This Growth Coach Blog focuses on the all-too-common feeling that stops most business owners and entrepreneurs dead in their tracks. The emotion that prevents most professionals from seizing greater success and personal fulfillment. The mental state that derails most small business owners from making necessary changes. What’s the prevalent feeling, emotion and mental state that often sabotages a better business and life? It’s called being OVERWHELMED. Being overwhelmed shuts down your will and appetite to make critical changes and it’s like engaging an emergency brake on your goals, dreams, and greater results.
As a business coach for over 18 years, I have seen the best of business owners mentally and physically check out and shut down when confronted and surrounded by the sensation of being overwhelmed. In fact, that’s the time when small business owners especially need a business coach to help them cut through the feelings of dread, fear, complexity, confusion, and endless details.
As the founder of The Growth Coach, a business coaching franchise system, I too have suffered from bouts of feeling overwhelmed, especially as we’ve expanded throughout North America. Being overwhelmed is when the mind-numbing details of any contemplated and significant change immediately crush your appetite and motivation for that change. It’s when the thought of making a significant change feels and appears MUCH too big, too complicated, and too involved to move forward. You never really get going. Haven’t you felt overwhelmed at times?
Each Growth Coach in over 140 markets sees this phenomenon all the time with their new business coaching clients. These entrepreneurs are often stuck in a rut by their feelings of being overwhelmed. When most small business owners seriously consider a major change and improvement in their business and/or life, they immediately dwell upon the countless details and action steps that will be required. Instead of focusing on the “pleasing outcomes” of the change, they focus on the “challenging process” of the change. Instead of focusing on the “why do it” (motivation), they jump ahead too far and too soon to the “how to do it” (methods).
As a result, even before establishing the right reasons and motivation for the change, they are buried by the methods and minutia of the change. They suddenly feel overwhelmed and freeze up. That crushing, suffocating weight of being overwhelmed prevents them from moving forward to a better business and life. Their brains overload and shut down. So does their appetite and will to change. Again, this is a critical juncture when they need a Growth Coach more than ever to get them unstuck, back on the track and moving forward.
Here’s a typical business coaching example. When a small business owner is asked a simple coaching question like, “What’s currently broken in your business and needs to be fixed?”, he/she usually rattles off several areas they would love to address now and improve. However, without even taking a first step, their mind plays a horrible trick on them. It instantaneously creates a scary horror movie of sensory overload with thousands of evil and frightening action steps to be tackled … they are in the overwhelmed zone.
As such, the entrepreneur sees improving the business as a huge, complicated, exhausting, frightening and overwhelming undertaking. Why? They don’t focus enough on the “why do it” but instead jump into the “how to do it.” They end up dwelling on way too many details way too soon. They mistakenly believe that they need to know all the steps and all the answers BEFORE beginning. WRONG. Sadly, they get overwhelmed and paralyzed. Instead of working on improving the broken parts of the business, they play a game of denial and go back to their tension-relieving, status-quo routines … unless they have a Growth Coach to challenge them to march forward.
Through my many years of business coaching, I have learned that highly successful and wealthy entrepreneurs see and think about things differently. When confronted with a major project, change or opportunity, they don’t allow their mind to play a horror movie. They chose to see the significant project or change as a big and fun adventure film. They focus on the big picture, its pleasing outcomes and benefits, and then start breaking the big goal down into very workable steps. They don’t allow themselves to get overwhelmed.
Initially, they focus much more on the WHY do it, less on the HOW to do it. That’s critical. They focus on the desired outcomes first, then and only then on the process. They establish the reasons why, the appetite and motivation, and the clarity of outcomes before doing anything else. Then they break the big project down into workable FIRST steps, start taking action, build momentum, and begin to achieve real progress. They do not get overwhelmed … instead, they get moving!
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you achieve dramatic success? One step at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by the size of the beast or opportunity, just focus on the desired OUTCOMES you want and start taking small steps … soon momentum will take over. Even your actions will reveal key insights, distinctions and the ultimate “how to” formula. Your actions will even reveal what NOT to do. Your actions will be your greatest teacher and show you the next series of steps. Don’t believe that you need to know ALL the steps and ALL the answers before you begin. JUST BEGIN.
When contemplating a major change and improvement in your business or life, don’t settle for getting overwhelmed, get going!!