Recently, I’ve heard a lot of, “I don’t know what to focus on because there’s too much to do. My business overwhelms me.”
It’s the question that always stumps us: When you’re in charge of your own time, how the heck do you know what to focus on?
It’s hard to know.
Running a business is full of choices.
Choices that slow you down or speed you up.
- Should you re-write your website bio so people know who you are?
- What about the stack of business cards in your purse from last week’s networking event? Shouldn’t you follow up with people?
- You haven’t touched the online course you bought on how to get more subscribers.
When you’re not sure how to spend your time, it’s easy to procrastinate and do what feels like “business.” Like the time I spent all day writing one blog post. A full seven hours on ONE post.
And it’s not just surface level decisions like what should my website look like, but deep, personal decisions like…
“What’s the line between business and life? How do I know when to stop working?”
“How do I talk about my work when I’m building, even I don’t know what I do?”
“How can I *really* tell if something’s not working in my business?”
I used to feel overwhelmed not knowing the next step in my business. Some days I’d be productive, other days I’d shut down and surf the web. By 5pm I’d be outraged, “What are you doing, Ishita?! Because you’re not running a business!”
Too many of these days, and one day the lightbulb went off. Maybe it wasn’t ME. Maybe it was something else.
I was right. It was something else. It didn’t happen overnight, but I learned the lesson that turned my business around.
It wasn’t my productivity that had to shift. Or even the overwhelm. It was my MINDSET.
I had to learn that business is NOT intuitive. It’s counterintuitive.
What felt natural for me was to tinker with my website. Why? Because I got short-term relief from it and it made me feel like I was working even when I wasn’t. We all do it. By not doing the hard stuff we save ourselves anxiety; At least we’re doing something, right?
It’s because we’re not wired to do the hard stuff. Our brains keep us safe by naturally avoiding what makes us anxious. And what makes us anxious? Having to learn something new. Learning to sell. Cleaning up our finances.
Things that make a big difference in our business also happen to feel like crap. Because we risk being embarrassed when we learn something new. Or people may find out we don’t know what we’re doing if we sell poorly. Or we might fail and get rejected if we get up on stage.
So we stay away from the hard stuff because we’re not trained to WANT to learn, and thus we keep re-writing our bio…again.
If you’re like me, the cycle keeps going until YOU flip the switch and LEARN what you need to. If you ignore that you need to learn, you’ll never grow.
Only when you pay attention to what’s hard will you double your results.
I spent too much time thinking I lacked the business gene before I realized successful entrepreneurs don’t just wake up one morning with all the answers no matter how good they look. They take time to train.
Until you focus on the RIGHT things, you can’t trust that it will all “work out.”
You can’t let a baby just trust its intuition. It’ll touch the stove because it doesn’t know any better and then learn the lesson.
If you’re a business owner who hasn’t yet figured it out, you can’t only rely on your intuition – it’ll set you in the wrong direction, at least initially. Your intuition is a guide, but you have to help it by learning the rules before you break them. You’re not a bad business owner, you just need to train.