Seven Keys to Get Out of a Rut


Rut -- a routine procedure, situation, or way of life that has become uninteresting and tiresome... And not surprisingly, unprofitable.

They say a rut is a shallow grave with two open ends. The good news (good news?!) is that the ends ARE still open, which means if you act fast, you just might out of it. How do we get into these ruts anyway? Who would voluntarily lie down in that grave, shallow or otherwise?

Dr. Edward Debono suggests that thoughts are pathways literally "etched" in our brain as electrical connections that get strengthened each time we think them -- thus limiting our mental options. Just like cow paths. It all begins when one of the cows wanders home from the field along a new path. Being cows, others naturally follow, nicely beating down the grass. The next evening our intrepid cow is a bit less bold, and follows her own freshly trampled path, fellow cows in lockstep behind her. And so on, night after night, widening the path into a footpath, which over time becomes hardened into a dirt road.

More time passes and the road is paved into a street, then an avenue, a two-lane highway, and ultimately an interstate. By the time you come roaring up the onramp in your shiny SUV, your direction is all mapped out in front of you. There's no way to turn, and no where to go but towards the next exit.

If you want to chart a fresh direction you are going to have to grab the steering wheel and give it a hard, gut-wrenching yank to the right. And so it is with your thoughts and actions. Repeating them a few times all but insures you will comfortably repeat them indefinitely unless you take deliberate - possibly disruptive -- action to do otherwise.

Here are 7 rut busters I use with my business coaching clients that you can apply immediately to get yourself and your business out of a rut.

  • Shift your mindset from self to customer. Most business people think of themselves first. They craft product and service offers from their own perspective and consider themselves the beneficiaries of their actions.

    While that's not wrong, to get out of your rut do this: put yourself into the mind of your customer. Who are these people anyway? What are they concerned about? What are they trying to accomplish?

    If you were your customer, what would you think of that new product, marketing campaign, or mail piece? Are you selling your wonderful "stuff", or are you providing them tangible, meaningful benefits. Ask, "If I were the customer, would I care?" And if not, consider, "What WOULD I get excited about?"

  • Shift your mindset from customer to client. A customer is someone who buys your goods or services. The original meaning of client is entirely different: someone who is under your care and protection.

    Now that's a switch, isn't it? If they're customers, your goal is to get them to buy something. But if you were to think of them as under your care - would you approach your business from another angle? How would you take care of them? How would you "protect" them? What new programs would you want to implement immediately?

  • Revisit your vision. Whenever I feel like I'm in a rut I return to my vision and I do 2 things. First, I make sure it still inspires me and that it is pointing me in the direction I want to go. Once sure, I put pen to paper and rewrite it. Not just once, but over and over. And I keep writing until I can't write it anymore because I'm jumping up and down with a new idea I must do something about right away.
  • Conduct a Survey If you don't know what to do next, ask your clients. (They are clients, aren't they?) Conduct a survey about anything that interests you. Ask them what's bothering them. Ask them what they're stuck on. Ask them what they like about your company and what they'd like you to do next. Ask them about new features, or new products, or new services.

    If you're not happy with your current customers, conduct a survey among the kind of people you'd like to have as customers. And, if you can't do that, conduct a survey online. Write an attractive search engine ad, promise something of value, and drive people to a survey page. Ask them anything you like - the answers will almost always provide you with a neat mind-shift.

  • Focus on building your strengths and dump your weaknesses. From the time we are little children we are taught to better ourselves by working on our weaknesses. This is often both frustrating and fruitless, and certainly not as much fun as practicing our strengths.

    Try this on: What if you focused 100 percent of your energy on being world-class in those few things at which you are already very good, and out-tasked or outsourced those things at which you were mediocre. Imagine if you never had to face any of those things again and could spend all your time doing the good stuff. Would that change the way you felt about your business? Would that bust you out of your rut?

  • Not if, but how. Think of that wild and crazy idea you had recently. The one where you said to yourself, "That would be great, but there's just no way." Well, I know there's no way - you just said so -- but if there was a way, what would it be? Answer that question as if you believed it was possible - probable even -- and then get busy making it real. That's power, you know -- turning your vision into reality. Talk about a breakthrough!
  • What are you willing to sacrifice? Some important things are more important than other important things, and trying to keep all those plates spinning in the air saps your vigor for the ones that truly matter. Dissipated energy - lethargy -- is one of the reasons we lie down in that rut in the first place, and dropping a few of those plates can really help things break loose.
  • So let go. Make the sacrifice. Clear your plate and give up some of those precious things you've been holding on to. Focus your vitality on plans which will really rock your world. Ruts? Who needs 'em.

    Paul Lemberg. All rights reserved

    Paul Lemberg's clients call him "the unreasonable business coach" because he insists they pursue goals and take actions far outside their comfort zone to make more money than they previously thought possible. To get www.paullemberg.com/Business_Coaching.html">business coaching tips, tools and strategies like these, visit www.paullemberg.com/Business_Coaching.html">http://www.paullemberg.com/Business_Coaching.html.


    MORE RESOURCES:

    Foreign secretary chastises MPs for encouraging letters of no confidence in Theresa May

    Rebels seeking to remove Theresa May risk bringing about “the most appalling chaos”, which could destabilise the country and damage Britain’s international reputation, Jeremy Hunt has said.

    Hunt, the foreign secretary and one of the most ambitious of May’s cabinet ministers, chastised his Conservative colleagues for encouraging letters of no confidence in the prime minister.

    Continue reading...

    Javad Zarif insists restrictive measures will strengthen Iranian resolve to resist

    Iran’s foreign minister has said his country will not only survive newly reimposed US sanctions but it will thrive.

    The Trump administration announced sanctions this month covering banking, oil exports and shipping, aimed at forcing Tehran to stop what the US described as its “destabilising activities” in the Middle East.

    Continue reading...

    Trump administration had earlier sent Acosta a letter saying credentials would be pulled when 14-day order is over

    The White House has backed down in its fight with CNN over correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass, ending a legal fight over press freedom and the US constitution that has roiled the political and media landscape.

    In a letter to the network the White House laid out several new rules for journalists covering presidential press conferences, including limiting questions to one per journalist, with a follow-up at the discretion of the president or other White House officials.

    Continue reading...

    Wildlife documentary experts defend crew’s decision to help trapped birds

    Leading wildlife camera operators and film-makers have defended the film crew on David Attenborough’s latest BBC series over their decision to break with convention and intervene to save a group of penguins that had become trapped in a ravine.

    Nature film-makers are discouraged from intervening in the events they are attempting to capture on film. While the general principle is to avoid interfering with the natural course of events, the crew on the Dynasties series stepped in when they saw the birds’ predicament.

    Continue reading...

    Several of those affected believe Ottawa has said little in public because it wants to maintain friendly relations with Cuba

    A group of Canadian diplomats who left the embassy in Cuba after suffering unusual health symptoms say their foreign ministry has abandoned them, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Monday.

    Canada said in April it would remove the families of staff posted to Havana, where Canadian and US diplomats have complained of dizziness, headaches and nausea.

    Continue reading...

    • One of several cables holding elevator broke and car fell rapidly
    • Six people including pregnant woman rescued by firefighters

    People rescued from a trapped elevator in one of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers later learned they had dropped 84 floors.

    The Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that six people, including a pregnant woman, got into the elevator early on Friday after leaving a restaurant on the 95th floor of the 875 North Michigan Avenue building, formerly the John Hancock Center. They heard noises and experienced a faster and bumpier than expected ride.

    Continue reading...

    • New rule bars claims except at official ports of entry
    • Law says any person present in US entitled to claim asylum

    Donald Trump’s efforts to drastically limit the right to asylum in the US came under legal challenge in California as lawyers for migrant rights groups argued that the president had overridden immigration laws and placed the lives of migrant children in jeopardy.

    The Trump administration issued a new rule on 9 November that effectively banned migrants from claiming asylum if they crossed the US border outside of a designated port of entry. The rule, issued by presidential decree, penalises thousands of migrants, many of whom are mothers and children fleeing violence in Central America, who cross the border illegally.

    Continue reading...

    Ban covering 26-nation Schengen zone was coordinated with France and UK, Germany says

    Germany has imposed European travel bans on 18 Saudi nationals suspected of involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and confirmed its arms embargo against the regime in Riyadh.

    The measures were announced by the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, who told reporters in Brussels that the travel ban covered the 26-nation Schengen zone and had been issued in close coordination with France, which is part of the Schengen area, and the UK, which is not.

    Continue reading...

    US response to UK push for ceasefire in port city of Hodeidah remains unclear

    The UK has put forward a UN security council resolution that calls for an immediate truce in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah and guarantees of safe delivery of food and medicine.

    The draft resolution is opposed by Saudi Arabia, which is leading airstrikes against Houthi rebels, and it is unclear how much effort the US is prepared to make to push it to a vote at the security council. A parallel peace effort being led by the UN also hangs in the balance as negotiations continue over safe passage of Houthi rebels to peace talks in Sweden.

    Continue reading...

    Announcement comes before publication of damning Human Rights Watch report

    Airbnb has said it will remove from its website all properties in Israeli settlements built on the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, after years of accusations that the company was benefitting from rentals in the illegal outposts.

    The accommodation bookings website announced on Monday that around 200 listings would be taken down in what will be seen as a victory for the Palestinian-led anti-occupation movement.

    Continue reading...

    Architectural photographer Cody Ellingham takes to the streets of Tokyo and Shanghai to reveal secrets old and new

    With his moody night-time shots of urban environments, New Zealand-born photographer Cody Ellingham tries to tap into the current of a city, to travel forward into its future or retreat into the past.

    Ellingham, a creative based in Tokyo, came to photography while travelling through northern Japan shortly after it was devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Volunteering in the town of Otsuchi-Cho in Iwate, he was moved to capture on camera the foundations of buildings and towns that had been exposed in the disaster and streets that no longer existed. Shooting with a Sony a7RII camera fitted with specialist architectural lenses, he began sharing his work on Instagram as @cbje_tokyo in earnest in 2016.

    Continue reading...

    On Sunday, Romans will vote in a referendum to address a failing transport system that lags behind virtually all European capitals

    The images were dramatic: a packed escalator giving way, hurtling dozens of passengers violently downward at Rome’s Repubblica metro station.

    To many of the city’s residents, however, the 23 October accident was hardly shocking. The explosion of a bus in May on the central shopping street Via del Tritone was no less than the 10th bus to blow up in Rome this year. And although there were no reported injuries, there were 22 bus blasts last year and 14 in 2016, most of which were blamed on short circuits.

    Continue reading...

    Due to its unparalleled exposure to natural disasters, Manizales in central Colombia is globally recognised for its innovative approach to prevention and response

    On the evening of 13 November 1985, Luz Estrella Arías was at home with her young daughter in Rio Claro, a hamlet in Caldas in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region. When she heard the roar, at first she thought it was a truck overturning. Then she heard the screams.

    “My first instinct was to stay in the house,” she says. “My husband had a prize cockerel that we couldn’t afford to lose. But then the water started coming in, so I grabbed my daughter and stepped outside. The water swept me off my feet, but I managed to grab a coffee plant and hang on.” She swings from one of the pillars of her porch, recreating the gesture.

    Continue reading...

    With a new €2m fishing quay due to open in Senegal’s capital in February, has modernity finally come for the Soumbedioune fishmongers?

    Photographs by Xaume Olleros for the Guardian

    It is not the large-eyed dentex’s lucky day. But it is Yelli Diop’s.

    The Senegalese fisherman has had a very successful haul, and arrives back on Dakar’s shores with several boxes of fish in the hull. His brightly painted pirogue – a long, narrow canoe used by the fishermen here – is pulled up on the beach, a length of pipe wedged under it to keep it on the sand, and the orangey-pink fish unceremoniously dumped with dozens of its kin into a crate.

    Continue reading...

    The US and its would-be allies lack a coherent, joined-up plan to counter Beijing’s growing sway

    The unusually rumbustious Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit that shuddered to an ill-tempered halt at the weekend proved one thing beyond any doubt: the US and China are intent on doing to the Indo-Pacific region in the 21st century what the US and the Soviet Union did to Europe in the last. Namely, use it as the primary battleground in a global turf war for power and influence.

    The jousting superpowers – described by Peter O’Neill, Papua New Guinea’s prime minister and Apec host, as the the “two big giants” in the room – managed to turn what is supposed to be a peaceable platform for advancing multilateral cooperation into a noisy reprise of Captain America versus the Evil Empire. This is not what Bob Hawke and Paul Keating had in mind when Apec was launched in Canberra in 1989.

    Continue reading...

    Sir John Gillen’s interim report also recommends limiting public access to courtrooms

    A retired senior judge has called for an overhaul of the way rape is dealt with by the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland, in a move that could have profound implications for the rest of the UK.

    In an interim report, Sir John Gillen has called for a series of measures likely to be viewed as controversial by some, including limiting public access to court in rape trials and providing complainants with legal representation.

    Continue reading...

    Party fires shot across bows of government in apparent protest over Brexit deal

    The future of Theresa May’s government has been thrown into further doubt after the Democratic Unionist party, whose 10 votes she relies on for a majority in parliament, abstained or backed Labour in a series of votes on the budget.

    The DUP is furious about the prime minister’s Brexit deal, and its decision to withhold support from the finance bill raised doubts about the future of the confidence and supply arrangement on which May’s ability to secure a majority is based.

    Continue reading...

    Kenneth Macharia’s claim for asylum was rejected and he faces removal to Kenya

    Rugby players in Bristol are fighting to prevent a clubmate whose claim for asylum has been rejected from being deported to Kenya because they fear he will face persecution there for being gay.

    Kenneth Macharia, a member of Bristol Bisons, a gay and inclusive rugby club, is being detained at Colnbrook immigration centre near Heathrow airport. He texted members of the club for help, and they are calling on the home secretary, Sajid Javid, to intervene.

    Continue reading...

    Commonwealth Bank’s chief executive and chair give evidence in Sydney. All the day’s developments, live

    Comyn’s asked about the remediation to customers who were mis-sold CreditCard Plus insurance. It’s still not completed, and he admits the average time to remediate is “well in excess of a year”.

    “It’s completely unacceptable,” he says.

    Orr is again pressing Comyn on the culture inside the CBA.

    “What, in your mind, is the single most important thing for you to do personally to change the culture within your organisation?” she asks.

    Continue reading...

    Independent inquiry finds serious failure of management over Gaëtan Mootoo, who felt ‘abandoned’ by the organisation

    Amnesty International failed to support a researcher who killed himself in his Paris office after feeling “abandoned and neglected” by the organisation, according to an investigation.

    The independent inquiry commissioned by Amnesty into the death of Gaëtan Mootoo concluded that multiple failings to support the employee of three decades amounted to “a serious failure of management”.

    Continue reading...

    Campaigners say children from vulnerable families are being trafficked into institutions to satisfy demands of tourism

    Campaigners trying to fight the exploitation of children in Kenyan orphanages say they are being undermined by a “white saviour” complex among churches and other charitable groups.

    The use of orphanages as “tourist attractions” in places like Mombasa is unethical and fuelling trafficking, child support organisations say.

    Continue reading...

    With Venezuela in turmoil, more than 250,000 people have fled to Colombia’s first migrant camp, in Bogotá. But with scant food and no heating or sanitation, their hardship is unrelenting

    The feet of Estilita López, 78 years old, are bloodied and bruised from the arduous journey from Yaracuy, in northern Venezuela, to Bogotá, the Colombian capital. Together with 460 fellow compatriots, she now lives in a new, city-funded migrant camp that has just sprung up on a football pitch near the airport.

    Continue reading...

    Group aims to create jobs and reduce tensions on Greek island bearing brunt of migrant arrivals

    An air of optimism hovers over the olive grove. Men from Africa, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are busy building a wooden structure that will serve as a new shelter. There is quiet concentration, banter and even a bit of laughter as they bang nails into the beams.

    The scene is a far cry from the chaos of the adjacent refugee camp, a place so congested it has earned the Greek island of Lesbos the unenviable reputation of being home to the worst migrant facility in Europe. “When people live in a structured environment, they behave in a structured way,” says Adil Izemrane matter-of-factly.

    Continue reading...

    After spending years amid Yemen’s devastation, I have seen conflict and hardship overtake millions of ordinary people

    The women wanted two things: food and cash.

    Hunger was a constant. Their families were skinny, and the children had no shoes.

    Continue reading...

    The president claims the US should have ‘caught’ the al-Qaida leader earlier, but that ignores basic details of the raid

    Donald Trump has repeated his claim that Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US Navy Seals in May 2011, should have been captured much earlier, seeking once again to blame Pakistan and his political rivals at home.

    Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!..

    Continue reading...

    Are those who compare the president to anti-democratic strongmen overreacting or should we already be worrying?

    With disorienting speed over the past two weeks, the US has spun from facing a fake migrant invasion, to a blue-wave election, to an attack on that election by the president. Then it was on to the appointment of a lackey attorney general, a fiasco at a first world war memorial event in Paris, and the White House disseminating a doctored video to justify silencing a CNN reporter.

    In one sense, it does not matter what political ideology Donald Trump partakes in – which label is applied to it, what historians later might call it. To summarize the views of philosophers, historians and analysts: the currents of history are flowing, and all of America is paddling; we can debate what all that was about when, and if, we make shore.

    Continue reading...

    French president’s progressive global ambitions come up against reality of nationalism and authoritarian regimes

    Emmanuel Macron’s domestic difficulties and plunging approval ratings present a sharp contrast with his rising international profile. In a Europe lacking strong leaders ready or able to stand up to hard-right, populist nationalists at home and authoritarian regimes abroad, the French president cuts an exceptional figure. Or, at least, that is how he would prefer to be seen.

    As last weekend’s gathering of more than 60 foreign leaders at armistice services and a “peace forum” in Paris showed, Macron – France’s youngest leader since Napoleon – is not without ambition on the world stage. Le Figaro suggested the elaborate ceremonies marked the start of an “intense” French global diplomatic offensive in support of democratic, humanitarian and multilateralist values.

    Continue reading...

    About 4,000 residents have been evacuated from Guatemala's Volcano of Fire after red-hot lava spewed down its side when it erupted on Monday, threatening the communities below. The Fuego volcano is one of the most active in Central America. An eruption in June killed 194 people

    Continue reading...

    The town of Beni in the Democratic Republic of the Congo mourns victims of an attack blamed on rebels from the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces

    Continue reading...

    Participants descend a hill in homemade vehicles or on gravity bikes

    Continue reading...

    US president Donald Trump mistakenly calls Paradise, California 'Pleasure' after touring one of the areas ravaged by wildfires

    Continue reading...

    The US president has visited the devastated sites of California's deadliest wildfire, again blaming forest mismanagement, which has drawn criticism from some residents. The blaze has incinerated Paradise, population 27,000, and damaged the outlying communities of Magalia and Concow – the death toll is now 76

    Continue reading...

    A female protester has died after being hit by a motorist as demonstrators angry at fuel tax hikes gridlocked parts of France on Saturday. Police said 47 other protesters had also been injured, three critically, as France's newest people's movement, the "gilets jaunes" (yellow vests), staged a day of action

    Continue reading...

    People have descended on central London for 'a day of rebellion' in protest over the looming climate crisis. They began massing on five bridges over the River Thames from 10am on Saturday. By 11.30am organisers said all five target bridges had been occupied.

    Continue reading...

    odrnews.com ©