At Office Hacks by Inkjet Wholesale, we’ve focused on a lot of business or start-up related subjects. We’ve written on everything from business plans and recruitment to marketing and office efficiency. In all these months of writing, one subject that we’ve never focused on till now is the mentality of a business owner. We haven’t really delved into this side of entrepreneurship because we assumed it to be fairly mundane and basic. We figured that none of our readers would want to focus on motivation, mentality, and mindset. We were wrong.
Certain recent intimations from our readers have now led us to believe that motivation, mentality, and mindset or the 3Ms are very much in demand amongst entrepreneurs these days. So, now we will be focusing on these as much as any other aspect of setting up or running a business. This time out, we want to consider the subject of business obstacles and how you can deal with them.
Have You Planned For Business Obstacles In Your Future?
Generally speaking, entrepreneurs and business owners tend to be fairly optimistic. In fact, they need to have that bravado, if they’re going to take risks with their time, money, and health. One of the oldest business wisdom is that more risks yield greater rewards. Since taking risks means being optimistic, the more optimistic a business owner is, the greater his chances will be of striking gold.
At the same time, though, his chances of coming up against tough business obstacles also go up. However, an inherently optimistic nature usually means that the business owner hasn’t planned for business obstacles. When we speak of business obstacles, we’re not talking about slumps in sales or a negative review in public domain. We mean those obstacles that seem unassailable. We mean those obstacles that seem immovable.
We mean those obstacles that have the potential to sap all the energy out of the business owner simply by the virtue of how tough they’re to deal with and nullify. Make no mistake; every business owner will face business obstacles that will make him want to hit the bottle or simply run away into the hills for a week. It is how that business owner deals with these business obstacles in his head that will decide how long he remains a business owner.
This is where the battle shifts from the world of tangibles to intangibles i.e. logistical to psychological. Most business owners lose this psychological battle. We’re here to make sure that you don’t. Here are some suggestions from us to help you overcome business obstacles in the head so that you can overcome them in the real world.
Be the Challenger, Not the Victim
Most people can be classified into two categories – the challenger and the victim. The victim is the individual who always acts downtrodden and behaves like the troubles of the world are on his shoulder. The challenger, on the other hand, oozes energy and embodies determination. While the victim and the challenger may both work hard, the motivations are different. The victim works hard so that he can rest. The challenger rests only so he can work harder.
The attitude difference can be best described as passive and active. The victim is passive while the challenger is active. Therefore, when business obstacles strike, the victim will bemoan (even if it is in his head) why they happened but the challenger will move into action, regardless of where he is at that point in life, health, and finances. Be the challenger, not the victim and you’ll find business obstacles dissipating like smoke on the ocean.
Fall Back on Why You Started What You’re Doing Now
The law of causality cannot be evaded. It will always catch up with everyone. There will always be a cause to everything. When you started your business, you did it for a reason. When you got into the industry you’re right now in, you did it for a reason. When the current business obstacles started cropping up in your way, they did so for a reason too. You’re probably expecting us to tell you to focus on the reasons behind these obstacles.
While you should do that anyway, what we want you to do is focus on the reason why you do what you do. If you can roll back time and remember what compelled you to start this business, then there is no obstacle in the world that will stop you from achieving your intended targets. The trick is to not only remember the reason objectively but also to recall what you felt when you thought up or stumbled upon that reason.
Focus On Why As Opposed To What
One of the simplest yet rarest of qualities of legendary businessmen world over such as Steve Jobs is their ability to ask the right question. These men ask the right question regardless of which aspect of their business they’re considering. Whether they’re focusing on product development, operational efficiency, or marketing, they always ask why before they even consider what.
Why is the question that every businessman should be asking, irrespective of whether his business is small, medium, or large scaled. Why will always matter more than all other questions such as what, how, who or when. The reason for this is simply that why defines the answers to all other questions. It emphasises on the motivation and objective as opposed to the process or destination. It brings attention to the intangible before the tangible and since innovation is the prerequisite to invention, why becomes the most paramount question.
Break It Down To Little Pieces
Why do business obstacles bring you down in the first place? They do so because they seem too big. If you actually think back; the little problems, no matter how persistent, rarely ever troubled you. It is only the complicated and large-scale problems that will make you question yourself. This is essentially an illusion.
A large or overly complicated problem is nothing but the combination or aggregation of multiple smaller problems. The trick with this kind of a challenge is to find the joins and to break the big problem down into small pieces again. Without any puns intended, you need to break business obstacles down to little pieces. At a smaller scale, such obstacles become far more manageable and conquerable than they seemed before.
Overcome Inertia and Resistance
Steven Pressfield, in his book ‘The War of Art’, talks a lot about resistance. Some psychologists use the term inertia. The phenomenon is the same – a certain resistance inside of you that keeps you from beginning, continuing or finishing something. According to Pressfield, every individual is capable of great art provided they can get over this resistance.
His solution to the problem of resistance is becoming professional. By this, he basically means getting down to business, no matter what. In simpler Nike words, “just do it”. When faced with business obstacles, the simplest and possibly the most effective thing you can do is to hunker down and move forward. Initially, you’ll feel massive resistance from inside and outside of you but this resistance will gradually fade away as you pick up momentum. Before you’ll know it, you’ll actually be having fun!