At one point, every business owner will find herself in a troubling situation. Revenue is down. New clients are scarce. Profits are falling, and a peek at the financials is enough to bring on a full-fledged anxiety attack. 

Unless you are a statistical anomaly, I’m sure you’ve experienced that sinking feeling of a business that’s trending downward, too.

This experience is real but it is also relatively normal and common amongst business owners;  which means that you aren’t alone! However, the way you handle this experience can mean the difference between continued success and business-killing burnout.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When your business is trending down, the #1 issue is not a drop in profits, it’s the silent companion we allow to tag along with us – fear.

When sales slow down or we don’t meet our launch goals, here is what typically starts to happen:

We worry about money and that worry leads to poor decisions that ultimately have a negative impact not just on finances, but—maybe more importantly—on our values.

Fear becomes the driving force in our decisions and often leads us down a path that is even further from our dream and has potential to actually divert our long-term success.

I want you to be successful, so today I am sharing 4 ways to keep fear from taking over when your business is in turmoil.

1. Acknowledge it.

The elephant in the room become much smaller when it is given a name. Admit that you are experiencing feelings of fear (and another feeling you associated with fear).

Then, grab your journal and list out all of the things you are afraid will happen. You can even take it a step further by noting which fears may legitimately happen if your business continues to trend in the direction it’s going and those which are legitimate feelings but unlikely to ever happen.

When in crisis focus on what is real.

Once you have this list in hand, reach out to a trusted colleague or your own business coach and share with them what is going on so they can support you in the mindset and strategy you need to face what is happening in your business head-on and with a calm perspective.

2. Embrace an abundance mindset.

Yes, when profits are down you may have to temporarily pause some subscriptions and you may have to cut back on new investments so your finances remain stable.

That is simply good stewardship. But, it’s tempting to allow a scarcity mindset to enter in during this time. This scarcity mindset may cause you to take whatever work comes your way without consideration on how it may impact your time or your energy.

A scarcity mindset can also cause you to become overly aggressive in your sales calls because you so deeply want to close the deal. It can breed desperation – a place you never want to be in as a business owner.

When tempted to focus on what you don’t have (or are losing), keep your mind set on what you have with positive affirmations such as these:

-I am enough.

-I have everything I need.

-I have a positive relationship to money and know how to spend it wisely.

-I have wealth in more ways than one.

-I am grateful for the abundance I have and the abundance that is on the way.

3. Remind yourself of your values, who you are and who you work with.

When business is down, it can be tough to keep your ideal avatar in mind. Instead, you jump at the chance to work with anyone who comes along. The trouble with this scenario is you can find yourself with a roster full of clients who are no longer your ideal client and they drain your energy and make your work feel hard – two things you need to avoid while you are steering the ship of your business through rough waters.

Continue to only take on the clients or work that is a 100% yes for you.

4. Use data to make informed changes to your business.

It’s tempting to make drastic changes to our business when our income dips. However, all businesses go through cycles and have their ups and downs.

Before making an drastic changes based on either how you feel or the current state of your business, take a look at your data and ask yourself some questions:

-Has my business dropped during this time frame in previous years?
-What is the cause for my drop in business?
-Are there external factors that are out of control impacting my business?
-Prior to this drop, did I make any other changes that could be impacting my business right now?

If you don’t have past year’s data to go off of, it always helps to connect with your audience. Reach out and see how they are doing.

Perhaps create a brief survey to ask them about their most recent experience with you. Consider offering a special to your past clients who have already worked with you or purchased from you before to potentially gain a cash infusion from a warm audience.

In the end, it’s okay to give yourself a moment to freak out and feel all the feelings. But, don’t let that be what guides the decisions you make next.

Stay the course and stay true to who you are and I believe you will soon find the clarity you need to continue to grow your dream business and support the clients and customers you love working with.