How to Get Out of a Business Hole

stop digging

Business will have its ups and downs and there’s a large temptation to take it easy when things are going well and panic when things are down. It’s not prudent when reality tells us that things will always change. Heck, look at any company’s stock and you see volatility. There’s a reason for that. Markets change. Competitors are always working. Natural disasters and economic crises happen.

If you are in business long enough, you will find yourself in a hole at some point. At that time, consider Will Rogers’ famous quote, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

Now, I don’t have quick fixes for when you are in a hole. But I do have habits that I know work that will help you both get out of a hole and minimize risks down the road. I have worked with business clients over the years as well as in my own businesses to successfully overcome the challenges.

There’s a few cornerstones to these habits:

  1. You are not in control. Ever.
  2. Life is a game of probabilities and uncertainty. While you can’t have certainty, you can increase your probabilities of success.
  3. All problems are solvable.
  4. Days and months pass by. There will be better and newer days. Everything is temporary.
  5. You can always be valuable to someone.
  6. Hardly anyone gets ahead of things. You are way ahead of the game if you think and act ahead.

I believe these things and live them in my core. What you believe about yourself and reality matters a great deal when it comes to approaching your problems.

And if you can get those things straight, then consider these habits that will help you get to better days.

Strategies for Getting Out of Your Hole

  1. Keep score every day. I use Google Tasks and Google Sheets to keep a scorecard that I update every day. It helps my mind know where I am at. It may take 5-10 minutes, but it is well worth it. You have to know where you are at. Might be your current deals or your opportunities. It helps you get real.
  2. Review your goals every day. Just as important, you have to have real goals that you see every day. Again, keep a separate list in your Google Tasks on this and look at them every morning. So critical to see where you want to head in addition to where you are at.
  3. Organize your contacts. The saying “Your network is your net worth,” is not trite. It is true. But most people are not organized, focused or intentional. You have to get your address book clean and clear. There are people that say, “Yes,” to you. Group them and reach out to them. There are people that can refer you. Group them and reach out to them.
  4. Be valuable. Nothing stops you from helping other people get what they want. But two things have to happen: 1) You have to care enough to think about another person besides yourself and 2) You have to have that value to offer – your knowledge, your network and your compassion.
  5. Get rid of things. You have likely been loose and let things that don’t matter or things that drag you down into your life. Expenses, relationships, stress, etc. Get rid of something every day. Get your life lean and stress free. No debt. No emotional baggage. No obligations. It’s a double win. You get lift and you get free to use your time, energy and money for net positive things instead.

I do these things daily as a habit. If you find yourself in a hole, the reason you got here is because you were digging. You did not get there by accident and you will not get out of your hole by accident either.

If you need help, contact me. But surely, do not keep digging.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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