Intelligent people, brilliant business owners, creative founders and go-getting directors all occasionally get stuck in a rut.
No one is born an entrepreneur, or gifted the skill set of a successful start-up founder – these are lessons learnt, skills taught or observed and mistakes made and amended.
Getting in a rut isn’t a downfall, it’s actually an opportunity to reassess – so long as you know the signs to recognise when you’re in one – and take proactive steps to jump out.
Six signs your business may be stuck in a rut:
1. No action, no satisfaction
Are you feeling surrounded by a lot of say-soer’s and chit-chatters? Wondering where are the results? Where is the end product – the finish line? You and your team are most likely stuck in a business rut.
2. Where’s the passion?
If you’re stuck in a business rut it could be because you’re missing the passion you once had for the job. If you’re not excited to work every day and passionate about what you do, your business will suffer restricted growth and opportunity as a result.
3. Give your goal some guts!
Businesses need to have a big, worthy goal to shoot for, something that gets you excited and gives you butterflies in your stomach at the thought of achieving it.
Often I see businesses stall because their goals are rational and logical and they don't have the big one to keep the motivation and energy to push forward. Having boring goals can leave teams in a rut.
4. What are you in the market for?
If you’ve been in business for a long time there is a chance your market has changed – socially, environmentally, economically, technologically – have you evolved with it?
If you’re struggling to keep up with new trends and new technology you could be in a business rut. Check out your newer competitors.
5. You manage time, not activity
Time management is dead. It’s what’s measured to fill in a day, not how to fill a day. Activities and habits are the rut-busting methods to success.
6. You know your boundaries
Sure, boundaries are great in start-ups and when running a business – but are yours holding you back?
If you do the same thing, keep expecting the same thing. Breaking out of a rut can mean busting out of your old beliefs about what you can and can’t do.
I'm in a rut - now what?
If you answered these questions and it looks like you are in a rut, don't despair! There are things you can do to not only dig yourself and your business out of that rut, but turn it into a strut of pride and confidence.
1. Turn inaction into action
Today’s innovators and entrepreneurs are focused on the dream, but many lack the ability to deliver the results.
Write down six goal-achieving activities you can do today to move you towards your business goals. Go to work on number one until it’s complete.
Develop the daily habit of focusing on what is important, and don't be distracted by outside noise.
2. Find the passion
To bring passion back into the job I get my clients to make a list of 10 things they are really passionate about and 10 things they have been told they are good at – find the things that work together and that you can bring into your business.
3. Diversify the business and set goals
If you’re not using technology to help you make money in your business, it’s time to start!
Many of my clients have found ways to add revenue to their business by creating an app or putting their program online so it can be sold.
4. Focus on activity management
At the start of each day, write down six goal-achieving activities that you want to complete that day. Start on number one.
Commit to doing the activity for 10 minutes every day, for 30 days. The 10 minutes will lead to 20 minutes and onwards, and your productivity will go up.
At the end of each day, ask yourself three questions:
- What did I do well?
- What's one thing that didn't work?
- What will I do differently next time?
Karen Brook is a consultant with motivational speaker business Proctor Gallagher Institute, and the managing director of project management business Karen Brook Studios.