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What Does It Look Like For Your Small Business To Go From Chaos To Clarity

For you and your small business, I want clarity because that clarity is your starting point for moving towards what you want, from and out of your business. But while you need and want clarity, its chaos you're surrounded by (and much of it caused by your own doing directly or indirectly).

In the midst of facing and transitioning out of chaos during the halfway point of my small business owner journey, a strong visual metaphor came to me, helping to understand what was going on and why the clarity and order were so important.

In this visual, I imagined a messy house. Every room was cluttered with stuff everywhere. Chaos all over. 

chaotic, messy, dirty, broken, house
Photo by Alexis Montero on Unsplash

In your business, it may be the desire to retain a quality project manager but matched with failure. The chaos burns out and ejects your people, especially the good ones. You find you have good ideas and structure in your head, but your team is not on the same wavelength. This discord causes unnecessary stress-inducing tension.

It's likely you are starting and launching many new ideas with little or no consideration for how you’ll keep those ideas going. And with poor followup, they quickly fade into the background when your excitement for them disappears or something more interesting comes along. Looking back, you see a corridor of broken promises and forgotten dreams for you and those who follow.

Ultimately, you have too many activities and responsibilities. You and your small business are bloated. In effect, change and innovation are slow or non-existent. You can't get anywhere, and you simply move nowhere. And like the metaphorical house, your small business is a mess, filled with chaos. 

But like me, you may wonder what in the world is causing all this chaos? And that is our first important problem to accept and tackle. The source of the chaos.

Unfortunately, since our metaphorical house is upended in turmoil, it's almost impossible to see where the problem is, and what is driving it. 

The key? Getting cleaned and organized so we can get to the root of what's causing the problem. Enter, IDEMA. Structure. Order. Visibility. Accountability. When our house is in order, we can see when things crop up, problems arise and the source of it becomes quite clear.

Our indecisiveness and procrastination quickly come to the surface. Our unresolved history and traumatic life experiences are clearly driving us to cultivate the chaos as a way to cope with the pain and suffering we feel. Like a warm blanket making a child feel safe, chaos covers us and helps us feel better (falsely).

pumpkin monster head
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

And it's in this visual that I came to realize there was a monster in my metaphorical basement, something inside of me with long tentacles causing the chaos. My insecurities. My fears. My masked hopes and dreams. And left unchecked, this internal monster grows and takes over our entire house. We've pushed this reality off because our monster is scary.

But, it's time to for you to lean in, to face these things you're hiding from, and avoiding. It won't be easy, but if you're sick and tired of the cycle and want to make progress (instead of wandering in circles) it's time for you to act. 

If you want visibility of what work is being done, and you value having a common language, then take the step. Dig deep, and face yourself. And as part of the process, you'll need to clean house and to stay organized, so you can clearly see the chaos erupt when it does. And in doing so, you'll begin to clearly see what's causing the chaos in your life and small business.

But know this, the clarity we seek and pursue is not one that we vanquish and it is simply gone forever. It's one we must face and destroy while keeping our foot on its throat as long as we're alive.

It reminds me of the new treatments for HIV. There is actually a drug people with this virus can take that will suppress the virus so much, it's as if they don't have the disease. They can take a blood test, and they'll come back clean. They cannot infect others as a normal carrier would. For all practical purposes, they can live a normal life. But, they must always take medicine. They are forever dependent on this life-saving pill to save their lives and allow them to live. Within weeks or months of not taking it, the virus comes back to destroy.

In the same way, this is true for us as well. We can implement the order, face conflict and challenges head-on, deal with our own issues, and lead others courageously, but we must remember, this is an ongoing battle that does not end. 

But, by embracing clarity and order, we will find its much easier to manage (once we get past the effects of our fostered chaos) than the overwhelming chaos we've created in our business.

So, what are you going to do? Keep hiding, or step out and into the challenge?

woman throwing her arms up in celebration looking out over cliff
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