It’s Not the Flow, But You’ve Got to Go With It

A business isn’t something you can just wing. It takes careful planning to succeed.

Yet despite your very best efforts, business and life will throw curveballs at you.

They’ll throw you off course and try to pull you down.

You’ve got to roll with these punches, adapt and mobilise because it’s how you react to them that determines their impact.

Being able to take them on the chin and adapt is good for you and your business.

If you can adapt, you can steal the edge on your competitors in business and get more out of life in general.

Embracing a new reality

You’re facing a new reality. Adapt your thoughts and actions to suit that reality, and you’ll be able to come back from adversity quicker.

Bad things happen to us all. It’s something we need to accept. We can’t let them defeat us.

This is where experience comes in handy. If you’ve been in a similar situation, you’ll know what to do (or what not to do).

You know, too, that the situation will pass.

Be adaptable. Be resilient.

How can you be more adaptable?

It’s about working on your mindset, about the way you perceive things.

It’s about working on improvement. Constant improvement.

Developing the right mindset and experimenting with new things will carry you through.

Be alert to the signals

Sometimes curveballs aren’t curveballs at all. Sometimes the signs have always been there — we just didn’t see them.

Look at your business data and see if there are any trends or patterns that indicate something is amiss. Are customers starting to hire you for more of one service or ask if you supply a certain service and increasingly less of another, for instance?

If you’re seeing signals like this, act before it’s too late — or, if opportunity is knocking, strike while the iron’s hot!

Keep trying new things

Trying new things is important in life and in business.

Opening yourself up to new experiences will broaden your mind. You’ll find it much easier to go with the flow.

Experimenting in business, naturally, leads you to discover new ways of working, providing services, making products, etc.

The tradition has been to test different products and/or services, but today, it’s equally important to test different business models and strategies. You might happen upon the one that allows a curveball to just rebound off you instead of destroying you.

Keep things in perspective

Sure, the pressure may be on sometimes, but keep things in perspective.

A curveball is inconvenient, but you know something? It might not even matter. Is it going to destroy you? Will it cause the business to collapse?

If the answer to questions like this is ‘No’, relax a little. Things are still going to be okay in the long run, so accept the incident for what it is — an inconvenience — and start dealing with it.

Ask if you can get down to fixing the problem already

When life or business hurls a curveball your way, you’ve got to stay calm. Flapping around won’t do any good.

Some people panic so much that it doesn’t even occur to them they’re wasting time by doing it. They could be dealing with the problem at hand instead.

That could be calling the plumber if a pipe bursts and getting some advice to address the problem short term until they can arrive.

It could be a question of speaking to an accountant about an important payment that’s not come in. All it could take is a quick phone call and the money is in the bank a few hours later.

So, ask yourself some positive questions that will help you to move forward, such as:

  • What can I learn from this?
  • What do I need to make it through this?
  • What could solve this?
  • What would help me achieve what I want?

A curveball is an opportunity in disguise

The one thing that we’ve not mentioned in all of this is how much we all enjoy a challenge in business. It’s part of the fun. Keeps things interesting. In fact, it’s part of the (many) reason(s) why we set up and grow a business in the first place.

These curveballs are a test of our mettle, of our resilience. Whether in life or business, we can step up to the plate and deal with them like the professionals we are, and use them to grow.

Who knows where it could lead? You might discover something new about yourself. You could find you’re good at something you never thought you would be and use that skill to advance further in life and business.

So, when a problem materialises out of the blue, don’t curse the world for conspiring against you.

Thank the world instead for this magnificent opportunity to show you’ve got what it takes.

You have.

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