Running your own business isn’t easy – but what is the biggest barrier stalling our ability to grow?
Truth is, it’s you.
In this episode, I help you refocus your mindset, identify seven barriers to business growth and how to overcome each one.
Tune in to understand what’s keeping you from making power moves and start taking action for better results!
It starts with you.
Before we head into the different barriers, the first thing we need to do is focus on ourselves.
This requires a lot of internal work and the only way to do this is by getting quiet. Give yourself quiet time to reflect and check-in with yourself. Ask yourself, “what’s going on with me? What are my goals? How do I intend on getting there?” Try meditating, journaling or using my free worksheet in the resources below.
Over time, you’ll be able to monitor yourself and keep track of your progress. The goal is to find any triggers where barriers may come up. Only when you’re able to identify these triggers and barriers, you kick-start your business growth.
Barrier #1: Money, money, money!
I’ll admit it – I’ve given a lot of power to money. Money is a huge factor when making decisions especially when we see it as something limited. We only have a limited amount of money that we can spend, invest with, have on hand or can use to pay ourselves. It often feels like never-ending debt. I completely disagree. Money is completely infinite.
I know what you’re thinking, “Shelagh are you serious? All I see in my bank account are numbers that don’t add up to the amount I want!”
You’re right, the money may not be sitting in your bank account.
However, I’m going to challenge and push you by saying that the money is actually around you and it’s up to you to take action to get it.
The best way to do it? Use your time wisely.
Ladies, we have it all wrong! Why do we try so hard to jam-pack our day? This is often unrealistic – we’re only able to achieve so much in one day! Time is a finite resource. You only get 24 hours in a day, no matter how many “extra” hours you put in or how hard you work. The key is to think about how you’re using your time instead of focusing on how much time you use. How are you using your time to welcome new opportunities that will bring you a return on your time investment? They don’t say “time is money” for nothing!
To overcome your money barrier, the first step is to clean up your finances.
Write a list of what credit and debit cards you have, who you owe money to, how much and how long you have to owe them back. Put all of your cards on the table, both literally and figuratively.
When you’re able to see your situation for what it is, you can evaluate and implement the changes you can make.
Barrier #2: The Burnout Barrier
Overworking yourself is a huge misuse of time and one that so many people do! You are the most valuable entity and commodity that you have in your business! You need to take care of yourself or you’ll fall victim to burnout. If you’re not sleeping at night, moving your body regularly, fueling yourself with nutritious food, that impact is going to translate into your business. Your performance WILL suffer and so will your business – no matter how strong you are! Even Superman needs a break from being himself.
Taking care of yourself means understanding that your clients are not more important than you. In fact, the best thing we can do for our clients is to show up at our very best. Sabotaging your health for your business actually works counter-intuitive. Take care of your mental health by taking breaks and avoid scheduling yourself back-to-back meetings from the moment you wake up to the moment you go back to bed. Try taking an “inspiration walk” to give your brain (and your eyes) a break. Give yourself five minutes of anything but work.
Look out for yourself emotionally by connecting with other people offline. Try to invite a co-worker for lunch or start up a conversation with someone you see often. While it’s easier to “like” a photo on Instagram or comment on a Facebook post – nothing beats a more genuine, authentic face-to-face connection in real-time. Regardless of whether (or not) you believe in something or someone, it’s important to also pay attention to your spiritual health. This means connecting with who you are as a person. Aside from meditation and journaling, you may also find it helpful to sit with nature.
Mental, spiritual and emotional health is still health and are all just as important as physical health!
Barrier #3: Resistance to Leaving our comfort zone
I think you can agree with me when I say that no one likes being uncomfortable. We love keeping things the way they are and go to great lengths to keep comfort at bay. We drink, shop, eat, smoke and sleep the discomfort away. Regardless of what coping mechanism you use, we are constantly seeking a place of safety and security. As business owners, we work in a high-risk environment and if we want to grow, we have to make changes which can be very uncomfortable.
So here is my advice to you: get comfortable with discomfort. We need to get vulnerable and admit that we don’t have all the answers but we are willing to work towards a solution to get us where we want to go.
Barrier #4: Vulnerability = Trust
You may find this especially difficult if you are a “control enthusiast” and let’s be real, we all want to be in complete control of our business. Being unable to let go of control brings an element of mistrust in others. Of course, there are pieces of your business that are uniquely yours but there are pieces where you may not have the expertise or be the most efficient in. This doesn’t mean you’re not good at what you do, it just means that you’re human.
It can be uncomfortable thinking about paying someone especially if we aren’t sure that we have the budget to do so. But if we hire someone strategically who we trust to do the job and are way better at the job than we are, their salary becomes an investment that brings money back to the business. When they do their job, they become responsible for increasing the revenue which ends up paying them. I’m guilty of looking at a task and not wanting to do it. But I’ll take it on anyway because I feel like it will be easier if I just do it myself. But in doing so, I take away from the time I have for doing things that I’m actually good at and love to do – which ultimately affects my bottom line.
Try building trust with new employees by giving them a probationary period where they receive their onboarding slowly.
In this time, have tangible performance indicators so that we build confidence in their ability to do the job and get it done efficiently.
Barrier #5: Building boundaries
We live in a very reactive state and are constantly at the mercy of everything around us. We’re at the mercy of our email, Facebook messages, Instagram, family and other people who need us. We are being pushed and pulled in so many directions, often leaving us overwhelmed. The best way to combat this? Set boundaries.
Try blocking off time where we are not available to our clients and slow down your response rate. This doesn’t make you inattentive, it makes you proactive for having time to recharge so you can show up powerfully. It’s your clients that are lucky to be around you, value you and will understand your right to have boundaries. Don’t be afraid of losing clients – the right people will stay and the wrong people will go away.
Barrier #6: Masking excuses as facts
Have you heard the myth that no one buys in the summer? And then notice that businesses, therefore, don’t sell anything in the summer? So what happens? No one buys in the summer because there is nothing to buy. This is what happens when you hear a story, whether you’ve been told the story or you’ve told it to yourself, and you end up proving it. Stop using myths as a way to prove why you can’t do something!
While one company thinks they can’t sell swimsuits in the winter, another company is advertising them for vacationers. Anything is possible if you strategize and attempt the issue differently – you may even get rid of any space for excuses as to why something can’t be done! So let’s take it back to you: what excuses are you making that’s holding you hostage from where you can be?
Barrier #7: What are you tolerating?
Where are you tolerating in your life that is no longer serving you? Is it with a pair of shoes that hurt your feet or living with someone who never cleans up after themselves? Identify what you’re tolerating in your life and try coming up with five to 10 solutions to work around it. While there are many things that are out of our control in our lives, we don’t always have to put up with them. Choosing what you can and cannot tolerate is a way you regain control and move towards growth.
You get to choose whether you step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
You get to choose how you use your time, what actions you’re going to take and when you’re available to take them.
You get to overcome these barriers and grow your business, you just need to choose to take the first step.
Resources From This Episode
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