Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right for you. You have a list of to do’s that never got to see the light of day. You find yourself just putting out fires everywhere. Well this wasn’t just a day for me it, it was a whole week. Literally last week in fact.
My week went from unpredictable to uncontrollable in about a short 24 hours. My chaotic week kicked off on Monday afternoon with slow internet. After switch the box off and on and reseting it trick back fired. We went from slow internet to non-existent. I made the box angry and was staring me down with a red flashing light when there was usually innocent white halo. Plus timing be damed, it was too late to call the internet support team. So fixing the internet was going to be a task waiting for me next morning.
My chaotic Week
After sitting on the phone for an hour or so with internet support. I then received a message that my sister hurt her foot and can’t drive
I knew I had multiple other fires to put out and I knew knew more were waiting for me tomorrow. I was so focused on just getting the internet back up and running again. I woke up on Wednesday morning waiting for 9am to hit. Back on the phone with Internet support It took another 2 hours of checks etc. For them to tell me that nothing was wrong at their end. He proceeded to tell me the next available date they could send an engineer out was 2 an half weeks away. I burst into all red rage, and told the man that I hoped he was joking. What the hell did he expect me to do for 2 and a half week without internet when I work from home.
Inspiration for today episode – When things just don’t go our way
I’d like to use last week as inspiration for this weeks episode. We’ve all had a day or a week where nothing seems to go right for us. And something like the internet going down can really make all the other little fires amplified. Kinda like pouring petrol on to an open light flame.
Just like in life the same for goes in business, we can’t control everything. Life happens and we get busy. When starting a business there’s a big element of unpredictability. Kinda like the internet decided not to work. The last thing you do in these moment is give yourself any kind of self-compassion. In these moments we just feel frustration and disappointment that we aren’t getting on with the things that we need to be.
Locus Of Control
I’ve recently found a new therapy technique. I actually learnt it from a YouTuber called Muchelleb. So i can’t take any credit here and I may be doing it slightly differently. It’s called Locus Of Control. What you do is create three circle within each other. Within the smallest circle you write down all the thing you can have complete control over. The second biggest circle are the things you can influence and indirectly control and the biggest circle are all the things you just can’t control.
When the internet went caput on me last week, I decided to do this exercise. I knew that I couldn’t control the exact date for the internet to be working again. Instead of being frustrated and focused on all the thing I couldn’t do I had to work with it.
I can’t control when the engineer is available to come over. I can’t control if it will be even be fixed on the same day. But I can control where I work, either from home without internet or in a coffee shop with the internet.
Getting clear what you can and can’t control
I can control which task I work on it, so I make a list of tasks I could do without needing internet.
I also made a list of things I need to use the internet for in the next weeks.
I also focused my attention to task I didn’t need internet for and thought what could I do more of know without it, that would help me in the future once I we were back online again.
This meant batch writing podcast episodes, I don’t always need the internet to write so I can easily batch write and record episodes without the internet. Which will also help me once we are back online I don’t need to spend my time doing that.
Locus Of Control For Small Business Owners
Not only have I used this process which unpredictable events. But I have also related to in general my small business. We think we can control everything in our business. Whenever you have a moment either now or later. I’d like you to this task, think about all the things you can control
These things can be anything from
Where you spend your time in your business daily
How much you promote your business online and where
How you use social media
We all know Instagram is very time consuming thing but you can choose how to use in a way that feels right for you.
You can control
How your website looks & feels that
You can control your
Your own expectations
What services and product you offer
The price points for your services and or products
And the number of income streams you have
You’ll probably be able to come up with more in this circle but I’ve start you off with a few examples. The next circle you can start thinking and write down all things you’ll be able to influence. These are things in which you’ll have some amount of control but not completely. This is where I thought I had more control than I thought over the outcome within in business
So we don’t have full control over, How many people sign-up to your opt-in. But you can use persuasive tools such as creating pop up’s to gain attention, lead magnets that help incite people sign up. Although you cannot control every person that lands on your site to sign up!
We can’t fully complete control over how many people buy your service or products. Again we can effectively influence this with more promotional material. And effective methods such as branding. But again we must take the pressure off and realise we don’t have complete control if someone buys or not.
A more personal one for more is I can’t control the amount of people who listen to my podcast
I can make it interest and helpful and promote it much I can’t completely control whether or not you listen!Within he largest circle you can jot down all things you can’t control in business these might be:
Past mistakes you may made with customers and clients
Strangers comments on your social media posts
Someone asking for a refund
Getting back wasted time
There’s a great deal we can and cannot control in business. I gained some calming clarity doing this exercise for my small business
I realised that to receive certain outcomes and results for example a successful launch or a certain amount of sales. We can do certain things to influence that outcome but we still might not have full control over them. It may take some trail and error to get to our desire result
I’ve found this exercise has also provides me with more self-compassion. Specially in those unpredictably day and weeks when all we want is everything to desperately go back to normal.
So next time you have a day when everything’s going to pot. Instead of trying to control everything as usually. Take a moment, try the Locus Of Control method it might calm you down. Reduce you being overly reactive to all the fires your trying to put out and just roll with the punches that day. Create a new list of things you can focus your time and energy on. We all deserve a little more self compassion in business and this has helped me immensely. If you like today episode have a listen to yesterday where I talk about some mindful tips for small business owners.