Monday, August 2, 2010

When the "easy button" doesn't work

There are periods of time when everything runs smoothly; the phone is ringing and clients are booking appointments with you, reporters are calling to quote your greatness in their papers, new teams are interested in what you can do for their players, and you are totally on a roll of success.

You have your support team of experts and advisers who have helped you accomplish more, and things couldn’t get much better!

That’s the peak of the hill.

But soon comes the valley….

In those valleys, suddenly you find yourself working harder to generate more buzz about your business. And along the way, you start hitting this wall or that, related to either a troublesome or unhappy client, or technology, or a family event requires more of your time than you feel you have at the moment, or a contract falls through.

I just collaborated with a partner on a new project, and I was just so proud of myself that in a very short period of time, with the help of my website designer and my VA, we set up the entire program and infrastructure in just a matter of about a week. I even joked that I had hit the ‘easy button’!


Suddenly, with everything, this glitch and that glitch developed. And that stinking easy button wasn’t working!

What do you do?

  • First, when you hit upon glitches with your clients, it’s time to pull out “Raving Fans” and re-read it. This will calm you down and give you a new perspective on what’s important and perhaps how best to handle the situation.
  • I have to remind myself of this definition: “insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” When you start spending too much time on an issue/project and you’re getting nowhere, contact your help. Think of the wasted time as money.
  • But what if you don’t HAVE help? If you are hitting your head against a wall, that’s a screaming message that it’s time to just stop and walk away. Take a break! Our creativity and productivity requires breaks. Without them, we lose both. It’s like when a person is trying to diet and avoid a certain food. What usually happens? They eat all these other foods to avoid that particular food and THEN still eats that food, thus making the situation worse.
  • So, if you walk away and take the rest of the day off when you’re working on something that’s not turning out well, all of life will not end as you know it. Yes, you do have two choices: You can keep hitting that wall (which could get quite bloody), and not get anywhere and find yourself working on it the next day. Or you could take the day off, enjoy yourself, and come back to it the next day, anyway, but renewed and refreshed.

The peak will come again. As an entrepreneur who will never give up, you know it always does. (Trust me.) When you offer a great service that you KNOW people want, and you know you’re good at what you do, it’s inevitable. What ends most businesses, though, is how they handle the valleys.

I'm stubborn, myself, and will never give up. And my business is still going well, so I don't plan on closing my doors any time soon. So, I have to take my own advice and learn how to move forward when the easy button doesn't work.

And, to be honest, I haven’t gone out and BOUGHT my easy button, yet, anyway!


Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT

MEG Enterprises