It is true that businesses experience seasons. And for many, the pandemic brought a winter that has lingered for too many months, raising concerns about survival. So how do you determine when persistence is enough to get you through and when you need to seek professional help to get your business back on track? Here are my thoughts.
The Paradox Of Snow
According to survivopedia, the air pockets trapped in the snow make it an outstanding insulator.
"To get an idea, even if the outside temperatures are as low as 19 degrees Fahrenheit, in a snow hut you can achieve 61 degrees Fahrenheit using body heat alone, provided we're talking about a burrow, not a palace; i.e. a small fox-hole, large enough to fit you, so it can be heated sufficiently by body temperature alone."
That means the little snowcap on the thistle is not damaging the plant but helping to protect it. It's true that the plant is dormant. However, it is alive and awaiting spring when it can once again grow and renew. I equate this to Lauren Muir's description of mental fatigue [read more]. The struggle is real, but the impact is short-term and manageable.
When life-draining ice envelopes your business, you'll notice these constancies:
In short, if your business is struggling, but on balance, focused work to keep moving forward is occurring, and the culture is intact, then you are like the snow-capped thistle. On the other hand, if you see yourself and your business sinking into negativity and falling into harmful behavior patterns, it is time to take action. The sooner you act, the less fallout you'll experience and the less damage you'll have to undo.
Hiring a professional business coach is an investment in yourself and your business, not an indulgence. All business coaches are not the same, and success depends on finding the right person for you [Forbes, "5 Things To Look For When Choosing An Executive Coach"]. Remember, this is your business and your work. Be wary of so-called coaches who want to tell you how to fix your business. Experts with solutions they are selling are actually consultants, not coaches, and their business model and intentions differ from what I recommend. To aid your search, check out this list of core competencies coaches should possess from the Institute of Coaching.
In conclusion, I want to reiterate what Lauren said in her talk. Recognizing that you are struggling and asking for help is the healthy choice. Whether your business feels dead-in-the-water, is on life support, or just feels out of control, engaging with the right business coach is guaranteed to accelerate your ability to restabilize and move forward with confidence.
Plenty of businesses have found their pivot or reinvented themselves during this pandemic [listen to this DDBS conversation filled with inspiring stories]. You have the power to create the future you want. You don't have to let your circumstances define your limitations. If your business looks more like the icy landscape than the snow-capped thistles, let's talk! I'd love to help you regain control and restore your peace of mind.