How to avoid a tantrum

I’m relieved to say that I can count the total number of toddler-tantrums my three kids had on one hand.  I was fortunate – but I was also careful. There were some rules I followed that kept my kids cool. If you’re dealing with a business that’s an Unruly Toddler, these rules could help you, too.

Rule 1 – Stick to a schedule. For your toddler: Respect nap and meal times and don’t schedule events that conflict with them if you can avoid it. For your business: Schedule tasks you must do with regularity, like your bookkeeping or returning customer calls, and put them on your calendar to protect the time so you don’t schedule over it.

Rule 2 – Set realistic goals. For your toddler: Don’t plan two hours of errands if you know your toddler has tolerance for one – that second hour will be sheer agony. For your business: Prioritize your tasks in order of importance and do the most important one first. That way, even if it’s the only thing you get done that day you can still go home feeling you accomplished something.

Rule 3 – Don’t burn the midnight oil. For your toddler: It always amazes me to see young kids out when I run a late night errand. It’s a melt-down waiting to happen. For your business: It’s my experience that productivity plummets at a certain point. Even if you’re under pressure to finish something you might be better off getting some rest and tackling the last of it when you’re rested.

Rule 4 – Trust your judgment. For your toddler: If you’re seeing the warning signs, get out while you still can. I’ve been known to leave a full shopping cart (and the store) when I see frustration brewing. Sometimes even a temporary interruption can change the outcome to something more positive. For your business: If it doesn’t feel like the right path, get off the path. Don’t pursue an initiative if you have even the slightest suspicion it might not be the right way to go – at least until you get some advice or have time for additional assessment.

No rule is perfect, but if it can prevent some frustration or embarrassment, it might be worth a try.

How do you head off a tantrum? Send your thoughts to sarah@dayonebusinessservices.com – if I use them I’ll feature your business.

Coping with the Terrible Two’s

This is a challenging time for a parent and for a business owner. Just as you start to gain some momentum your business starts to test your patience at every turn. Disaster seems to wait around every corner. Your days are filled with problems and frustrations you didn’t foresee. You don’t have the energy to deal with the constant change and commotion.

Some points to remember about your business as you navigate this frustrating stage:

  •  You can’t reason with it. What makes sense in theory might not make sense in practice. Sometimes your business will defy all logic! Life will be a lot easier if you can exercise a little flexibility and see where things go.
  • You end up chasing it around a good deal of the time. Sometimes opportunities arise that you don’t expect – and haven’t planned for. Be open to possibilities and willing to channel your energy in a direction you didn’t anticipate.
  • No one will love it like you do. Let’s face it, toddlers are hard. If you are adding employees at this point, do not expect them to love your business despite its many quirks and mercurial behavior. And don’t sugar-coat the challenges ahead. It will be disappointing for both of you.

But the Terrible Two’s hold good things, too – your business is likely finding its voice. It’s growing and changing in new and exciting ways. And if you take the time to look you may even see a glimpse of what it can become.

So hang in there. Get the help you need and persevere. Three is just around the corner.

Is your business experiencing the Terrible Two’s? Send your stories to sarah@dayonebusinessservices.com – if I use them I’ll feature your business.