Is something getting in the way of your success?
It may be smooth sailing until, boom, you hit an obstacle.
It could be a small pebble in the road or a huge boulder.
Perhaps you feel stuck, not knowing what to do next.
As an entrepreneur, challenges are inevitable.
It’s what you do with those challenges that are most important.
How will you move that rock aside to continue your journey with ease?
Here are three lessons that may help.
Lesson #1: You can drive 45 minutes in 90-degree heat with a giant ice cream cake (without it melting)
“It should fit in here!” Lynda exclaimed as she measured inside the cooler.
She just got off the phone with the exact measurements of the ice cream cake our host had requested.
Even if it fit, it felt impossible as it was so hot outside, and we needed to drive for over 45 minutes without the cake melting.
So we set out on our journey, car filled to the brim with clothes, sleeping bags, pillows, food, a tent, and other miscellaneous items.
We had just one last stop to grab this infamous ice cream cake at Coombs Country Candy.
I’m not going to lie. This cake, though delicious, was giant.
As we struggled to put the box into our cooler from different angles, we heard a firm “Perhaps you should put the cake back while you figure it out.”
Despite our calculations, the cake just doesn’t fit.
Sigh. We are running out of patience, “Why would she ask us to bring this so far on such a hot day?”
Will we have to buy a bigger cooler? Will this take all day? Or do we forget the cake entirely?
But the bottom line was that she was so kind to host us, and this is her ONE request. We HAVE to bring this cake.
So, instead of panicking, we take a step back, breathe, and figured it out.
There is always a solution if you are open to it.
Removing the carefully packed items from the larger cooler, I somehow rearrange them into our smaller cooler.
(I guess all that Tetris as a kid was worth it.)
And voila! The cake fit!
“Do you think her freezer is big enough?” says Mariee. We look at each other and laugh.
That ice cream cake could be your next challenge with your product, your team, your customer, or any other obstacle in your business.
The lesson here is that everything is “figure-outable” and is usually much easier than you think. You can do this.
First, take a step back, take a breath, and try a new solution with a clear mind.
Calm yourself by using techniques such as placing your hand on your heart to de-regulate your central nervous system and practicing box breathing.
For more ways to remain calm, read 57 Ways to Ease Overwhelm.
The truth is, you may not even need to make an extra stop to get more supplies. You most likely have what you need with a few minor tweaks. With a calm, clear head, you can find the best solution.
Oh, and you are probably wondering what happened!
The freezer was big enough, everyone was thrilled, and that fantastic ice cream cake was super worth it (and will most likely be around until the end of the summer).
And PS. Ice cream cake happens to be my one weakness ;).
Lesson #2: Learning to do something new may seem scary, but it can be easier than you think
Over British Columbia Day weekend, we headed down to the beach with three-year-old toe-headed Eowyn, who was learning to swim.
Equipped with her floatation vest, she grips my hand firmly. “Both our hands are sandy, so I will hold your hand,” she proclaims. Little did she know that besides the sandy hand qualification, I was a great choice as a former swim instructor and coach.
We entered the water together, and as soon as the water reached her neck, she shrieked loudly, “Help. Help. Help.” She was terrified.
We worked to relax and float on her back with some calming techniques. And although she gained some trust that it was okay to let go, we weren’t there yet.
So we made it fun by creating a game by forming a triangle, where Eowyn swam from me to Mariee to her mother and back. It was so much fun that she soon let go and trusted that she could swim.
As an entrepreneur, you will have to learn to swim in many different types of water. Sometimes you may not be able to see or reach the bottom, sometimes, the waves may seem giant, and it can feel scary. Since it is new, you may not trust that you can float, especially on your own.
So what do you do to make it easier to try something new?
Can you hire a coach or mentor who can lend their expertise in this area?
What can make you feel safe? Can you have a friend or accountability partner with you each step of the way?
How can you make it fun so that you can feel good while you try different techniques?
Could you set it up as a game? Is there a way you can make it more enjoyable?
How will you trust the process along the way?
What one step can you take to dive in and try something new?
Lesson #3: Plan as much as possible, knowing everything may not work out as planned
If you know me, you will know I am a planner. And before my vacation, I felt I was ready. I had pre-scheduled all my posts and emails and had my VA do extra tasks to cover my absence.
Spoiler alert: much of this did not go as planned.
Last Tuesday, waking up as the sunrise peeked through my tent window, I realized that my email campaign was sent to thousands of people with none of the links working.
My blog was still in drafts for some reason. (gulp)
The good news (good news, bad news) is that my email title was not catchy enough, so not many people had even opened it.
The silver lining of poor messaging! 😉
So I did what I could.
I scrambled on my phone to no avail. I had to quickly get out of the tent, use my phone as a hotspot (with hardly any bars), and fix it on my computer.
(Side note: Who brings their computer camping on the beach anyway? This girl.)
On top of this, my Virtual Assistant was not working or responding to my messages. She was MIA for almost an entire week while I was out as she was very ill in the hospital. (Thank goodness she is okay.)
It meant that no one was working for me as planned.
Some systems I had set up to ensure my time off was relaxing had failed.
Now, I could have panicked in either of these circumstances.
Sure, I wasn’t happy about it, yet I was still committed to enjoying my vacation. I knew it would not benefit me or my business to start working again.
So, what did I do? I reset my intentions to do what I could while relaxing and moved on. Sure, I have a ton of messages and posts to go through now that I am back, and that is okay.
You can only plan so much in your business, and things will happen outside your control. It’s essential to prepare as much as possible to avoid obstacles. However, know that sometimes your safety mechanisms will fail.
You have a choice in every moment to reset and decide how you want to feel and what you want to do about it.
Know that sometimes the perfect thing to do is imperfect, and sometimes the best thing may be to let go so that you can relax and enjoy the process.
Being a business owner comes with many challenges as well as opportunities. It is essential to know that the right solution is there for you if you are open to it.
You can overcome any obstacle with the right attitude. Set yourself up for success by planning as much as possible and being open to trying something new with suitable support systems. Most importantly, relax and have fun along the way.
Lesson 1: You can drive 45 minutes in 90-degree heat with a giant ice cream cake (without it melting)
Lesson 2: Learning to do something new may seem scary, but it can be easier than you think
Lesson 3: Plan as much as possible, knowing everything may not work out as planned (and that’s okay)
I hope these stories can help serve as guideposts when you next need them.
If you need help building your vision with a step-by-step strategy you can actually stick to, email me the word PROGRAM.