This is a tale of woe.
Some years past, I knew a businessman from networking events. I knew him well enough to say hello and how are you but didn’t know him well. I did however know him well enough to recognize his name in a local crime news report. It seems the gentleman became involved in with some less-than-legal substance and found himself on the wrong side of the law. It was surprising enough to unsurprisingly be the topic of conversation in networking circles for some time.
You’d think that would be the end of the story. Usually, that kind of press means the end of the story…the end of the respect of the businessman and the end of his business. But in this case, there was another surprising twist. Down the road a bit, the gentleman began to sell his services as a consultant to people to whom bad things have happened.
Now this story is not only a lesson in what not to do but what to do to get things back on track. It is the ultimately lemons to lemonade tale.
Getting back on Track
There are so many things that can drag you away from being productive. It could be a poor economy, a bad product launch, missed opportunities to reach sales goes, an error in judgment or just dumb luck. To be honest, when things have gone south at work or your business, it probably isn’t just one item. It is probably the perfect storm of items. Start by believing in yourself once again. Take an inventory of your experiences and strengths. Reaffirm that you can indeed succeed.
7 Secrets for Turning Things Around
- Stop Making Excuses
Ask yourself if you are making excuses or evaluating the situation. Sure it is a good idea to figure out what went wrong that led you down the sad path with a need to turn things around. However, don’t let those reasons become excuses. Instead, savor them as lessons and grow from the things you have learned. Begin today with setting aside any excuses. It’s time to start fresh and be forward thinking.
- Redefine success.
Sometimes, we were marching toward unreasonable expectations. Bound and determined to do what we set out to do, we march on with our head down and refuse to change directions. When you’ve reached a serious roadblock, it is wise to not only change course but to rethink everything.
Begin with your definition of success. Perhaps you bit off more than you can chew. One of the best things you can do to turn things around is to aim for progress not perfection.
- Set goals.
Setting a new goal is a great way to regain your productivity footing. When you feel like you’ve slipped backward or simply are not getting anywhere, it is time to set a new goal for yourself.
Define your goal. Put the goal into words and put the words down on paper.
Break down your goal. Divide it into smaller tasks. For example, it is a worthy goal to become more organized but that broad reaching goal will be hard to measure. How will you know if you succeed? Breaking down that goal, you might decide to become more organized and your first step is to stop being late. This is a measureable goal because you can clearly count how many times you are or are not late to work or meetings.
Strategize toward that goal. How will you get there? What exactly will you do? Taking the example of being on time and applying strategy, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you could make a new plan to have everything ready the night before- from your clothing to your lunch. Second, you can reduce items on your schedule that day so you allow adequate time. Third, you can set reminders to ring on your phone prior to every meeting or appointment.
- Get a mentor.
When you are ready to turn things around, it is not the time to get shy. No one can do everything.
This is the perfect time to step forward and get a mentor. Not only can a mentor mirror for you but they can pep you up, guide you through tough areas and hold you accountable.
- Hire an advisor or consultant.
So you had a plan – for your business or your product launch and it didn’t go the way you expected. Or, maybe you had a plan for corporate success and someone else got the promotion you’ve set your cap on. No matter what your disappointment, there is a solution out there. As much as we’d like to think that we know it all, we don’t. Now is the time to run things past an expert.
If you need help in personal career growth, turning to a productivity coach or life coach can be just the trick to walk you through a new plan of action. If you’ve struggled with your business, turn to a business coach or even to your trusted CPA. Bite the bullet and hire professional marketing help or professional web design. Use experts to help you dig down and find causes and create new routes.
If you’ve come to a fork in the road where you have to start over – for whatever reason – then make sure to allow yourself time. Take time for a “mental holiday” as the saying goes. Get some rest. Take a few days off. Do something pleasing to you. Allow your mind to wonder. It’s amazing how creative and rejuvenated you will be when you allow yourself time to heal.
One of the best ways to turn something around is concentrate on the individual steps that you have defined. As much as we’d like to believe that multi-tasking is the ticket to all things bright and beautiful, in reality, it usually means most things done sort of okay. If you really want to turn your career or business around, then you can’t afford for most things to be done sort of okay. You need each thing to be done exceptionally well. While it is noted above that you don’t need perfection that comment does not disagree with doing things well. Doing things to the very best of your ability is not necessarily perfection. Perfection is impossible to achieve. Doing each item to the best of your ability is possible to achieve.