Building a Strong FoundationAs an Entrepreneur, it’s not uncommon to reach a point where you are so caught up in the day to day that you begin to feel the storm of overwhelm creeping in. When this happens, you become aware that things could quickly spin out of control, making a mess of everything around you, especially if you don’t have a solid foundation in place.

Recently we talked about the need to take a step back when this happens, reflecting on your goals and understanding when it’s time for a fresh start. As important as this is, it can seem impossible when your business is operating on a shaky foundation.

Foundation (n): an underlying basis or principle for something.

Just as a home needs a solid foundation to hold up the physical building on top of it, your business needs to be built on a solid foundation to weather any storm. Too often, business owners are so overwhelmed by all of the activity around them, all of the to-do’s and demands, that they don’t see fractures in their business foundation. Even the smallest point of weakness can become a huge problem as a shaky foundation will eventually crumble taking everything down with it.

As business owners, we need to be able to recognize when it is time to take a step back in order to move forward. If you are starting to feel like things are shifting, inconsistent, or simply not running smoothly, that time is now.

By ignoring the problem, you will continue to lack the confidence and focus that is needed to fulfill your vision in both business and in life. So what do you do when taking the time to focus on your foundational systems feels like trying to build a house in the middle of a tornado?

How do we focus on our foundational needs when there is so much going on around us?

When we addressed getting a fresh start, we talked about the acronym S.T.A.R.T. The first part of that, ironically, was to Stop Moving. While it can sound counter-intuitive, it is the best way to reevaluate your situation. Trying to build a strong foundation in your business while surrounded by constant distractions is nearly impossible. Stepping away can help you gain a new perspective, spark your creativity, and actually increase your productivity.

Take time to really think about what needs your attention right now

It could be that you haven’t created a specific system needed in your business, resulting in chaos and mistakes. It could be that you lack a system for client intake, which leaves you making inconsistent decisions on the fly – which we often regret later.

You may be lacking structure around your marketing calendar, which prevents you from making strategic decisions about the content that your clients need. Perhaps there is a communication breakdown in your team causing delays and mistakes that then spread that inefficiency throughout your business.

Prioritize your points of weakness

When you’re in the storm of overwhelm, it can be hard to decide where to focus your attention first. Do a quick “brain dump” of all the areas of your business that need attention.

When working with clients, the concerns closest to the money are often our first priority to focus on to keep income flowing into the business. We can then look at other areas of operation and team management so that you, as the business owner, can focus on further growth.

Create a Plan and get support

Once you prioritize, make a plan to reinforce, fix, or replace your points of weakness. Just as with a building, issues affecting the foundation of your business cannot be overlooked and will only get worse with time. Plan out time to work through each area of concern, individually looking at each piece of the system and how it fits into the overall plan for the business.

During this process, take the time to get support from others within your business, your network, or from an experienced coach or consultant to help you create and implement the new systems and structure for your business.

More tips to manage feelings of overwhelm

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