Entrepreneurship is all about creating new possibilities – new products or services in the market, new financial freedom for yourself and your family, and a new vision of your role in the world. But taking the step from employment to self-employment can be a frightening one. You can no longer count on a pay cheque arriving automatically in your account every few weeks. Your pay is a result of your own efforts. Prioritization and planning are key. It’s easy to get distracted by activities that are not your top priority, especially when your office is in your home. It’s easy to feel frustrated when you are not making as much progress as you would like towards your goals.
I attended a motivational presentation recently that introduced an interesting formula for success in life: BE x DO = HAVE, from Brad Sugars of ActionCOACH. You shouldn’t be resigned about not achieving your goals. You need to consider who you need to BE and what you need to DO to achieve what you want to HAVE.
What kind of person are you being? Is this way to BE consistent with your goals? Mindset is important. Focus on being accountable, responsible and taking ownership of your successes or failures. Avoid blame, excuses and denial. When I run into disappointment or failure, I try to view it as an opportunity to learn, but this isn’t always easy. Be careful to avoid negative self-talk. Consider what you say to yourself inside your head. Would a friend talk to you the way you talk to yourself? If your “brain radio” is tuned to negative thoughts, then change the station to self-belief. Be kind to yourself. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by reflecting at the end of each day about what you have to be thankful for. I’ve found my journal to also be helpful in recording my daily gratitude and reminding me to take less of my good fortune for granted.
Keep a bias towards action. DO what you need to do to work towards your goals. To help keep myself on track, I developed a list of goals (see Looking Forward, Making Plans) and then I plan my daily activities to keep advancing toward the goals. Goals act as a compass for your brain. They help align your daily tasks to the direction you want to go. Whenever I feel like I am not making progress, I return to my goals and reorient myself on what I need to achieve.
Sharing your possibilities with others helps to make them realities. Tell people in your community about the current facts, the future you’d predict if no action is taken, and the future you hope to create. Having others listen to you can sew the seeds for change. The more people that know about your intentions, the more your environment will reinforce and assist in making it happen. (See Lend Me a Hand: The Power of Community).
Another effective strategy from Simon Sinek is to start with WHY. Think about the reason that you started your business in the first place. Who was involved? When did it happen? What details do you remember? Thinking about the story of what moved you to become an entrepreneur will reorient you as to WHY this is important. Sinek gives the examples of Apple and Southwest Airlines among other inspired companies that act and communicate from the “inside out” starting with WHY, then aligning WHAT they do and HOW they do their work with this driving purpose. Knowing WHY you are an entrepreneur sets your course towards lasting success, moving you away from being a commodity and towards aligning with others who believe what you believe.
How can you BE and DO to move closer to your goals? What WHY drives your work? Who have you shared with lately? How can you make your goals a reality?