There I stood - not budging. I pushed harder and harder. Leaning forward on a 20 degree slope downhill, two boards strapped to my boots and the most awesome powdery conditions - and I was stuck.
Other skiers breezed by me, screaming "yahooooo" - and rejoicing in the abundance of powder below and the huge flakes falling from above. But I just stood still.
I lifted my one foot then the other and began walking down the hill. Every once in a while I stopped, banged the skis on the ground and attempted to push one foot forward in a sliding motion. No go.
A a ski instructor I was baffled. OK - I am on a hill, leaning forward what was going on? My understanding of physics told me I should be moving forward and down the hill.
It took me 10 minutes to walk down to the bottom of the hill from the chalet - and when I was on more solid snow, I took off my skis. (actually, it was my ski partner who thought he knew what the problem might be)
I had already decided of course that my skis needed a tune up - or waxing. He knew differently. Turning the skis over he showed me the problem. There was a four inch section on each ski bottom covered in bumpy, snowy ice, right under where I would have centered my balance. I scraped the ice off - and was away sliding easily to the chair lift and then riding up up to the top of the mountain to begin my skiing day.
On the chair lift I began to think about how skiing could be much like business. Once you push off, downhill momentum could make the skiing very enjoyable. But when you all of a sudden become 'stuck' or stopped for no apparent reason - things can become very frustrating.
In fact when I looked at the surface of the problem with my skis - nothing appeared to be wrong. I was on a slope, I had skis on and the snow conditions were perfect. Had I taken off my skis earlier - I could have identified the problem, scraped off the ice and skied down to the chairlift. But instead I pushed on in the most inefficient way possible - determined to get to the bottom of the hill - even if I had to walk! (I wonder what would have happened had I asked for help?)
How many of us do the same in business? We may be experts. (after all I was a ski instructor) We may have a lot of knowledge about business, but when we become stuck instead of stopping for a moment to investigate the reason for the slowdown or 'stuckedness', we push harder and harder, determined to not let ANYTHING stand in our way.
Interestingly enough I wonder how often a quick 'check in and check up' on our business would afford us the information we need to get over the 'hump' and regain momentum. Further to that - I wonder how much more easily we might grow our businesses if we stopped every once in a while to ask for help in assessing what is really going on.
This is one of the reasons we have a business assessment available on the Roaring Women web site. (yes it is available and free to everyone.)
So the next time all things seem to be in order - and you appear to be doing everything right but you just can't budge - take a minute to examine what is really going on. And if it isn't readily apparent - ask for help. Sometimes just a small tweak can get you moving forward again with little effort at all.
We have many great resources available for members of Roaring Women. We are North America's largest business resource! Why not try us out for free here - and get some valuable gifts!