When I open my closet some mornings, it seems odd that my wardrobe doesn’t simply consist of camouflage and military fatigues. It feels like I’m suiting up for business battles to wage war against bad marketing, deadlines, and the competition. Sometimes, the terms of engagement are clear, and it’s just a matter of outsmarting the competition and being the best at what I do. Other times, though, lines are a bit more blurred. Changes in business arrangements with colleagues, clients, and partners seem to paint the battlefield in a dreary kind of light. This might seem like a negative tone to start this blog off on, but I promise, there’s a positive twist coming!
Today, I’m taking some time to write about coming out ahead in what can seem like a business battle. Then highlighting how a change in perspective can go a long way towards finding entrepreneurial success. Alright, Alpha squad – move out!
Every Day’s a Business Battle – or is it?
When we’re faced with difficult situations in our ongoing lives, it can feel like every day is a struggle. Business battles can be all around us. Every meeting is a battle strategy or every pitch is an engagement with the enemy. There are wins and losses, but the fight continues. You soldier on, because that’s what you get paid to do.
What if there were a better way to look at things, though? What if every day wasn’t a battle, but rather, an opportunity for success? What if that client that left you wasn’t a defeat, but rather, an opportunity to invest that time into growing your business in a direction that better suits your goals and ambitions?
A Change in Perspective
Sure, you can look at every day as a business battle and every meeting as a new challenge, but that’s all just a matter of perspective. Once you take a step back and look at things from a couple of different angles, you might be surprised. What once seemed like a loss might even be a new opportunity in disguise. A client leaving opens space for that client you have wanting to work with but didn’t have the capacity for. Losing a big bid means you now have time to focus on a better bid just around the corner. A contract ending opens up time to finally take that well deserved holiday.
It is all how we look at things in the light of day. When we are feeling at a loss, it is hard to see the silver lining. If you take the time to process the situation and look closely, the hidden gems of wisdom shine brightly.
We are entrepreneurs.
We don’t take things lying down.
We get up, dust ourselves off and prepare for the next meeting or day because that it is a new start.
Learn Which Business Battles to Fight – And Which to Walk Away From
One of the biggest struggles that I find I face throughout my day-to-day battles is the choice that we’re often presented with whenever a difficult situation makes itself known: is this a battle worth fighting? Is this something that’s better handled by walking away from?
As a tenacious entrepreneur, my first instinct whenever I’m presented with a challenge (or even a conflict) is to dig my heels in and try to gain as much ground as I can in the situation, no matter how battered and bloodied it leaves me in the process. I genuinely feel that this is an admirable trait in the right circumstances. However, through my years of experience, the right answer isn’t necessarily to charge toward a problem guns blazing but to walk away and live another day. You ask, which one is best? It all depends on the situation at hand. Knowing whether to engage or walk away relies on a clear perspective of the situation.
Don’t Act in Haste
Take a second, moment or day to think about the situation. Nothing dire will happen if you don’t reply to that email or take the call.
Think about things with a clear mind and weigh your options. A few questions to consider are:
- What are the consequences of engaging? Walking away?
- What is your optimal outcome in the end?
- Who are you engaging with? What are they like when they are in conflict?
- What do the other parties ultimately want?
- Is the situation you’re in one that has any potentially positive outcomes?
- Are these positive outcomes realistically achievable?
- What sort of effort would you need to invest to reach these potential outcomes?
All of these questions should factor into your decision when deciding whether to charge into business battles or walk away.
Winning By Walking Away
Don’t see walking away from a fight as defeat, either. I recently parted ways with a long-time business partner. As we were sorting out client transitions, monies owed, and what the way forward looked like, things got regrettably messy. My one-time colleague decided to take a stubborn approach to several things and entered the situation combatively and with a complete lack of willingness to compromise or be civil – even, I felt, at the expense of the clients we had worked with together.
However, I realized in this situation that there was absolutely nothing to be gained by retaliating in kind. If I had decided to engage, it would accomplish very little, cause me to look back at things later with regret, and could cause damage to my reputation. In the end, I walked away. It was extremely tough to do in the heat of the moment. But I can proudly say I held my head high and look back at the situation without regret or dismay.
Life as an entrepreneur can sometimes feel like waging a constant battle, but it’s all a matter of perspective. If you’re looking for someone to lead your squad onward toward marketing victories, reach out to us at The Marketing Girl. We’ll put your company’s marketing tactics through boot camp so that they come out fighting fit. We are ready to lead the charge for your business towards success!