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6 Ways You Can Stay Focused, Driven and Positive When Your Business Is on the Ropes

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business success
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If your business is currently experiencing a downturn, the number one thing to remember is: Don’t panic. Look at the history of many businesses, and you’ll see a series of peaks and valleys. Slow periods, stagnant growth, inefficiencies, and even scandals have plagued many business owners.

While it’s important to address the issues bogging down your business, know that a downturn isn’t a death knell for your venture. While it’s easy to say you should stay positive, the ability to maintain that positive attitude is another story.

Rather than worrying or getting caught in a cycle of negativity, here are six tips for how to stay focused, driven, and positive:

1. Meet with your mentor

When your business is going through a tough time, there aren’t many people you can turn to who understand your plight. One notable exception is other business owners who have seen it all. That’s just one of the benefits of having a mentor.

Mentoring is invaluable to small business owners. A survey conducted by UPS says that the success rate of businesses with a mentor after five years is double that of those without a mentor. According to the national nonprofit SCORE, small business owners who receive 3+ hours of mentoring report both higher revenues and increased growth.

A mentor might be able to help you find a solution to your issue or connect you with someone who can. Most importantly, they’ll act as a sounding board and provide accountability in a way that non-business owners simply can’t.

2. Don’t burn yourself out working harder

One of the most common pitfalls for small business owners is failing to give themselves an adequate work-life balance. It only becomes more difficult to maintain that balance when business is slow. Some people think that the answer to flagging sales is to redouble their efforts in an attempt to right the ship.

If things were going well before the downturn, your issue isn’t one of effort. Working twice as many hours won’t suddenly produce twice the profits.

For example, not getting enough sleep (4-6 hours a night, as opposed to the recommended 7-9 per night) produces cognitive performance deficits, meaning you’re more likely to make mistakes while you work. On the other hand, research shows that people who are “more engaged in creative activity often scored 15 to 30 percent higher on performance rankings than those who were less engaged.”

The takeaway: Having hobbies and getting sleep—rather than burning the candle on both ends—makes you better at your job. Keep in mind that entrepreneurs are generally more prone than employees to feeling stressed, worried and depressed, and are more likely to experience addiction and mental health disorders. Take care of yourself, or no one will be able to take care of your business.

“The land of burnout is not a place I ever want to go back to.” – Arianna Huffington

3. Don’t sacrifice your quality

When sales are slumping, it’s tempting to switch up your business model in a way that sacrifices long-term goals for short-term happiness. Typically, this means discounting the prices of your products and services—and, subsequently, often lowering the quality in order to keep your share of the profits. However, aggressive discounting isn’t the way to build a loyal customer base.

According to research by Price Intelligently, offering steep discounts can significantly decrease the lifetime value of a customer by 30%. This is because deeply discounted prices can make customers less willing to pay full price in the future, resulting in higher churn rates and the need to spend more on acquiring new customers.

Stick to your business plan, or consider making alterations that reflect the realities you’ve come up against. Simply slashing prices to get in people’s good graces isn’t a tactic—it’s a race to the bottom.

4. Look into a form of flexible financing

Cash flow management is a frequent hazard for small business owners. When business is slow, your vendors and creditors still need to get paid—and failing to pay up when required is what tends to sink a business.

Give yourself a little breathing room by looking into flexible forms of financing. Revolving forms of credit, such as lines of credit or business credit cards, are excellent lifelines to have in your back pocket when unexpected expenses arise, or when you need a little extra time to square up a bill before an invoice you’re owed pays off. Avoid any client payment dues that can cause a debt on you by using some advanced invoice generators. They have a lot of automated features making it easier to keep track of all the due payments. 

Qualifying for financing isn’t always a given, but if you are eligible, having these financial tools at your disposal helps you stay in control of your cash flow.

5. Shift your focus to what you’ve been neglecting

When business is slow, look for the silver lining: Now you have time to work on the projects you typically don’t have time for. Whether it’s consolidating workflows, writing blog posts, networking, or any other tasks you let fall by the wayside, you can now direct your efforts towards addressing them.

When business picks back up again, you’ll be glad you had time to perform tasks that would otherwise continue to bog you down.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

6. Pivot towards a new direction

There are a number of reasons why your business might be slowing down. If you’ve identified an opportunity to pivot your company in a new direction as a result of this downturn, that’s a good thing. There’s no better time to consider the logistics of a pivot than when you’re not as distracted by the everyday bustle of the busy season.

Remember, a pivot—as famously described by entrepreneur Eric Ries—isn’t jumping to a new vision entirely. It’s keeping one foot grounded in what you’ve already validated, while applying those lessons in a new way.

You might pivot to a new set of customers, or to solving a different problem for the same customers you’ve been serving. You might pivot by spinning out one feature of your services into its own product, or adding more features to what you offer.

Making this change can be time- and resource-consuming, which is why you’ll once again appreciate the silver lining of a downturn. Now you can focus on what you can do better, rather than thinking of it as what you’ve done wrong.

Staying positive when your business is on the ropes is always easier said than done. As we’ve seen, however, these moments are actually excellent opportunities for improvement, growth, and strengthening your own resolve. Entrepreneurship is always bound to have its ups and downs—it’s how you respond to those changes that will dictate the level of your success.  

How do you stay positive in times of negativity? Share your thoughts with us below!

 

Eric Goldschein is the partnerships editor at Fundera, a marketplace for small business financial solutions. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in History and English writing. Eric has nearly a decade of experience in digital media and writes extensively on marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, and small business trends.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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