by Melanie Benson Strick
Janine had a quickly growing business – lots of new clients flooding in and no shortage of opportunities to expand. Many of her colleagues envied her fast growth and wondered what the secret sauce to her growing income was.
But there was one big problem — Janine had become the bottleneck in her business.
Janine was a solopreneur who was working 10 – 13 hours, 7 days a week. Fatigue was kicking in and her stress level was through the roof! Knowing that something had to change in order to achieve the dream business, Janine hired me to coach her on building a team. As we developed her plan to scale her business beyond the early six figures I noticed that she gets more and more anxious. She can’t seem to make time to follow the hiring process and is sucked into more and more breakdowns that drain her energy daily.
Janine is in The Crunch.
The Crunch is that horribly overwhelming and quite daunting phase of knowing WHAT to do but not having the TIME to do it. The Crunch begins when thoughts like this start plaguing your mind throughout the day:
- I know I need to outsource more tasks but I’m afraid to spend any more money on my business.
- Bringing clients in the door fast is essential to my cash flow but when I do that I’m overwhelmed with too much to do.
- Tasks and deliverables are falling through the cracks but I can’t slow down enough to hire or put systems into place.
- There’s never enough time in the day to get everything done so I always feel like I’m slipping farther and farther away from my dream business!
The Crunch is not a fun place to be but I see so many fast-growth entrepreneurs fall into this challenging phase over and over again.
Why? Because most small business owners want results faster than they can realistically achieve them.
Here’s a little formula to survive “The Crunch” phase.
1. Decide to set realistic expectations of what’s possible.
The reason you feel so frustrated and downtrodden is because your expectations are not realistic and your internal dialogue is to beat yourself up for not moving fast enough. Here’s a news flash: you can’t do it all at once. Introducing new leverage strategies takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your business won’t turn around in a week – or probably even a month. Find the patience to do what’s right for your next phase of growth.
2. Prioritize your new strategies.
Take time to identify what strategies should come first. You can’t get them all done at once (really, you can’t, I promise) so set proper expectations. Make a list of what you want to implement and prioritize based on what will solve your biggest challenges first.
3. Get that you have to invest to grow.
Whether it’s investing in a team, a good mentor or the right growth opportunities, it takes money to elevate your business and take your success to the next level. If you freak out when you have to invest money then you might as well just decide to stop growing. Consider each expense an investment and determine what has to happen to turn it into a profit.
4. Indulge in a little (or a lot) of support.
You can gain a fresh perspective by recognizing you are not alone, and this phase is an important rite of passage as you grow to new levels. Most business owners don’t know how to be the leader of a six or seven-figure business until they arrive their – and get some help learning new thinking, habits, and strategies to thrive at each stage of growth.
Make a point to hire a good coach, invest in a high-level mastermind, or even join a leadership retreat. It’s important to surround yourself with people who get where you are and can inspire you into smart actions at each stage of your evolution.
Melanie Benson is known as America’s Leading Small Business Optimizer because she knows how to boost profits and results with her secret weapon — LEVERAGE. With over 12 years in corporate project management, Melanie works exclusively with thought leaders and visionary entrepreneurs who want proven strategies to monetize their big ideas and catapult their success without giving up their life.
Melanie is host of the Amplify Your Success Podcast, author of Rewired for Wealth, serves on the Executive Leadership Team for Women Speakers Association, is co-author of Entrepreneur.com’s Start Up Guide to Starting an Information Marketing Business and has her success tips featured in magazines such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Parenting Magazine, Woman’s Day and American Express FORUM. Melanie is a proud lifestyle enthusiast and spends her free time in search of the best spas and beaches in the world.