Transform Every Roadblock Into A Stepping Stone

Problems and stumbling blocks are a part of every business’ journey – they contribute to the growth process. Do you see them as the learning opportunities they are, or do you view them as setbacks? Equip yourself with 7 powerful mindsets to help you command through and defeat any roadblocks with the confidence of a pro.

There are three types of business – those that have faced problems, those that are currently facing problems, and those that are going to face problems. No company reaches great heights without crossing over some hurdles and hitting some roadblocks on the way up. Issues could range from money matters to human resource problems to supply chain breakdowns to market competition to bankrupt customers to changes in government policies. There could be any number of reasons why a business goes through a tough phase. What’s important for the business owner is to get into the mindset that will empower him or her to learn from and outshine a tough and seemingly dark situation.

Over the years, I have been a catalyst, an inspiration and a… well… healer if you will – to many of my clients and their enterprises. I help them overcome any limiting beliefs they have, and we all have them, that surface during the growth of their company and hold them back from getting what they truly want out of success.  Today, I want to empower you with the 7 powerful mindsets that will help you step over and beyond any stumbling blocks that you might face in your business.  

Today we’re going to dive into the importance of being comfortable with being uncomfortable – how getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to achieve greater success.

No business is problem-proof, nor can you make it so. In fact it isn’t even desirable. Problems are what propel you to break through barriers and reach higher levels of success.

I have always been inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela who said, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing but in rising every time we fall.” This is so universally true that it applies to any entrepreneur starting out, any big business looking to build upon an existing success, or any company preparing for a merger or a massively profitable acquisition.

The important thing to remember is this – tough times never last, tough people do. 

Through my work, I hope to massively increase the positive impact of companies that benefit humanity. I have helped shape the successful destiny of many companies… including my own Zero Limits Ventures. Because, like everyone else, I’ve had tough times, too.

I have helped businesses – big and small – deal with and overcome problems: falling demand, changes in consumer buying habits, market fluctuations, cash flow issues, policy and taxation changes, technological transformations… The secret is to modify limiting mindsets and transform thought processes. Here are the seven powerful mindset shifts to bring about that mission critical transformation:

Number 1. Doing nothing does measurable damage.

Now just waiting for the storm to pass and doing nothing is not an option. Passivity can do measurable damage. You have to be able to rouse yourself out of that inertia; take stock of reality and recognize that something needs doing; and doing quickly. Know this: not doing something is going to let things deteriorate. This is one of the most fundamental laws of nature; the law of entropy.

Number 2. Facts are friends.

Arm yourself with information: all the relevant facts, figures, and ground yourself in reality. It could well be that things are not as bad as you feared. Much of the problem could even consist of the build-up inside your head.  Our perceptions and the stories we make up about people and circumstances need a requisite amount of factual information before we make decisions. It’s human nature,  if we do not or cannot access the requisite amount of factual information, we fill in the blanks to ‘make up’ whatever information is missing. The problem is, what we ‘make up’ is almost always wrong. This leads to bad decisions, poor choices and ultimately failure. Work with facts and don’t let the worst case scenario be your guiding point.

Number 3. Consider making a significant shift.

Yeah, change is scary. But, deep down you know when a change is necessary; even inevitable. You and your business may be at a crossroads, and each of the available “roads” carry some amount of risk. At the cross road, you have to muster up the courage to take a beginners mind, gather the requisite information and generate creative new options and educate yourself in the shift that is most needed to accomplish your goals. It could be a completely new direction or it could be a slight deviation; but remember so long as that shift emboldens your company’s core values, its brand value, its value to the people who love it, and advances the company’s mission it will have a positive impact.

Number 4. Do the new.

Now is not working, so do the new. Nothing new can come about if you aren’t open to it. Try something different. It could be just the thing to get your creative juices flowing again. Here’s a tip – something that I personally use to help me do some of my best work: I meditate  to Binaural Beats once every day. I find that it supercharges my mind; it gives me clarity and helps me focus in ways that makes me hugely productive. try this or your own equivalent mind clearing tools to help shift your mindset, to connect with your passion and reach your optimal productivity levels. If you want to know more about Binaural Beats let me know in the comments. They have radically improved my life on many levels and have so many powerful applications for you and your business.

Number 5. Learn something new to think something new.

Learn something and you create new neuro-pathways, create new thought patterns and associations. Learn something new about your business to create something new within your business. Learn a new skill or train your workforce for diversification. Create a new skill set or add value to an existing skill set. Get out of your comfort zone. This is the equation for breakthroughs. The key to growth is to keep yourself current and up to the minute. When you stay current with industry innovations, you are also simultaneously generating new brain capacity for creativity and innovation within yourself. 

Number 6. Seek the wisdom of others.

Consider help from an outside consultant. A fresh look at the situation, some outside perspective could be invaluable at this point. It could offer insights into the problem. It could be that you’re too close to the situation and the real breakthroughs may have been eluding you for this reason.

And now the last mindset shift to get your company going in the right direction, i.e, upwards. 

Number 7. Take a step back and get a better view.

Peek through the telescope and not through the microscope. Distance yourself from the situation and look at it impersonally – yes, I know that’s difficult, but try. What exactly caused the problem? Did you make a mistake at some point? Would you do it the same way again? Are there lessons here for the future? What resulted in your success? What didn’t? Is this a problem or is this an opportunity? I’d say that the difference between a problem and an opportunity is your perspective on it.

They say, if you find yourself succeeding frequently, it may be a sign that you aren’t challenging yourself enough.

Sounds paradoxical? It isn’t. Success isn’t always easy. If success were easy, that would mean that you succeeded by accident and not by design. Which means, you wouldn’t have a blueprint for future successes. So arm yourself with the right learning and growth tools for success and scalable success.

Most recently, McKinsey Global Institute’s latest report, Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation examined the scenarios for employment growth and future job opportunities. The report shared some startling numbers – it was found that up to 375 million workers worldwide will need to change roles or learn new skills by 2030 to remain employable in the ever-shifting world scenario – particularly with technology that continues to change at this bewildering speed.

Think about it – the skill sets that make your workers employable today are not going to work as well just ten years from now. Thirty years ago, the ability to work with a computer was not a given. Twenty years ago there wasn’t a computer with a net connection on every desk. Ten years ago, handheld devices did not have broadband connectivity 24×7 and we did not feel the need to have a strong social media presence for every single brand. The way that businesses and standard operating procedures have changed and evolved in just the past few years makes it obvious that change is not only inevitable, it’s desirable. It is an opportunity waiting to be embraced. Business models of practically all kinds will need to learn, change, adapt, and become future ready.

I love how Steve Kotler puts it, “peak performance has more to do with states of consciousness than skill set” This has always been true, your mindset sets the trajectory for your performance.

Look at all the new technologies we have at our disposal today. There is Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, Blockchain. These are being used in business processes and shopping apps in ways we could not have imagined just a few years ago. The good news is that innovation now occurs at light speed. Products take months to conceive of and create, not years. But with this accelerating pace of innovation, companies and founders undergo entirely new kinds of extraordinary developmental stress. You need an entirely new set of tools (not skills) to stay out in front to lead your business to realize the success potential it has.

But remember, if the old ways of functioning are becoming obsolete; equally, there are new work opportunities being created at the same time, too. These present opportunities for streamlining, lowering costs and increasing sales.

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck calls this having a “growth mindset” as opposed to a fixed mindset. You can remain aware, awake and adaptable. To be future proof, you and your business have to be flexible, open to new ways of functioning; learning, changing, evolving.

As the old proverb goes, don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

Cast your eyes towards the future instead. If your production systems are creating problems for you right now, look upon this as an opportunity to revamp, renew, learn and adapt. Find ways to become ready for today and able to take on tomorrow.

Every time you feel down and out – remember your big why. Center your mind on the inspiration and the motivation behind your company. Why did you set up your company? What problem did you first imagine your company could fix? What solution, or even what happiness did you feel you company would provide? Go back to the source and think with new eyes, a new mind, and an activated heart. Ask yourself the deep questions, “What am I up to in this life of mine? What happiness, help, wholeness am I here to create in the world? And how is my company serving that purpose?

Thank you for joining me today. Remember to make your power, position and influence count for something. Activate the leader within. It’s the first step to activate the world towards positive change.

I’ll close with this, the difference between a problem and an opportunity is simply your perspective on it. See opportunity inside every “problem”, that is the way of the Activist Capitalist.