You'd probably agree that professional hockey players know their way around the ice. Each player's expert maneuvers and speed are necessary contributions to a winning NHL team. That's why the content of this video is a bit unexpected. To help these players improve their game they went back to the basics: ice skating basics that is. These pros took lessons from figure skaters to learn to be more graceful on the ice, a tactic that's sure to improve their game.
Whether you're designing your business model, seeking solutions to a problem, or on a quest to improve your bottom line, the answers are in the basics. Yet, many entrepreneurs overthink things, leaving the more viable solutions and ideas unearthed. This behavior is often rooted in a fear of failure and, according to this study, is a well-established risk factor for the onset of major depression and anxiety.
For generations, we have learned that "money doesn't grow on trees" and that it takes hard work and suffering to become successful. So, doesn't that prove that nothing can be simple? No, it only proves that your beliefs about money and sacrifice may be keeping you from the things you want and deserve.
With such belief systems in place, entrepreneurs often feel, sometimes unconsciously, that to be viewed as successful they must consistently sacrifice their self-care, time with family, and even their sleep. This only causes a decline in health and happiness and rarely does it result in success.
I get quite a bit of push-back when I suggest to an entrepreneur that their stress, confusion, frustration, and lack of income is being caused by them overthinking things. In all of its simplicity, simplicity itself can be a difficult concept to grasp. Here are some indicators that may mean you have the tendency to overthink things.
1. You over-explain your business model.
If you can't tell someone what you do in one simple sentence you're most likely overcomplicating your business model. There may be more bells and whistles in how you do what you do, but the what and why of it need to be simply stated.
2. There are too many moving parts to keep track of.
Also, if your business has too many moving parts to count and you're not making money, it's a strong sign that it's time for a redesign. Systems should make your life and business easier. If it feels overly complicated, go back to the drawing board. Process mapping is always a good idea; bring your team together and illustrate each step of your processes. You'll most likely find redundancies and inefficiencies that can be eliminated. If you're solo, a process map is still a good idea.
3. Your ego is involved.
When I tell business owners that they are overthinking things, it's a blow to their ego. Entrepreneurs often feel that they must prove their worth and value to prospects, but it only ends up pushing people away. What these entrepreneurs are really trying to do is prove their value to themselves. Success lies within us. Begin by believing in yourself and everything else will fall into place. No longer will you need to overcomplicate everything, from the way you brush your teeth to the way you run your business.
4. You're concerned that simplification will decrease the value of your offerings.
Simplifying your business model and the processes behind it doesn't make it lame or ineffective, quite the opposite in fact. A brilliant business model solves a problem for a specific niche audience. The key to success lies in your ability to communicate its value to the right people in a relatable way. There is genius in one's ability to keep things simple.
5. You aren't sure who your ideal customer is.
One of my least favorite phrases begins with, "Anyone who,". If your client is anyone, how do you find them and how can you possibly condense what you do for them into a simple explanation? A broad audience reduces the effectiveness of your business model and marketing. It can also leave you feeling as though you have to please everyone. Having a niche certainly doesn't mean that you can't serve a larger audience, just focus on one at a time until everything functions well.
If you see yourself in any of the above scenarios, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire a great business coach. Even if you excel at helping others figure things out and make money, it's nearly impossible to see the whole picture for your own life and business.