When things are going well, it makes you feel like you are on top of the world and you can cope with any challenge that comes your way. It can feel like good luck follows you around, and it is easy to get on a roll when times are great and new business is rolling in.
The flip-side to this is that when you find yourself in tough times and stuck in a rut; it can be really hard to get back on track. It's easy to blame bad luck when things start to go awry in a business but the truth is that every individual has the power to take control of their own destiny.
There is a saying that tough times don't last but tough people do. In other words, if you can cope during the hard times, then you are going to be in a great position to make the most of the good times when they return.
Blaming bad luck is an easy way out and will not address the problems that are affecting your business. The only way to get back on the road to business success is to take control of the situation and to take some positive action.
Here are seven ways you can keep yourself motivated and on track in tough times:
1. When you are faced by challenges and difficulties, being the one who is responsible for keeping a business afloat can feel like a very lonely place. There is no doubt that having responsibility for employees can become a heavy burden and can increase the feeling of isolation but remember there are plenty of others who have been through similar experiences and sharing a problem can often help to ease the burden. It can be a big mistake to plough on through alone. Those who have been through tough times will be able to offer you support and practical advice.
2. When the going gets tough it can pay to take a step back from the daily grind so you can take a cold hard look at the business and how it is operating. It is a common mistake to concentrate on the smaller details and fail to see the bigger picture. Don't stick your head in the sand -- confront a particular issue or problem head-on, and if necessary get other staff involved and ask them for their views on what is stopping the business performing as it should be.
3. There are loads of specialists, coaches and consultants out there who can help you overcome hurdles and deal with challenges. It can make sense in the long run to hire a business coach to help you take a look at your business and the way it is being operated. Often someone from the outside with experience and expertise can see things more clearly than you. A good business coach will help you decide what targets you need to set yourself and how to go about achieving those aims.
4. When times are tough it is all too easy to let things get on top of you. The key is not to let work completely dominate and control your life in tough times. I have always found it important to make time for my family and friends, even when things have been difficult at work. If you let your problems dominate every waking moment, it becomes very easy to blow things out of proportion and view minor issues as massive problems. Remember to take time to unwind and recharge. It's a great way to put things into perspective.
5. Exercise and healthy eating can be good antidotes to the effects of stress. When under pressure, many people ditch their workout and start skipping meals or eating fast food. Remember to look after yourself. Being physically fit and healthy is a great way to stay mentally strong and also makes you feel more confident about yourself.
6. Just because you have always done things in a certain way, doesn't mean that you are taking the right approach. Times and conditions change and we are all living in an increasingly fast-paced world. There is no excuse for failing to change. If things are not working and you keep going about your business in the same way, then you will keep getting the same set of results. It is human nature to take comfort out of routine and habit, but if something is no longer working then it makes perfect sense to change it.
7. As well as standing back and taking stock of your business, you should also take stock of your staff. If there is an issue with the business then it could be something to do with the quality of the people you employ. Even if the problems you are experiencing are a minor blip, it is worth questioning whether your employees have the necessary skills to take the business onto the next level of its development.
Sometimes tough times mean you have to make tough decisions to ensure the business survives and continues to prosper. As always when you identify what needs to be done to put things right, don't delay, just do it!