When in Doubt, Zoom Out

Overwhelmed Business Owners: When in Doubt, Zoom Out

I’m helping give you a dose of calming energy on the podcast today. I’m discussing what to do when you’re in doubt and overthinking things. It’s normal to feel adrift every once in a while. If you ask yourself, “What am I getting wrong?” save this post for the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed in the middle of the night. 

The Stabilizing Stage

So often, business owners get trapped in the day-to-day grind of the business and checking off to-dos. It feels like years of building with no end in sight. For example, I’m in my 8th year of business, and this is the first year that doesn’t feel like I’m building. We have reached a stabilizing stage. 

A stabilization period is an important stage in business. It’s a pit stop between growth and scaling. It’s a time to get your systems and structure set up and clean up any messes created during the growth phases. Analyze what’s working for you and what is a waste of time, and take out the trash.

When business owners reach a moment where they want to burn it all down, it’s likely that they are stuck in growth and need to take a minute to stabilize. This stage is when you put systems in place, and this includes automation, how you’re delegating, and what holes you need to patch. Usually, you have succeeded in stabilization if you’re making the same amount of money as you did last year, but it’s way more profitable. 

Scaling is when you can do more with the same amount of resources or a minimal increase in resources. Growth is often a tug between increasing revenue and increasing expenses. It’s messy and chaotic, but scaling property will allow you to add revenue without increasing your expenses dramatically. 

Some of the stages of business will last for a long time. I work with businesses in my consulting practice that have been in business for decades. That’s a mature business. My eight-year-old business is still new. It’s important to think about how I can keep this going for decades to come. 

This year of stabilization is giving me my time back. My husband’s business is 40 years old. He took it over in 2016 and bought the business in 2020. It’s been seven years of this build where he completely overhauled his team. He’s completely re-innovated his products. Now seven years in, his momentum is starting to carry him further and further every day. This is a result of putting the strategies into place.

I say this because it’s easy to get lost and feel like things are murky. I’m sharing this because I want to be honest and transparent about what it takes to run a business. It’s hard to hit that place where your business offers financial stability and security for your family. 

Break Out of the Cycle and Zoom Out

It’s easy to lose patience and feel frustrated. It’s important to break out of the cycle of looking at things daily. When you break out of the day-to-day business, you’ll be able to gain some more perspective on what stage you’re in. 

There are two ways to do that. One way is looking at things in a 90-day cycle. We can help you get some real feedback on the strategies you’re testing. The other thing is to really zoom out, zoom out over an extended period of time. I’m hearing a lot of people talk about sales are slow or the progress that they’re making feels minimal a lot right now. When in doubt, zoom out. 

So, how do you zoom out? First of all, know your numbers. Know your numbers. You don’t need to know every number. That would be overwhelming. But you need to know the numbers that are appropriate for what you’re trying to accomplish. 

You also need to realize that you’re in your feelings and your feelings aren’t fact. I’m not going to dismiss your feelings. They are important, but I want you to temper them with the facts. You can still feel upset about something, but I want you to be clear on what is actually happening and not makeup stories in your head. It happens often when clients tell me their business is struggling, but then look at the numbers and it’s not true. I want everyone to lift up their heads and focus on a few years out. Then, take action today for the things that you want in three years. Surround yourself with people who support this and will cheer you on and support you.

Sign up for The Bold Profit Academy. When you put your name on that list, you’re telling me that you’re raising your hand and want to have a conversation with me. We’re going to start a conversation. Share this with others and bookmark it to return to when you’re feeling panicked. I’m here for you.

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