This week I found myself spinning wheels. I was trying to think about how to adapt my approach with marketing Workspired and I was really struggling. I couldn’t come up with an appropriate approach – forget the right approach – I was just after a different approach.
I couldn’t see the forest from the trees.
For a bit of context I have always prided myself on my ability to sieve through lots of data points, pluck out the ones that are relevant to the ‘problem’ and propose a way forward to achieve the desired objectives. It’s just the way my mind works, or has been trained to work – I think I might put this down to going to law school at Melbourne Uni which helps to hone this skill.
And so this week I was faced with a scenario I had faced a million times before – lots of data points, needed to figure out a way forward – but this time was different…I was struggling.
To add a bit more detail I had lots of insights from the recent social media campaigns and was thinking about how best to move forward. Similarly I was thinking about how to grow the Workspired brand via more traditional channels e.g. professional associations, universities, etc. I was getting rather flustered and so I leaned on my ever present sounding board…my wife.
It was remarkable how one short conversation was able to inform a clear way forward. It was so simple that I was surprised that I couldn’t see it in the first place. And it wasn’t as though she offered any brilliant insight, it was just really simple and obvious (Note, she definitely offers brilliant insights – just this time it wasn’t her genius just something more obvious!)
I think the reason for this might have been because I was too close to the problem. On an average day I spend a lot of my time thinking about Workspired and how I can build the brand. I am so close to every single intricate detail that it’s difficult to lift up and see the bigger picture.
I was struggling to see the forest from the trees.
And so after leaning on my wife to unlock the way forward I started speaking to a few entrepreneurs about whether they had similar experiences. And surprise surprise they faced the exact same thing…countless number of times!
One of them articulated it beautifully. They said it’s as though you’ve pulled a piece of paper which has all the scribbles on it so close to your face that everything becomes out of focus. You can’t make sense of anything. And you also can’t see anything beyond the piece of paper so you have no perspective on the bigger picture.
When this was explained it totally resonated with me. I was too close to the detail and clouded in the fog that I couldn’t even see the broader objectives.
The other common theme that came out of my discussions was whilst entrepreneurship is a lonely road one of the shortcomings is that entrepreneurs don’t ask for help or assistance nearly as much as they should.
Their point was being an entrepreneur is hard. You will most likely encounter speedbumps and at times even roadblocks. Quite often you will do a bunch of stuff and not receive any feedback, so you’d start questioning whether anyone is even listening to what you have to say. And quite possibly you will be the only one in your circle, or one of a few, on this entrepreneurial journey so it’ll feel like you are swimming upstream in a downstream world.
Whilst it is hard, it does not have to be lonely.
Their advice to me was to establish a small trusted circle to draw on for advice and support. This group needs to have your best interests at heart and be available to support when you reach out. When you hit a speedbump or a roadblock reach out to the trusted circle and see if they can offer any perspectives that help you move on.
You don’t have to solve everything yourself and getting other perspectives is extremely powerful.
So next time you are hit with a challenge that you can’t figure out yourself reach out to some trusted people in your life.
They might just help you see the forest from the trees quicker than you can.