When you are in the midst of a problem it can feel overwhelming and like there is no way out. You get stuck in a loop of stress and everything is reactive and negative. However, if you think about other times or areas of your life where things were difficult, how did you resolve it? I’m betting it was by taking action. The trick is in knowing what action to take so here are some steps that will give you a plan of action!
- Brain dump: Write it all down and get it out of your head. What are the issues? What is causing the stress? What are your worries? Write anything and everything that is going round in your head.
- Identify the facts: Review your brain dump. Are there any areas where you can see you’ve let your imagination get carried away? Separate everything into fact vs worries about what might happen (note: this is not to dismiss the concerns, as they are causing emotional distress they are very valid, it is merely a step in identifying where to focus to make changes).
- Get some space: This may not be the right time for a holiday for a number of reasons but it’s a great time for a walk outside or participating in an activity that you can escape into for a period (e.g. sports, spa, a creative hobby, playing with your kids).
- Aim for some perspective: If there is someone you can talk to who can listen, ask questions and maybe give some perspective then use them, if not, consider what you would say if it was a close friend describing the situation to you.
- Brain dump solutions: Write down every possible solution to the issue(s), don’t filter them, just write.
- Review the options, evaluate them and decide on a plan.
- Turn the plan into a SMART goal.
- Break down the steps you need to take and diarise the time slots to do them.
- Go to work!
- Hold yourself accountable to your plan or find someone to help you with this aspect.
One of the more common areas that people tend to face issues in our industry relates to finances, the following is a good approach if that’s an issue.
- Identify your income and expenses for the last 3 months. Often, because the money comes in in dribs and drabs and goes out similarly, financial decisions are made based on the current position of your bank account rather than with a view to what is happening in the future. By looking at the monthly number you can get a better handle on both sides of the equation.
- Review your expenses. Where are you frittering money? Set a budget and stick to it. Decide what money you have to spend based on your budget rather than your current bank balance.
- Review your income. What do you need to earn to cover your costs? What do you need to earn in order to be able to relax slightly on financial matters rather than just make ends meet? What do you want to earn longer term?
- Take the first goal, (what do you need to cover your costs). Break it down in terms of the services you provide (clients / sessions) E.g. do you need 1 person on your 3 times a week 1:2:1 package, 2 on semi private, 10 online etc. If it is in person sessions then do you have specific time slots to fill? Do the same on each of the financial goals identified. Also consider a 1 off package as a stopgap / lead into more regular income – note: if going for that option identify how many people you need to sign up. Work out the details so you can create a specific plan rather than a vague, and stressful, “I just need clients” approach.
- Look at each method you have at your disposal in order to fill the spaces you need.
- Referrals – let your current clients know you have those time slots available
- Previous clients – check in on how they are getting on since they left you
- Old leads – check in on how they are getting on and let them know you have the specific slots available
- Social media profiles – let people know the time slots you have available
- Commercial gym – spend time in the gym in the time slots you are looking to fill, talk to people there, be helpful
- Mobile and facility owners look at your most successful lead generation adverts and activities and reactivate them
- Keep your focus on what you need to do, don’t get distracted.
- Once the initial issue is over, work through your next goal (what you need to earn to be able to relax slightly on financial matters rather than just make ends meet). Repeat the steps above, working through to the details to give you focus and keep rtack of your progress towards the goal.
- When things are a bit more relaxed you can move onto your longer term financial goals. Make sure you keep on top of your finances and other key metrics.
If you are overwhelmed (see previous blog on dealing with overwhelm) then it can be as simple as removing a negative influence (stop comparing yourself to others), or breaking down the task into manageable chunks. If it’s time that is your issue then organising your diary is a great help along with sorting out your processes (members should see adding organisation to your business download on the LTB member site) or maybe outsourcing.
There are solutions to everything but the first step is to stop the panic and that is done best by identifying facts and coming up with a plan. Then you can focus on action and all of a sudden it feels like you are being proactive and in control of a situation rather than a victim of circumstances.