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What To Do When You’re Stuck in a Rut

What To Do When You’re Stuck in a Rut

As a family business owner, there’s nothing worse than the feeling of being stuck in a rut. You’re exhausted, your creativity is lacking and you feel as though you’re slinging spaghetti at the wall but it’s just not sticking. You find yourself desperately clutching at straws and hoping for a different outcome. Stagnation is never great news for a family business. Success requires innovation and creativity. If you’re struggling to progress your family business, here are some tips for getting yourself out of that rut.

1) Identify the Cause

It can often feel like you’re simply working for the paycheck, rather than because you actually love what you do. The problem is that once this mentality kicks in, it can be hard to shake it off, so pinpointing where the apathy stems from will help.

Is it because you don’t enjoy your current workload or because you don’t feel as though you’re growing and learning? Once you identify what exactly it is that’s causing you to feel stuck, you can work on making positive change.

It’s worth considering whether…

  • Something in your personal life is throwing you off your game and draining your energy
  • Your current business model is unsustainable
  • You’re doing too much and need to outsource more
  • You’re edging close to burnout and need to take a break

2) Take a Break

Everyone is entitled to a vacation now and then – yes, even family business owners. If you don’t take the time to recharge, you may find that your enthusiasm and motivation levels take a knock. When we’re constantly working hard and pushing ourselves, there comes a point when we need to give our minds and bodies a chance to recover. So do yourself a favour and sneak away to that five-star resort or cottage in the countryside so you can get back to being your best self.

3) Strike Up Conversations

It might sound pretty basic but sometimes all it takes is a conversation to get you fired up again. join a networking group or attend an industry expo and get chatting to your peers and/or prospects. You never know what sort of opportunities may come your way or who may offer you a new perspective. If nothing else, it’s always great to know you’ve got at least one person who understands what your challenges are and knows the precise problems you need to overcome.

4) Create a Community

Creating a community around your family business is marketing gold, but it can also help to keep your inspiration flowing.  Whether you choose to host a webinar, start a blog or join an online forum, opening up your family business will help other people see it in a new light.  Once you start receiving feedback from your community, you’ll find yourself feeling more confident and motivated.

5) Teach Others

One of the best ways to learn something is by teaching it. So why not hold a business class or teach a course at your local learning institution? It’ll give you invaluable insight into whether or not what you’re doing is actually working. You could even encourage your community to join in by creating their own lessons or brainstorming ideas for what they would like to learn. Teachers are constantly learning too.

6) Re-Evaluate Your Goals

If you’re constantly feeling unfulfilled, it could be because your goals aren’t ambitious enough or perhaps your values don’t align with what you do. Take some time to really think about what it is that you’d like to achieve. If you don’t think your current goals are beneficial or achievable, get creative and come up with some new ones.

7) Do Something Scary

Sometimes doing something completely outside of your comfort zone is enough to cause you to snap out of the doldrums. Taking on a new project or signing up for something that scares you can be just what you need to keep moving forward.


Feeling stuck in a rut is unpleasant, but it’s not the end of the world. It happens to us all at some point and there are many things that can be done to get back on the right track. It’s important to identify why you have become stuck and be honest with yourself about the real reason.  Remember to give yourself breaks and make sure you’re taking time for yourself, so that when you return to work you’re truly able to give it your all. Take a break, get out and about, become inspired and perhaps even teach others. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself stagnate for too long.

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