may experience slower growth and progress. Getting help can provide the necessary momentum and support to overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and achieve your goals more efficiently.
Remember, seeking help and building a supportive network is not a sign of weakness but a smart business strategy. Recognizing the areas where you need assistance and actively seeking help can propel your business forward and maximize your chances of success.