When you make your own game in life and business, there’s a tight pairing between an opportunity and a problem and it has one word: freedom. When you can do anything, sometimes you lock up and do nothing. Or nothing useful. What should you do when you feel stuck?
That Stuck Feeling
When faced with freedom, we tend to get into a mental traffic jam. “What should I do?” “There’s so much.” “I’ve got no time.” “I’ve got too much time.” “I don’t have enough customers.” “I have too many customers.”
We get all kinds of negative thoughts flooding in, too. “I’m not good enough.” “They haven’t responded. They must hate me.”
My method for getting unstuck is simple. It’s a recipe. I’ll give it to you now, but you’ll have to adjust it for your particulars. Deal? This example will be primarily for business but a lot of these ideas would help you make your own game in life, too.
- Build a “Start Here” list for yourself and refer to it every time you’re stuck. – You know what should be on it. It’s those actions that get you the most value for whatever you’re trying to do. Put on the list a mix of EASY and CHALLENGE tasks. Examples: Easy – invoice. Challenge – Cold call or email. Have 3 or so each.
- Reach out to 3-5 existing customers and just check in. – Ask them what’s going on in life. Ask them how they’re doing. NOT about the product or service you offer. About them.
- Write a blog post or newsletter article about a problem your buyer might have. – Even if you never publish it. The goal is to think about your buyer and think about ways to serve them. Writing gets your mind going. Suck at writing? Doodle. I mean it.
- Read a chapter of a book NOT about your industry. – Or watch a TED talk about something not in your industry. Or call someone smart. Get out of your industry and learn. This helps a lot. It’s where I spend a lot of my non-client time.
- Drop everything and start. – Sometimes, you’re stuck because you’re too into everything. You’re stuck. You’re busy, even. Stop. Drop it all. Shake your head kind of heard. And start. Start as if you weren’t in the middle of it all. Start like the old you got fired and there’s a new you. This one’s key.
Move. Movement is Key
The last piece of advice I have is this: move. Take SOME action.
A long while back, I ran a trail marathon. This was insane. I’d never run before.
So when I started, I ran the distance of one phone pole. Then, I walked two poles to catch my breath. I got a little better. I stopped less often. I did this over months. I ran a 5 K. Then 5 more. Then a 10K. Then 10 miles. Then the whole 26.2.
Along the way, I learned this: if you’re running a decent amount of pain-inducing miles, and you stop for a break, you’re finished. Through. Dead in the water. You MUST keep moving.
The same is true for business and life. If you’re stuck, you’ve stopped. So move. Mess up. Who cares? Just MOVE. Because NOT moving is going to hurt more. I promise.
I’ve got a webinar coming up that will go deep on all this. Grab my newsletter to make sure you get an invite to it. I think you’ll find it very helpful.
Photo courtesy Deposit Photos