The colds were never bad enough that it significantly impacted my life but I was always low-energy and foggy. I thought that this was just the way my body functioned and accepted it for a long time.
It wasn’t until I intentionally started working towards a healthier lifestyle years later that I understood what the real problem was. I realized I wasn’t taking care of the deeper issues that were the actual causes of my colds in the first place. I didn’t exercise; I didn’t know healthy boundaries with my energy so I said ‘yes’ to working too many shifts at the party store (my first job!); I didn’t know how to handle my emotions; I had terrible sleeping habits, etc.
Rather than just resting and taking medicine to address my symptoms, I looked at how I could improve my health for the long-term by creating better habits and tuning into my body more.
When I work with businesses I look at it from a similar perspective. Whenever an issue (a symptom) comes about, I stop and ask “are we addressing the illness or just the symptoms?”
Let’s say a team member drops the ball on a task that they were assigned to. We are addressing the symptom by scolding the team member and telling them to never do that again. But if we are addressing the illness, we would be looking deeper:
- Did we not effectively communicate the parameters and expectations of the task?
- Should we have a weekly call to get clear on her priorities of the week?
When you only address the symptoms of a situation, the illness is going to find a way to rear its ugly head again at some point. When you address the illness you are working on a long-term solution, not an immediate short-term band-aid.
Why is this sooooooo hard to do?
The challenge in working on a long-term solution is that it doesn’t seem important right now. It is much easier to do a quick-fix than put the energy into creating a solution that will outlast the immediate future. Sometimes the panic of something going wrong takes over and all you can think about is how to make it go away as soon as possible. And then you just want to forget it happened in the first place!
But let me tell you: it is worth it!
When you create those long-term solutions that fix the illnesses THAT is when your business can grow and evolve. You don’t want your time and energy to be sucked into handling those same issues over and over again, do you?
Thinking about long-term solution gets your business to a healthy state so that if someone on your team has an unexpected family emergency and has to take a leave, balls don’t get dropped. Long-term solutions will allow you to do things like take a vacation once in a while. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Take a half-day this week and do an assessment of your business to look at what sort of “illnesses” you can address. Maybe you are getting the same customer service questions over and over. Maybe the same miscommunication issues are happening with your team. What is a long-term sustainable solution that you can explore rather than a makeshift temporary fix?
Do you need help thinking this through? Drop me a line and let’s talk!
To the health of your business!
Photo Credit: Svenstorm