This guest post is by Jane of Find All Answers.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why does it always happen to me?”
I am sure you have. It always happens. Whenever you have a shiny goal for your business project, or whenever you want to start a new business, you face them—challenges.
They are everywhere just waiting to welcome you. You don’t like them and you wonder why it always happens that you need to take the hard, bumpy road to success.
But wait. It’s not just you. Whoever travels the path to success for the first time faces this. The road is never smooth and it is never as expected.
Why is the road bumpy?
There are so many reasons. But the fact that it is bumpy doesn’t mean that it is bad. And it is also true that you will learn a lot of lessons by traveling down a bumpy road.
Let me discuss some of the causes of a bumpy road.
You are at it for the first time
Usually when it is your first time, it is rough. If you are in a project for a first time, if you are trying a new business idea, taking a new blogging initiative, and so on, you cannot expect a smooth road.
Your expertise, your ability to handle the outcomes, your capability to anticipate and develop alternate plans under pressure—all these factors depend on how well you know the ground. If you are in business for more than two years, you already know what to expect. You already have a Plan B for Issue X.
But if you’re starting a totally new business, say blogging for instance, you neither know Issue X nor Plan B. And there can be so many Xs in the whole process! All these make the road bumpy. You end up running like a headless chicken if you are not prepared for it.
But the road may not be bumpy just because you’re taking it for the first time. There may be another important reason…
You don’t have a plan
You can avoid a bumpy road—or at least anticipate it so that you sustain the least damage—if you have an action plan.
Whatever kind of business you’re in, you absolutely need an action plan. There are so many reasons to devising one, and one is to help you avoid at least some of the potholes in the bumpy road. Having a proper goal and an action plan will save you lot of hardship. This way, you work smarter, not harder.
You don’t learn from your mistakes
Let me make one thing clear. Here, I am not talking about those who start a business or a project without a proper goal or an action plan, then wander through all storms and deserts to get somewhere they never wished for.
Such persons invite the challenges for themselves. They don’t have a goal, so they don’t have a plan either. When they don’t know what exactly they want to achieve, they have not defined their own success.
But there are people who are really prepared for what’s ahead—who know what to achieve and how to achieve. However, since they are starting out in a new business, some unexpected events may occur. When they happen, they tell the individual that they have to learn a lesson.
So let’s say you take Plan A and execute it. With it comes Issue 1, which you never managed to anticipate. So you struggle somehow to manage the chaos, get Issue 1 solved, and get on with Plan A.
Now the next time you execute Plan A for a different purpose in your business, you now need to anticipate Issue 1 and incorporate it into your plan. Not just that, but you also have a solution to Issue 1. The second time, you’ll have learned from your previous execution of Plan A.
If you have failed to learn your lesson (you may be forgetful, negligent, or lazy), then you’ll have to face all the chaos the next time too!
What to do about bumpy roads
This is a brilliant way to face an issue: expect the worst. You don’t have to be pessimistic or surround yourself and your business with negative thoughts. But always remember that you may have to face something bad, something serious, or something that could drive you totally mad.
If you have a plan, you could easily anticipate that problem.
This is another great thing to do. Face the hurdles, but don’t be hard on yourself. If things didn’t turn out as you planned, you don’t have to panic. Just stay calm and go with the flow.
Adjust yourself and your business to unexpected hard times. You will adapt to the trouble soon. Just don’t develop a comfortable attitude to hard times. If you do so, you will never travel smoothly.
Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors
Of course they don’t! If everything’s perfect from start to end, you won’t get smarter and sharper. You won’t learn skills or attitudes, and you won’t learn about your competition and your capabilities.
You have to have some hard roads in the beginning. These will make you learn skills that are needed to overcome issues. You may learn that you have a tough competitor in you business only after you face an issue.
You might learn what you are capable of only after you have attempted to do something beyond your limits, and failed.
You might learn that you need to develop a particular skill only once you realize that you are unable to develop a major part of your business.
The school of life
My Ph. D. supervisor Aneta Stefanovska used to tell me that life is a school. We learn lessons everyday. We learn all different sorts of lessons, and we always learn. This applies to our business, too.
A bumpy road teaches us a lot. Such a road is not always bad. Sometimes failures in your business are essential in helping you to get smarter and sharper, and preparing you for a tough ride the next time.
When you happen to come across a bumpy road, evaluate. Stay calm, evaluate the causes and see what you can learn from it. Find out ways in which you can take your blog to success along a road that gradually becomes smoother.