The difficulty, misfortune, hard times, disaster, and suffering. These words are all synonyms for adversity. And while it might seem impossible, there are ways to overcome difficult situations.
In the Family Entertainment Industry, adversity could mean several things. You might have a competitor pop up across the street, resulting in hard times financially as customers flock to a new shiny facility. You could potentially experience an electrical fire that causes a complete disaster in your facility. Or, you might encounter a pandemic—causing difficulties in every conceivable way.
Whatever the scenario, encountering adversity is simply a fact of life. We live in an ever-changing world, and it can often feel like we have no control over it!
But the beauty of adversity is that there is an element that we do have control over how we respond to it! We get to choose what to do, how to act, and how to move forward when we’re faced with difficulty.
As you face adversity in your life or business, have confidence that you can overcome difficult situations. It is possible! The first step is arming yourself with tools to help you.
4 Ways to Overcome Difficult Situations
In this article, we’ll discuss four ways to overcome difficult situations when they occur in your life or business.
*Bonus tip: there is a fifth way! Find out how to adapt to change.
- Begin with Purpose
- Plan Ahead
- Work with a Coach or Mentor
- Surround Yourself with Positivity
BONUS: #5 – Become Comfortable with Change
1. Begin with Purpose
The first way to overcome difficult situations is to get back to the basics and begin with a purpose.
Fullsteam COO, Ron Farmer, shared a great piece on purpose on August 18, 2020, Fullsteam Spotlight Issue:
Defining your purpose by Ron Farmer, Fullsteam COO
"A few weeks ago, almost 5 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, with no end in sight, I found myself depressed.
A large part of the joy I’ve found in my business life, for years, has been traveling to see the companies I work with, getting to know people, spending time with them, building relationships, and helping people grow their businesses.
But the last time I got on a plane or drove down to Auburn from my home in Atlanta was early March. My days are filled with one video call after another. Those video calls are certainly more efficient than getting on a plane, but something was missing.
Life is about more than being efficient. Video calls are efficient but having 8 or more hours of video calls day after day is exhausting. I found myself just trying to get through the day.
Does anyone else feel that way? I’ve talked to enough people to know that I’m not the only one. If you also have the Covid blues, keep reading, because I have found something that helps.
I realized that I was on autopilot, just getting through the day, not thinking enough about what was important to me or to the people I serve. Searching for a cure, I read something the late Senator John McCain said. 'If you want to have an impact in life, you have to be living for something bigger than yourself.' That’s when I realized I needed to get back to my purpose.
Everyone has or should have, a purpose, an identity, in life. The thing that grounds them. The things they believe in. Their true north.
For me, I had been through this purpose exercise years ago, but the Covid period had gotten me away from clearly remembering and focusing on the things that ground me. I decided to write it down again, update it, print it out and put it beside my desk. I try to look at it before every meeting. It helps. A person’s purpose can be a very private thing, and it's different for everyone, but I’ll share mine below:
What I believe in:
- Being a great husband, father, and friend
- Trusting and being trusted
- Because life is all about trust
- Leaving a legacy of helping companies grow
- While helping people enjoy their jobs more, so they can be happier in their personal lives as well
- Achieving great victories on the battlefield
- Fundamentally changing American business for the better
- Because software and payments belong together
What is YOUR purpose? If it’s already clear to you, great! If not, now is a wonderful time to define it. Spend some time thinking about it. Start with a brainstorming session and write down all the ideas you have. Then come back and narrow the list down to a few items that you have a real passion for. Then save it, print it out, put it on your screensaver, or anything else that keeps it front and center for you.
Getting back to my purpose has helped me. I hope it can help you as well.
If you’d like to learn more about defining your purpose, there are many books and articles on the subject. Just google 'Defining my purpose' or similar search terms. A new book that helped me recently is called Lead Like You Were Meant To by Rob McKinnon."
When we function from a place of purpose, we allow ourselves to overcome adversity.
EXERCISE: Charting Your Purpose
As you move forward, take a few moments to do the following exercise:
Define your purpose, or, what you believe in as core values.
My Purpose / What I Believe In:
What Negative Situations Might I Face, and What Purpose Will I Align to as I Overcome Adversity?
Using a notebook or piece of paper, write down your responses to the above.
2. Plan Ahead
When I first started gardening, I lost a lot of plants. They’d be overwatered, under-watered, not enough sunlight, too much sunlight. It was frustrating!
Then I learned about how many plants can be reproduced by taking a clipping of the plant. One day some bugs started taking over my peppermint plant, so I took a clipping and put it in water. I let the clipping grow roots, then planted the clipping once the roots were ready.
Well, not long after bugs took over that plant too! So, I took another clipping and stuck it in water to start again. I called this process “creating a backup” of the original plant. In the end, I ended up with a backup and a backup to the backup, plus the original plant.
The best part of this story is that all versions of the plant survived! With some care and attention, I was able to get the original and subsequent plants to live through the bug situation.
A few months later, I lost the first backup to too much sunlight—but that’s okay. The lesson was learned. In life, and with plants, we must always have a plan and a backup plan. When we create alternate plans and solutions, we allow room for change and challenges to come while still forging a path for recovery.
At Party Center Software, we’re dedicated to helping our industry overcome adversity and emergencies. We’ve prepared a few guides to help you plan your business.
3. Work with a Coach or Mentor
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” — John C. Maxwell
Having a business coach or mentor is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business. Owning or running a business can be extremely taxing. And when you feel stressed or anxious, you might inadvertently take that home with you.
While it’s wonderful speaking with our spouses, partners, parents, siblings, and friends about our struggles, there is a level of bias attached to those relationships. After all—if someone is close to us it’s typically because they care about us. They’re emotionally involved in our lives just as we are in theirs.
In a business coaching or mentor relationship, that emotional side is detached. This is a good thing! Emotions can screw up our decision-making. When we act from our emotions, we operate from the “how I feel right now,” and this can be very dangerous in a business. Having an outsider to help you sort through your emotions and keep the focus on your business clear will only help you!
Business Coaches & Mentors in the FEC Community
The FEC community is full of extremely passionate people that are always willing to help. Several organizations such as Trainertainment, Foundations University, FEC Success, and IAAPA host events dedicated to helping business owners grow.
If you’re looking for a mentor in the community, here are some recommendations:
1. Determine Your Goal
What are you looking to achieve by working with a coach or mentor? Are you looking for someone to support you when things are rough? Are you looking for someone to guide you as you renovate or make big changes in your organization? Are you looking for staff-related guidance? Are you struggling to find good people or make your business profitable?
Your needs will determine the type of organization, coach, or mentor that will work best for you. Industry leaders such as Dave Wallace at Turfway Entertainment Management Group are fantastic for those looking to flip their facility or get into food and beverage. Business gurus like Beth Standlee at Trainertainment can help on the action side of things in areas like sales, marketing, staff training, and more.
2. Interview or “Court” Your Potential Mentors
You don’t (usually!) get married on the first date, and the same rule applies when working with a mentor. Interview or “court” your potential mentors! Communicate your goals and let them know what you’re looking to achieve. Ask them about their relevant experience in those areas. Ask how they typically support their clients and about specific ways they’ll help you to achieve your goals.
Time and experience are also helpful in this process. If a potential mentor speaks or gives presentations or webinars, ask to be included. Learn more about their approaches as you’re on your journey. Even if you don’t choose a person to be a short or long-term mentor in your life, there’s always an opportunity to learn from every person that we come into contact with.
3. Plan for the Future
Once you’ve determined your goal and worked with a potential mentor enough to feel they’re a good fit for your business, it’s time to plan for the future. And by plan for the future, I mean develop a plan to grow and adapt.
A mentor is someone who can help you do this. Their role is to learn as much about you and your business as possible so they can pinpoint problem areas and provide counsel to solve problems in your business. But remember: at the end of the day, you are the only person that can do the work to grow and adapt. Your mentor is there as a support system and guide.
4. Surround Yourself with Positivity
The world around us influences everything, including how we feel. What we see, what we read, whom we talk to along the way—it’s all absorbed.
Think about that first scary movie you saw as a kid. For me, that movie was Jurassic Park—I had nightmares for weeks!
What we come into contact with in our daily lives impacts us. The movies and television we watch, the books, newspapers, and media we read, the social media we browse—it all shapes our thoughts and beliefs.
Surrounding yourself with positive influence will ensure that you stay in a positive headspace. We’ll talk more about this in the next section on overcoming negative self-talk!
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