Growing up on military bases around the world, I saw America's finest men and women devote themselves to achieving a level of excellence not many people are willing to reach. It was through this experience that I learned how to challenge myself and my clients every day. My goal as an executive coach and sales mentor is to help people that already have the determination to succeed, reach their fullest potential.
Many people, including myself, have low points in life where we question ourselves and need the support to push through rough patches and come out a winner. The military taught me to "embrace the suck", a popular phrase meant to remind you to not dwell on problems and embrace the opportunity to grow and learn from low points in your life.
Failed to meet an important deadline? Having financial issues? Lost a big client? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and use this as a chance to push forward and embrace the suck. Use these five tips to help you along the way.
1. Get Over It
The reality is, life sucks sometimes, but you have to move past it. There are people in other parts of the world that might be in worse situations. If you're going through a business issue, remember you're not in a life or death situation. Don't wallow in misery and beat yourself up, we all make mistakes and we all have to learn from them.
If the problem is salvageable, do everything in your power to find a solution. If you can't correct the issue, address the problem and see how you can move on and be a stronger, smarter person for it. I've seen soldiers work to the bone and yet they always gave 100 percent, it's an admirable and necessary thing to do as an entrepreneur.
2. Don't Lose Focus
Don't let a bad day or month get in the way of your overall goals. Your goal of expanding your business or closing a lot more deals is not impossible, no matter how difficult it is or how far you fall behind to reach your goal, never lose sight of it.
According to a USA Today article, about half of all businesses no longer exist after five years, and only one-third make it past their 10th anniversary. The same article continues to explain that over half of businesses discontinue operations because of lack of profits or financial funding. If you're in a sales rut like this or have any other business issues, seek mentors or coaches to get you back in the game and more focused than ever.
Sometimes it takes more than one person for a business to thrive. There's no shame to ask for help. Think like a soldier, you have a mission to complete and a team to lead, and you'll do everything in your power to make sure it gets done.
3. Learn and Grow
You can't fully "embrace the suck" if you don't learn from the tough times. As I mentioned before, if you have financial issues, look for a budget analyst or advisor, if you need guidance during your first year of starting a business, hire a business coach or reach out to mentors or experts that can help. You'll learn how you got to that low point, what could be done to avoid repeating it, and how to get closer to your vision with as little trouble as possible. Looking for answers and learning from experts will only help you work smarter, not harder.
4. Have a Plan-B
Your research and mentors will all tell you the same thing for problem solving: Be prepared. Think of the problem you're going through or were going through, and create a plan to prevent it from happening again. This goes for any other type of problem you can possibly face. Crisis management experts often have to think of the worst case scenarios a company can face and then create plans and protocols to prevent them from happening or getting out of control.
Like a soldier, you have to sometimes think outside the box and create plans to complete a mission. Such plans can take time to perfect, but it's worthwhile knowing you have strategies in place to power through tough times.
Learning to "embrace the suck" is definitely not as easy as it sounds, but it's a phrase I will always tell myself and others. Starting a business is a huge accomplishment that requires lots of time and energy, but your drive shouldn't stop there. Tough times will follow and you'll have to remember to pick yourself up, think like a soldier and complete your mission, no matter what.