Three Keys to Overcoming Your Toughest Business Obstacles

It’s been fun watching the Ninja Warrior competition where athletes move quickly through different kinds of obstacle courses to reach their goal.

runnerAs a business owner or executive, there are parallels you experience as you grow your business.

Here are three Ninja inspired keys to moving through obstacles in your business more easily.

1. Commit.

One key to the success of exceptional athletes is their ability to fully commit to the process. When the athletes get a running start to conquer the obstacle course, they don’t hesitate, look back or question their decision. They go for it.

If they do hesitate, they will stumble, lose time or fail.

Once you’ve made your decision, move. Play it out. Replace any doubt with determination.

Entrepreneurs are especially likely to look around at new ideas and possibilities. While not always a bad thing, too much distraction impedes your action.

Stay focused on your next step so you’re not distracted by anything that will keep you from achieving what you want.
Assess your level of commitment based on your actions, not just words.

2. Bounce back.

Build your resilience. Inevitably there will be times when you fail or you can’t complete the course. You might not get over the wall.

Maybe you didn’t get the funding you needed, you lost a big piece of business or your star employee quit.

Major business setbacks can negatively impact your mindset, health, relationships or well-being.
The most impressive athletes don’t beat themselves up. They acknowledge that they made a mistake, but they don’t dwell on it. They recommit and refocus on the goal.

Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel good. Your mood affects your mindset. The better you feel, the easier it will be to shake off whatever negative experience has occurred.

Some of the most successful Ninja athletes are simply being themselves and having fun. Do more of that in your business to minimize any negative impact. You’ll navigate your business obstacle course more easily.

3.  Find your fans.

If you feel like you’re going it alone, find the coach and fans you need. Be specific about what you think you need. Ask for help when you need it.

Start or join a mastermind group. Fans are waiting for you there in the form of other business owners and executives. You’ll be surprised to see how many people have experienced a similar obstacle. Learn from them.

Spend more time with people you enjoy. You’re more likely to develop mutual “fan like” relationships where there is support or camaraderie.

Appreciate those who have believed in you, invested in your business or given you support along the way. Those fans will create more fans for you.

Do something simple today to express a little appreciation to someone in your network.

Obstacles are a part of business and life. You don’t have to face them alone. And shouldn’t if you want to achieve the success you desire and deserve.

What’s one of the biggest obstacles you’re facing in your business? I’d love to know.

Time for Serious Business Growth

“Clarity is the most important thing. I can compare clarity to pruning in gardening. You know, you need to be clear. If you are not clear, nothing is going to happen. You have to be clear. Then you have to be confident about your vision.”
~ Diane von Furstenberg

Many years ago my then three-year-old daughter dashed in front of the other children on a preschool field trip. As she made her way to the front of the line, she proudly exclaimed, “I’m the weeder!” Obviously she’d meant “leader.”

business growthLeaders are good “weeders.” They’re good at removing those things in their lives and work that prevent them from growing themselves or their business.

Spring is a season for growth. So you probably need to do some serious pruning to grow yourself and your business.

As you assess where you are in your business and where you want to go, here are some weeds you might need to pull:

  • Meetings that are no longer productive.
  • Older technology or other tools that no longer serve you well.
  • Poor performers who do not have a positive attitude or willingness to improve.
  • Magazine, newspaper or email subscriptions that you are not using.
  • Your to-do list of non-essential items that will likely never get done.
  • Status quo thinking.  “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
  • Constant critics, whiners or complainers.
  • Groups, clubs or associations in which you no longer participate.
  • Outdated marketing materials that don’t reflect your current business.
  • Cluttered office environment that creates more stress.
  • Negative self-talk that clouds your mind.
  • Any tasks that are not your core strengths that can be done by someone else.
  • Customers or clients that drain you/your business or no longer fit your business model.

Come up with your own list. What would you add?

Don’t judge it. Be disciplined about getting rid of whatever is hindering your growth.

Some items will require easy action. Others will take more courage.

Too often business owners and executives complain about “trying to juggle it all” and “getting everything done.” If you think you have to get it all done, you will drive yourself crazy.

The key is determining what you can take OFF of your plate. The more you remove, the more you will free yourself to grow yourself, your team or business more quickly and easily.

Instead of asking yourself, “What do I need to get done?” or “How can I do it all?” ask, “What can I get rid of?”

The more you remove, cut back or simplify, the more clear your focus will be on what’s really most important to keep on your radar.

“Weeding” is part of leadership development.

Weed to lead. Stir up some soil.

Get rid of whatever hinders your growth.

Watch your business bloom!

Business Gift Ideas: Add This to Your List!

A Great Business Gift Idea!
Just in Time for the Holidays

WM_journal coverChristmas[1]If you’re looking for a great business gift for your team or any leader you know, my new Leadership Journal is hot off the press!

Did you know that you are much more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down?

I created the Leadership Journal for busy leaders like you who are serious about achieving their goals. It’s a simple weekly journal with a few coaching questions and inspiring leadership quotes to keep you motivated and on track throughout the year.

Just 10-15 minutes each week of thinking time will help you achieve what matters most to you.

Order one for yourself, your team or anyone who might benefit from this empowering goal-setting tool.

Find it on Amazon:



A Fall arrangement in a cornucopia on a white backgroundThere is much to be thankful for. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you wherever you are around the world.

Leadership challenges and opportunities are universal. I will continue to help you think and work smarter as a leader so you can make the highest impact. 

Your work matters.<

Whether you have been following my work for a long time, or you are new to my work, I am grateful to have you on my list.

If you are in the U.S., wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Smart Succession Planning: Getting Ready for Your Next Move

what's nextWhat if you lost one of your key employees unexpectedly? Happens all the time.

“We really need to get better at succession planning.” A common desire expressed by many executives.

But the reality is that it takes time and brainpower. Succession planning often gets put on the backburner.

Sometimes it’s easier to see how far you can run without addressing succession issues. After all, you could strike some sensitivities. What if you position one person for advancement, and not her co-worker? You could upset the applecart. Nothing’s broken.

But if you’re serious about growing your business, it’s probably time to take a strategic look at succession planning.

There’s greater risk if you’re not looking closely at the talent you need to grow and sustain the business.

As you prepare for growth, consider how you’ll grow out of your own role. You’ll need to find new ways to leverage your natural strengths and interests to create the most value for the business.

Succession planning is not just about planning who will take over your role. It’s about anticipating what the role should really look like in your new state of growth.

Instead of simply identifying people to groom, determine what the role really requires first.

Job benchmarking can be a first step. Get clear and agree about the skills, styles and strengths that are most critical for success in the role.

When I work with clients on these issues, they often have difficulty anticipating their needs in the future. They’re just trying to manage day-to-day operations.

Take a first step this week. Visualize how you want to be contributing to the business in the future. What will your business require a year or two from now?

Jot down some notes. As you become more clear about your next move, you’ll grease the wheels on the succession planning process.

You’ll gain faster momentum in your business by moving succession planning up on your priority list.