How’s business? Are profits meeting your expectations?
Possibly, because you’re reading this article, you’re feeling burnout. You might even feel as though you’re chained to a heavy weight.
If profits or cash flow are subpar, chances are you also have these symptoms.
Typical stress factors:
* Boredom – you’re tired of the same tedious routine.
* Clutter — your office and home need cleaning and organization.
* Disappointment – perhaps you lost a bid, a customer or a major client.
* Emptiness – you’ve successfully reached a goal or acquired a major piece of business but feel let down.
* Fear – you fear some challenges. You feel paralyzed.
* Personal problems – a troublesome, prodigal child or lack of support from your mate.
* Reading — you haven’t read an inspirational book or article lately.
* Sense of betrayal — an employee embezzles money or your spouse starts drinking or finds a lover.
* Tired – you’re demoralized when you fail to make progress in being overworked.
* Too few options – you can’t find enough customers or projects.
By the way, FEAR (an acronym for frantic effort to avoid responsibility) is the root-cause of all the symptoms.
My friend, you need to develop some hope. That’s what you get from developing options.
This means you need to take time for reflection or some deep strategic planning. Yes, I know — lack of time is one of the biggest complaints of businesspeople – they’re too busy putting out fires. So, that’s why it’s vital to budget the time whether you plan a big block of time for reflection or just an hour a day. But you can do it.
If you’re a small-business owner, yes, it’s difficult to set aside the time. To paraphrase Reggie Jackson when he was hitting homeruns for the New York Yankees, you’re the straw that stirs the drink. You’re the sparkplug.
However, you can’t afford not to get the job done. Your work suffers from stagnation. Clients and customers become resentful. Your income will drop.
Do you have employees? Your employees need your leadership. They look to you as the role model. You can influence their performance simply by being energetic and positive.
But what to do?
Here’s a business principle to remember: “No matter what there are no big deals. No matter what.” Remember this axiom to take the emotional sting out of your problems. You’ll be better prepared to deal with issues.
Here’s another: Budget your time so you can better understand your problems.
Here’s how to get going:
- Write about your situation. Analyze your problem with a piece of paper and pencil
- Get help from an outside participant. Find a consultant or coach.
- If you can’t afford help, and don’t have a mentor, find one. Even in college, I’d call a successful person in my chosen field and ask for a brief appointment. Once, as a junior I was offered a job as a TV announcer in a Top 50 market. After my career was underway but I was laid off, I called the founder of a major broadcasting company. He met with me three times and provided outstanding counsel.
- Clean and organize. Refrain from using post-it-notes and put things away.
- Create a vision – some goals. One page will work.
- Then, develop a balance sheet – pros and cons of the possible solutions.
- Can’t get things done? Start a to-do list. Do the most-challenging project the first hour of your day. You’ll start experiencing some energy.
- Take other actions. Even if it’s only going for a walk, take baby steps. Then, accelerate your footwork.
- Start reading — something helpful each day.
- Periodically review your goals. Do you want to remain an entrepreneur? Do you need more money? Do you need more time?
By the way, here’s proof positive: Supportive spouses help in work-related stress.
Especially during the holidays, excessive drinking is a pressing problem — whether it’s an employee or spouse.
The best-known, least-expensive solutions for problem drinking:
- For friends, relatives or associates of drinkers, Al-Anon (www.al-anon.org) provides free tools. There’s even a program for youngsters. It’s called Alateen.
- For the alcoholic, Alcoholics Anonymous (www.aa.org) is the proven free solution.
Don’t be discouraged. Alchoholics will be hesitant to consider AA until they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired…or until a judge requires AA attendance after a drunk-driving incident.
If you’re the boss, but still don’t feel like working, perhaps you’re burned out. It can happen to anybody – whether it’s procrastinating on difficult decisions, paying bills, or dealing with difficult employees and customers.
So, take some time off. If you can’t get away for 10 to 21 days, then plan a series of mini-vacations. Get some exercise.
Remember: You can’t afford not to relax and exercise.
Good luck in your rejuvenation!
From the Coach’s Corner, here are 30 time management, stress-reducing skills.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”