Software platforms go down, computers blow up, client's don't pay on time, deals fall through, industries appear and disappear overnight.
Rules are changing at a blazing pace and the ability to rise above challenges and solve problems is absolutely key if you plan on staying relevant and becoming successful in business.
I recently saw the movie The Martian and really enjoyed it. The plot line is that an astronaut is left behind, during a mission to Mars, and thought dead by his fellow mission mates. He now has to figure out how he is going to connect with humans on the other side of the universe to let them know he's alive, figure out how he will survive the incredibly harsh conditions, create food to eat and sustain himself until help arrives.
Basically, he, and eventually the team assembled to get him back, has to solve challenge after challenge until the objective is complete and the mission is accomplished.
Isn't life and business a little like that?
Not quite as dramatic --- and Matt Damon isn't playing the lead --- but we too have to overcome challenge after challenge and the timing is never right...but you must move forward, just the same.
Here are four, key action items to keep in mind as you face, move through and overcome your personal, mission challenges.
Stay calm: Never text, email or call in a state of anger or frustration. Breathe, and give yourself time to process what the current situation is (remembering that's it's only temporary) and search your brain for solutions. Write down at least three ways to deal with the challenge at hand...if those don't cut it, write down three more. Seek outside counsel and guidance for additional thought starters and resources.
“It’s not about money or connections — it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone… And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.”– Mark Cuban
Stay focused: Keep the main thing the main thing. Make sure you have your staff and yourself focused on the challenge and resolution at hand. It's human nature so stay within our comfort zones and working through the unknown can be uncomfortable and not a whole lot of fun, but it's important to keep pushing until you start to turn the tide in your favor.
“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there.”– Zig Ziglar
Move forward with small steps, every day: You may have to slosh through days, weeks or months of challenges. Keep going. Baby steps, made consistently, will get you there.
"Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition - such as lifting weights - we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity." - Stephen Covey
Control what you can and let the rest go: If you are at the mercy of a boss, huge conglomerate, a newly enacted law or protocol...work with what you can and let the rest go. Don't waste precious time or resources beating your head against the wall.
Taking a step back, asking for assistance and staying focused on the things that we can actually impact, makes the difference between letting circumstances run us...or moving gracefully from challenge to challenge until we achieve the mission at hand.
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