Are you dealing with a challenge right now? A hurdle that you just can’t seem to get around? Maybe it’s a relationship problem, health issue or business setback, but whatever it is, it has you feeling stuck. What do you do? Where should you start?
Everyone struggles at one time or another. I certainly have. That’s life. But, each and every one of us has a choice when situations knock us down: are we going to stay down, or are we going to put on our boxing gloves, fight back and be better than ever?
When you’re thrown one of life’s curve balls, do you tend to think woe is me? Perhaps you replay the unfortunate scenario in your head over and over, staying down in the dumps for days, months or even years over a breakup, health challenge or declining sales. Do you find yourself doing a cut and paste from yesterday, never really learning from your problems? Many people do, without even realizing it. So, being honest with yourself about whether you have “dweller” tendencies is the first step you can take in a more positive direction. It’s time to put past experiences where they belong—in the past. Use them as lessons for growth.
If You Can Believe It, You Can Achieve It
The most successful business people and athletes have at least one thing in common: they often talk about using creative visualization to achieve their goals. You know why? Because it works. If you can’t imagine yourself being successful, don’t expect to become successful. Close your eyes for a moment and visualize yourself in three to five years. What are you doing? Something you love, right? Now, what’s your plan to get there?
Using What You’ve Learned
Relationships. If you’re trying to get over a breakup, spend some time picturing someone who might be a better match for you. Jot down the qualities you’re seeking, keeping in mind that your ex’s qualities may not have been so perfect after all (or you probably wouldn’t have broken up). If your current relationship is rocky, how can you improve it? Maybe you can set up some romantic date nights, or make an effort to compliment your partner on a daily basis. Baby steps.
Weight Loss. Need to lose weight? You know from past experience that you won’t get there by sitting on the couch, eating ice cream and chips. Instead, clip out pictures of healthy bodies that you admire and tape them to your bathroom mirror. Buy some cute, comfortable exercise clothes and join a gym or start walking every day. These are baby steps, too, but baby steps are how we learn to walk—and eventually run.
Business. Most business challenges fall into four categories: customer problems (which usually translate to getting slammed online), flat revenues, small profits (sales are good but bottom line isn’t) and employee morale. Let’s look at these individually:
- Customer problems – as you probably know, in the esthetics industry, the majority of times there’s a problem with a customer, the customer is actually wrong. But, it doesn’t matter. Even the most demanding, goofball customer has 10 friends, all of whom can wreck your reputation on social media. So, how can you make it right? Think Starbucks, where every “mistake” equals a free drink, on the spot. You can’t just give out facials or Botox all the time, but could you offer a free product? Or an add-on service? And of course, apologize (immediately) online in a professional manner.
- Flat revenue – if this is the case, it’s time to add something new to the marketing mix. If you’re doing the same things and getting the same results, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Research marketing suggestions, ask for help, be okay to fail at first and keep going.
- Small profits – if sales are good but profits are small, your expenses are out of control. Maybe it’s your labor cost; are there times of the day when you have two people at the front desk but could get away with one? Is there a product line you love but its margins are not high enough? Could you find something else with better margins? Are you tracking your expenses on an hourly/daily/weekly basis?
- Employee morale – schedule a meeting with employees to get their feedback, letting them know ahead of time it isn’t going to be a complaint session but rather an opportunity to be heard, and also to offer suggestions for improvement. Thank your employees when they go above and beyond what’s expected of them.
Believe It and Make it Happen
When things get rough and our confidence waivers, it’s easy to fall into a mental trap, believing that successful people are simply luckier than we are. But every, single successful person I know has experienced more than his or her share of failure. The point is, learn from your mistakes, be kind to yourself and never give up.
Top 3 Tips for Turning Hurdles into Triumphs:
1. When you need an extra boost of inspiration, spend 15 minutes researching unlikely success stories; you’ll be amazed by some of the hurdles that other people have turned into triumphs! I’ve been watching YouTube videos of a man born without arms or legs who’s using his life to motivate others—truly incredible.
2. Talk to others about your challenges and ask for their help and feedback. Don’t be a whiner; be a learner and a doer.
3. You might find it helpful to create a mantra for yourself when you find yourself stuck; something like, I trust my abilities to get through this, or, Failure is part of the journey to success.