MANAGING PAIN WHEN YOUR BUSINESS IS IN “CRITICAL CONDITION”

By Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer

Dedicated to Isolde Trimarco, my mother

I’m writing this post from a hospital waiting room while my mother undergoes open heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm. Sounds pretty scary, right? It is! It’s life-and-death scary and it has unexpectedly turned my world upside down in every aspect of my life.

The feelings of overwhelm, fear, uncertainty, confusion, anger and loneliness consume me, sometimes separately and sometimes all at the same time. And I’m exhausted, so very exhausted. I realized that these are all the same feelings that I’ve had at some point as a business owner and have witnessed in other entrepreneurs.

There have been moments in business, both as an owner and as an employee, where I felt like things were just so critical and hopeless. And it was in those moments that I made the worst mistakes because I reacted instead of responded. I didn’t take time to breathe through critical decisions. These were the worst times to be in the mindset of “Done is better than perfect”, which is what I usually subscribe to.

Why do we do this in business?

Why do we get consumed and nearly paralyzed at times? (And by the way, the doctors have all used the “possible paralysis” phrase with my mother several times).

I didn’t really understand it until now while I wait for my mother to come out of surgery. Because all I can do right now is WAIT. This situation is completely out of my control. And boom, that’s the answer to “Why do we (at least me) do this in business?” We often make critical decisions impulsively in the moment because we need to feel in control of our destiny. We don’t want others in charge of our creations, ideas and big projects. We hate the unknown, the uncertainty and the inability to make the next move in business to reach our goals. And my reference to “we” might just be me who feels this way, but I like to think others share some of my feelings.

What if we just do what’s next, as one friend recommended to me about my own situation?

To know me personally is to know that I move quickly, I stack my schedule, I maximize my time to accomplish as much as possible as quickly as possible. But not right now. It’s like I’ve been boxed into a windowless and doorless room. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just a complete halt to EVERYTHING in my world. All I can focus on is today and possibly tomorrow because my mother is in critical condition. And the most important thing I can be doing at this moment is WAIT to do the next thing, whenever that may be. I can sort of plan out the rest of my week, but not much more than that. AND it can all change in 10 minutes from now.

This “halt” I speak of also happens in business. Businesses run out of money, lose employees, lose customers, experience natural disasters. Stuff just happens. Trying to control everything can be detrimental. Making other commitments in your business might not be smart when something has unexpectedly paralyzed you.

Some suggestions, that I’m practicing at this very moment:

• Embrace the paralysis as an opportunity to breathe through the next decision, the next move, the next thing

• Have a “Care Team” in place – reach out to mentors and advisors for support and suggestions and be ready and able to pull others in to do parts of your job

• Ask yourself why you are stifled, all of a sudden, realistically AND metaphorically

• Determine what you can learn from it and take time to rehabilitate

• Take one step at a time because sometimes that’s all you can do until your business is healthy enough for the next step … and you might still need a walker

• Appreciate what you have and where you are in the moment (I’m currently tracking daily “wins”, as minor as “Wore a clean shirt to the hospital today”)

• Plan for personal self care, like eating, sleeping and knowing what time the “cafeteria” closes

• And as always, PIVOT … and give yourself permission to pivot slowly because you can still win the game.

If you’re feeling stuck, it’s time to pivot!

P.S. UNSTUCK YOURSELF! REGISTER NOW for our one-day conference “From Pain To Profit: Strategically Pivot Your Talent and Culture” on June 23 in Myrtle Beach. OR contact us to learn some of our pivot foot work techniques!

ABOUT THE POST AUTHOR

Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer, knows how toGina Trimarco, Pivot10 Results, Business Coach, Sales Trainer pivot to profits from problems and find joy through the process. Her philosophy is that performance pays and people need to be trained to perform on the stage of business to achieve results.

Which is how she pivoted her coaching firm, Gina and Company, into the new Pivot10 Results, a training and development company that helps business teams to quickly adapt their communications and engagement skills in leadership, customer and sales to achieve results by providing them experiential learning tools and strategies.

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