What would you have done differently if you found out that you are the biggest roadblock in growing your business?
There are a lot of reasons why businesses fail. Often times, we use them as excuses for blaming others. These reasons include faulty equipment, overpromising and under-delivering on projects, miscommunication, and the list goes on.
Research and thought leaders offer a reflective view of the topic. They suggest that, while teams have their own responsibilities, you (as the business owner) could be the biggest roadblock in growing your business.
Maybe you are familiar with the saying, “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.” You put yourself in the way of your team’s success instead of taking them forward. Mistakes and seasons of unproductivity backfire to your leadership.
In this post, we discuss:
- What happens during a business plateau
- The reason behind burnout
- How to move forward and move up
Simply Getting By in Business
Are you simply getting by? Are you simply hanging on and waiting for something good to happen? There are times in business when you just feel stuck.
You have done what you could but to no avail. You are not moving any closer to your goals. Business becomes a chore and the excitement that once kept you going is gone.
According to business coach David Shriner-Cahn, there is a gap that needs to be addressed in order to succeed long-term.
Cahn has worked with mid-career entrepreneurs who experience plateaus in their journey. The kind of success these entrepreneurs want is seemingly elusive.
He shared that running a business is like tending crops on a farm. There is work to be done, yet it takes time before entrepreneurs can enjoy the harvest.
Those who are stuck, he said, are “overwhelmed by potential ideas for doing things. They look around at what other people have achieved and they find all the possible ideas overwhelming.”
They get caught up instead of focusing on what they need to do to advance. The overwhelming feeling becomes heavy. Without realizing it, you and your team could already be headed toward ‘burnout’.
Work at Your Expense
Passion has its price. Studies have revealed a correlation between burnout and engagement, and people who are highly engaged in work are the most susceptible to exhaustion and health impairments.
Many of whom hold demanding job roles but with scarce resources to fulfill them. They are restrained in their ability to perform, given the overall pressure they experience.
Consequently, they place themselves at a greater risk of giving up. We learned from Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different™ podcast that, in extreme cases, they die from overwork — a culture which the Japanese calls “Karoshi.”
Dealing with Multiple Hats
The everyday business operations are enough to keep entrepreneurs on the move. They work hard toward their goals. However, the drive to succeed does not always guarantee clarity on how to achieve them.
The struggle with self-appointed tasks adds to their invested effort. Many work in their business and solve challenges as they appear. CEO Anita Campbell shared,
“Rather than an owner working on the business, they have become crisis managers. Many sit in their offices and wait for someone to come through the door with a problem that needs attention or resolution — now.”
Leadership is a skill which not all entrepreneurs have been trained for. Some build their business on their own until they are ready to hire help.
When entrepreneurs run their business in high uncertainty, their team struggles with them.
Understanding Employee Burnout
Employees experience burnout differently from employers. They work in a given position unless appointed an assignment outside of their main job role.
No matter how employers encourage them to avoid working long hours, their struggle has less to do with expectations for productivity and performance.
According to Gallup, it has more to do with the way they are managed.
Factors in employee burnout include:
- Unfair treatment at work
- Unmanageable workload
- Lack of role clarity
- Lack of communication and support
- Unreasonable time pressure
Burnout is not something that can be easily relieved. However, as the report suggested, it can be prevented with proper guidance. You could establish a healthy workplace environment and so prevent becoming the biggest roadblock in growing your business.
Less Stressful Options
Burnout is generally defined as a state of chronic stress and frustration. It seeps into the victim’s everyday life, and sometimes unknowingly. Some people realize their situation only until they are already exhausted.
Little did they know that they have already exhausted their emotional, mental, and physical energy. People with anxiety may feel a little too edgy and anxious at their jobs. Their hearts may race and, in the worse cases, they experience panic attacks.
Low-stress jobs pose as healthy alternatives. These include graphic design, freelance writing, and vlogging on YouTube. They require minimal supervision and provides a generous amount of space for creativity, learning, and growth.
The important thing is to find work that empowers you, motivates you, and keeps you excited for life.
Smash That Business Plateau
Growth in business is a team effort. It requires the support of everyone, including both employer and employee.
The first step in moving forward, according to Cahn, is realizing the need for change. As you move along, it is important to consider the way you communicate with your team.
He said, “In business leadership, one of the places people get stuck is in the way they communicate expectations and what they do as a result.”
What works for a veteran employee may not work for the young employee. Likewise, what you knew worked when you started in business may have already evolved over time.
People practice different ways of communication, because of the environment each one is accustomed to as individuals.
Furthermore, he said, “If you are a leader inside a company, you need to understand what it is that is going to encourage the people who are part of your team to take action.”
You may not have the best team in the universe, but making well-informed decisions at the right time as the leader can go a long way for your business.
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