By Claudette Rowley
"A problem cannot be solved on the same level that it was
- Albert Einstein
Trap #1: I am my business.
Truth: Who you are is so much bigger than your business. Your
business is simply one expression of you. You as a person are
complex and multi-faceted, and in the best of situations, your
business doesn't define you, you define it. Just as it's
unhealthy to let a relationship define all of who you are, so is
it unwise to allow your business to completely define you.
A common subset of this trap is: "If my business fails, I'm a
failure." When discussing this topic with clients, I often hear
two responses to business success and failure. When an
entrepreneur fails, she or he often falls right into self-blame.
And when an entrepreneur succeeds - "I just got lucky" is a
Trap #2: If it's worth doing, it must be hard.
Truth: This is a consistent message in our culture. If something
is worth doing, we think it must involve incredibly hard work.
When I coach entrepreneurs, I often ask the question "How could
this be easy?" The notion that hard work equals worth is so
embedded in us, that we sometimes feel uncomfortable when a great
opportunity drops in our lap or new venture comes together
seamlessly. Yes, as entrepreneurs, we work hard when we need to.
However, hard work does not have to include the notion that
struggling, suffering and working 80 hours per week makes us
better entrepreneurs or more virtuous people. As much as
possible, let it be easy. Accept great opportunities, and let
people help you.
Trap #3: My success is measured in profits.
Truth: Expand your definition of success. What does success
actually mean to you? Success is measured in many different
ways, profit being only one of them. Are you making a social
contribution? Are you creating an innovative product? What is
your vision and are your realizing it? Do you have autonomy and
control over your own time? Success is relative and a matter of
perception. One person's success is anothers failure. How high
is your bar? Some entrepreneurs set the bar so high for
themselves that they can never "succeed" in their own minds.
They can't win - kind of like a dog chasing its tail.
Trap #4: I can't have what I want.
Truth: Often as entrepreneurs, we feel that we must follow a set
of rules about how to "do" entrepreneurship. These rules may or
may not match what we want as entrepreneurs, leading us to feel
like we can't have what we want. For example, you might identify
that you want to structure your business so that you don't work
on Friday afternoons. In response, you might hear a voice in
your head that says something like, "You'll never be successful
unless you work as many hours as possible."
You get to want what you want. In my own life, and the lives of
my clients, I've noticed that the more closely aligned my life is
with what I want - the more easily my business flows to me.
Here's why: when you are doing something you don't want to do or
don't like to do, it drains precious mental, emotional and
physical energy from you. Remember a time when you were so
engaged in an activity that you forgot to look at the clock. You
might have forgotten to eat lunch or missed an appointment. When
you're that "high on life", you create energy. When you do what
you deeply want, your energy flows in a positive direction,
creating opportunities that might not have previously existed.
Building a Successful Future One Moment at a Time
Ten ways to begin to create the success you desire when the cards seemed stacked against you. It focuses on being aware and staying in the present.
Is Opportunity Knocking at Your Door Right Now?
Opportunities come disguised in many forms and shapes. They may
come disguised as hard work, hardships, difficulties and
obstacles. When you see them as opportunities and take them, who
knows where you may end up?
Tough Times Demand Resilient Leaders
Are we stuck in out-moded patterns of behaviors that no longer serve us? What assumptions are we making and what actions can we take if the assumptions are confirmed? What resources can we call upon? How have we nurtured our relationships and support network?