Growing up my mother always said, “If you’re looking for sympathy you can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis” in other words you’re not going to get it from here! This week I encountered a few business owners who clearly were looking for my sympathy and I’m sorry people that’s not what I am here for. Now don’t get me wrong I am a very compassionate person under particular circumstances but finding solutions to business issues is not a sympathetic matter. Most business problems are the result of your own actions or lack of, so take accountability for the results you yield and focus on correcting the behavior and plan for a better outcome.
Recently I was a panelist on a small business Q&A panel where small business owners asked myself and other business coaches and business experts questions related to business. I was amazed that business owner after business owner stated questions that sounded like complaints turning the panel into a business therapy session. One gentleman said, “The rainy weather is killing my business…” another said “I can’t get enough sales…” a woman said “I cut my expenses but my profits aren’t increasing”. With each business owner waiting for my advice I proposed questions to them to understand specifically what was going on. I asked, “What do you do to diversify your services/products so you are not solely dependent on sunny days? What is your Sales Management System? What is your Tactical Marketing Plan?” Each business owner had a partial plan or no clear answer to my questions. It was apparent to me that these businesses were operating without any formal plans or direction to solve their issues, which is the true problem. After telling them if they were my clients they would not be facing these problems (wink wink) because I would help them develop the business skills and actual business plans to combat these issues, then I simply told them to stop looking for sympathy and follow my three steps;
First, you have to take accountability for your results. Understand what you did or didn’t do that led to the problem.
Secondly, you have to change your thinking.Stop being negative and looking for someone to sympathize with you.Stay positive and reassure yourself that you are going to turn things around.
Last, deal with the solution and NOT the problem.Don’t focus on the problem but put your energy into the solution.Create a plan of action and follow through with it.
Following these steps will put you in a better position to succeed. So, the next time you begin to complain about your current situation or issue, STOP and follow the steps to change!