How to Persevere Through Tough Times …

We’ve all experienced a lot of hard times in business. Myself included and I’ve certainly helped a lot of my clients get through some dark days as well. But from these experiences we learn to grow as well as figure out new ways to survive. (And maybe do better next time the clouds hover over our heads!)

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it. ~ Maya Angelou

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking (and research) on how we can better help ourselves when things get tough. How to persevere on days that make us feel like giving up. And that brought me to the idea of today’s blog post … a list of what we’ll call “non-negotiables” for disaster days. So, here’s my personal list (still working on being better at some myself – nobody is perfect) of tried n’ true tips and tricks for surviving those not-so-glamorous days in entrepreneur-land …


It’s all about facts. Fiction is for reading.

Daydreaming is what we do as entrepreneurs. That’s why we are what we are. We dream up ideas in order to solve problems and make the world a better place. But sometimes we get stuck with “what could be” as opposed to the truth. The cold hard facts. It’s imperative we have all the information and only deal with that. Most of us, entrepreneurs or not, tend to worry about things that may never even happen. So, try not to let your creative imagination get ahead of the reality right in front of you. Fiction is for reading on cold rainy (or snowy in my case) days … Not something to base our business decisions on.


Doing nothing just makes things worse.

The most important thing we can do, whether we see the “disaster” coming or not, is to take action. If we can do so before it hits headstrong then great, but if not it’s best to not be a dear in the headlights, completely frozen on the spot. Because if we don’t tackle it right away, things will more than likely just get worse. And being an entrepreneur … We don’t want, nor have time for, worse.


When something’s not working, re-think it.

It’s okay to not be okay sometimes. And to have things go wrong. This is just a learning curve in your business. We must first acknowledge our feelings then do something about it. We live in an age of image projection … Facebook, Instagram and now, even LinkedIn. It’s very easy tog et caught up in the general tendency of creating an illusion that our business is perfectly put together. After all, people are watching. This crossroads provides us with an opportunity to make tough decisions and what’s working and what’s clearly not. So, when feelings arise about what’s not, it’s the perfect time to stop and reflect then make the necessary changes that deep down you already know you need to make. This could be related to your brand, your social strategy, your client-facing programs or services or even in the aspect of your networking approach. So, don’t let things you know aren’t working fall to the wayside. Just re-think it and take action.


Don’t waste your days chasing time. (Or people!)

A single business day can go by so fast sometimes. Barely the blink of an eye then it’s dinner and bedtime. There’s always so many notes on your calendar, post-it’s on your desk, items on your to-do list to check off plus whatever else “pops up” requiring your attention as each day progresses. So, as a successful entrepreneur, you must always be asking yourself: What am I wanting to accomplish today? This week? This month? This year? Long-term? Or take it a step further and ask yourself: What is it in my business that I am constantly chasing? (People included. Like leads, clients or unconventional team members!) Chasing time (or people) is never a profitable solution and in most cases will lead you down the wrong path. Been there done that! It’s critical to be careful and optimistically cautious that you’re going after the right things at the right time and never doing something due to desperation. This action can backfire. So, don’t let yourself get caught up in this negative vortex as there will be more time tomorrow (life is short). And as for the people chasing, if you have to chase in the first place, is it really worth it?


Build bulletproof relationships.

A common occurrence when times get tough is that some businesses actually stop servicing their clients at 100% capacity like they would on gloriously sunshiny days. Our mood can sometimes descend on our business and affects our customer service. Therefore, the clients suffer. (Or team members!) This is why some businesses when stuck in this negative space, lose loyal customers (or once again, team members) far more than they should. Which tends to make tough times, even tougher. Communication is key and never put those that keep your business in forward motion on the backburner. They deserve your 100% attention, 100% of the time!


Invest in your business and yourself.

Investing in your business and you as a strong individual doesn’t always have to have a price tag attached to it. It’s time to freshen things up with a website re-brand, a new front-facing image, investing in some trial technology or learning some new skills through books, seminars, online training, mentoring, coaching … Whatever it takes. And if you’re up for the price tag, then I say go for it. This investment of time will make you feel less stressed and can only improve your business (and how you feel about it and yourself). However, if you have the means to invest money as well, I say go for it but spending tons of dollars isn’t always the solution. But on the flipside, sometimes it is. You decide what’s best for you.


Find a mentor. Be a mentor.

If you have someone who you admire and respect and who you know has been through similar business-altering challenges, why not reach and ask for help. Or at the very least talk. It’s good to be totally honest – no matter what type of dark cloud you feel you’re living under. They of course can’t be expected to take on your problem, or fix it, but having them offer advice on how they got through their own challenge(s) is invaluable.

There is also the flipside … Be this for someone else. #PayItForward

We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives. ~ Anonymous

Another factor that tends to bring those dark and gloomy days is comparison. Remember, comparison is the thief of joy! We all tend do this to ourselves from time to time, even though we know we shouldn’t. Because when we compare ourselves to others (mainly the competition), we know all the dirty details of our situation but only the seemingly positive surface information about “them” and/or their business. So, whatever you do, do not hold yourself up to some outside vague standard of greatness. Judge your work by your principles and values and leave comparison out of the equation. For all you know, what “they” are doing isn’t even working so stop comparing to the unknown. This also falls in line with shiny object syndrome.


“Starve distractions. Feed your focus.” ~ Rachel Gadiel, Creative Entrepreneur

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Picture of Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal is an artist, a writer, an organizer, a dreamer, a doer, and down-right proud of it NERD!.

Struck with a love for #AllThings creative at a very young age, Crystal dreamed of a life fueled by her passion for creating and bringing the stories and images in her mind into reality.

As she worked toward her dreams, she earned a diploma as a Computer Applications Specialist then another in Graphic Design and from there began to develop her extensive background in multimedia and the arts. She began her worked in the magazine industry as a layout designer and had a succession of design jobs thereafter. It was her role as a graphic/web designer that gave her the first real glimpse of her future. Soon she began a side job as a freelance designer while keeping one foot in the corporate world. A spark was lit! She turned her freelance gig into a full-time business combining design work with her other passion: creating organization from virtual chaos.

Crystal is one of the most organized individuals on the planet. She is by all means a Zen master of her crafts. She excels at helping others become “untangled” and provides her clients with tools to run their businesses smoothly while she takes care of the details behind the scenes. Thus Virtually Untangled was born. A successful business where her work as a top notch creative in graphic and web — with a twist of virtual assistant — married into one amazing place where clients can come with their virtual messes and become magically untangled. Crystal can always make sense of even the most unorganized chaos and offers a virtual detox of order and peace, so her clients can get busy doing the work that they love the most.

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