In the most basic sense, being upside down in your business means that you’re working around the clock and putting in tons of effort to grow your enterprise, and you’re getting little-to-no results.
It’s the late nights, early morning, and zero weekends free. You hustle, grind and push, but you don’t feel like you’re making any progress. A constant uphill battle with no end in sight.
It can feel like you’re floundering, treading water, or even drowning. And you have no idea how to get out from under the mess you alone have created (ah, the joys of being an entrepreneur, right?).
Here are some key indicators that you’re upside down in your business:
- Your time and energy expenditure aren’t generating the results or profit you want to see.
- You’re not making enough sales or revenue to sustain yourself, let alone grow your business.
- You’re struggling to find and keep quality customers or clients.
- You’re working waaaaaaaaaaaaay too many hours and feeling burnt out all the time.
- Your personal and professional life are starting to blur together.
If you’re experiencing any of these things, don’t worry—you’re not alone. In fact, most entrepreneurs go through this phase at some point in their journey.
The good news is that there are ways to get yourself out of this hole and back on track to a healthy and successful business.
What to do if You’re upside down in your business
Recognizing that you’re upside down in your business is the first step to fixing the problem. The next step is taking action and making changes to get yourself back on track.
Here are three proven strategies you can use to get started:
Do a brain dump of your current workload
One of the best things you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed is to sit down and write out everything you’re currently working on. Get it all out of your head and onto paper (or into a document). This will help you get a clear picture of what’s actually going on and what needs to be done.
Organize your brain dump into a list based on priorities. Note how long it will take you to complete each task. Schedule each task into your calendar to make sure you’re staying on track. This will help ease your anxiety and give you a sense of control.
Put all “should-dos” off to the side for now. Yes, you should eventually get to them, but they can wait. First, you need to eliminate the overwhelm by getting a grip on your current workload.
Once you have a strong idea of what you’re currently working on—and how much time you’re spending on work—you can see how much time you actually have left.
Commit to one revenue-generating activity per day
If you’re not making enough sales, it’s time to focus on generating more revenue. But instead of trying to do a million things at once, commit to one revenue-generating activity each day. This could be anything from reaching out to past customers for referrals to sending a proposal to a new lead.
By committing to one activity, you’re more likely actually to do it and see results. Plus, it’s a lot less overwhelming than trying to do everything at once.
Remember, revenue doesn’t just come from making sales. It can also come from things like increasing your prices or finding new ways to save money. So get creative and think outside the box when it comes to generating revenue.
Take a break
You knew this one was coming, didn’t ya? When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to take a step back and give yourself a break. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) work all the time.
Schedule some time off—even if it’s just a few hours here and there. Use this time to do something you enjoy outside of work. Reconnect with your friends and family. Get active and get out in nature. Do whatever helps you relax and recharge.
Even if it’s just 10-15 minutes, carving out time each day for yourself will make a world of difference.
By taking a break, you’re giving yourself the time and space you need to come up with new ideas and solutions. You’re also preventing burnout, which is essential for any entrepreneur.
Start small, like a walk around your block during lunch without your phone or shutting down your laptop at 7 p.m. every night. These small changes will help you feel more balanced and less overwhelmed.
The Bottom Line
Being upside down in your business is a disheartening experience—but it by no means is an indicator that you should just call it quits and go back to your corporate gig. It just means that your business needs to be restructured and reimagined to get you better results.
By following the three strategies above, you can ease your anxiety, take back control of your business, and start making more money. So don’t give up just yet—flip it around and use this experience as an opportunity to grow and learn.
Need help getting out from under your business? Click here to schedule a free consultation with me, where we’ll talk about your specific situation and come up with a plan to get you moving in the right direction.
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