Many business owners have a love/hate relationship with change. While change often means excitement and growth, the thought of change instills in us self-doubt and fear. Human nature produces creatures of habit. We find comfort in the daily routine. Normalcy is “safe.” Problem is, comfort doesn’t provide business owners with many opportunities to grow. To grow a business, we need to embrace change. But how do we embrace something that we fear? Learning how to not only embrace the unknown, but how to thrive through change and effectively deal with it is paramount to growing a business. So, where do we start? As with anything, it often begins with a series of steps.

Step One: Recognize How We Deal With Change in Our Daily Lives

How do you address significant changes in your personal life? Do you attack it head-on, or do you reach out to support systems to help you through it? The way you handle change in your personal life is the same way you should handle change in your business. Have support systems in place if that is what you need to navigate feelings of stress. Change will happen. We need to be cognizant of how we handle change and use it to our advantage.

Step Two: Accept the Emotions Change Brings On

In most every case, change incites an emotional response: fear, nervousness, self-doubt, to name a few. Admitting to yourself that these are the emotions that you feel and working through them is ok. Recognize them, accept them, work through them, then move past them.

Step Three: Realize Change is Inevitable

Remember the old saying, “The only thing constant is change.” Even when we’re content, change is inevitable. As a business owner, we need change to occur. Our business needs to evolve and grow. We need to gain more clients. We need to expand our services. We need to grow our staff. We need to learn new techniques and skills to move ahead. It’s inevitable. Accepting the fact will make it easier to embrace the changes in store.

Step Four: Know Change Won’t Happen Overnight

Effective and beneficial change is a series of “baby steps.” The best way to maneuver through major changes in your business is to tackle them one at a time. Focus on your end goal, and determine the steps it will take to reach that goal. Change can be overwhelming. But if we, instead, walk through them one small step at a time, we’re better able to manage the effects of the change, and, in return, our business will grow.

Step Five: Know It’s OK to Step Back Before Stepping Forward

Overall end success may include a few steps back before moving forward. This is a normal part of change. You can safely take a step or two back before taking four or five steps forward. The willingness and understanding that your overall success may lie in moving back a little bit will enable you to embrace the change as it comes.

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