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Getting out of a rut

The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions. Ellen Glasgow.

1. What is a rut? Here is the definition :- a habit or pattern of behaviour that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.

2. Last week I wrote about the contrast between a stagnant pool and a moving stream of water. It is possible to get to a place of stagnancy (being in a rut) where we find it difficult to get out or move out of stagnancy.

3. As an entrepreneur, you need to consider that there will be times when you (and your business) may enter a phase of “being in a rut” or “mental stagnancy” or “being stuck”
So what can you do if you have read the signs, and see some similarities? (Here are the signs of a stagnant pond again to jog your memory)

A stagnant pool
• has nothing flowing in or out.
• becomes overgrown with algae
• becomes poison
• stinks
• is abandoned and avoided.

So if you can identify with this predicament, here are some thoughts to move out of the rut……

What’s coming in?
Consider how you can increase or change what is flowing into “your pool” This could mean deliberately seeking new ideas for your business challenges. Or it could mean meeting up with a new group of people who could stretch, challenge and encourage you further.
You will be the same 5 years from now, except for two things……the people you meet, and the books (resources) you read. We all want to grow and change, and one way is to mindfully and purposely meet new people and diligently and regularly read further on your business or around your passion. As an example, I know I have to keep current and growing on the dynamic subject of entrepreneurship. That means meeting up with other players in the eco system and reading new ideas on the subject. Just when I think I have reached a ceiling of sorts, I meet up with someone who makes me realise I have so much more to learn. And I love it!

Where are the blockages?
In a lake of water, there is water flowing in and flowing out. When a blockage of some sort happens in either the inflow or the outflow, stagnancy can occur.
So where are the blockages in “your inflows and/or outflows”?
What do you need to stop doing? (An example may be spending too much time in unproductive play or work like facebook, emails etc)
What do you need to start doing? (Like changing your recreational or sleeping habits; getting up a half hour earlier or watching less TV)

What’s going out?
Building a sustainable and successful business happens not by default, but by design. In a similar way, when you deliberately focus on your offering/service and product by measuring, managing and constantly improving, you are deliberately designing your business for growth. So if you are in a rut, or your business seems to be in “stuck” mode, perhaps it’s time to look long and hard at what is going out and what you are producing.

I trust that addressing these questions will help you to move out of stagnancy and into growth and action.

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