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4 Ways to Get Out of a Business Slump

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Slumps – we all get them, but what are the best ways to go about addressing them?

Slump…even the word sounds negative.

Indeed, slumps are one of those unfortunate side effects, business predicaments that, if we could, we’d always avoid.

This being reality, though, even the best of us experience slumps now and again, but thankfully, there are methods that one can pursue to retain focus and get out of that slump.

So what’s a slumping agent to do? Here are three things to consider:

1. Identify the Root Cause – As Minda Zetlin recently put it on Inc, “A slump never just happens: The first thing to do is find the cause.” Could it be a failed transaction, one that you had been working on for weeks? Maybe one of your longtime clients flipped to another agent? Or maybe you’re having some trouble outside of the workplace, and that’s impacting your performance? Once you have the cause pinpointed, you’ll be able to make the necessary changes to get back on track.

2. Seek Out a Confidante – Sometimes, self-discovery is not enough to break out of a slump, and in those cases a confidante – whether it’s a broker, a best friend, or a trusted colleague – can be very helpful in giving you perspective. The answer may not be the one you’re looking for (self-discovery, one must admit, does occasionally gloss over the less-than-enthralling aspects of our personality), but it will probably be the right answer.

3. Give it Time – Slumps are inherently temporary, and patience will be an invaluable tool as you get yourself back into the swing of things. Even though you identified the cause of your slump, for instance, it’s unlikely that leads will begin falling from the sky the next morning.

4. Avoid the Dreaded Over-Analysis – Also, you’ll want to avoid obsessive, over-analytic tendencies. As helpful as introspection can be – and we repeat, it’s pivotal that you perform some level of self-analysis to find out what’s irking you – you’ll want to avoid any hyper-analysis of every. single. thing. Take the sad case of Steve Blass, an MLB pitcher who, in the span of a single year, went from one of the league’s best pitchers to one of its worst. Blass tried everything to get out of his slump. He practiced pitching from his knees. He pitched from second base. He watched videos of his games. He went to a psychologist…and a hypnotist. He even changed to looser underwear! He tried everything, and just sunk deeper and deeper into the abyss. Why? He was over-analyzing, and couldn’t retain his focus – and that spiral is exactly what you want to avoid.

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