Are You Trying to Push a Rope?

Further to yesterday’s article about prioritising growth-driving activities in your business…

What if you try with all your might, and results just won’t show up?

Instagram, Facebook, outreach, proposals, trade shows, networking… you know you’re doing the right things, and things should be working and improvements (or at least: promise of results) ought to manifest, and yet… it’s like you’re treading water?

As if you’re trying to push a rope… which everyone knows is pointless.

When things aren’t working, it’s easy to get disheartened and conclude that it just isn’t going to get better.

And when you reach that point, it’s easy to stop trying, give up on your efforts, and go back to the day-to-day activities that give a false sense of achievement. It’s happened to me, and you’ve probably had it happen as well.

But what if you step back for a moment, and look at your activities (the ones that aren’t getting you the results you want), and analyse the results that you do get?

There’s nothing you can do that does not have some sort of effect.

But because we expect Activity A to brings us Result B and that result isn’t showing up, we nearly always ignore the small results that are.

And yeah, those probably don’t bring clients through the door… yet.

But they are an indicator of what could happen if you intentionally try to amplify those small, easily overlooked, results.

That holds much more promise than pushing on, trying to push a rope – or, by contrast, cancelling your efforts, throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

There are times when you need to take stock, and radically reinvent and replace your strategy.

But those moments are rare, and in most cases, all you need is a clear hard look at how results measure up to effort, and make subtle, strategic adjustments to your strategy and/or approach.

There’s a difference between doing the right thing, and doing the right thing correctly.

Small changes and strategic shifts can have a big effect on your outcomes, but dropping your growth-driving activities will likely cancel all the positive outcomes you’re working towards.

When you’re trying to push a rope, you can either stop pushing, or you can replace the rope with something more rigid and movable. Or roll up the rope – you get the idea.

Look, analyse, modify: iterate and optimise.

You got this.



Also published on Medium.

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