Shut The Fog Up!

Rediscovering Direction In The Midst of the Unknown

Business is a race. Fog slows you down. 

You binge watched Shark Tank and The Profit, hastily napkin-sketched a business idea, and now it's off to the races. After selling a handful of shiny widgets, you teamed up with an aspiring co-founder and set out to make a million. 

But then, the Fog set in. 

Disagreements within your team on where to focus. Meetings that go on for hours with no action. Nebulous complaints from customers that make you second guess your value. 

Meanwhile, you're struggling to gain traction and secure the capitol you need to scale.

The Fog’s got to you.

Why Fog Sucks: Fog in real life

Unpacking the metaphor of business fog starts with knowing how it feels to be stuck in real-life-Weather-Channel fog. 

Simply put, fog is just a cloud on the ground. But find yourself in one of those fluffy white marshmallow poofs, and you will find yourself at a loss — in every way.

Fog reduces visibility, creates disorientation, and can even trigger vertigo, where you no longer have bearings on your cardinal direction or even which way is up or down. 

The result is that you feel frustrated, confused, dizzy, nauseous, and all around lost. It’s up to you to press forward until you physically extract yourself from the fog, or until Mother Nature relents and the fog “lifts.” 

From Barometer to Board Room: When Fog Gets All Up In Your Business

All too often, a similar confusion and lack of clarity occurs in the business world. It’s bad for morale and creates discord among team members. 

When your team is in the Fog, you endlessly debate over the meta and never get to the actual problem. This, in turn, breaks down strategic priority, but can also stall your day-to-day execution. 

Here are some tell-tale signs that the Fog has crept into your business:

  • Movement without momentum: Internal meetings that go nowhere
  • Multiple team members doing the same job without coordination
  • Repeating a task because it wasn’t properly completed the first time
  • Heading in a direction, only to constantly need to backtrack, or stop and change directions
  • You don't actually know where you are, or how you got there

How to Stop the Fog

Luckily, you don't have to wait an unknown amount of time for this cloud to lift. There are other ways to escape the Fog and chart a course toward your actual goals. 

  1. Make a plan. You need a prioritized list of steps, a direction in which to head, and team agreement around “who does what.” It's hard to read the label when you’re inside the jar, so more likely than not, you need a shepherd to get the herd moving toward a clear goal, and to help you get out of your head and back into your boots. 
  2. Identify your blind spots. Whether it’s with an expert or a friend, endeavor to learn what you don't know about yourself and your business. This often leads to understanding the root cause of your Fog and pinpointing real ways that it can be fixed.
  3. Test your assumptions. Don’t take your assumptions for granted without evidence. Evaluate the unknowns about your business, and use the knowledge gained to drive key decisions, such as whether to stay the course or pivot toward a new direction. 
  4. Check the map often. Make it a priority to think regularly and intentionally about the trajectory of your business and how to grasp where you are on the intended journey. When you can’t see the trail for the trees, double down on the crucial task of identifying your location.

Look Before Leaping

Every client engagement that we undertake at Only Co. begins with a Phase 0 plan build. This is specifically intended to reduce the Fog and help you align with your team members, to locate where you are with confidence and chart a path toward your business goals.

We know what it’s like to need fresh sight and clear skies ourselves, and we’ve helped businesses of all sizes find their way to clarity. If you find yourself stuck in the Fog, reach out today — we’d love to help you move in the right direction.

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