What Is The Meantime?
There’s a certain time that all of us, at some point or another in our business lives, come to experience.
I call it ‘The Meantime’.
It’s a moment where you feel like you’re headed directly for a brick wall.
And, as I heard Brian Tracey say once, “Life is full of problems. In life you’re either recovering from a problem, in the midst of one now, or one is coming. But, every once in a while, life gives you a reprieve from your problems. It’s called a crisis.”
And this is The Meantime: a time of crisis.
In business, I define The Meantime as that time when you are in a financial crisis where you need money urgently and, even though you have faith in things to work out in the long term, even though you believe in the strategies and business plan you’ve put together to be sustainable in the future, you aren’t there yet and you ask yourself, “What do I do in the meantime?“
But I call it The Meantime for another reason too.
It feels mean and vicious when you’re in the midst of it.
The Meantime is an unforgiving time where you seem to have to hustle harder than you ever have before. There often seems to be no way to bring in the kind of money you need as quickly as you need it. It can be a time of incredible stress and anxiety.
The Meantime is like finding yourself in the midst of a deep winter without enough supplies to make it through and a sense of dread creeps over you as you think, “What am I going to do?“
How Do You Know You're In The Meantime?
Other terms that might be familiar for this moment:
- Crunch time
- Between a rock and a hard place
- Rock bottom
- At the end of your rope
- Up against a wall.
- “I’m just maintaining,”
- “I’m realizing I value money, but don’t really prioritize it, until my bank account is at zero, and then I scramble to get projects, invoice and bring in the money. And then I sit back again.”
- “I have this block about earning more money, like it means I’m a bad person. One of those people that do bad things. Like having a sports car in my driveway wouldn’t match my community, and the people in it. Making more money wouldn’t match. I need to suffer through a zero bank account balance to motivate.”
- “I was ready to throw in the towel on my business. Cash flow had been like an indicator light that the tank was nearly empty.”
- “I have a lot of ideas, but have trouble saying ‘no’ to things, so say ‘yes’ to a lot of things, and dig a lot of shallow wells. But I like them all, so really struggle with cutting anything out. And they all have potential to make money, but not when I’m spread so thin.”
Is This You?
From time to time over the years, people who have been deep in the midst of The Meantime have come to me desperate for help. They are desperate for some magic bullet that is going to make everything okay.
Part of them is hustling and part of them is immobilized and waiting for the storm to pass.
They have a workshop that only two people have signed up for and it’s happening in two weeks. “How do I fill it?” they ask, insistent that there must be an answer.
They have quit their job to start the life coaching business of their dreams but now rent is due, they’re deep in debt and, if things don’t turn around quickly they’re going to have to go back to a job they hate.
Their spouse has been financially supporting them for forever and is getting tired of it. They need to bring in money to take the strain off the relationship.
Their big, high end coaching program has only two people in it but it needs ten to succeed.
And they are looking at a stack of unopened bills on their side table as they double check their bank balance online only to have it confirmed . . . they. are. broke.
Or they come to me in a panic and ask me to help them figure out their niche right away.
And sometimes, though it’s much more rare, people have come to me with a solid business but inspired with big goals that will require their business to grow very fast and they want help on how to do that.
What's Needed In The Meantime
In times like this, what’s needed is a tenacious positivity and willingness to take massive action to turn things around.
We can’t, as the book title says, afford the luxury of a negative thought.
The way out of the Meantime, fundamentally, is persistence.
Yes, there are strategies too and we’ll come to those, but, without a deep commitment those strategies will die on the vine. They won’t have a chance to ripen.
And, after all, our comfort is killing us and adversity can be good for the soul.
So, in this first section is about giving you a shot in the arm of positivity and encouragement.