When It’s Time to Shift

Life is cyclical. Sometimes things are good, sometimes bad. There are times when the world feels like a friendly place, and others when everything seems hostile. There are always going to be times of upheaval, and as uncomfortable as big changes can be, life would be awfully boring without them. In order to grow, we must change.

Does it sound a little like I’m trying to convince myself that things will be okay? hmmm…

During the last six months, my clients have slowly dwindled and I have been faced with big decisions that I didn’t want to admit existed. Thoughts of rebuilding your business almost from the ground up are scary. No business owner that I know wants to ponder whether or not it might be time to throw in the towel and “get a real job.” Choosing which direction to expand, where to invest your time, how to get the biggest business impact for your energy are all huge, intimidating topics – especially if you what you have done in the past isn’t working anymore.

It’s no fun to question your own choices.

But it also doesn’t stop the tidal wave of change that is heading your way.

Being the list-loving planner that I am, I find it impossible to just relax and see where that wave of change takes me. Something my grandfather said when I first started Smiling Tree has been running through my head. He told me that throughout his years of business, sometimes things were good, sometimes they were bad, and sometimes he had to go work for someone else for awhile. Knowing that he traveled the same path I’m on right now helps.

So does the story of Jia Jiang, a guy who is videoing and sharing his experiment with “rejection therapy.” The fact that I don’t feel like making cold calls, or looking for a job, or sending out letters of introduction seems shameful in the bright light of Jia’s experiment. He is taking the bull of rejection by the horns and learning all he can. It’s inspiring.

Strangely, the posts and articles and voices that usually motivate me are failing to do so at what seems like a critical juncture. The “you can live your dreams” type posts, or the “here’s what I did and you can do too” stories are leaving me in the doldrums. Perhaps that is simply another indicator that things are shifting.

How do you handle big shifts in your business? Do you let the tidal wave carry you, take on big, new projects, or cling to what you are doing relentlessly? 

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