A Strategic Coach’s Prescription for Inertia


Nothing is more frustrating for an entrepreneur than the inability to move their business forward. Like walking through quicksand, any movement feels labored and difficult. As a strategic coach, I’ve worked with many small business owners who felt blocked and unable to make the kind of progress they want.  In an attempt to jar themselves loose and uncover the cause of their inertia, they engage in asking ’why’ questions.

Why am I stuck?

Why can’t I seem to move forward?

Why am I feeling this way?”

Why? Why? Why?

“Why” is an attempt to understand underlying motivations which may never be realized. The inability to discover the answers along with immobility result in frustration, anxiety, procrastination, avoidance, and guilt.

A solution to inertia is asking “what” questions which are about movement and activity. When you ask “what”, you create energy and reveal solutions that dislodge the log jam of immobility.  This movement leads to further movement – like a snowball rolling downhill – gather more and more momentum with each revolution.

Consider these “what” questions:

  • What needs to happen?
  • What needs to change in order for me to move forward?
  • What is it going to take to get off square one?
  • What is one action that I’m willing to take right now?
  • What do I want to have happen?
  • What are my other choices?
  • What has worked for me in the past?
  • What is missing for me?

‘Why’ is about understanding; ‘What’ is about action.

What other questions have helped you break your inertia?

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Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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