Is your business in trouble? Are you headed down the road, or worse yet, stalled on the side of the road?
Having a flat tire on the side of the road with traffic whizzing past at 70 mph ain't fun. Actually, it's terrifying.
Several years ago, I found myself stalled on the side of the freeway with 4 little kids strapped into car seats when my tire blew out. I have NEVER prayed so hard for help. To my left, traffic whizzed by. To the right was a sharp incline--literally a cliff down to nothingness. I was terrified, and yet I had to act upbeat and confident so I wouldn't panic the little children passengers in my van.
"It's going to be okay," I said in a high-pitched, sing-songy voice. "We are going to be JUST fine!" I promised with false bravado. My hands were shaking, but I had to keep smiling, keep nodding, and KEEP THEM CALM. All the while, I am glancing desperately out my window, hoping nothing will hit us, hoping help was on the way.
Car trouble always brings a sense of dread. The cost! The bills! What would they find? Sometimes I cling to false hope: Maybe the problem will just go away?? Unfortunately, in most cases, when I've ignored a transmission problem or delayed my oil changes, I've only made the problem worse.
Last summer, I heard a horrible FLAPPING noise coming from the front of my minivan. Trouble was, it would only happen occasionally. And of course, NEVER when my husband Chris was with me. So naturally, he thought I was hearing things.
On a particularly hot summer day, I was leaving my music studio and the noise was so awful and so horrible that I drove immediately to the nearest auto shop because I thought we were all going to die. I'm sure I looked like the typical frantic-crazy-woman: "There's something wrong with my van! It's horrible! I don't want to stall with 4 kids in the car again! You have to look!" The guy sighed patiently, attempted to calm me down, and then told me drive up on those strange wedge blocks so he could look under the engine. I was so scattered and scared that I couldn't do it. I got out and made him drive up the ramp.
After looking under the van and in the engine, he declared: "There's nothing wrong."
"What?!?! But there is a horrible flapping sound! You HAVE to find something wrong! I can't drive this thing!"
I drove away despondent. I KNEW something was wrong, and yet no one could find anything. I wracked my brain, listened to that stupid flapping noise, and then inspiration hit! Maybe the sound was coming from the ROOF of the van! As soon as I was home, I climbed onto the side of the van, and looked at the luggage rack. Nothing.
And then I saw it. The source of the flapping: the rubber that encased my windshield glass was loose! The hotter the sun, the more the rubber loosened and flapped in the wind, when I drove at high speeds!
I was elated! I knew there was a problem, I identified it, and now I could get it fixed!
Did I have the tools or the knowledge of HOW to fix it? No. But I could call the glass company and THEY knew what to do!
It's the same in your business.
You may have the knowledge that something isn't working right, or you may have panic that something is seriously wrong. You may have even identified WHAT is wrong. But now you need the tools and know-how, so you can get it fixed.
When I was stranded on the side of the road with my flat tire, with my little kids in the backseat, I have never been so happy to see my brother-in-law before or since, when he pulled up behind me to change my tire.
"Thank you! Thank you for coming!" I exclaimed.
I'll never forget his response: "Of course. That's what I'm here for."
His calm and assurance literally still brings tears to my eyes every time I pass that spot on the freeway.
He came to my rescue. He had the tools and the knowledge to fix my flat. He was calm and steady, and he got it done.
Are you bravely putting on a smiling face, keeping everyone calm around you, but inwardly panicking about all the danger around you? It could be a small problem, like a flat tire, but if you stay stranded, it could turn into a much worse situation.
Or, your "flapping noise" could be a perceived HUGE, HORRIBLE problem, when it can actually be fixed with something very simple.
You are the driver. You know where you're going. But you may need an expert to help diagnose and fix the problems you are facing.
I don't know much about cars. But when the engine in my van starts making strange noises, I bring it into the shop.
I don’t pop the hood and start tinkering around on my own—I have no idea how all those parts work together! But I can bring it to someone who does, and who can help me. I need my vehicle working properly so it will get me where I'm going.
If you're tired of ignoring the warning signs, and realize you may need help, here's where to start:
1. Get help. It may be time to hire someone or recruit more volunteers to get you out of this rough spot. Remember than the focus you are placing on your problems is wasting more time and money than a new hire. Don't automatically say: "We can't afford it." Sometimes you can't afford not to.
2. Invest in resources. Pushing through for a season is sometimes required, but it may be time to spend some money to take this huge load off your shoulders. If you're thinking: "There's gotta be a better way," there probably is. Start researching what is available out there--you may be shocked how many tools could ease your heavy burden!
3. Seek Support. Share your struggles with like-minded friends and get their input and feedback. You shouldn't suffer alone--be man enough to share what you're going through. Help could be just around the corner!
Is it time to "pop the hood" of your business and do an engine check? You may need a new transmission or you just may need an oil change. Stop ignoring the warning signs--it's time to find out! Request your free call to talk with us today. Together, we can diagnose what is going on!
About the Author
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!