I'm starting to think that the most important skill someone can learn is how to set your mind in a specific direction (also known as "mindset.")
Mindset is not just some froofy feel good inspirational term that Instagram influencers toss around, it's a real thing.
I mean it, you can actually control the way things happen physically for you, with the right approach and mindset.
This is true as much in business as it is in athletics.
Case in point, identifying pain points and addressing them without allowing them to rule your world.
Recently my body started to break down while training for a marathon. I developed Achilles tendonitis in my left leg and found myself wanting to ignore it, not slow down and continue training.
Anyone else (or if this were someone else, I'd say) would say - "just take some time off, relax - why do you even have to do all this?"
And I get it, but when it's you - when it's your pain, and your life, it's much harder done and easier said.
Because I don't want to compromise. I want to do it all. Period. Dot. The End.
That's when I'm at my best. That's when I'm my happiest, and that's - most importantly - when I can be the best person for others to be around and attempt to make those around me better.
So, now that the "why" is out of the way, we can focus on the "how" of pain management.
Just like Achilles tendonitis for runners, businesses have pain points too. Whether it's too many expenses and not enough growth, or too much growth and not enough resources, the mindset here is to take each individual pain point, and keep it to "minor discomfort" by "massaging it" and "stretching it" lightly for a few minutes every day - but NOT letting it rule your world and your thought process. And definitely NOT letting it slow you down.
Instead of becoming crippled by not enough "new leads" coming in, take a deep tissue massage down into the source of the problem. Ask current and former clients for feedback, do a competitive analysis and experience competitor's messaging and sales funnels. Playing "undercover boss" with your own time is important, but here's the key - do it on your own - don't have your employees do it for you.
Dragging them into your pain is what will cripple your company, just like continuing to train on a busted ankle spreads the likelihood of injury to other parts of the body.
Rather than drag your employees into it, make small, micro-changes on a daily basis based on your own research and experiences.
Manage the pain points, don't let them manage you.
For service-based businesses that are booming but don't have enough resources, I can tell you this - it's better to chip away at progress on projects and focus on quality customer experience via honesty and transparency with less resources than it is to over-hire and compromise the customer experience with overconfidence and bravado.
As much as lead hungry / sales hungry managers are dragging employees into solving their own problems, the opposite type of pain is being managed by creating unnecessary overhead costs. At the risk of losing you with this analogy, this is like the business equivalent of me taking a pain killer to heal my Achilles.
The injury is still there, and getting worse, but I just happen to FEEL BETTER about it.
AKA - more employees, bigger, fancier offices etc. don't get the work done necessarily, and don't solve the problem.
So just like a chiropractor would spend time looking at the entire body, making slight tweaks, adjustments, and lay out a 4-6 week plan just to manage the pain and turn it slowly but surely into mere minor discomfort, that's what businesses need to also do.
Pain on one side of the body or business can actually be caused by the other side. The body, and the entire business, are all one unit, like a spring.
I realize this does not begin to actually solve any problems, and it is not tactical, but this is the mindset that is needed to start the pain management.
For runners, athletes and business owners, managers alike - knowing that there will be pain is the first part. Knowing that all you need to do is to turn the pain into minor discomfort each and every time, is the key to success.
Think chiropractor over surgeon. There is no quick fix. Only consistent tweaking.
Thanks for reading - and have a great day!
Paul Hickey has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.