Business Blessings in Disguise
There’s no doubt that fire is an awful thing. It can cause property damage, burn down homes and ruin businesses. But the truth is that we frequently don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. The same is true in business. If you’re feeling discouraged about your business or overwhelmed with the challenges of running it, here are some blessings in disguise that might help you reevaluate and see the silver lining:
Fire is an awful thing — whether it’s a home fire, a forest fire or a workplace fire. Smoke can damage just as much as flames.
Whether you’re facing a home fire, a forest fire or a workplace fire, smoke can be just as damaging as flames. Smoke is more than just an annoyance; it can make everything you own smell like a campfire for weeks and cause respiratory problems like coughing and chest pains if you’re exposed to enough of it.
But despite all that damage, there’s one thing about smoke that’ll always leave me thankful: it allows you to see things in a new way. The grayish haze clears up when I look at my life with fresh eyes, giving me a new perspective on what matters most — my family and friends — not the stuff I own, my job title or anything else on earth besides those two things (and maybe God).
But the truth is that we frequently don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. The same is true in business.
Oftentimes, people will do the bare minimum to make a living and never give themselves permission to live their best life because they’re afraid of losing what they’ve worked hard for. But if you don’t stop and take time every day to be grateful for all that’s good in your life—even if it doesn’t seem that great at the moment—you’ll miss out on some pretty amazing opportunities along the way.
Don’t let your business get away from you by taking things for granted! Take stock of what’s working well in your business and make sure no opportunity goes unnoticed (or underutilized). If something isn’t working, then fix it before moving on.
1) Feeling Burnout
Burnout can be a blessing in disguise.
Burnout is different from being just physically tired. It’s an emotional exhaustion that comes from feeling like you can’t take on any more work. For example, let’s say you’ve been working hard at your job for the past few months and at some point, it feels like things are getting out of control—your to-do list is long, but every time you add something new (or even try to tackle one of those tasks), your brain turns off and tells itself: “I’m done! Why bother?” That’s when burnout happens.
The good news is that this kind of fatigue often causes us to take a step back and look at how our lives are going, which allows us to make changes in the way we live our lives, so that we’re better suited for what we have going on right now—even if those changes involve quitting your job!
2) Overwhelmed by Technology
You’re a small business owner and you want to do more with your time, but technology is not helping. You feel overwhelmed by the constant barrage of new technologies and platforms that are supposed to make life easier, but instead, they just add more steps and layers to everything you do in your business.
3) Frustrated by Marketing
The third blessing in disguise is that you’re frustrated by marketing.
I know it sounds like I’m adding insult to injury, but if you’ve never had to put time and effort into your marketing, then you might not realize how helpful it can be. Marketing is a means of communicating with your target audience; the more effectively you do this, the better able they are to understand what it is that you do and why they should care about it.
The first step in any marketing campaign is knowing who your target audience is. If there’s one thing I have learned, it is that most businesses fail because they don’t have a clear understanding of who their customers are (or worse yet—they think they do!). Knowing who makes up your perfect prospect list will enable every other aspect of your business plan to fall into place once all the pieces start coming together (like puzzle pieces forming a portrait of an old lady eating ice cream on top of Mount Everest, while holding her cat’s tail between her teeth…you get the picture!)
4) Not Generating Enough Leads
When it comes to generating leads and sales, the first thing you need to do is understand where you’re going wrong. There are several reasons why your business might be struggling with this process.
- You’re not following up with people who don’t respond to your initial contact. For lead generation and sales to work, you must have clear guidelines on what happens when someone doesn’t respond in a certain timeframe (usually 24 hours). If someone isn’t responding within this time frame, likely, they’re not interested or there’s something else going on that’s preventing them from doing so. You can either move on or try again if necessary, but the most important thing is knowing how and when to follow up if they don’t get back to you right away.
- You’re relying too heavily on one channel for leads instead of spreading them out across all platforms available: social media; email marketing; advertising through Google Search; local newspapers/magazines/radio stations; direct mail campaigns, etc.
5) Stalled Growth
If the business you’re in is growing, congratulations! But if it’s not, that can be a blessing in disguise as well. Growth does not always mean good things for all parts of your business and sometimes—as in the case of too much growth—it can be harmful to your company.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to think of a fire as a blessing in disguise, but seeing these obstacles as opportunities to strengthen my company may help me reframe them as something more manageable.
Hey, it’s no secret that the world is full of problems. Many of these problems are disguised as opportunities to grow and improve your business. But when you look at a challenge as something that could have been avoided, you can easily start making excuses instead of taking action.
It’s important to realize that you can’t control everything—and that’s okay! Sometimes things just happen, but they’re not necessarily bad things. You don’t always have control over what happens in your life or in business, but you do have control over how you react to them. If a fire breaks out at your place of work, for example, try focusing on how it could improve safety measures within your company rather than dwelling on the fact that the building was burned down because someone left their phone plugged into an outlet overnight.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, it’s easy to lose sight of the blessings in disguise. But if you look at your challenges as opportunities for growth, these setbacks might turn out to be just what your business needs.
When Life hands you grapes, see the blessing in disguise.