Overcoming “analysis paralysis” has never been more critical to creating and continuing positive business momentum.
The last few years – since the beginning of the pandemic really – taking swift action and identifying necessary adaptations in your fitness business has meant even more of a difference between fitness businesses being profitable and being gone.
Some fitness business owners handle it better than others, so what’s the secret to overcoming analysis paralysis?
Who better to ask than certified Fitness Business Coaches?
We threw these 2 questions out to our Success Coaches so they could share their insights:
- What symptoms do you identify in fitness business owners that indicate they may be struggling with analysis paralysis?
- What is your best advice for overcoming a pattern of overanalyzing and lack of action?
What symptoms do you identify in fitness business owners that indicate they may be struggling with analysis paralysis?
Ben: It’s easy to look around and compare yourself to other fitness businesses. How is everyone else doing virtual or online training, what are they doing for marketing, how are they engaging their audience with content and follow up. I see so many owners deviating from their long term visions and following rabbit trails until it is hard for them to answer “how and why” the decisions they are making tie in to their goals. Because of this they begin to fear making wrong decisions, and become paralyzed with the sheer amount of choices there are to make.
Asa: Fitness Business owners that struggle with analysis paralysis are normally also struggling with a high level of fear and trepidation. Since the pandemic they have ventured through many unknowns and these have had significant impacts on their livelihoods which leads to a high level of stress, fear, and anxiety. They then hesitate with changes and new developments within their business for fear of failure or loss of revenue. This fear causes the business owner to overanalyze new opportunities or necessary adaptations to evolve with the changing environment.
Also as fitness professionals we have a tendency to be perfectionists with our delivery. We want our products to be bar none, above the competition. Which is good – however – I see many fitness business owners struggle with analysis paralysis by over scrutinizing any new adaptations or business ventures which leads them to hesitate to make any changes at all.
Mike: They tend to avoid making decisions, spend more time on a decision then what’s needed, make decisions then change them, and suffer from stress when making decisions. They will usually fall into a pattern of overthinking/planning and under-executing/doing.
If they have a history of being a perfectionist or deep critical thinker, I’ve found this can amplify their analysis paralysis in times of increased risk or high demand/stress.
Madison: When fitness business owners are struggling with analysis paralysis, I’ll see them take two to three times as long to make a decision or take action on a project than it should; the excessive collection of data and research; and I’ll notice them struggling with increased anxiety and stress amidst any kind of change.
In general, when business owners seem like they’re grasping for certainty and are unwilling to take any calculated risk, I consider that a big symptom of cumbersome overthinking.
Craig: Let me first acknowledge that I can struggle with this, so I feel your pain!
Common symptoms of Analysis Paralysis include: Simple tasks take longer than they should, and important decisions take even longer; Lacking confidence in ability to make big decisions; Re-writing a single email 3 or 4 times. I think a symptom not commonly recognized is changing things up too often, because you’re over-analyzing every detail and expecting perfection.
Pamela: The nature of business during and after the pandemic became that everything is constantly changing. With this comes the need to act swiftly. I can sympathize that it feels more comfortable and sometimes even more logical to wait to have all the information. Waiting can cost us money. I’m not suggesting that you act without thought but rather not wait for perfection and just take some action to move the needle.
What is your best advice for overcoming a pattern of overanalyzing and lack of action?
Ben: Seeing what everyone else is doing is not a bad thing, but when you start comparing yourself to everyone else, this is when it becomes a problem. Your business is different, unique, and no one else has your clients attention like you do. When you start comparing your marketing strategies, content, and processes to others and just picking and choosing whatever feels right in the moment, you will lose sight of the big picture.
Make sure whatever decisions you make align with your long term vision, and don’t get caught up in fear of making the wrong decisions. Your clients will appreciate you trying to make the most of your situation, and they are more willing to endure through your struggles with you than you might think. Trust your long term vision to keep you grounded and don’t be afraid to make the wrong choices. Act with integrity, and keep listening to your audience. They will let you know what you are doing is appreciated!
Asa: First off, organization is key. Too many options, too many changes, amplify the symptoms in both categories above. Organize and delineate your thoughts and ideas and then prioritize the lowest hanging fruit, easiest and most efficient for implementation.
Second, the KISS rule, to be blunt…Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. Your delivery does not need to be a thesis statement, it does not need to be perfectly refined, there may be kinks that need worked out, and that’s ok.
Third, prioritize yourself. What do you need to be consistent with in your daily routine to ensure you are staying well? Make that a priority. We do check-ins with FR Coaching partners on three separate categories, 1. business, 2. life, 3. health , as we find that these all play into one another. If you are not taking care of yourself and your mental bandwidth and health then the stress and fatigue will take over which in turn affects how you operate and function when making important business decisions.
Mike: To overcome this I suggest…
- Recognize it: You need to be aware of the signs. What does life look like when you are and are not having analysis paralysis? How do your habits, tendencies and patterns influence this?
- Identify the cost: How is this costing you and your business? What does that mean for your goals and your future?
- Accept ownership: You have to take full responsibility and realize that it’s a choice.
- Commit to change: You need to find ways to break the pattern. You may need to set a time in which you’ll make a decision, or create a rule for yourself that once a decision is made you don’t revisit it etc.
- Be humble & seek wise counsel: Know when you need to ask for help or get guidance. You may need help forgiving yourself for mistakes, or holding yourself accountable (and that’s okay).
Madison: First, determine which business decisions are worth your time, energy, and efforts…not all decisions are created equal. When business owners are stuck in a pattern of analysis paralysis, even small choices are draining and take valuable mindshare away from the more important things. It takes intentionality to determine which decisions are worth spending your energy and thinking time on and which are not.
Secondly, I recommend business owners set a deadline for decisions to be made and projects to be completed with their coach. Just like rocks and critical next steps, sometimes we need additional accountability to take action. Rather than thinking something to death and never progressing, figure out (with your coach) what a reasonable amount of time might be for making some decision and hold yourself to that deadline.
Craig: What can help you overcome this may depend on the situation. For example, in my example of re-writing an email 3-4 times, consider that task as part of a devoted time block. So you need to respond to emails or send out prospect emails. Set a goal for how many within a certain time. Give yourself parameters.
With something like big decisions, you have to accept times you don’t have all the information. You’re probably pretty good at understanding what’s the most critical (because you analyze it a lot) and you need to have confidence in yourself to make the decision. Above all else, leverage your resources…like Coaching…to help speed things up and provide perspective.
Pamela: Refer back to your long term vision as frequently as possible. Each day be sure that something is being done to move you toward the goals you have listed out. The goals might be six months out or six years out, that shouldn’t matter. What matters is that you are making progress in the forward direction. Do everything you can do to make sure you are not the person that is stopping you from achieving your goals.
Similar Coaches’ Corner topics:
- The Habits of High Performing Fitness Business Owners
- How do Gym Owners Recognize, Deal With, and Prevent Fatigue and Burnout?
- How Can I Be A Better Leader in My Fitness Business
- What Happens When Gym Owners Let Emotions Guide Decisions?
Have something specific you’d like to hear from our Fitness Business Coaches about?
Want to see how our certified Fitness Business Coaches handle more questions? Check out our Ask a certified Fitness Business Coach Guide.