After ten years of coaching and facilitating business club meetings, I can’t help noticing that most female business owners seem to share similar obstacles or barriers. We all have different personalities, goals and ideas of what success means to us; we also have different talents, abilities and ways of thinking. All this will inevitably mean that we have unique ways of approaching problems and solutions.
But when we get stuck it can be difficult to work out what to do next, especially when pressed for time as so many women seem to be.
Lack of time can be a major obstacle!
Many women I know find it really challenging to fit in everything that business owners need to do.
Let me give you an example:
Recently in our business club meetings we successfully turned round several negative customer scenarios. Have you ever felt pushed into a corner by a customer who makes what you perceive to be unreasonable demands, or who pushes a sensitive button that just makes you want to hide?
It is so easily done, but the price of not taking the time to find a win-win solution for both parties can be high – potential negative feedback at worst, given publicly online.
Are you ‘playing small’?
At one of our International Women’s Day events I spoke about women not liking negotiation. Where men may not hesitate to ask for a pay rise or a higher daily consultancy rate, many women will wait, hoping they will be offered what is appropriate.
Do you recognise yourself in the above scenario?
If you are being held back by lack of confidence in your abilities, then it will be much harder for you to go for the ‘big jobs’ in business. Fear can also be a common cause of procrastination – not acting when we should to step up and grow the business.
Do you know what your own obstacles are?
Obstacles can be internal such as fear or lack of confidence, skills, knowledge, talent and/or experience.
They can also be external, such as lack of funds or cash flow, a poorly-designed website, lack of support (at home and in business), negative colleagues, having no one to delegate to, or an ineffective network.
Want to move on from obstacles in your business? Why not have a go at some problem solving?
- Define the problem: try to understand exactly what isn’t working.
- Try to identify the real cause: understand all the reasons why you are in your current situation, or what may be stopping you from moving forward. Are you facing an internal or an external obstacle, or both?
- Gather information: research the problem online or by talking to people you trust. Ask for help and advice. Find out what can be done to overcome your particular obstacle.
- Consider the solution(s)
- Plan your next move
- Go for it! Make the necessary changes to overcome your problem or obstacle.
- If you are dealing with an internal obstacle and lack the confidence to tackle it head-on, surrounding yourself with positive people who understand your problem, and are willing to support you, can make all the difference!
- Remember to celebrate or reward yourself, to acknowledge your progress and your achievement.
The ability to solve problems and overcome obstacles can often mean the difference between success and failure in business. Sometimes big action may be required, but at other times, smaller actions and changes are all it takes. But whatever the size of the action, your business will improve no end by tackling and overcoming your obstacles!