Running a business means dealing with problems, just like any other part of your life. You’ll run into problems with technology, client problems, marketing problems, problems with your outsourced help or employees and life problems that take time and energy away from your business. How you deal with those problems will have a big impact on your success.
If you let yourself be drawn into the drama that a problem seems to create you become emotionally invested in it. When a problem comes up suddenly and unexpectedly its easy to immediately become fearful or angry and go into reaction mode. Most people try to avoid problems at all costs because they disrupt our plans and daily routines.
But problems are inevitable and it’s only how we perceive them that can make a difference. Let me share a personal example. Last weekend my air conditioning went out on the second floor of my home. Now you must understand that unfortunately-
1) It’s over 90 degrees and humid almost every day in August in North Carolina
2) My bedroom and office are both on the second floor.
Within a few hours the inside temperature had reached 94 degrees! When my trusted AC repairman arrived he informed me sadly that the whole unit was shot and that it would cost almost $5000 to replace it. Now at this point I had a crucial choice to make. I could really resist this situation, wailing and moaning, or I could accept it as just a part of home ownership. I started practicing gratitude. I’m grateful to have air conditioning at all and even more grateful to own a business that provides me with an income where I can afford to repair it. I’m not saying this was easy. I had much better things to do with that money. But I decided not to let it ruin my mood or my weekend. Even though it meant I had to sleep on the sofa and set up a makeshift office in my dining room for several days until the repair was complete.
The challenge became a bit tougher though, when my computer crashed the next day and I found myself sweating in my office on the phone with my computer guru trying to fix the problems. There were moments when I was gritting my teeth. But I just kept reminding myself that I had a choice as to
1) how to react to the situation
2) how to let this situation affect my mood, my emotions and my actions
I spent years letting myself get sucked into the drama of unexpected problems, allowing small problems to put me in a funk which prevented me from being at my best in my business or relationships. But I learned that I was only cheating myself. How about you?
Do you allow problems to foster anger or fear that lingers? Anger means we’re resisting the reality of the problem and we won’t be able to deal with it with a clear and totally rational mind. Fear means we may do all we can to avoid that type of problem again, even if it means holding ourselves back, limiting our opportunities or avoiding risk. Either way it can be a losing situation.
What problems are holding you back? I see many people held back by what they perceive as money problems. Their perception that there is never enough prevents them from taking powerful control over their money and investing it where it will really pay off in their business. Other people will compromise their values in a relationship to avoid conflict and further problems. All of this makes you smaller and drains you of energy. It robs you of your power to create the success you deserve.
Your business is where your passion and creativity allow you to not only make great money but to be of service to others. It’s where you step into your power. Problems will happen and you can’t avoid them. Handle them by detaching and taking a birds eye view of them from a distance. Ask yourself what you can learn from them. Refuse to get enmeshed in any emotional drama. And practice gratitude for what is working.© Copyright 2010 Janis Pettit