The Digital Glue Podcast

EP: 33 - How To Persevere Through Tough Times ...

June 29, 2021 Episode 33
The Digital Glue Podcast
EP: 33 - How To Persevere Through Tough Times ...
Chapters
The Digital Glue Podcast
EP: 33 - How To Persevere Through Tough Times ...
Jun 29, 2021 Episode 33

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

 

Welcome to Episode 33: How To Persevere Through Tough Times

Let’s get serious … Right off the hop … We’ve all experienced a lot of hard times in business. Especially since March of last year when the world was stunned on a global scale with COVID-19! Myself and my team included. 

Even before the pandemic, Virtually Untangled has certainly helped a lot of our “tangled” clients get through some pretty dark days. But from these experiences we learn to adapt, grow, and figure out new ways to not only survive, but thrive in the “big bad” world of business. All the while learning what we can do better at next time the clouds hover over our heads!
 
Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...

  • How doing nothing just makes things worse
  • How to rethink (and adapt) when things aren’t working
  • How (and why) to stop chasing time (and people)
  • Why it’s important to stop normalizing your knowledge
  • Why resiliency is important to building lasting solutions
  • How to stop letting comparison thieve your joy

 

Are you ready?
Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!

Show Notes Transcript

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

 

Welcome to Episode 33: How To Persevere Through Tough Times

Let’s get serious … Right off the hop … We’ve all experienced a lot of hard times in business. Especially since March of last year when the world was stunned on a global scale with COVID-19! Myself and my team included. 

Even before the pandemic, Virtually Untangled has certainly helped a lot of our “tangled” clients get through some pretty dark days. But from these experiences we learn to adapt, grow, and figure out new ways to not only survive, but thrive in the “big bad” world of business. All the while learning what we can do better at next time the clouds hover over our heads!
 
Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...

  • How doing nothing just makes things worse
  • How to rethink (and adapt) when things aren’t working
  • How (and why) to stop chasing time (and people)
  • Why it’s important to stop normalizing your knowledge
  • Why resiliency is important to building lasting solutions
  • How to stop letting comparison thieve your joy

 

Are you ready?
Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!

Let’s get serious … Right off the hop … We’ve all experienced a lot of hard times in business. Especially since March of last year when the world was stunned on a global scale with COVID-19! Myself and my team included. 

Even before the pandemic, Virtually Untangled has certainly helped a lot of our “tangled” clients get through some pretty dark days. But from these experiences, we learn to adapt, grow, and figure out new ways to not only survive but thrive in the “big bad” world of business. All the while, learning what we can do better next time the clouds hover over our heads!

And to end that on a lighter note of positivity, Maya Angelou (as always) says it best …

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.”


This year, I’ve been doing an extra lot of thinking, and a heck of a lot more research than usual on how we can better help ourselves when things get tough. How we can persevere on days that make us feel like giving up. Because let’s be honest here … it’s happened to us all at least once over the past year. It may be exactly how you are feeling right now. 

And since I myself, and way too many people I know, have been feeling “the struggle” of moving forward, trying to adapt to new ways of thinking and executing, figuring out #AllTheThings to make our business lives not only better but to flourish and grow … And also trying to make time (even though we may not always feel like it!) to collaborate and make connections. 

But not just connections for the heck of it … Real. True. Authentic human connections that will feed our soul – and soothe our hearts!

During all this more than normal creativity thinking time, the idea of today’s episode kept knocking at my virtual front door … a list of what we shall call “non-negotiables” for disaster days. 

So, here’s my personal list of tried n' true tips and tricks for surviving those not-so-glamorous days in entrepreneur-land …


IT’S ALL ABOUT FACTS. FICTION IS FOR READING.

Daydreaming is what we do as entrepreneurs. That’s why we are who we are. We dream up ideas to solve people’s pain points and make the world a better place. But sometimes we get stuck with “what could be” as opposed to the truth. The cold hard facts. It’s imperative we have all the information and only deal with that. Most of us, entrepreneurs or not, tend to worry about things that may never even happen. I am admittedly one of those people … living in the land of “what ifs” more than I should.

So, what I’m saying here is … try not to let your creative imagination get ahead of the gorgeous reality that’s damn right in front of you! Fiction is for reading on rainy days (or snowy in my case) … Not something to base our business growth decisions on.


DOING NOTHING JUST MAKES THINGS WORSE.

One of my client's main focuses was not only his clients and his personal life, but also the name he’s most know for is Stop Doing Nothing. Patrick often talks about how an amazing business (and life) comes from done to perfect. “Being a business owner is a brutal daily struggle that can try the mental toughness of the best of us. So, we need to be more vulnerable and start talking about the bad, the utterly amazing, AND the ugly. And understanding the fullness of this journey is what makes us human.”

And I couldn’t agree more. Too many people tend to hide behind the virtual curtain of the front-facing perfection of our businesses. But as I see it … the most important thing we can do, whether we see the “disaster” coming or not, is to take action. If we can do so before it hits headstrong then great, but if not it’s best to not be a deer in the headlights, completely frozen on the spot. Because if we don’t do our best to be proactive and tackle whatever the “disaster” is right away, things will more than likely just get worse. And being an entrepreneur … We don’t want, nor have time, for worse.


WHEN SOMETHING’S NOT WORKING, RE-THINK IT.

It’s okay to not be okay sometimes and to have things go not quite the way we hoped. It’s a natural part of being human and on the business-side of things, just a learning curve which we must adapt to and tackle.

But in order to nudge things along, we must first acknowledge our feelings then do something about them. Yes, we must be vulnerable, no matter how painful it may seem to do so. We live in an age of image projection … Facebook, Instagram, and now, even LinkedIn. So, it can be way too easy to get virtually caught up in the general tendency of creating an illusion that our business is perfectly put together. After all, people are watching our every move. This crossroad provides us with an opportunity to make tough decisions, analyze what’s working and what’s clearly not. So, when feelings arise about what’s not, it becomes the perfect time to stop, reflect, and adjust - then make the necessary changes to these “gifts of imperfections” that deep down you already know you need to make. These imperfections could be related to your brand, your social strategy, your client-facing programs or services, or even in the aspect of your networking approach. 

So, whatever you do and how you’re currently doing it, don’t let things you know aren’t working fall to the wayside. Just re-think it and take action.

*And on that note, just a quick shout-out to my gal Lyndsey from Avustaa who is VU’s honorary “untangler” of #AllThings … including untangling me! She’s my virtual rock and with her cutting-edge creative solutions, she really does stand by her main objective “creating a better everyday life”! Lyndsey … she truly makes my life of “untangling” better AND easier, she truly understands my day-to-day and goals, and with her by my side … Well, let’s just say I don’t know what I’d do without her!


DON’T WASTE YOUR DAYS CHASING TIME. (OR PEOPLE!)

A single business day can go by so fast sometimes. Barely the blink of an eye then it’s *BAM!* dinner and bedtime with little room for the pleasurable things in life. 

There are always so many notes on your calendar, post-it’s on your desk, items on your to-do list to check off, emails to answer, plus whatever else pops up requiring your attention as each day progresses. 

As a successful entrepreneur, you must always be asking yourself: 

  • What am I wanting to accomplish today?
    • This week? This month? This year? Long-term? 

Or take things a step further and ask yourself: 

  • What is it in my business that I am constantly chasing? (People included. Like leads, clients, or unconventional team members!)

Chasing time (or people) is never a profitable solution and in most cases will lead you down the wrong path. Been there. Done that. Not doing it again!

It’s critical to be extra careful and optimistically cautious about whether (or not!) you are going after the right things -- at the right time -- and never doing something due to desperation as this action more often than not, will backfire. 

So, whatever you do … Don’t let yourself get caught up in this negative vortex as there will be more time tomorrow (life is too short). And as for the people chasing, if you must chase in the first place, is it really worth it?


STOP NORMALIZING YOUR KNOWLEDGE.

Whenever people used to call me an "expert" in anything, it would honestly make me feel a bit strange. I would immediately think that I surely had to be the "best of the best" in the entire world in order to claim that special title. 

But then it got me to thinking ... I. Am. An. Expert. We're all experts at something (even though we sometimes try to hide from it). That's why we're HERE doing what we love -- and doing it best!

We've all been there done that ... We invest in ourselves, our businesses, those of our clients, our social presence, and our overall development ... We spend months, years, and perhaps even decades learning new skills, and acquiring new knowledge of #AllTheThings ... But then as soon as someone pats our back, we forget we even had that expert knowledge in the first place, or even know how we did that thing or all of the things. It's like a strange wave of selective amnesia about how friggin' over the clouds AWESOME we are! And that NEEDS. To. STOP. Now!

Being that awesomely AWESOME expert, we all know you ARE is not like being a rocket scientist. And it really shouldn't feel as intimidating as it sometimes does. You don't have to be "perfect" to be called an expert. And it really doesn't take up 10K hours ... YOU ARE AN EXPERT whether you market yourself as such or not.

Truthfully … it’s all about confidence. And a little goes a long way!

If you don’t list your credentials, highlight your experience, your awards, and special designations, no one will ever know just how qualified and committed to your profession you are. Your customers, clients, brands you want to partner with, readers, social media followers, and the world at large have at least one trait in common ... they can’t read minds!

If you think about it, branding yourself as an expert is actually kind of nice! People trust experts, listen to experts, and follow their advice. With your brand, you’ve actually created a name that sells for itself.

So, in the branding of it all ... Your brand is a promise, and your prospects want to know that you are qualified to deliver what you promise. The REAL question is … What do you promise? You know ... the defining elements.

This will determine why all the “bragging” will work for one person and won’t for others. It’s not what you can do, but how you can help them!

I truly believe that everyone is born equipped to bless others with a gift only they have. Even though many people do what they do in the marketplace, only they can do it in such a way that can’t be duplicated. And by that, I mean YOU!

So, what I’m getting at here is you don’t need a Ph.D. or special certification to be an expert, I’m just saying “if you have it, flaunt it.”

I believe people are so well informed these days; it would be really hard to fool someone with “fake” expertise. If someone is an impostor, they will figure it out … and then they will tell their friends. But one thing I know for sure ... You should let your prospects (and even your competitors) know what you bring to the table and how your uniqueness works towards delivering your brand’s promise. (And you as a person -- your true authentic self!) If you are not able to tell others how wonderful you are at what you do, then, who is?

Oh … and whatever it is that you do ever so expertly ... DO NOT compare yourself to others. Just look within!

So, whether you call yourself an expert or not, your results will speak for themselves, and people will define you based on them. A brand is a promise. An empty promise never did anyone any good because it’s all about value, and you can’t “wing” value. If your clients don’t agree with the title, then you’re doomed!

Which brings me right into something extra special …


BUILD BULLETPROOF RELATIONSHIPS.

A common occurrence when times get tough is that some businesses actually stop servicing their clients at 100% capacity -- like they would on gloriously sunshiny days. Our mood can sometimes descend on our business and affects our customer service. Therefore, the clients suffer. (Or team members!)

Therefore, some businesses, when stuck in this negative space, lose loyal customers (or once again, team members) far more than they should. Which tends to make tough times, even tougher. Communication is key at all times, no if’s, and's, or but’s about it. So, you should NEVER put those that keep your business in a forward motion on the backburner. They deserve your 100% attention, 100% of the time! That’s why they hired you, the expert in your field, to solve their pain points. And if they can’t rely on you or trust you, they are more often than not going to look elsewhere for the help they need. And in some cases, this could even lead them right into the lap of your competitors.


INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS -- AND YOURSELF.

Investing in your business -- and you as a strong resilient human -- doesn’t always have to have a price tag attached to it. It may be time to freshen things up with a website re-brand, a new front-facing image, invest in some trial technology, or learn some new skills through books, seminars, online training, mentoring, or coaching … Whatever it takes.

And if you are up for the price tag, then I say go for it! These types of investments will make you feel less stressed and will only improve your business -- as well as how you feel about it and yourself.


BE RESILIENT AND BUILD SOLUTIONS THAT LAST.

An important part of being resilient is self-efficacy. Your belief in your ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task. When people believe that they are effective in the world and can move toward their goals they become more resilient. Given our human tendency toward a negativity bias, our tendency is to focus on the bad and the ugly even when these experiences are seemingly insignificant or inconsequential.

People who view themselves as fighters -- as we do! -- rather than victims are far more able to be more resilient. So, while it's true that every step we take in our lives affects our future, taking a leap into something new represents a crossroads of major changes. But the good kind. You know, those especially glorious moments we just ache for.

I learned a lot about resiliency practice this past year from my guru biz friend Emily, Founder of Paragon Solstice; where she helps people learn and practice how to create more awareness, sustainable results, smart goals, success plans by understanding the “gaps” as well as how to build that special tribe by networking in a relatable fashion.

Emily always reminds me that “resiliency requires the courage to let go and EMBRACE a new reality.”  And while we’re learning to be more courageous, “our mindset can sometimes struggle due to the fear of taking risks and overthinking solutions to our pain points. As a result, they stop us from being the best version of ourselves and we lose out on opportunities that not only help us grow, but flourish. Our thoughts drive our behaviour – and habits. So, the goal is to manage it as best as we can every single day and create new beliefs that strengthen us.”

Whether in business life, or life-life, it’s about creating solutions to your pain points that will stand the test of time. It’s about effectively achieving optimal levels without the fear of getting bogged down. It’s about creating a holistic foundation, built on resiliency.

As Elizabeth Edwards states quite nicely …

“Resilience is accepting your new reality if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”


FIND A MENTOR. BE A MENTOR.

If you have someone who you admire -- and respect -- and who you know has been through similar business-altering challenges, why not reach and ask for help. Or at the very least talk. It’s good to be totally honest -- no matter what type of dark cloud you feel you’re living under. They of course can't be expected to take on your problem, or fix it, but having them offer advice on how they got through their own challenges is invaluable.

And for me, that has been my guru friend, Linda, Founder of SmartStart. To her and those she guides through her coaching programs, it’s all about doing work that matters for people who care. At the end of 2020, her business programs have helped over 265,000 entrepreneurs build better businesses -- including mine! And she always flawlessly reminds me that “there are no limits to what you can achieve” and to “be a force of good”.  And because of her, I have forever changed the way I think about my business as well as those of my “tangled” clients. Her guru knowledge has helped me refuel my passion on days when it was running near empty and she’s always just a virtual moment away -- no matter how big (or small) the wavering thoughts may feel.

We must always find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives … And even though I’ve never asked her, she has always been a mentor figure in my life.

So, Linda … I know you’re listening … THANK YOU for everything you’ve done to help me gain insight to #AllTheThings, grow my mindset, find solutions to all those nasty pain points, and most importantly, being an amazing friend!

That being said, there is also the flipside … Be this for someone else. #PayItForward


Another factor that tends to bring those dark and gloomy days is comparison …

STOP LETTING COMPARISON BE THE THIEF OF YOUR JOY.

We all tend to do this to ourselves from time to time, even though we know we shouldn’t. Because when we compare ourselves to others (mainly the competition), we know all the dirty details of our situation, but only the seemingly positive surface information about “them” and their business. So, whatever you do, do not hold yourself up to some outside vague standard of greatness. Do not put them on a pedestal as you truly know nothing about them besides the “perfection” they allow you to see.

Judge your work by your principles and your values and leave comparison out of the equation. For all you know … what “they” are doing isn’t even working. So, stop comparing to the unknown.*

This “thief of joy” also falls in line quite frequently with “shiny object syndrome”. Which in short is all about starving distractions and feeding your focus.

And since we just touched on this topic in a recent episode, I’m not going to dive into it much further today -- but check it out if you haven’t already.


Some days it’s hard to stay motivated and keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive and twinkling. Especially if you’re stuck feeling like you’re in rinse n’ repeat mode with your business and feeling languish oh so damn hard due to the uncertainty that the pandemic has created. But it’s all about perseverance and taking things in stride … Knowing that no matter how hard things seem -- or feel -- right now, at this very moment, there will ALWAYS be a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if it’s not shining quite so brightly yet. It will … You just have to keep doing #AllTheThings and leave room for making “gifts of imperfections” (Brene Brown). But most importantly be aware of how you’re feeling and what’s going on around you …

  • Talk to your tribe and share experiences;
  • Give yourself permission to experience some joy;
  • Time block some YOU TIME every single day;
  • Check-in with yourself; and most importantly …
  • Take things One. Day. At. A. Time. (Rome wasn’t built in a day!)



And if you've done all these things -- alongside everything else I shared with you today -- and that sticky-icky feeling still won't go away, I just want to remind you that just because we spend all day (every day) "untangling" #AllTheThings in the land of digital -- held together with a bit of glue, we're human too! And we're always only a virtual message away! And just like the needs of your business … This too does not need to be done alone.

If you found today’s digital glue “untangling” episode to be EXACTLY the type of inspiration and know-how you were looking for, we here at VU would be ever so grateful if you would help this special episode spread by sharing the love on social media or by emailing it to a friend. You never know whose life you might change.


Just a quick note that this is not goodbye forever, just for now as we’re taking a digital glue break for the Summer. But don’t worry … We’ll be back on Tuesday, September 7th with even more amazingly inspirational topics, just like this one.

So, enjoy the warm sunny days, while they last. Stay safe, keep on “untangling” and have an absolutely wonderful Summer!