So you’ve got a great online business and you’re enjoying the benefits of being an Internet entrepreneur? That’s great, but keep in mind that a thriving business is like a healthy garden: undesirable things can spring out of nowhere and ruin your work.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be caught off guard when it comes to the hazards that can hurt your business. You can anticipate the problems and put some preventive maintenance into place that will allow you to continue being productive and profitable.
Here are four personal problems that can adversely affect your business, and how you can go about dealing with them.
If you’re achieving enhanced profitability through an increasing workload, you might be subjecting yourself to stress. You find yourself having to accomplish more with less free time. Another stress point might be family problems.
Symptoms of stress include increased irritability, lack of sleep, and climbing blood pressure. Since none of these things is either socially or physically healthy, it’s important that you learn to cope with the stress before it takes too much of a toll on your well-being.
You’ll notice you’re becoming a victim of stress when the events that cause it, called “stressors,” begin to wear you down and drain your energy. You can experience stress, for example, when your PC fails to work as expected and it takes you a long time to resolve the issue.
Experiencing stressors only now and then will probably cause little harm. An inordinately high number of stressors, however, especially if they’re experienced over a short period of time or repeatedly for a long time, can lead to significant problems in your professional performance.
In this respect, stressors can be compared to the proverbial Chinese water torture. One drop is absolutely nothing, but many drops over time, hitting your head on the exact same spot, become maddening.
If you’re experiencing a variety of stressors, and you find you’re not able to cope with them as well as you’d like, you can – and should – take action before things get out of hand. One option is to talk to a counselor. It may seem strange if you have never been to a counselor before, but you’ll almost certainly find that speaking to a qualified therapist is well worth the money.
There’s a reason why very rich people spend $400 per hour on excellent therapists. They do provide help. The good news is that you won’t need to splurge nearly so much to find a qualified counselor in your area.
Other options for dealing with stress include keeping a journal about your conflicts, doing a regular physical workout to dispel stress and build resistance to it, and having a healthy spiritual life that might include meditation and/or prayer.
2. Family conflicts
Sometimes you may experience family conflicts that derail your business. This is especially true if your business is family-owned. Business partnerships often go awry. While that can be a terrible thing, it can be much worse when the partnership involves one or more family members.
If you’re part of a family-based business, be advised that your business is not immune to the types of interpersonal conflicts that can occur in non-family partnerships. Not only can hard feelings get between family members who are part of the same business, but family members can disagree about the strategic and tactical decisions concerning the company’s direction. These disagreements can spill over into family life, causing conflict inside and outside of professional boundaries.
To prevent these types of conflicts from cropping up and ruining family relationships as well as the business, a few things can be done. First, it’s imperative that a hierarchy be established. There should be no question about the chain of command within the business.
Everyone in your family who is part of the business should have a well-developed job description that clearly identifies his or her day-to-day tasks. A good chain of command should reduce, if not eliminate, intra-family squabbles.
When disagreements arise about the direction of the business, one possible solution is to invite input from customers about where it should go. Remember, your customers are your ultimate “boss.” They’re the ones who pay you the money that keeps you in business. They’re the ones who ensure that your bills get paid. So if there is a disagreement, feel free to get some of them involved in the decision-making process.
Good communication is also a must in any family business. Poor communication can engender resentment and/or frustration. When communicating with family members about your operations, ensure that proper channels are followed. You don’t want to share important news about the future direction of the business during a beach trip or backyard party.
3. Family crisis
Sadly, a family crisis may not be avoidable. However, proper preparation can ensure that your business stays up and running while you’re dealing with the crisis. It may seem cold to think about business while a family crisis is unfolding, but it will make matters a lot worse if your source of income disappears during the incident.
Make sure that you have a “fallback plan” in place when a crisis hits. For example, is there someone you trust who could also run the business while you’re handling the crisis? You would, of course, have to pay the person. But this is better than losing the business, and the goodwill associated with it, because of a family emergency.
4. Internet addiction
If you have an online business, then chances are very high that you know a lot about online entertainment. This can be fairly mild entertainment, such as social media and online movies, or it can be fairly scandalous and costly entertainment, such as Internet porn or compulsive online gambling. In either case, these types of online entertainments can divert you from your efforts to grow your business.
If you find yourself struggling with some form of Internet addiction, one possible solution is to set goals. Virtually every study conducted on the subject shows that people who set goals accomplish more than people who don’t. If you have a specific, measurable, and reachable goal in mind when you sit down in front of your computer every day, it’s less likely that you’ll engage in conduct that doesn’t help you accomplish that goal.
Alternatively, you could also consider seeking professional assistance with your addiction. Addiction to the Internet is just like addiction to anything else in this respect: there are qualified therapists available to assist you in your efforts to overcome the problem.