I’m not much of a bowler; in fact, I’m tickled when I can bowl a score of 100; but I enjoy the game. I joined a local evening league recently to meet new women and to get a little exercise.
Typically, bowling isn’t all that strenuous, you take three or four steps, bend down and throw the ball. With any luck at all, the pins all go down and you can rest until the next frame. Simple, right? Not so much. Bowling uses muscles that, for me, hadn’t been used in a while. On my second league night, I approached the alley,
bent down to throw the ball and felt a pain in my knee. Paying no attention to it, I bowled three games and went home.
The next morning I could hardly walk.
I hobbled around on crutches for a few days; just as it was starting to feel better I stepped on a rock and twisted it again.
Bowling was out of the question for a couple months,while I treated my knee with hot packs, cold packs and an elastic knee brace.
60 days later I am still hobbling around and I have finally decided to call a physical therapist.
Why am I telling you this?
Because there’s a correlation between the way I treated (or didn’t treat) my knee and the way many business owners deal with issues in their businesses.
The morning I got up and could hardly walk, I should have gone to the doctor immediately. Instead I self-diagnosed and toughed it out thinking the knee would eventually get better. It is getting better, but it’s a slow process.
Likewise in business, there’s some trigger-event that causes pain:
- Loss of a big customer
- Large unbudgeted expense
- Key employee leaves
The owner may spends a few days (or weeks) spinning her wheels, thinking about alternatives and coming up with a few actions that might make the pain go away. All the time hoping that the situation might somehow get better. It may, but how long will it take? Or…it may only worsen with more time.
By the time I finally called a physical therapist, I was sick and tired of hurting and limping around. I’d complained and explained more hours than I care to count. It’s time to take action and get on a program to heal the knee. Had I called the physical therapist right away, I’d be pain-free and walking normally by now.
When do business owners finally reach out for help? Who do they call? If they’re lucky, they have a mentor. They may also belong to an executive roundtable where they can bounce ideas off other business owners and get objective, constructive advice. The sooner they reach out, the sooner the pain subsides.
The moral to the story is when you have a problem go to an expert for advice and go early. Delaying only causes more pain and frustration.
Trust me. I know.