Inspiration vs Desperation – The Problem with Humans

Navigating the pathway through your business is a testing and rewarding experience. When things are going good it never seems easy, and when times are tough, it always feels much harder than it should be. One thing that always gets drummed into us is to surround yourself with great people, but when is the best time to call on them for help?

First, we need to understand the distinctive phases of business growth. Having worked with and presented to hundreds of business owners over the past 15 years, I can put my hand on heart and explain the progression of a growing business as thus:

ExcitementAnxiety - ConfidenceGood TimesCloud 9Frustration StressDisillusionedRe-energisedProud

Notice anything?

Our journey through business is a shift through easily recognisable emotional states as much as it is through phases of commercial success/struggle. There’s no definite timeline around it either. The cold, hard truth is that the way we are feeling will determine how we make decisions and I am yet to see any business deviate from the pathway above. Ever.

Over the years 9 out of 10 clients come to me in a state of what I call ‘desperation’. In the progression above it’s the ‘frustration – stress – disillusioned’ section. They’re not getting what they expected. They’re feeling overwhelmed. They’re stuck and can’t find the pathway out. Now look at what this section follows; ‘Confidence – Good Times – Cloud 9’.

Why do we wait until the 'emotional boom' cycle ends until we seek help?

Imagine you are really fit, then you become really unfit. What's the pathway back to fitness like? Hard, long, huge sacrifices, never-ending, improbable commitments, etc, etc. Now imagine that you are really fit and make the choice to maintain it. What are those actions like? Structured, disciplined, planned, energising and so on. Even if your fitness drops of, it's a far, far easier path back in the instance you have some sort of event coming up or swimsuit you want to wear!

When we consider our energetic state through the ‘emotional boom’ times in our business, everything seems to come to us far more easily. This is the time to reset your vision and to plan and invest in the next few cycles of growth. When we wait for the ‘emotional bust’ everything is much harder to shift. We wait for the need to make unfathomable commitments before we truly make the choice to change. Ever gone on a crash diet? Ever maintained it?

Ultimately, every business owner who speaks to me wants to smooth their cycle between investment in growth initiatives and running an efficient, profitable business. This is what happens in the ‘Re-energised – Proud’ phase.

So, if you’re currently enjoying what you’ll refer to at some point in the distant future as “the good old days”, the time is now to speak to people who can keep the good times rolling and minimise the pain associated with becoming stressed and disillusioned. Get a mentor, coach and/or set up an advisory board. Schedule your strategic retreats, be disciplined about business planning, engage your staff and keep your appointments.

However, given that 90% of you reading this will wait until you are feeling serious pain associated with your business, understand that you have options for support and in my experience, 85% of businesses that seek coaching support, have their expectation of the result met or exceeded.

Inspired? Desperate? It doesn’t matter. You have the choice to flourish now.

Chris Pezzimenti