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….
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 Problem
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.
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?