Overcoming obstacles is practically the definition of being an entrepreneuer.
One thing you can be certain of is that you’ll encounter obstacles.
It’s not just during the initial startup period. Obstacles and problems will appear throughout your entrepreneurial career.
And just when you think you’ve solved all the problems and got over all the hurdles, there will be yet more obstacles and problems to be tackled.
A lot of business is simply problem-solving. So it’s essential to learn how to handle problems and obstacles effectively.
I’ve encountered plenty of obstacles in my business to date. Not necessarily large ones, but mostly things that have been getting in the way, things that need resolving one way or another.
Technical issues, admin matters, content, specific business and marketing strategy and plenty of other stuff. The list of issues that need to be resolved sometimes seems to be never-ending.
I used to have the attitude that I need to get these things resolved and resolved properly before I can proceed with the next step.
But then I realized something. You don’t have to let the whole convoy get held up just because there’s an obstacle in the road. Just drive round it and sort it out later.
“Sleep on it” can be excellent advice. There’s more than a grain of truth in this. Let your sub-conscious mind chew over and digest the problem while you get on with something else.
That’s why people often do things like go for a walk when they have a problem at hand that needs a solution. It’s often the case that something that has blocked and stumped me yesterday suddenly becomes crystal clear to me the next day. I then look back later and wonder why I ever considered it a problem in the first place.
Don’t Major in Minor Stuff
There’s a very good saying which I think applies here: “Don’t major in minor stuff”.
Too many people spend too much of their valuable life time fussing, debating, pondering and arguing over minor details. Concentrate on the big picture and where you are going. Don’t get waylaid by small matters along the way.
Apply The Pareto Principle To Your Problem-Solving
The Pareto Principle can help you in dealing with problems and obstacles.
The Pareto Principle is the mathematical fact that has been observed across most phenomena by which 80% of what happens is attributed to just 20% of the factors involved.
Applying this to our situation, it means that only a small number – around 20% – of our problems and obstacles are responsible for about 80% of the frustration we encounter.
So the most effective way to handle our problem is to identify that most important 20%. Then deal with them first and leave the other problems for later on.
As a guide, there’s often one single thing in particular which hinders us more than the others at any one time.
So ask yourself: what single thing is holding me back most right at this moment? Identify it and then you can deal with it. You’ll find this will make a big difference to your business performance.
How To Handle Negative Attitudes Towards Entrepreneurs
Another obstacle you can face is the attitudes some people have towards entrepreneurs – especially digital entrepreneurs.
These attitudes to some extent are part of the existing general mindset that employees tend to have.
I myself have experienced these responses from people in my personal and social circle, so I have first hand experience of being on the receiving end of these kind of attitudes.
These attitudes can be poisonous and a serious negative influence on your esteem and mindset if you let them gain any ground in your life.
We all have fears and doubts.
And we are all confronted with uncertainty.
FUD Can Come From Yourself – And From Others
FUD – or fear, doubt, and uncertainty, can be generated by yourself.
And FUD can be created by other people.
So the first thing you should do is to stop generating your own FUD.
The second source of FUD is that created by other people towards your business and yourself. This can also be insidious.
It’s also a little harder to deal with than the self-made FUD just described, because it comes not from you but from others.
But it’s essential to minimize and if possible, avoid it, because FUD can be potentially very damaging to you when you are setting up as an entrepreneur.
Practically all entrepreneurs will tell you that negativity from any source can be poison. Some go as far as to say “avoid all negative people”.
In practice it’s not always possible to avoid negative people. The source of the fear, doubt or uncertainty could be your own life partner. It could be close friends or family members.
Obstacles can sometimes exist more in our own heads than in reality.
Many people excel at making excuses.
Fact is, if you really want to do something, no matter what it is, if you really do want to do it, you will do it. You won’t make any excuses at all.
Excuses usually mean that you have some self-doubt about your situation or your plans. Maybe it’s not what you really want to do.
I’ve heard people make countless excuses to me for why they don’t do the things they want to do, or why they don’t do the things other people do that they envy or are jealous of.
Too old, too young, no experience, too risky, no time, no money, no know-how, no contacts, have a family, have a house, can’t move, have responsibilities, can’t do this, can’t do that. The output of the excuse factory has no end.
As a life coach I help entrepreneurs overcome the obstacles that are holding them back.
And if you’re currently making the transition from employment to starting your own business, then I can also help you identify the problems and obstacles that can hinder you during the start-up phase.