Last week my husband and I were working in a coffee shop in Oceanside, CA right across the street from the ocean. He took a break, walked down to the end of the pier and back, then related this story to me.
“I saw 30+ fishermen on the pier and at least 50 lines in the water. No one was catching fish. And there were no fish in the buckets – I checked. All those fishermen, but no fish.”
Weird, right? I mean, if their goal was to catch fish, it was quickly obvious that this was NOT the right place to do it. So why do they all keep coming to the same place doing the same things?
Probably because of thought processes that go something like this:
- Everyone is fishing here, so there must be fish here.
- If I’m not catching fish, I should just be patient a little longer before considering changing.
- And I’ve always fished here anyway… so results be damned – I’m staying!
Crazy, right? But it’s SO easy to get caught up in these assumptions and inertia, whether you’re fishing or being an entrepreneur. The trick is to know when to stick with it and be patient, and when to move on and change your strategy.
Stick with it when nothing has significantly changed, and you can confidently determine that your course of action has a history of bringing results for yourself or someone you trust. Sometimes the solution is to just stay the course with consistent, effective actions.
Change your strategy when you are not seeing results in any 60-90 day period, or when something significant has changed in your business, such as your goals, target market, industry, or product offerings.
These assumptions and inertia are often deeply ingrained and hard to recognize when left to our own devices. If you change when you should stick, you’ll constantly be in frantic reinvention mode. Stick when you should change, and you’ll stay stagnant and frustrated. Either way, your income and sanity suffer.
So get an outside perspective from an expert. Talk to a mentor, consult with a trusted advisor or hire a coach to sort through your options and move forward quickly.