How can I feel happier and less
overwhelmed in my business?
Are you overwhelmed and stuck in a whirlpool?
Do you feel overwhelmed or stuck in your business? Are you operating in crisis management mode, running around from urgent problem to emergency all day long, extinguishing brush fires along the way? Do you feel like you will never reach your goals because your day is so chaotic that you don’t have time to think (let alone eat or sleep!)?
If so, you might be stuck, trying to paddle your way out of a violent business whirlpool without even realising it – a situation that is not only stressful but also unsustainable.
To help you answer those questions for yourself, I’ve created two Whirlpool surveys and reports. The Big Whirlpool Report is free and accessed here and a smaller self analysis version will be available soon.
Stuck is unsustainable:
In the first few years of business, you accept that all this frenzy and stress is par for the course, but a few years on, when nothing much has changed, you start realising there’s a problem.
You’re still burning the candle at both ends. You’re still fixing everybody else’s problems. Even worse, the long-term strategy stuff you really want to work on keeps getting pushed back and back again, forever.
How to get unstuck, take control and make business fun again:
You’re not alone in this problem. Many small business owners feel frustrated, stuck and overwhelmed in business on a daily basis.
However, the secret to building a beautiful business and life is to find your way around this state of overwhelm and take control of your business.
The first step? Start thinking differently about your business, your priorities and your wellbeing.
More about thinking differently here:
All that matters in business is Fun:
Fun (with a capital “F’) is the opposite of being overwhelmed and stuck in business. That’s important because when you’re overwhelmed, you’re not in control. The two are mutually exclusive.
When your business is Fun, it means everything is working:
- You’re making money.
- Your employees are engaged and doing great work.
- Your customers love you.
- You’re proud of the product or service you deliver.
- You’ve created a level of balance in your life that works towards your wellbeing.
That’s why “Fun in Business” ought to be a key focus to help you move from crisis management and overwhelm to taking control and building your own beautiful business and life.
I’ve also written a book about Fun in Business: The Ten Truths for Making Business Fun. You can download it for free as an Ebook or Audiobook here.
Fun is serious stuff (and the opposite of overwhelmed in business):
It may seem strange to make Fun the key focus in your business’ development. We’re generally told that the function and purpose of business is to make money. Hence, we should make “maximising shareholder value” (making a profit and generating cash) our top priority.
However, after many years doing this gig, I’ve come to believe that Fun is the opposite and the antidote to feeling overwhelmed in business and that we need to learn to think differently to the status quo if we want to build businesses that stand the test of time.
Conscious capitalism and the purpose of business:
I like to quote John Mackey, the founder and CEO of Wholefoods markets in the USA. A few years ago, the company was bought by Amazon for $14 billion USD. Wholefoods made a profit and paid dividends to its shareholders every year for its entire existence. In other words, John Mackey has established credentials for making money in business. Yet John Mackey wrote a book called “Conscious Capitalism” (more about the book here and more about the Conscious Capitalism global movement here), and in it, he says this:
“Thinking that the purpose of business is to make money is as silly as thinking that the purpose of human beings is to eat food. We need to eat food, eating food makes us feel good, but we eat food so that we can do what we need to do on this earth. It is the same with business and profit. Business needs to make profit, and plenty of it, but it needs to do so in order to fulfil its purpose, the reason it exists.”
There’s a big BUT:
So yes, a business must make money. It must generate profit and cash flow while working hard to maximise its return to shareholders because, as I say elsewhere on this website, “A business that doesn’t make profit is a hobby.”
BUT if your focus is only on making money:
- There will never be enough. This year you might aim to make $10,000 profit, but as soon as you’ve made $100,000, you’ll want to make $200,000, then $500,000 and so on. You will eventually get overwhelmed in business, because there’s always more money to be chased.
- It will all feel meaningless. Why pick $100K or $500K, why not $531,629,23 or $496,187.42? Any number you choose will be arbitrary.
- Your brain won’t cooperate. To your subconscious brain, there is no difference between $100K or $150K. Your subconscious mind cannot think in concrete concepts, such as numbers, it can only be engaged by emotional concepts.
- You’ll wonder what it’s all been about when you’re on your deathbed. Nobody has ever lain on their deathbed and thought, “I wish I’d made more money”. I guarantee you that much.
How do you get beyond money? Take these 4 steps:
So, if you want to get unstuck in business, eliminate overwhelm and stop being a crisis manager, you must start thinking beyond making money. You must start having Fun in Business.
- Ask yourself the big question of small business: Why does your business exist and why would anybody care about that? (The ‘Purpose’ question – more about the Purpose of Business here)
- Learn to ask yourself every week: How much Fun in Business did we have last week? How can we make next week a little bit more Fun? (I’ve written about measuring Fun in Business in my book and also here)
- Develop discipline around your time and don’t waste it on unimportant tasks. Know that your time is the most valuable asset of your business, and as a responsible business owner, it is your job to look after and get the best possible return from your assets. (Read more about business owners and time management here)
- Get the right people on the bus, in the right seats, facing the right direction. Get the wrong people off the bus. There is no greater cause of stress, overwhelm and frustration than people problems. (More about managing people here and here)
- If you are in Northern Tasmania, come to the Launceston Business Masterminds workshop series or anywhere else in the world, book into my free Five Step Discovery Program.
Your next step (to getting unstuck):
It’s time to stop the mad paddling.
I have created a detailed self-analysis tool called “The Whirlpool Report”. You can go and complete the full Whirlpool survey now and you’ll be sent your report within the next 24 hrs, entirely for free.
Make yourself a cup of tea and take 10 minutes to complete the survey now. I think it will give you some useful food for thought about feeling overwhelmed and stuck in business.
Further reading about being overwhelmed and stuck in business:
- The one thing that matters most in business
- The Small business Masterminds series resources page on overwhelm and being stuck in business
- The Fun in Business coaching programs
- Overwhelm and the Fun in Business Programs
- How to find the right support to make Business Fun
- The opposite of Overwhelm and how to get there
- The Five Steps to Discovery Process for building your own Beautiful Business and Life
- Fun in Business interview Angela Duckworth video