Treading Water

Sometimes it’s all you can do, just to stay afloat. No forward progress, no extraordinary successes, just the day to day of your business life.

When this happens, we can get into our own heads, fixate on the problem, and start to wallow in the illusion of failure. If we aren’t moving forward, we must be standing still. If we are standing still, we might as well be moving backwards. On and on the cycle goes, sometimes even leading us into the curse of the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Treading water is nothing to be ashamed about. In fact, when it happens, it should be celebrated. If you are that busy at work, or if you are able to keep your head out of the water, that in itself is a success. No, you might not be getting the kind of working that you are most looking forward to, or getting the contracts that pay the best, but you are making it work. If you haven’t achieved your end-goal success, you have to start reframing what success looks like in the moment.

You don’t need to be making a million dollars a month in your first year of business, or to be the top of the food chain in your industry. Gradual progress is still progress. Just making it is still making it.

The only time we need to start considering treading water as a failure is if we can stuck in the pattern of it. If our work isn’t where we would like it to be, those moments are the best time for us to recalibrate. If we aren’t attracting the right clientele, that would be the right time to start working towards those goals.

And yes, sometimes we are going to need a life preserver. We are going to need a friend to lift us up or kick our butts to make sure that we are moving, or to help us see our work from a different point of view.

We can tread water and still be successful.

More Insights

Getting Behind

I don’t think there’s a worse feeling in the world than getting behind. In education, it’s an experience that I have often. Marking, planning, reports, ...
Read →

Ready to Shift

No matter how tight your planning, how deep your desire, sometimes in creative work you just have to be ready to shift. It’s not that ...
Read →


Exhaustion is more than just feeling tired, it is an overwhelming emotional and moral fatigue that permeates every facet of your life. You don’t fight ...
Read →

Details Matter

As a leader the big picture is important. You cannot get distracted by the minutiae of day-to-day operations. That’s where your leadership and guidance come ...
Read →

Contact Benjamin

If you would like to discuss projects with me further, please feel free to fill in the information below and I will set-up some time for a free consultation.

Your privacy is important to us – learn how we protect it by reading our Privacy Policy.