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Articles And Book Reviews About Moving From Being Stuck To Getting Unstuck

Business owners and their businesses can both get stuck and problems transfer from one to the other as the business owner is often the main driver of what happens in the business and bears the burden of responsibility.

The business owner can also take his work troubles home.

It creates a vicious circle.

Problems at work distract you and make you grumpy and irritable.

You go home, snap at your husband or wife and kids and have an argument. One of you may sulk and there is a bad atmosphere at home.

Back at work, you’re still grumpy and might take it out on your employees.

Suppliers let you down, customers change their minds, cancelling some orders, delaying others and placing urgent orders they need yesterday. Business becomes more stressful and your hours get extended.

You miss key family events, upsetting your kids and husband or wife again.

The cycle goes on and on… until you say “ENOUGH” and do something about it or your business and/or home life collapses around you.

You may have seen it happen to friends. Happy lives spiral out of control when you and you business get stuck.

Below are a series of articles and book reviews to help you to get back in control and to get unstuck. These articles will remind you about what is important to you and to encourage you to stop drifting like a victim and get back to the real you, the go-getter who started your business full of hope and dreams.

Some of these are very much focused on you and why you feel stuck. Others focus on your business and will help to explain why performance is disappointing and what you can do to turn it around.

If you’ve read my tagline at the top of the page, you’ll see that I’m very much focused on helping business owners who are stuck with disappointing marketing, to get unstuck. Almost inevitably my coaching widens out from there.

If it’s books you’re after, I have three categories to help you to find what you need. Some of these may appear unusual but I feel they all fit with moving from stuck to unstuck.

5 Star Getting Unstuck Books
The Best Getting Unstuck Books (4 & 5 Stars)
All The Getting Unstuck Books

If you’re a business owner based in the UK, I offer a free 60 minute consultation I call a Business SOS (Second Opinion Session) to help you to focus on why you’re stuck and what you can do to get unstuck.

This is a big category – here are the links to the other pages – page 2page 3page 4page 5page 6 – page 7

When Copywriters Get Stuck, How Can They Get Unstuck?

David Garfinkel is one of my business heroes, and in this 24-minute video, he talks about getting past the copywriter’s brick wall. In my terms, this is “being stuck”. You reach a plateau, and you don’t seem to be able to push forward to achieve the higher levels of success you want.

David uses the example of Tom Bady, a few days after he won the 2021 Superbowl. While this is targeted at copywriters, I recommend it to anyone who is feeling stuck in a plateau.

in 2 – Your Inner Game, Copywriting

What’s Stopping Your Business From Making More Money?

As an entrepreneur, you probably suffer from what Michael Gerber calls “busy, busy, busy”.

There’s always much more you which you could do…, should do.

But what really matters?

What is the main thing that is stopping your business from making more money?It’s an interesting question and it explains why I’m attracted to using the theory of constraints in my strategy coaching.

There are two techniques in particular from the Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes that we should talk about.

The first is the Prerequisite Tree.

This focuses your attention on the necessary conditions to meet your goal.

It’s particularly important for start-up businesses or those that have never performed well.

The idea is to focus on the individual things necessary for your success which together become sufficient.

It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – you don’t get to see the full effect until every piece is in place.

But the jigsaw has been mixed in with other sets of pieces.

There are many things competing for your attention, but they don’t fit.

They don’t complete the picture.

The 1,001 other things you could do in your business take your time, attention and money but because they are nice to haves rather than must haves, they move you forward.

The Prerequisite Tree identifies the most important things to focus on and turns them into intermediate objectives.

We can find the items by asking “What’s stopping you from achieving your goal? Why haven’t you already done it?

The second important aspect of the Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes I want to focus on in this blog is the Current Reality Tree.

This works from the symptoms of your problems – perhaps not making enough money – and working back helps us to identify the core problem which will have maximum impact.

This is identifying the constraint.

And when you can see it, you can follow the Theory of Constraints principles and do something about it.

The constraint may be inside the business.

It may genuinely be a physical constraint – you could sell much more if only you could make it.

Or it could be a policy constraint. Unfortunately it is easy to get trapped by conventional thinking and do things because “that’s the way we’ve always done them” without appreciating the consequences.

Or the constraint could be out there in the market.

You could make more money if only you could sell more.

The Theory of Constraints has an answer for that too by developing what’s called an unrefusable offer or even a Mafia offer (think Marlon Brando saying “I’m going to make you an offer you called refuse” in The Godfather”).

This is the purpose of differentiating your business and explains my interest in the Theory of Constraints and the work of Eli Goldratt.

I recommend you take a look at this excellent book

The Logical Thinking Processes by William Dettmer

in 1 – Your KPI, 2 – Your Inner Game

Crunch Point by Brian Tracy

The full title of this book by Brain Tracy is

Crunch Point: The Secret to Succeeding When It Matters Most

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 5 Stars rating. This means it is Excellent.

Here is my book review.

An excellent book to help business owners and managers through difficult times

I’m a fan of the author. He’s a great synthesiser of ideas and advice across a wide range of subjects. He and his team clearly research very carefully before they put together his books and audio recordings. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke

The full title of this book by Christina Wodtke is

Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book 4 Stars. This means Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A business start-up novel about using OKR to drive the business forward.

This tells the story of two young entrepreneurs who are struggling to build a speciality tea business. Their investor introduced them to the idea of setting objectives and key results (OKR) and then to a new chief technical officer with more extensive knowledge of how to apply them. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The full title of this short book is

The Mindset Warrior Summary Guide: The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling: Key Concepts, Main Lessons & Theories

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 4 Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my review.

Very helpful reminder of the main points of 4DX

The full book of the 4 Disciplines of Execution is quite repetitive. When it first outlined the 4DX approach, I thought it was going to be a brilliant expose of how to get very important things done effectively by a team. Unfortunately, I found it a frustrating read and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a book often started but not finished. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The full title of this book by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling is

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book 4 Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Great concepts for achieving excellence in virtually any situation

This book is about creating change, getting people to implement a new strategy by changing what they do through commitment rather than compliance.

Many business books are based on looking at successful companies and finding common factors in what they do. Other times, academics will develop their theory and then go out looking for evidence it works. This book is different. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Business Turnaround Coaching: Who Can It Work For And Who Needs More?

What is Business Turnaround Coaching?

Business Turnaround Coaching is halfway between traditional business coaching and turnaround management.

Traditional business coaching works very well for many growing businesses and is often a six months or twelve months improvement project as the coach and business owner work together. You would systematically work through your business, improving areas of weakness and testing new ideas in areas of strength.

Turnaround management is much more dramatic. It involves a turnaround specialist taking over management control of a struggling business that is on the verge of failure. It’s normally full time and the duration depends on the severity of the problems and the size and complexity of the business.

Business Turnaround Coaching recognises the need for fast improvement in a business but is less intrusive than turnaround management but much more intensive than traditional business coaching. For example, my 30 Days Business Coaching Boot Camp has daily contact with the business owner for 30 consecutive days Monday to Friday to maintain focus and accountability on the most important improvement efforts. [continue reading…]

in Business Coaching

The full title of this book by Sandy Steinman is

The Small Business Turnaround Guide: Take Your Business from Troubled to Triumphant

In my review of posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Five Stars. This means it is Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my review.

A very good book for helping under performing businesses

I feel this book gets off to a bad start by trying to be funny about a bad situation. It doesn’t create the right impression. It immediately corrects itself by saying there is nothing funny about a failing business.

Many turnaround books are written about big businesses but this one is aimed at owner managed businesses. It starts by giving you a pep talk. It’s going to be tough to turnaround your business but you can do it. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

Turnaround Management vs Turnaround Coaching

How Do Turnaround Management And Turnaround Coaching Compare For A Small Business In Financial Difficulties?

There are three main ways businesses get into financial trouble:

  1. A business start-up that has failed to achieved lift-off to become a viable business.
  2. A business that has hit a sudden financial problem often caused by a large bad debt, losing a contract with a major customer or a disaster situation like a major fire or flood.
  3. A business has gone into gradual decline.

If the business is to survive, it must be turned around before the money runs out and before it becomes insolvent without any realistic prospect of recovery.

Please note, insolvency is a legal issue where there can be serious implications for the directors and shareholders and you will need to check the legal situation in your own country. If in doubt, my advice is to consult an insolvency professional.

The turnaround solutions depend on the cause of the problem. [continue reading…]

in Business Coaching, Business Problems And Mistakes

Primary Aim and Strategic Objective

I recommend many of my personal clients to read The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber and in particular I want them to read two chapters.

In my edition it’s Chapter 12 on Your Primary Aim and Chapter 13 on Your Strategic Objective.

These two chapters woke me up about this work / life balance topic and the amazing power you have as a business owner… if you decide to use it. [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game