What to do if your job or business don’t seem to be doing well?

So I’m back with the gorgeous Danny Smith on Radio Verulam – thank goodness he keeps asking me in, otherwise I’d never get around to blogging.

Check out all my previous posts in the run up to Christmas if you need tips on what to buy, how to afford it or how to deal with the stress of it.

This time I thought I’d look at a slightly different side to Christmas; the stress of someone in a job that isn’t going well, or a business that needs a big improvement, especially when you know that ‘Christmas is coming’, along with a pile of bills!

This is probably the last in my posts about business and careers (although you never know!).  Remember beforehand I wrote about:

1) How to pick a business or career:

  • Having a Passion for it.
  • That it has the potential to make the kind of Profit that you would need and deserve after the investment of time and money
  • And That there is a Need for it.

2) Tips for Getting or Keeping a Job

  • How easy it is to make a good impression when you apply
  • Then when in the job that there are easy ways to keep making a good impression:
    • Work Smart
    • Do your job
    • Give to get
    • Be professional
    • Understand the brand

 

So are you not doing as well in your career as you hoped?

Or is your business not performing?

And you are doing all the above things?

Then there are 4 simple things for you to look at:

1) You are panicking

Frustration and anger

If you panic, you are going to run around like a headless chicken, fire fight, and probably make things worse.  It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy – the person who worries about losing their job, often behaves in a way that means that they will lose their job.  The fear will control their brain and mean that they aren’t working smart, or doing their job well.

Plus it’s important to keep your focus on what you DO want to happen, rather than what you DO NOT.  Our subconscious doesn’t pick up the NOT – so often we end up following the WRONG direction.  I’ll give you an example: it’s well know that when you want to lose weight, you need to focus on becoming healthy and slim, not on losing weight; otherwise you often gain weight.  Or how many times have you told a child to be careful to NOT do something; and they immediately do it.

Even if you are just breaking the problem down into daily steps, just focus on them one step at a time.  For instance, I’ve been through a restructure at work, so there was a lot of reorganisation needed and recruitment; it’s like a puzzle, you take each step slowly and start to fit everything together.  You don’t need to know the complete path when you start, you just start moving forwards slowly.

Here are some more tips on dealing with stress.

2) You are not letting people know

Rant with Megaphone

So you have a great business, or are wonderful at your job, but aren’t getting the recognition that you deserve, or the customers are going elsewhere?  Are you actually letting people know?  Are you clear on what your ‘USP’ is (Unique selling proposition – i.e. what you are good at).

Have you made sure that a company or customer looking for you can find you?  (E.g. google, Facebook, twitter, website, signs, brochures etc).  If you haven’t, then your customers often think that you aren’t interested in their business.

Remember in a 1to1 it’s always important to talk about your strengths as well as your development areas.  If you don’t, I can promise you that the other person is definitely talking themselves up.  It’s not boasting if it’s factual e.g. ‘I did this project and the result was xyz’ or ‘We have an 80% customer return rate’.

As a business you need to let people know why you are different from the restaurant down the road, or the other cupcake makers.  What makes what you do special?  This is where a clear niche makes your message clear, and ironically brings in more people who don’t quite fit your niche.

Don’t get fooled into thinking this needs to be expensive.  Or that everything has to be done all at once.  There are loads of marketing, customer service, PR and sales techniques that are free or inexpensive.

 

3) You are letting your self-confidence or self-esteem issues get in the way

 

Fur Monster

We all have baggage; people or situations that have knocked our confidence or made us doubt ourselves.  But if you let that show, then why will other people or customers trust you?  I’m not talking about walking around pretending all the time and being fake.  I’m just suggesting that if you are not sure of why you are fabulous and why customers should come to you, then they won’t come.

When I worry; and of course I do worry, as setting up a large hair and beauty salon and Spa inspired by the days of good service and glamour is a risk – people do sometimes prefer the dull and noisy salons elsewhere.  Then I remind myself of a few things:

  1. My job is not to convince everyone – just the people who would love to come to me and prefer it.  In fact it’s my duty to let them know, so that they get the opportunity to come.
  2. I remind myself of what I’m good at (and what I’m not good at).  That way I remember what my own personal USP is, and I make a backup plan for my weak areas.  Accepting responsibility for yourself and not blaming others is really important here.

4) It’s not exactly what you are meant to be doing

diamond heart
Sometimes we spend years not doing well in careers we never wanted or running businesses that don’t make our hearts sing.  What’s the point in that?  Yes, I know that there are practicalities to providing for a family and paying the bills, and it’s not always easy to change things.  But I can also guarantee that it’s very difficult to be successful at something that isn’t really YOU.
Are you really sure this job is for you?  Are the hours suitable to what you love in your life?  Do you really want to become like the people you are with?  Is it really how you would like to spend the next few years?  I had a couple of people come for job interviews recently, who didn’t really want to work at MY spa.  One just wanted a couple of extra days work anywhere; that’s fine, but Espiritu has a very specific ethos and I’m looking for people who are banging down the door to work there.  The other just applied because she was told to, and was trying to appease someone she loves; a recipe for disaster.
Now if this is where you find yourself, then what I recommend is that you make an exit plan.  It might be 1 to 10yrs; but it will be a plan, and if you are steadily working towards it, that is all you need.
If you would like to do something else, but it will earn you less money, check out my posts on how to get more value for your money, so that you don’t need to earn as much.
If it’s skill levels, then you just need to make a plan to train up.  But keep at it; I had a lovely girl apply for a job, but she hasn’t been constantly practicing her trade and has become rusty, so I need her to go away for 6 months, do lots of practice and then try again.
You may not know exactly, but have a hint, so work towards that at first, and all will become clearer.  (But be careful of ‘the grass is greener’ fantasies, and make sure that you look at the downsides of all options).

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

You know something has got to change right?  So you could try these ideas, and they might not work; in my humble opinion they weren’t meant to work then, and there will be something better out there (if you’ve followed everything from the last 3 posts).  You’ll also know that you really tried your best – better that, than not putting your whole effort in.
We ALL fail sometimes.
We ALL make mistakes sometimes.
It’s how you react to that, which will determine how your life unfolds.  You can still be happy, but poor (I’m not suggesting that it is heaven being poor, just that it’s not necessarily hell either).
Good luck to you – I know it isn’t easy.  Let me know if you have any specific questions that maybe I can help you with.  Or if there is something you want me to go into more detail on.

6 comments

  1. What a great list of tips and information. I really enjoyed what you shared on the stress tips and truly believe that we have to focus on what we can do about something versus what we can not. I am visiting today from Healthline and wanted to say hello. I too have Fibromyalgia and am visiting Fibro websites. Well done on your site.

    Irish of Dedicated 2 Life

    1. Thank you so much @IrishCarter. I’m sorry to hear you have Fibro too, but I’m really glad to hear you’ve been checking out all the blogs – pop me a message if there is ever anything I can help with.

  2. I’ve been meaning to catch up with this for a while Lisa. I love your pragmatic approach – one step at a time is so important and I believe if you’re following your intuition, sometimes it’s only the next step we see. The more we follow our inner guidance, the more confidence we can have in it and the more likely we are to end up doing what we’re meant to be doing, where we’re meant to be doing it. I think it’s the ‘when’ that we all struggle with, but your advice, as always, is exemplary :))) X

    1. Aww thankyou @Anyaharris – you are right, it definitely gets easier the more you do it, but a blip can always make us lose trust for a while and we have to remind ourselves.

  3. I loved hearing your advice, it is dead-on. I hope those who read it hear what you ate saying and do it. I have already had a successful business doing what I loved. Now I am trying to give myself permission to not do so much. After turning 71 It seemed the right thing to do. I was hit with fibromyalgia in my late 60s and it dropped me in my tracks. I am so impressed with the mothers who have fibro and keep on. My hat goes off to them.

    1. Wow Jan, I’m impressed with you having Fibro in your 60’s and running a business – I hope that you are giving yourself permission to enjoy yourself more now. In a way being a mum with Fibro is hard, but it also makes it easier – you have to get up and you have a BIG reason to eat healthily and get stronger. Maybe if I didn’t have them I wouldn’t be so motivated?

I love hearing what people think about my posts!