Use faith and frustration to improve

The biggest reason we don’t accomplish what we want in our businesses (and, in our personal lives) is we’re not always willing to change when we should. It’s easy for us to keep doing what we’re doing. It’s habit. It’s comfortable. It’s known. Our brains are hardwired this way for some very good reasons.

But this can also be an obstacle to growth and improvement.

Too often our habits stop us from making internal changes in response to external changes the world had brought to our door. They can blind us to how the rest of the world has changed, which can affect our business.

Our habits can also prevent us from trying new things even when we know we should. There’s risk involved in trying something new. Will it work or not? How will I know? And there’s a cost of figuring out what to do and how to do it. Some days it’s just easier to put such decisions on the back burner and keep doing things the way we always have.

Many of us will only change when two things happen.

1. We get frustrated with how things are.

We finally understand or acknowledge things are not as we’d like them so we get upset, irritated or even angry. This is critical for motivating us to make a permanent change.

2. We believe we CAN change.

Frustration is usually not enough. We need one more element: Faith.

We need to know we can successfully make the changes we want to make. We need to believe we can do it. If we lack this belief we might never try. Faith is what pulls us through the fear of the unknown. It helps lead the way to our solutions.

So, to be better at making changes in your business, find ways to get frustrated and to have faith that you can make changes successfully.

The “frustrated” part really just means knowing what’s going on with your business and how it compares to what you want. It’s the difference between reality and your desire. Maybe there is no difference, in which case, maybe there’s no need to change.

Develop some key measures for your business and establish your goals for them. They could be simple like revenue, revenue growth, net income, net income growth, employee turnover, etc. Or, you might have more detailed metrics. That’s okay. Just make sure they are measurable. Apply them to your business on a regular basis and note the gap between your actual performance and your goal.

Do this without fail. It can be an eye-opener.

The second part is to get better at making changes. Do this by making changes a regular and frequent part of your business. I’m not talking about massive change. I’m talking about small, manageable things you can do on a regular basis.

For example, you wouldn’t fire all your sales people and put your whole marketing budget into Google ads. But, you might hold off on replacing a sales person and instead try some Internet advertising for 3 to 6 months. That would be a manageable change.

Larry Wilson talks about failing fast and failing small. This is a great way to think about it. When you try new things, do them small and fast. The faster you learn what works (and what doesn’t) the smarter you get and the less risk you have. And you’ll see more success this way. Most important though, you’ll start to create a method or process for implementing change.

When that happens you’ll be able to see faster what’s working and what is not, according to a measurable standard. Then you’re well on your way to building a stronger business.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz