The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
Slow Growth Phases – Don’t be Discouraged
Published on May 13, 2013
Read our article, 'Slide, Don't Slip' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Business owners face several challenges. Aside from the number of steps to incorporate a business, these challenges may include stiff competition as well as changing technology and business practices. Unfortunately, this often leads to a number of slow growth periods along the way and during those periods, it’s easy to feel discouraged. However, knowing how to overcome these feelings will help your business get through the slow growth phase and continue to increase the value of your company. Here are a few tips to help keep you on track:
1. Understanding Why You Feel Discouraged:
While discouragement from time to time is natural, one of the best ways to overcome this is by understanding where the feeling is coming from, both internally and externally. Some examples of internal causes include perfectionism, pessimism, comparing yourself to others and setting unrealistic goals. External causes include criticism from others, relying on the wrong advice, and information overload.
The next time you are feeling discouraged, evaluate why. Consider whether this emotion is coming from internal or external sources. Simply knowing the cause can be a big help in devising an effective strategy to overcome these feelings.
2. Develop an Attitude of Non-Attachment:
While non-attachment is essentially a spiritual concept, it is also very applicable to business owners. Too many times, you may be tempted to see your work or business as a very personal extension of yourself. It is important to step back and realize that your work may have a fluctuating value in the marketplace and that this should not be taken personally.
When you are able to disconnect your business from your personal life, then you are much less likely to drown in discouragement, even if the business is going through a period of slow growth. This is something that you can learn to do by focusing more on your thoughts and emotions. When you notice a feeling of lack or discouragement, acknowledge this and then concentrate on letting it go.
3. Choose to Remain Optimistic:
While it’s not possible to control our circumstances all the time, you do have the ultimate choice about how to respond to any circumstance. Choose to remain optimistic and positive, rather than negative and discouraged. Yes, this is not easy, but it is a choice. After incorporation, challenges are inevitable along the way to growing a successful business, yet these challenges do not need to become suffering; this only happens when you choose to dwell on the pessimistic side of things.
4. Don’t Ignore Your Feelings:
A lot of business owners tend to think that by ignoring something and trudging on they have overcome that feeling or problem. This is simply not true. Without at least acknowledging feelings of discouragement they can linger and eat at you from the inside. This could cause you to be even more unproductive, thereby increasing the slow growth phase you are already experiencing.
5. Take Care of Your Physical Health:
As a business owner you are incredibly busy. It probably seems as if you are being pulled in twenty different directions all at once. This often leads to having “no time” for exercise or eating properly. Unfortunately, this can also lead to a body that is worn down and cannot fight off stress and discouragement as easily as it should. Make the time to exercise at least two or three times a week, and make a conscious effort eat foods that will keep you healthy and sharp.
At the end of the day, no business is perfect and there will undoubtedly be ups and downs along the way. Keep these above ideas in mind whenever you are going through a slow growth phase so that you can stay positive, make the best of the situation and continue on to overcome challenges and grow your success.