Confusion, fear, distress — these are feelings all entrepreneurs have at some point in their careers. Entrepreneurship is filled with risk, and sometimes, the limitless possibilities and abundant dangers become overwhelming. Young business leaders are especially susceptible to a form of paralysis that makes business-related decision-making absolutely impossible.
However, failure to make decisions more often results in not choosing a path. Entrepreneurs who feel lost must strive to overcome their paralysis and move their business in any direction. The following tricks can help lost business leaders reorient themselves and their businesses and find success.
One of the primary causes of confusion is lack of knowledge. It’s incredibly likely that once you obtain more information about your business, you will see the correct course forward. Thus, you should spend some time gathering data pertinent to the business decision that has stopped you in your tracks. For example, if your competition is outperforming you, you should research the differences between their models and yours.
It is never a good idea to make a decision before you have all the facts. Even after you get over your confusion, you should make a habit of gathering information before you rush to one conclusion or another. By reading all pertinent business reports, talking to employees, and keeping abreast of industry news, you will feel more prepared to run your business well.
Listen to Experts
You aren’t an expert — yet. Fortunately, there are experts you can listen to. There are thousands of professional leadership speakers with years of business experience who are eager to give you advice on your current situation. You can hire one of them to give a presentation to your entire company, so your employees can benefit as much as you do.
Alternatively, you might seek a business mentor — or ask your speaker to coach you long term. The benefits of a mentor-mentee relationship are manifold: You gain perspective and guidance as well as an expanded business network while your mentor gains a sense of influence and a potential legacy. With a mentor showing you the way, you could become an expert faster than you’d expect.
When was the last time you reviewed your business goals? If your answer similar to “I don’t remember,” it is time to think about what you are working toward. Your disorientation might derive from a failure to establish new business goals once you achieved the old ones or pivoted in a new direction. If you find that your old goals don’t satisfy your new ambitions, it is time to rewrite your mission statement and reroute your business to fulfill it.
Revisit Past Mistakes
No entrepreneur gets his or her start without a few hiccups. Typically, those bumps do little to derail the business, but they might have shaken your confidence or confused your plans. If you let those little mistakes overwhelm you, your business won’t succeed. Instead, you must logically work through what caused those mistakes and rectify any enduring issues for any hope of moving on.
Unfortunately, these won’t be the last mistakes you will make as a business owner. Every business decision is a risk, but if you are skilled and capable, most of those risks will pay off. Still, revisiting and resolving your mistakes is another good habit you should cultivate to avoid getting lost in the future.
Consult With Customers
Perhaps another method of gathering information, talking to customers will give you insight into how your business is currently perceived and what it could do to improve its relationship with its target audience. Through social media or surveys, you can question your customers about current business methods — especially customer service practices — to learn what is going right and what can be improved. Then, you might gain some direction for your business and find a way out of your slump.
Take a Break
If nothing else works, you might simply be in desperate need of a break. Burnout is a real medical condition that results from chronic stress; if you are burnt out on your business, you might feel apathetic, irritable, pessimistic, or depressed. You might have trouble sleeping, lose your concentration easily, or lose your appetite. You might also have physical symptoms, such as muscle fatigue, headaches, and shortness of breath. These signs are messages from your body and mind telling you to slow down and take a break.
You can’t do everything for your business all at once. The more balanced your lifestyle, the more effective you will be at work. Your planner should always have time for you to do the things you love, spend time with family and friends, and relax.