Have you ever had a season in business where EVERYTHING feels hard and nothing seems to be going your way?
Moving through difficult seasons in your business, cultivating the courage to move forward, and the resilience to come back stronger is something that every business owner must learn how to do.
Whether you’re working towards your first six figure year or towards your first six figure month – nobody is immune from experiencing setbacks and challenges.
Over the years I’ve encountered my fair share of setbacks and some have been easier to bounce back from than others. There are 5 things I’ve learned to remember when things feel especially hard and today I’m sharing them with you.
These 5 things will shift your perspective so that you can keep moving forward – even when business feels hard.
My name is Caitlin Bacher, CEO of Scale With Success®, and I’m on a mission to help course creators all over the world grow their business in a way that is profitable and scalable. I’m sharing revealing insights about what it really takes to scale an online course business to millions of dollars per year. Join me here to discover the tough decisions I’ve had to make, the biggest failures I’ve had to bounce back from, and the learnings that emerged every step of the way. I’m so grateful that I have the chance to tell you everything right here on Scale With Success®: The Podcast. Let’s get started.
If you’re still listening, then you’re no stranger to experiencing tough times in your business.
Maybe you’re on the other side of a particularly difficult season right now and just starting to see the light or maybe you’re right in the thick of a big, frustrating obstacle that you never saw coming.
The good news is that you are not alone. I’ve experienced many different challenges when it comes to growing and scaling a multi-million dollar course business and some of them have been downright ugly.
Along the way I’ve learned 5 important things to remember when things feel hard that help me shift my perspective so that I can move forward and come back stronger – and right now I’m sharing them with you.
1. Every business has problems.
So, one of the worst things that we can do as business owners when we are experiencing problems is begin to get in this cycle of feeling sorry for ourselves and feeling like, “Oh, everyone else has it all figured out. I’m the problem. I’m the only CEO in the world who doesn’t know what they’re doing in their business.”
And the reality is that even the most successful CEOs in the world, if they’re doing their job right, they are experiencing problems.
And that’s because a growing business has problems.
If your business is never experiencing a single problem, then I guarantee that you are not growing and I don’t know what’s going on, but you’re not expanding, you’re not getting out of your comfort zone, you’re not setting goals that are really designed to stretch you.
Problems are everywhere, right?
If we can reduce the stigma that comes with having problems in your business, then we’d be able to make decisions from a calm, grounded place as opposed to a place where we are just kind of frantically throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.
2. Leaders aren’t made when things are easy.
It’s easy to be great when things are easy, right?
It’s easy to feel like, “Oh wow, running a business is amazing. I love being a CEO and all my actions are aligned with my core values.”
It’s easy to do that and to be that when things are easy.
But the true test of leadership comes from what happens when things go wrong, what happens when the stress gets kicked up a notch?
What happens when you have to pivot something in your business?
What happens if you had a plan and you’re going through the plan, but you’re quickly realizing, “You know what? This actually isn’t turning out the way that I wanted it to.”
In that moment when you realize that things are not the way that you expected, it’s time to really step into that position of leadership.
And I see a lot of other business owners really struggle with this.
And what can happen sometimes is if they find themselves in a position where they’re like, “Oh my gosh, this isn’t going as planned. I thought THIS was going to happen, but then THAT happened.”
Instead of meeting the problem and instead of identifying the root cause of that problem, fully considering all the possible solutions choosing a solution, and then moving forward with it…they fall straight into The Drama Triangle – blaming other people, making excuses for why they ended up in that spot, and just wanting to throw in the towel and retreat.
But, if things are feeling hard, then that’s really an opportunity for you as a CEO of your company to lean into some of those leadership skills, to lean into resilience, to lean into your growth mindset.
Every obstacle is an opportunity to get stronger.
3. Be the team member you want to have.
A lot of CEOs feel like because they are in a position of power in their company that they can act one way while expecting all of their team members to act a different way, right?
Maybe they feel like it’s ok to complain and blame others when things get tough, but they expect their team members to be resilient and to be courageous and to have a growth mindset.
But if you as a CEO are not embodying courage, resilience, a growth mindset when things get hard, then how in the world can you expect anyone else on your team to do it?
It’s a really weird dynamic, but I see it happen all the time where CEOs feel like, “Oh, it’s okay for me to scream and cry and berate my team members, blame other people, try to sweep all of my mistakes under the rug and not take any accountability for them.”
And yet, they hold their team members to a completely different standard, and their team members are not allowed to show emotion, to disagree with them, to think, “Oh, well, maybe this was actually a mistake.”
And that’s incredibly unhealthy.
And I get it.
As a CEO, it’s hard when you are experiencing tough times in your business.
But I have found that in those moments of hardship, it can actually be a catalyst for your entire team to really come together and to connect with your bigger mission, to be creative, and to come up with solutions that frankly you’ll never come up with on your own.
Being a CEO comes with a lot of responsibility, and as your business grows, you don’t just have responsibility to your audience or to your clients, you also have a responsibility to your team – even when things feel hard.
4. Find joy in the process.
For a long time, I really struggled with how to find joy in the process when things felt hard. I felt like if things were going wrong, that meant that I wasn’t allowed to feel joy in other parts of my life.
I felt like, “Oh man, I’ve got to stay home and really get through this and figure this out and work harder than ever because I don’t deserve to go hang out with my family on the weekend, or I don’t deserve to go on this vacation.”
But, here’s the deal: there’s always going to be problems in your business.
There’s always going to be things that are going wrong, and it’s just a matter of whether you are noticing them or not.
They’re always present, they’re always there.
But if you’re choosing to focus on those things that are going wrong and you are telling yourself that you’re not allowed to feel joy in all of these other parts of your life, then you’re kind of setting yourself up for failure.
I know that one of the big things that really can get me through a hard time is this sense of internal motivation and that internal motivation to keep going, even when things are hard, doesn’t come from beating yourself up.
It comes from finding the joy in the little things, and through that joy that’s going to spark something creatively, whether it’s a new idea or maybe a solution you haven’t thought of before, but it also just improves your overall mood and energy.
And so I really encourage you, if you feel like you’ve had a really hard month or a hard week, or maybe just a hard day, I would encourage you to still look for those opportunities where you can experience joy, even if it’s something small, even if it’s starting a knitting project or if it’s digging into a new book or making a pot of tea for yourself, or spending time with someone that you love.
5. Gratitude is contagious.
One of the things that my husband and I do a lot, especially if we’ve had a hard day at work is, we come home and we just start listing things that we’re grateful for, even the tiny little things.
And the thing about gratitude is that it starts small, but it snowballs fast.
And so even though you might start with those small little things, the gratitude is going to get bigger and bigger, and the energy that you have in your body and in your mind completely shifts. When you are in this place of feeling grateful, energetically it puts us in a better spot to start working towards the other things that we want to achieve.
So what I want you to walk away from today’s episode with is:
- Every business has problems. You are not alone.
- Leaders aren’t made when things are easy. So use this current challenge as an opportunity to come back stronger.
- Be the team member you want to have, even when things feel hard.
- Find joy in the process.
- Lean into gratitude.
I appreciate you being here and tune in next week for another episode of Scale With Success® The Podcast.
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