Can you tell when you are in the middle of overcoming challenges? How can you detect strength or capacity building as it is happening? Where is the contrast between where you’ve been and when you’ve learned?
It’s sometimes difficult to tell, especially if you are an entrepreneur or just starting out. Lone wolf syndrome is both boon and bane. There’s a Proverb (paraphrased) that says, “If you wish to go somewhere fast, go alone; if you wish to go far, travel together.”Â
The problem, by way of both utility and reality is that for many of us, traveling alone is faster at first when we are striking off into the unknown. It’s easier in some ways, because we are guided by our vision and naysayers (well-intentioned and otherwise), can be like drag trunks on Michael Phelps. When alone, decisions can be surgical: yes to this; no to that. No one to consult. Good, right?
One “bane”Â or difficulty is not having a benchmark from which to measure. Echo chambers and vacuums can be a dangerous space for solopreneurs. Moreover, knowing *what* to measure is also a challenge in and of itself. That’s where, eventually, smart entrepreneurs seek to incorporate the wisdom of others who have successfully navigated the path they themselves hope to travel. Someone to consult. A mentor.
Shifting gears for a second: to the parents who may be reading this, when your children were toddlers, a random temper tantrum could descend at any time, for any reason. Bewildered, you would fumble around to check for anything that could be causing pain or distress in an effort to soothe your child. Car seat pinching a leg? Hungry? Messy diaper? Tired?
You figured it out, handled it and moved on. Years later, you may be strolling down an aisle at the grocers and hear the tell-tale sound of a cranky toddler. “Ah ha!”Â you think to yourself, recognizing the timbre of the wail. “Someone needs a nap. That kid is five minutes away from a meltdown.”
Without realizing it, you had assimilated the challenge of parenting, absorbed the lesson you learned and solution deployed, adapted and moved on.
Are there any “meltdowns”Â currently going on in your experience? Some of the symptoms may be cash flow problems, staffing issues, time management skills…any number of things. The key is to learn how to identify whatever issue is causing you the most stress.
Once named, you can begin to deconstruct it and reach out to the network you’ve established to help keep you moving forward. This is where the “traveling together” portion of the above ProverbÂ comes back into play. To begin, ask yourself any or all of the following:
Â What about my current experience is overwhelming me?
Â What are the tasks I put off or procrastinate in completing?Â
Â Where are my bottlenecks in the process?Â
Â Who do I know and trust who has overcome this challenge?Â
Â What would I need to do or change in order to meet this challenge?Â
These are pain points that, once attended and resolved, are going to make you a more independent and successful person.
Detecting the challenge while in the midst of it is difficult at best. Most of the time, we are spending so much time with our heads down, blinders on, steaming full throttle ahead in an effort to overcome our challenges that we don’t stop to determine how to resolve them.
If you find that you are spinning your wheels or coming back to face the same challenge repeatedly, take the hint. Take some time and focus on a few things:
1. Where you’ve been.
2. Where you are.
3. Where you want to be.
Write it down. Take a breath. Use a combination of the wisdom you’ve gained with the input from your network and begin again.
What is a challenge you have successfully overcome? How did you solve it? Were you able to help someone else with the knowledge you gained? How?
Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establishÂ Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter asÂ @mckra1g orÂ @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them onÂ facebook.