Written by Mike Paton on June 21, 2010

Most entrepreneurial leaders are frustrated. Some leaders are only occasionally frustrated, because they find ways to resolve their issues quickly and effectively. But many leaders have been frustrated about a lot of things for a very long time. Some seem to have resigned themselves to the notion that running an entrepreneurial company is destined to be a long, painful series of never-ending frustrations.

That’s frustrating to me, because it’s simply not necessary. Yes, running a business is fraught with problems, challenges and obstacles. Sometimes there are no easy solutions to those problems. Sometimes the list is impossibly long. Sometimes a problem feels like the Terminator – you’ve tried everything and just can’t kill it.

Please, don’t give up. Try again, and avoid making these common mistakes:

  • DON’T wrap duct-tape and twine around your frustrations and shove them aside just so you can get into next week. Neglect won’t make them go away.
  • DON’T try to solve them all at once. You can’t, and you don’t need to. There are lots of very good businesses in the world with plenty of unresolved issues.
  • DON’T try to solve symptoms – cure the disease.

By avoiding those mistakes and following the four steps below, you can start making your frustrations go away forever:

1. Make a list of everything that’s bothering you.

2. Prioritize that list. Start by picking the ONE issue that’s most frustrating or debilitating to you and your company. Just pick one item from the list, and start there.

3. Identify the “root cause” of that issue. What’s really causing your frustration?

4. SOLVE the root cause. Put a plan in place that makes the root cause of your most pressing frustration go away forever.

I’ve seen this approach pay HUGE short-term dividends for dozens of clients over the past three years. More importantly, I’ve seen this approach to permanently eliminating frustrations transform entire organizations. It won’t happen overnight, but all great journeys begin with a single step. I hope you’ll take your first step today.

Next Steps

Written by Mike Paton on June 21, 2010

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