I’ve read a lot of articles about steps to overcoming obstacles in your business.  Most provide useful information in general – things like “believe in yourself” and “never quit” – but I was looking for some real life ways to overcoming obstacles for my online marketing business.

When I say “real life”, I’m talking about simple, practical steps to take when you encounter an obstacle.

Something you can use immediately to help you overcome this obstacle that’s standing in your way.

I will reveal the my own real life steps to overcoming obstacles in a minute, but first I invite you to watch this quick video.

It’s really short, but speaks volumes about the way that many of us think when we encounter an obstacle in our life.

It’s also really funny….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_Qk_OiBFN0&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Special thanks to Melodie Kantner for first showing me this video on her blog.

Do you see any of yourself in this video?  Are you sure?

Of course, the video is a dramatization, but if we’re honest we’ve all had times when we’ve experienced this kind of limited thinking.

So how do YOU react to obstacles in your path?

  • Are you frozen in fear, unable to move?
  • Do you scream for anyone and anyone to help you?
  • Are you unable to look beyond the problem to see the possibilities?

Worse, are you a serial quitter?

Or do you push forward and take the simple steps necessary to getting around this obstacle?

3 Real Life Steps to Overcoming Obstacles in Your Business

Like I said, approaches like “stay calm”, “believe in yourself” and “visualize your success” are all valid and part of a strong mindset, but they don’t really a practical approach to problem-solving.

Here is my 3 step approach to overcoming obstacles in my business.  In showing you how this works in real life, I will be discussing a particular problem I encountered in my business and how I solved it using this approach.

Step 1:  Evaluate the Problemsteps to overcoming obstacles representation

Exactly what is it the problem?  Turn it over in your mind and look at it from all sides.

Write down everything you can think of about this obstacle in your business.

  • Is it technical in nature and a skill you can learn?
  •  Or is it mindset-related, like the fear of rejection?
  • Is it unique or something that happens to many?

There are many questions to ask, and this may be the hardest step in the process, because  it’s sometimes difficult to pinpoint the exact problem that’s holding you back.

Be persistent.  Take time to get it right.

If necessary, ask someone else to help.  Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes on the problem does the trick.

Our Obstacle:  As many of you know, Rosemary and I decided about 6 months ago that blogging would be a major vehicle for us to stand out among our competitors.  We decided to have the most popular blog in our niche, bar none.  That was and continues to be our goal.

But as we started to develop our blog, we noticed that we were blending in with everyone else.   How could we stand out?  We were online marketers, just like all our competitors.  We wrote about online marketing, just like all our competitors.

We needed to find a more specific niche.

This is not a problem that is unique to us.  Many other marketers fail to define a small but profitable niche in which to dominate.  So clearly there must be help out there if we need it.

Step 2:  Evaluate Yourself

Now it’s time to get serious with yourself.

Do you have the skills necessary to overcome this obstacle?

Is your mindset development far enough along to deal with this issue?

This is the time to take stock in yourself – honestly!

There’s no shame in admitting that you need help, but there’s no sense in bringing others into the picture if you have all the skills necessary to get through it.

In our case, our problem was simple yet complex — we weren’t able to stand out from our competition because our niche was way too broad.  We were thinking of ourselves as simply Network Marketers, just like everyone else.

To be honest, our mindset was not developed enough to understand how to find a niche that we could dominate.  We just didn’t know the process, the right questions to ask, the research to perform.

We would clearly need to seek help, which is Step 3 in the process.

Step 3:  Seek Help From Experts

This step can take many forms, from hiring an outsourcer to finding a mentor to having a one time conversation with your sponsor or trusted friend.

The point is, many times you will need to go outside yourself to overcome obstacles in your business.

There’s no sense in trying to do it all yourself.

Think of it this way.

If you have a major plumbing issue in your house, you probably wouldn’t attempt to fix it yourself unless you have some specialized knowledge in plumbing.

No, you would call in an expert.

That is what you may need to do in your business.

There will be a cost involved, no doubt…. expertise doesn’t come cheap.

But your Return-on-Investment (ROI) will more than make up for the money you lay out initially.

There’s no shame in asking for help.  The key is to know the best places to find help.

I will be doing a multiple part series shortly on Outsourcing, which will help you with all your outsourcing needs, from where to find the best outsourcers depending on your needs to what questions to ask before hiring your first outsourcer.

Stay tuned.

Here’s how we overcame the obstacles we were facing about finding our niche.  We did some research on forums and on Facebook, asking around about who the experts were in finding a niche and developing an online persona.   The name most often mentioned was Mike Klingler.

So we friended Mike on Facebook.  We started participating in his FB discussions and asking questions.

We soon discovered that one of his top students, Cindy Schulson was promoting a new course designed to Attract your Ideal Clients and find a profitable niche.  This course was highly recommended by… Mike Klinger!

We contacted Cindy to ask some questions, and we quickly got access to her course.  Less than a month later, with Cindy’s guidance we were able to find a smaller but profitable niche that we could (and are) dominating — Working Professionals who are building an Online Business on the side, with all the issues (opportunities!) that entails.

Of course, we also help others who are also having difficulty building a business Part Time, but our primary niche are the working professionals.

And we would never have found it with out the help and guidance of Cindy Schulson through her course.

These are the 3 steps we take to overcoming any obstacle we encounter — Evaluate the problem, Evaluate our skills, and Seek Help from Experts when needed.

It’s not rocket science, but it does take work.

What about you?  How do you attack obstacles that you encounter in your business?

Leave a comment below and join in the discussion!

Bob Clarke

Dr. Bob Clarke teaches Part Time Marketers how to better leverage their time, effort, money, skills, and other people’s knowledge in maximizing their business success. Don’t forget to grab your Free Training Grow a Thriving Business in 30 Minutes/Day or Less — an essential resource for anyone struggling to build their business Part Time.

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Showing 51 comments
  • Audrey Ross
    Reply

    I think a lot of people have a difficult time with steps 1 and 2 – evaluating the problem and oneself. I think the reason behind this is because people normally go in ‘denial’ whenever problems face them. Somehow, our mind inherently tries to find an excuse to be afraid, to quit, to be scared, etc.

    • Bob
      Reply

      That’s very true, Audrey.. I think perhaps it is part of human nature. But overcome it you must if you want to be successful.

      Thanks for your contribution and your continued support!

  • Hans Schoff
    Reply

    Hey Bob, very funny video, hadn’t seen that one before. Personally, I found myself making excuses and rationalizing much more frequently than I had realized, assigning blame to other things, people, etc. It was something Jim Rohn said that really caught my attention though, as he relates to conditions, the environment, etc as a farmer would his crops: all you’ve got is the soil, the rain, the seasons, the seed; you can’t go blaming it on your environment, on conditions because that’s all you’ve got. What else is there?

    • Bob
      Reply

      I see that you are a Jim Rohn disciple, Hans… Rosemary and I are huge fans of Jim and his teachings. He is one of the most powerful speakers and teachers we have found.

  • Monika Genehr
    Reply

    That video really was funny. As I watched I thought I saw a couple more people “stuck” on that escalator, people I know. I’m tempted to show them the video and ask them: do you see yourself on that escalator, screaming for help?

    • Bob
      Reply

      Haha, Monika – you should definitely show the video to anyone who suffers from this kind of limited thinking. Well, at times I guess we all do, but hopefully not as a habit!!

      Thanks for the comment, Monika!

  • Mavis Nong
    Reply

    Hey Dr Clarke,

    Loved the video – so funny! 😀

    Your tips can help anyone to deal with their obstacles. I agree that it all starts with identifying the problem(s).

    Well done for taking the right steps to transform your blog – great job!

    All the best,
    Mavis

    • Bob
      Reply

      The video is amazing, isn’t it? Glad you found it enjoyable and educational.

  • Dennis Edell
    Reply

    I’m real lucky it didn’t take much longer Bob, as it is now, most of my audience isn’t quite right.

  • raverture
    Reply

    Having problems in your business is just normal. Most businessmen encounter a lot of problems everyday too. But they have found their own way to overcome them. That is why you created your own business because you are an expert on it. So whatever predicaments or obstacles may come along your business, you can surpass all of them.

    • Bob
      Reply

      This is a great philosophy. Mindset is truly a major component to your success, and if you can go into any issue knowing that you will solve it, that is very powerful.

      Thanks for your comment… we appreciate it!

  • Ankesh Kothari
    Reply

    Hi Bob;
    Great post, as usual. The video was hilarious and amazingly suited to the subject matter.

    About problem solving: I think many of the problem arise from getting stuck in a rut. I find that taking a break and starting afresh is much more productive than just banging your head against a wall.

    About seeking outside help: Have to admit, that is not my strong suit. I like solving problems, and asking for help seems like admitting defeat. But there are times when it’s only practical to seek expert help. When it is economic in terms of the time and resources spent and the quality of the result.

    Thanks again for this very helpful post.

    • Bob
      Reply

      HI Ankesh,

      I know what you mean about being a problem solver.. so am I, but like you said there comes a time when it becomes an inefficient use of time. The sooner we can get over that feeling of weakness for hiring someone to help, the faster we’ll get through the obstacle and move forward. It’s a process, Ankesh.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • A. Leigh Edwards
    Reply

    Hi Dr. Bob,

    I had a really loud LOL moment half way into watching the video because it very pointedly illustrates the frustration many of us have felt at one point in time or another when obstacles present themselves.

    The key to overcoming any obstacle in life is to get still and ask yourself a simply question: “What is this situation trying to tell me?” It takes some conscious introspection and accountability but, believe me when you ask this question, it opens the floodgates and the answer will flow right to you. I really enjoyed this post and your guidance is right on point!

  • Diane
    Reply

    Great post Bob. That video was hilarious that I had to send that to my sister. She’s DEFINITELY like these people. She’s smart, but very helpless. I think that it’s naturally hard for people to seek for help because of their pride or because they don’t want to look stupid. We are not going to change our behaviors or characteristics that we dislike in ourselves, unless we start changing our actions.

    • Bob
      Reply

      That seems to be a consistent theme offered by the other commenters as well, Diane… Take Action!

      I agree that people don’t want to appear stupid in front of others, which might cause them to become paralyzed. But its hard to imagine anyone looking more stupid than those 2 on the video, right? 🙂

      Thanks for the comment, Diane!

  • Catarina
    Reply

    Personally I always look for solutions and new ideas. But for people who are not used to doing business and a bit unsure of themselves your suggestions are great.

    It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, life is full of obstacles. if you get paralyzed instead of creating new solutions I’m afraid you are doomed.

    • Bob
      Reply

      I’m afraid that most people I deal with in business and in life are less like you and more like the people on the escalator, Catarina! 🙂

      I love your philosophy on overcoming obstacles, Catarina. I’m sure its contributed much to your success!

  • Dennis Edell
    Reply

    Interesting indeed Bob, it seems we have or had the exact same “glitch”. How to find our own sub-niche within an ever populated/saturated bigger niche.

    Long story short, mine is now teachable those in small business, primarily direct sales, how to run their business via blogging…instead of simply “blogging about blogging”.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Its great that you found your subniche, Dennis. It can be a long and tedious process sometimes, right?

  • Martin
    Reply

    I am intrigued with the 3 part process of overcoming obstacles in this post Bob.
    Wow! I really enjoyed your little story/illustration as well.
    I was wondering how you came up with your niche, and so now my question is answered.

    I am also looking forward to your little series on outsourcing.

    Have a blessed day,
    Martin Dale

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hey Martin,

      I always try to tell a personal story within my posts — I feel it leads to a certain degree of intimacy when you’re writing for a marketing blog.

      I’m glad you found this information useful, Martin. You’ll be seeing that outsourcing series soon.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Jym
    Reply

    Love the video Bob!

    I also love that you’ve laid out such a simple process for diagnosing and addressing this problem. I know I’ve suffered from a kind of ‘freeze’ in moving forward at times, and it’s always taking action and stretching my comfort zone that’s gotten the ball rolling again.

    Of course, having the right training, support, friends and networks to inspire and encourage you always helps as you mentioned!

    Anyone can overcome this kind of challenge, and the steps outlined in this post will make it that much easier…

    • Bob
      Reply

      I love that, Jym… taking action and stretching your comfort zone got the ball rolling again. That’s great.

      I especially like the part about going outside your comfort zone. Sometimes that’s what we need to do in order to overcome an obstacle (in fact, it’s often the case). And like you said, getting the right training and knowledge will help you push that zone and move forward.

      Thanks, as always for your insights, Jym!

  • Kristina L.
    Reply

    Hi, dr Bob!
    Here is how I see the obstacles and problems. There are none of them exisiting, as I only see the solutions. Good enough? I think it is, I try to make it my philosophy. Evaluating a problem is a good tip and I like that you wrote in this post things that are more concrete than just advices on not giving up.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Kristina,

      What a great philosophy you have! Kudos to you for only seeing solutions in the face of obstacles. You are way ahead of most people I meet.

      Thanks for your insights, Kristina!

  • Brigitte Mehr
    Reply

    Great post as ever Bob and Rosemary. I also would add a 4th and that is – never ever give up even in the face of total adversity.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Very true, Brigitte. If one has a never give up attitude, they can push through many of their insecurities and move forward.

      People with that kind of attitude never get stuck on that escalator, right?

      Thanks for the comment, Brigitte.

  • Diego Ortiz
    Reply

    jajjaaja, LOL love the video and its sooo true. Usually the answer to our problems are staring us in the face, but we are so blunt that we dont see it. All they had to do was walk up the stairs and they get to were they wan to be, but reality tells them somebody else will do it for them. What a limited belief system thats gotta be.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hey Diego,

      It is due to limited beliefs, right? This tells us that so often people can help themselves if they believed in themselves. That’s profound.

      And the more people believe in themselves, the more likely they are to feel secure enough to reach out for help.

      Thanks for the comment, DIego!

  • Adrienne
    Reply

    Love the video Bob, I had to laugh honestly! I KNOW people who would just stand there and yell. 🙂

    Who has not been in this situation before! We’ve all encountered obstacles during our time here. You’ve provided some great tips for how to overcome these as well. I will admit that seeking help was my major downfall. It’s hard to ask for help sometimes. We don’t think we are good enough or who would offer their advice to me. Those types of thoughts came into play a lot.

    Once I started blogging and building a community I’ve now built up relationships with a lot of people. I have someone to turn to when obstacles get in my way. I don’t feel so alone any more. These are my friends and they are willing to give me their advice and I appreciate it. We are not alone in this journey and there are those who are willing to help. All you have to do is ask.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Well said, Adrienne.

      You’re right… when you become affiliated with great people who will stand by you in times of trouble, life becomes so much easier, right?

      Thanks for your insights, Adrienne…. appreciate the comment!

  • Melanie
    Reply

    First of all, that was such a funny video, Bob! Secondly, thanks for outlining these steps to overcoming obstacles. I think the most important thing to remember is step three because it is a reminder that we are not all alone in this world, that asking for help does not imply helplessness, only the willingness to allow assistance from others. My husband has problems with this third step frequently, are there any other tips you can provide on how to make it a little easier for him?

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hey Melanie,

      When I think of your comment about your husband, I am reminded to the old stories about men not wanting to ask for directions. Perhaps this is one and the same affliction! 🙂

      Thanks for your insights, Melanie…. great to see you here again.

  • Steve Nicholas
    Reply

    Great post,! You are so right about the importance of the need to overcome obstacles. When I saw that video, it reminded me of a Mitch Hedberg joke. He said, “I went to the mall the other day, and I saw a sign that said that the escalator was out of order. How can an escalator ever be out of order? All an escalator is is a staircase that moves. Instead of saying the escalator is out of order, the sign should say “The Escalator is Now Stairs.” I’ve thought about that every time I’ve seen an “out of order” sign on an escalator.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hey Steve,

      That’s a riot! I’ve not heard that before but it’s so true. I love it — the escalator is now stairs!

      The video was a parody, of course but there are people out there who allow themselves to get stuck for the craziest reasons! I’ve seen it with my own eyes, so I know it to be true.

      Thanks for the funny story, Steve. Great to see you here!

  • Barry Wells
    Reply

    Hi Bob, my 2nd visit and another great post, thanks.

    Being disabled I’ve faced many hurdles in life and I’ve come up with a simple saying when faced with an obsticle:

    Get over it
    Get around it
    Get through it
    or stay where you are

    This simple saying has really helped me so much so that i often quote it to others that are struggling in some way.

    Your post has just highlighted that my way is only the start of what it should be. Of course when i’m faced with a hurdle I have to sit back and think about my options and the best way over the hurdle but i’ve never expressed that point to others.

    Great post Bob, you’ve really got me thinking now…….”Thank you”

    Barry

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hey Barry, great to see you again!

      You are an inspiration, Barry. You have been overcoming obstacles that many of us can never fully understand and you do it relentlessly.

      Kudos to you, my friend! I love your attitude and your work ethic.

      Congrats on all your successes!

  • Rick Salas
    Reply

    Hi Bob,
    I think people should really concentrate on these valuable tips. I especially liked what you said about getting help from experts. When experts evaluate our problem we can learn skills that allows us to work smart at the same time. They are always ready to evaluate out problems with a givers heart by really listening and never makes us feel as though we’re being rushed. They can help us to evaluate our future problems and what skills to focus on. Thanks for the post Bob. It’s very valuable for any business.

    Rick Salas

    • Bob
      Reply

      Thanks, Rick!

      You bring up an important point. Often times when we ask for help from an expert or someone more knowledgable than ourselves, we learn FROM how they tackle the problem, as well. This is another great reason to reach out.

      Thanks for the great feedback, Rick!

  • Jon
    Reply

    Bob this is great! Real-world examples in your copy make you stand out so you’ve got that going for you as well.

    You and I both evaluate the problem and I know that most of my issues is ME. I get too far “into my own head” and need to seek out advice. No matter how experienced you are, sometimes you just need to talk things out with someone on the outside. Someone who hasn’t gone over the same details countless times; a fresh pair of eyes as you mentioned.

    So I tend to jump right on asking for feedback.

    Congrats on fine-tuning your niche targeting, great work.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hey Jon,

      Sounds like we are two peas in a pod! I am, in many cases my own worst enemy and my harshest critic. It sometimes takes an outside voice of reason to bring you back to normalcy.

      Thanks for your insights, Jon!

  • Uri Sheinbaum
    Reply

    I can really appreciate the last part of the article in which you give readers the advice to seek help from others. So often we want to come up with the answer on our own without getting advice from anyone else. We overlook the fact the others ideas and solutions combined with our own can lead to greater solutions than if we had just done it on our own. Going to others for help does not make us weak, in fact, it makes us stronger. Great advice!

    • Bob
      Reply

      I love it Uri! It’s so true what you say — seeking outside help or advice makes us stronger, not weaker. If only more people understood this!

      Thanks for your insights, Uri… we appreciate your comment!

      Bob

  • Oliver Tausend
    Reply

    Hi Bob,

    this is awesome advice. You are right that just saying “believe in yourself” is not very helpful. Most people know that and it doesn’t help them much…

    Your three simple steps allow people to take responsibility and remove the emotions from the equation.

    In most cases, when we encounter a problem, chances are we are not the first ones who have it. And if, we’ve just created a new business idea…

    I like especially how you yourself walked through these steps…well done !

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Take care

    Oliver

    P.S.: The video is indeed funny…

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hey Oliver,

      Thanks for the kind words. As I said to Jeanine in her comment, too many times emotion drives us to the wrong conclusions regarding obstacles in our business and our life. If we can somehow take the emotion out of it, we may be surprised with what is really stopping us.

      Thanks as always for your keen insights, Oliver!

  • Jeanine Byers Hoag
    Reply

    Bob, I couldn’t believe that video!! It certainly does illustrate, though, that sometimes there are solutions we just aren’t aware of, and we may be too distracted by fear or anger to think clearly about the problem.

    Great post, and I agree that clearly identifying the problem or problems is the first step. I think sometimes we define it too broadly. “I’m not making money yet!” sounds like it’s the problem, but it’s actually a symptom of the problem.

    Congratulations on taking the steps you guys needed to take to make your blog stand out!

    Jeanine

    • Bob
      Reply

      I agree Jeanine, a common mistake is to make a blanket statement regarding the real cause of the obstacle that’s stopping you. I think that many times it is driven by strong emotion. Sometimes you need to just take a step back and look at it logically, and maybe even seek someone outside of your business for another opinion. Kind of takes the emotion out of it, right?

      That video is crazy, right?!

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeanine.

  • marquita herald
    Reply

    Great article and tips Bob – I love this video! I know which of those tips I struggle with the most – asking for help. I’m an avid learner and am always working to improve my skills, but I’m a very private person so talking about myself makes me feel vunerable. Maybe that’s why I enjoying helping others so much – I can relate 🙂

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Marty,

      Yeah, isn’t that video wild? I couldn’t believe the first time I saw it. It’s such a great representation of how we let crazy things stop us dead in our tracks.

      I was like you in terms of not wanting to seek outside help, but I’ve gotten over it when I realized that for many things needed to succeed online I just didn’t have the expertise or the time to figure it out. I’ve learned that seeking help is not weakness, but wisdom!

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