As an entrepreneur, do you feel like you’re trying to heave a boulder up an impossibly steep mountain? Do you feel defeated facing countless obstacles when it comes to your marketing business? Have you thought about giving up? Firstly, let me tell you this is normal.
Entrepreneurs learn quickly that plans often fall through. Obstacles frequently seem too big. Mistakes sometimes make you want to quit. All of these situations come with negative emotions. Even the most successful business owners face these challenges on a recurring basis. How can you push past them and actually achieve your goals?
Failure Doesn’t Mean Failure
I’ve watched football frequently this season. I can’t count the number of mistakes I’ve seen excellent players make. But do you know what the best players do? With the help of coaches, they study their own mistakes and misplays, to learn how to overcome obstacles in the future. Then, they train with new habits and knowledge to move ahead and win.
If you focus solely on the struggles of entrepreneurship, you’ll find it difficult to maintain forward momentum. When you run your own business, you must find a way to overcome obstacles and get past mistakes to reach success in your endeavors. Some people tend to think of success like a sprint, where they run hard and fast toward the finish line. But what happens when they hit a hurdle and tumble off the path? Does the race end there? Have they lost? Nope, because everyone else is hitting hurdles and tumbling, too! The key comes from learning how to surmount hurdles, get up, and keep going.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll eventually make a decision you regret. You’ll face problems that seem too big to handle with your current resources. Instead of letting challenges and mistakes run you off course, learn how to work around them. Let me share three ways I do this:
3 Tips to Get Past Obstacles and Mistakes
Here’s how I overcome obstacles and mistakes:
1. Don’t Internalize Mistakes
Emotions can completely derail you—if you let them. We can easily allow our thoughts to circle around negative outcomes and let fear of repeated failures stop us from trying again. If you let mistakes define your experience and your abilities, you will soon talk yourself out of every new idea.
When you inevitably make mistakes, take a deep breath, and then take a step back. Figure out how and why it happened. Then work to make the situation right. That may look like correcting it, or it may look like cutting your losses and moving on. Either way, you’ve had the opportunity to learn from a situation. Gain the perspective of growing from experience, and then move forward.
2. Remember the Road to Success Is Not a Straight Line
Success really doesn’t mean pushing a boulder up a mountain. Nor is it a straight path to a destination. The path takes us up and down hills, winds around obstacles, and takes unexpected turns. It will not feel straightforward. Just ask any successful entrepreneur where they thought they’d be compared to where life took them.
Sometimes, you may think you want to head in a certain direction, but later discoveries lead you down a side path that ends up becoming your focus. Sometimes you need to take a longer way around, so you can get a better feel for the terrain. You have permission to take one step forward and two steps back.
Your path—and even your success—doesn’t have to look just like someone else’s. As an entrepreneur, if you get hung on a certain outcome and refuse to be flexible, you will miss other opportunities. Also, success is not a one-time event. When you push through whatever challenges you face, you’ll reach a number of successes—and more failures.
3. Break Goals Down into Actionable Steps
Keeping some end goals in mind helps you stay on track. If you want three new digital marketing clients within three months, that goal helps you stay focused. But if you only look at the end goals without knowing how to move toward them, you’ll suffer from paralysis. How do you plan to get those three clients? They probably won’t come knocking at your door.
Break down bigger goals into actionable steps. I often reference S.M.A.R.T. goals, a perspective that helps me look at my larger objectives in smaller, achievable steps. You can use lists, mind mapping, or another tool that works for you.
When you find creative solutions to your obstacles and learn to overcome your mistakes, you’ll come out with more wisdom and stronger resolve. Plus, because you overcame those challenges, you’ll gain the confidence to face the next one. So fail fast, and fail forward!
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