Running a successful business can feel like navigating a complex maze. At times, you may hit a dead end and feel completely stuck. Whether you're struggling to implement a new strategy, prevent a potential disaster, or push through resistance to change—it's easy to get bogged down and lose momentum.
If you’re feeling stuck, lost, or unsure of what to do next, this week’s podcast episode is for you!
This week we chat with “Unstuckologist” Jaime Gordon—a certified transformational coach who has helped countless entrepreneurs break free from their own "stuck" moments. With her fresh perspective and insightful approach, Jaime will share her tips for shifting your mindset, asking the right questions, and aligning yourself with your business goals.
So, if you're ready to break free and learn how to get unstuck in your small business, you won't want to miss this episode.
What does it really mean to feel “stuck”?
According to Jaime, being stuck is essentially the difference between saying or knowing what you want and actually having it happen.
It’s the feeling of resistance and that we aren’t actually going where we want to go or being who we want to be. And, with that resistance comes the perceived loss of possibilities and the development of fear—both of which we are generally uncomfortable with and choose to not face, leaving us emotionally stuck in place.
Jaime suspects that most people oscillate between being stuck and unstuck throughout their daily lives. Think about those moments you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your phone or putting off a task you could probably get done with relative ease. These instances are little moments of being emotionally stuck—not inherently bad, broken, or wrong, just completely human moments.
What causes small businesses to get stuck?
One way creatives and entrepreneurs get stuck in their businesses is by making their offering part of their identity. Rather than simply offering their amazing services or products, they connect it to their own self-worth. It’s as if they are actually saying, “Here I am, would you like to buy me? Am I enough?” which can become paralyzing if not acknowledged and addressed.
Jaime calls this a “maladaptive self-love” approach. You’re trying to love yourself using your business in tandem with strategies that you may have learned throughout your childhood. This can cause you to falter in how you manage your business and create a negative personal experience as you go through the normal ups and downs of running said business.
The “Do, Have, Be” Mindset
Another mindset that Jaime sees small business leaders getting stuck on is what she refers to as “Do, Have, Be”. With this perspective, business owners assume that if they “do” certain things (book more clients, develop new partnerships, etc.), they will “have” the results they are looking for (brand awareness, business growth, etc.) and “be” what they want to be (competent, enough, etc.).
By doing this, you put the emotion or sense of self that you want to have on the end results—thinking that’s what you’ll gain, but really you end up stuck in an endless cycle. Because the reality is that your ego is very attached to this belief that you aren’t whatever you want to be—and so you’ll actually sabotage yourself and resist getting to that positive result.
Jaime remarks on how perfectionism can also cause a business leader to be stuck in this cycle. Perfectionism often makes people think there is one right way to do something, and if they can’t do it that way, then they’re wrong. However, this mentality causes people to work to prevent potential loss rather than to produce and focus on potential gains.
How can small business leaders get unstuck?
After reading the section above, you might find yourself really relating to those “Be, Have, Do” and perfectionism mindsets that keep you from moving forward in life and in business. But, how exactly do you shake those off and become unstuck? Jaime gives a few helpful suggestions to get started.
Understanding the differences between judgment, tolerance, and acceptance.
According to Jaime, one of the quickest ways to get yourself stuck is to judge yourself where you’re at. Say, for example, you repeatedly make a mistake. Maybe you’ve been late for meetings or keep missing important things. You can judge yourself for those actions and not assess the root cause, but that will likely only make sure they continue to happen.
Instead, you can choose to accept those actions and take a closer look. Rather than thinking, “I can’t believe I’ve done that,” you can change the perspective to a more productive and curious one by thinking, “I’ve chosen to do that. I wonder why. What were my thoughts and feelings behind that choice?” With this mindset, there is less resistance and more curiosity—and with that comes more positive change.
That being said, Jaime acknowledges there is a difference between acceptance and tolerance. Acceptance isn’t merely thinking, “Oh this is just me,” and going along with whatever actions you’ve chosen. While tolerance may come from this sense of resignation, acceptance comes from a place of parenting and encouraged growth and curiosity.
Creating a vision.
If you lack a vision of where or who you want to be, you have nothing to truly strive or work towards—causing you to repeat the same actions over and over again with little to no variations, and certainly no growth.
As you choose a direction, consider your values and what you hope to gain from working towards your goals. Jaime warns that many people place too much focus on the measurable aspects and end result of their vision. While the result is an important aspect of any goal, strictly anchoring yourself to that point can cause you to feel resistance as you work towards it—especially if the work crushes the value and fulfillment of your vision.
When making your vision, also consider what you’ve tried and what hasn’t worked. This will help you create a roadmap of actions and steps that will hopefully be more successful in leading you to your goal.
Jaime states it often helps to ground your vision and steps with a personality trait you hope to grow and develop. With this in mind, your end result becomes less important than the progress you make along the way—with your roadmap being measurable components to show you just how far you’ve come.
Being clear on what you are stuck on.
When you‘re trying to overcome any obstacle, it’s important to know exactly what it is you are overcoming. The same goes for when you’re feeling stuck. You need to fully understand what thoughts or actions have gotten you to where you are and how those can relate to your new vision or end goal.
A way to do this is to backtrack from your desired result. Jaime gives the example of wanting to lose weight. Take a step back and consider why you feel the need to lose the weight. How will it serve you? What actions, thoughts, or feelings have you done or had that have influenced this new need?
By thinking through all of the elements related to your vision, you can decipher patterns in your own behavior that may be hindering your progress toward your end goal as well as unlock possibilities that could help you along the way.
As Jaime says, noticing yourself and your patterns is 80% of the battle. You need to understand and accept what is happening before you can shift your perspective and create the intentional and positive outlook you are reaching for.
Be sure to listen to this whole episode (at the top of the page or wherever you listen to podcasts) to hear more insight and advice from Jaime about how to get unstuck in your small business. If you’d like to connect with Jaime, please visit her website. You can also connect with her on Instagram at @unstuckologist.
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Learn More About Jaime
- Follow Jaime on Instagram
- Receive 50% Off Your First Order from Photographer’s Edit
- Try ShowIt for One Month for Free
- Learn More About Treefrog’s Small Business Marketing Resources & Services
- Join the Priority Pursuit Facebook Community
- Follow or DM Treefrog Marketing on Instagram
- Follow or DM Kelly Rice on Instagram
- Follow or DM Victoria Rayburn on Instagram
The Priority Pursuit Podcast is a podcast dedicated to helping small business owners define, maintain, and pursue both their personal and business priorities so they can build lives and businesses they love.
Did you enjoy this episode?
If so, pin it to save it for later! Follow us on Pinterest for more marketing, business, branding, and boundary-setting strategies!