The ups and downs of business are something we have to come to terms with. We often get sideswiped during the highs and watch the metrics slow and the numbers decrease. Some industries experience the lull during the Winter, some during the Fall, others in Summer, etc. It’s different for every business but we all get to experience the cycles.
This is normal.
When starting out and experience our first slow in business, it’s easy to get into the mode of panic, doubt, and allowing negativity to seep in. Luckily, we are not alone and the experience isn’t unique to one person.
Here are a couple of ways to flip the script during the lull.
The F Word:
“Failure” is a word that has been stigmatized by the hustle & grind culture most salespeople and business owners vehemently subscribe to, siphoning drops of information from “gurus” planted in every corner of the internet as we browse on our phones or computer screen while sipping our morning coffee or evening wine.
Failure may feel like the end and oftentimes can fill us with what we perceive as shame. “Perceive” is an important word to make note of.
Question: What are people going to think on social media if I don’t continue posting about my successes? They are looking at me like I’m this giant loser. (and the downward spiral begins.)
Answer: Not many people are watching nor care about any of that; and close to no one is thinking about you or making an opinion of you. Unless you’re actively posting about it, no know will know when business is slow. People are busy thinking about themselves. How many times have you thought that about someone else?
Let’s not allow our failures to make us feel an ounce of shame. We know this is easier said than done, but if one feels any bit of failure, know it is 1000% fake.
What To Do About It:
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”Henry Ford
We can “change the radio station” or “flip the script” on the words we speak and the actions we perform to fit what it is we want. If things aren’t ideal, we cannot let them consume us. It’s not the end. The lull will pass. It’s all part of the journey in business, just as in life.
At times like this, it is common to allow the negative self talk to begin and it is paramount to not allow this. However, if we slip into negative territory, let’s not punish ourselves for allowing it; Gently climb out of it.
Negative self-talk and doubt has done a grand total of zero favors for anyone and is an extremely bad habit to break. Use apps like “I Am” and “Motivation” to send you affirmations and words of encouragement and recite them and take note of how our emotional state changes.
If we really want to zoom out, we can think about the way our friends and family talk about us. We’re willing to bet the language our friends use toward us and the language used to ourselves during a negative state are two opposingly different languages. It’s imperative to listen to the positive.
If your friends say “Thank you for being an amazing friend. You are such a beacon of light.” – Believe them.
It can be tough to believe when we’re in a negative spot, but talking about ourselves in a negative fashion has left a less than ideal track record, so let’s give positivity an honest shot. Changing the daily language is a massive help in equipping us with the tools to deal with the ebbs and flows of business.
Many love to recite the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
But a small number of people ever say “Treat yourself the way you want to be treated”.
“Talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love.”Brene Brown
Let’s flip the script.
Failure isn’t real. It’s an opportunity.
Opportunity in The Lull:
It is during the lull that we have the opportunity to reflect on a couple of things:
There is a reason why we got into the business we’re in and how it ties into our life in the grand scheme. Let’s remind ourselves of our why and watch how it ignites the embers of enthusiasm anew. Avoid the tunnel vision of the job alone and zoom out to gain clarity.
- “I want to leave a legacy for my kids.”
- “Being my own boss is a non-negotiable for me.”
- “Freedom to manage my own schedule.”
- “The autonomy to travel the world.”
- “To pay off these student loans.”
Taking a quick breather and saying our Why out loud can have an incredibly positive effect on our emotional state. We may be reminded of elementary school when the teacher made us read out loud in front of the whole class but hearing it said out loud makes it more tangible than just hearing it in our head.
Whatever our Why is, allow the feelings it gives us to be bigger than the doubt that a period of slow
What are you grateful for outside of the job? Family? Opportunity? The roof over your head? Good food?
Write this all down to make it tangible & visible, remind ourselves of the good we have. Some even flip the script and say that being in the lull is also an opportunity because some people aren’t lucky enough to have their own business.
Let’s flip the script from “Why is this lull happening to me?” to “I get to experience this lull. It’s a part of the journey.” Trust that this too shall pass.
During this lull, we get the opportunity to take a look at our metrics and see what is and isn’t working and pivot. It’s OK to adjust the formula to fit the ever-changing market. Some business owners and salespeople use their metrics to translate to actions in how to navigate the lull.
For example, if we made 50 phone calls, set 5 appointments, and made 1 sale, then we can use that formula to generate a desired result. Hypothetically speaking, if we made 100 phone calls, we could make 2 sales and so forth.
However, when we start putting in more work, our skills in navigating conversations and picking up the nuances become finely tuned and you probably end up making more than 2 sales; and if that extra work didn’t result in sales, we still won by picking up more leads
In some cases, some do the opposite and stay away from the metrics and putting more fire in the pit. They take time to be silent, calm their mind, and take a breather. Similar to a physical vacation, a mental vacation often sprouts ideas and allows the clarity that otherwise would be clouded with routine tasks and mental checklists. Allow the breather even when things are good. Our mental clarity and health should come first.
It’s difficult to not take the lull personally as a business owner. Usually businesses are personal to us and making the line between the two can get blurred. Owning and running a business already comes with many pulses to keep a finger on.
Stripping it down to basics by revisiting our Why is an excellent way to regain that juvenile spark we had when the idea for your business first popped into our heads; and flipping the script during bad situations is an irreplaceable tool to ensure longevity in whatever endeavor one may wish.
For more articles on elevating yourself, your business, and those around you, head to our articles page.