When Your Business Is Drowning You - PART 1

“I just don’t know where to start…”

“How do I know what to focus on first…?”

“I KNOW I really have something here, that I can really make a difference, but it feels like I am mostly putting out fires rather than making progress…”

Almost every conversation I have with entrepreneurs includes some version of this frustration. Whether you generate $20,000/month or $2,000/month, whether you have been in business for 10+ years or in the process of mapping out your launch, feeling overloaded can and does threaten to confuse and overtake your hard earned progress.

This is frustrating and unendingly exhausting. At the end of the day you are plagued with a vague sense of, “What on Earth did I get done?”, even when you’ve raced from task to task, hustling to get through a To Do list a mile long.

You are working so hard! How could you possibly feel like you are getting more and more behind?! 

This isn’t about lack of hustle. This isn’t about lack of discipline or because you didn’t utilize “Inbox Zero” properly or because you aren’t passionate enough about what you are doing. 

What is happening is that you are overwhelmed. Your brain is on overdrive and it can only operate like that for so long before giving up and shutting down.

Fortunately there are a few strategies you can use to address this. I like to think of things across 3 categories: 

#1 Clarify

#2 Simplify

#3 Build Momentum

Let’s look more closely at #2: Simplify. 

You can not execute on every single idea you have. It’s just impossible. You are brilliant but you are not a machine so you need to employ some practical vetting tactics to simplify your task list: 

  1. What do you actually do? Focus there.

By this I mean: Who do you serve and how do you serve them directly? You have tasks to execute on in a broad range of categories in your business: Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance. You’ve got your social feeds to tend to, your products and services to perfect, procedures to finalize etc.. You have a lot of boxes to tick and only so much time, so it is imperative that you prioritize what is most important. And how do you do that? You put at the top of your list those things that most directly put you in a position to serve your customer

Do you need to update your website? Probably, but first you need to do the thing that more directly serves your customer. 

Do you need to tweak your logo? Maybe, but first you need to serve your customer. 

Do you need to go Live on your social feeds every day? Does that directly serve your customer? If yes, then go ahead. If not, reevaluate. 

  1. Revenue generating activities.