Lots of books, workshops, inspirational leaders and speakers focus on entrepreneurship. This could be defined as “how to get over yourself, follow the road paved with good intentions, and stay on track consistently through thick and thin”. But why do we need so many people to tell us how to do this?
Entrepreneurship, or a “can do” attitude is a human quality we all have, but it often goes unrecognised and is not encouraged. The main intention of school education seems to be to get children to conform and follow the rules rather than step onto their own unique route to mastery. Successful entrepreneurs are singled out as having special qualities, or the capacity for extra hard work that the rest of us are too weak willed to maintain consistently.
You can develop your own “inner entrepreneur” and then direct it towards anything that you enjoy doing.
When you feel like doing something, DO IT SOON rather than talking yourself out of it or delaying.
Get up off the sofa and do some small, insignificant activity that gets you moving.
When you keep having an idea that keeps coming back to you, such as the feeling that you want to try photography or work with horses, play the piano or help people in some way, and the thought is persistent over time, then there is something in it for you. STOP stopping yourself. Take the first baby steps towards making it happen, such as do some research and start to get actively involved in this general area of life.
STOP applying impossible rules to your hopes and dreams, such as if I can’t be a successful concert pianist within 3 years, there is no point in my learning to play the piano, or I can’t afford it so there is no point even trying.
STOP thinking other people are more special than you and they have qualities you do not possess. The only difference with people who are successful is they believe in their idea, they believe in themselves, they are persistent and determined and they never give up. They have the same voices telling them they’re not worth it, the same people telling them not to bother, but they don’t listen and they do it anyway.
STOP believing in numbers as a way to direct, limit and control yourself, such as I must get myself together by age 30 or earn £35k or have 22 new clients by next Wednesday, otherwise I am a failure. These numbers are not a true measure of success and just confuse you. If you are motivated by measurable external criteria, you won’t pay attention to the simple, small steps that are right in front of you, such as reading the book, doing some journalling, taking a walk, calling the person who keeps coming into your mind, or getting help or professional support in the areas where you feel weak.
Being an entrepreneur, or living your life with entrepreneurial spirit, means loving yourself and bigging yourself up – not in a toxic, self-serving or narcissistic way, but treating yourself as though you matter, as though your ideas WILL make a difference, and believe that your unique contribution has a value all of its own, whether or not anyone else approves.
No executive training program can teach you this if you do not already believe it. It could help you adopt the behaviours of successful entrepreneurs (such as gratitude lists and yoga before breakfast, discipline, organisation, networking and acquiring knowledge in your topic, but it is hard to change your basic self-blocking mindset if, deep down, you believe
*you are an imposter,
*you can’t have what you really want or you can’t even let yourself desire what you really want,
*you have trouble with consistency and accountability or feel you can’t be bothered
*you believe work/life has to be difficult and you must sacrifice yourself and feel exhausted in order to earn a living and look after your family.
Perhaps you grew up in a family where not much was expected of you, or where the expectations placed on you felt wrong and out of synch with who you really are, such as in order to be successful you must be thin, drive a fast car, or become a doctor. Perhaps your concept of success is all about external validation or criteria such as fame, display and wealth, which are completely useless to a true entrepreneur who really wants to feel authentic, proud and strong.
If you have inner demons, blocks, anxiety or survival fear, do you believe you can’t change these unpleasant feelings and you must put up with them for the rest of your life? Perhaps you’re afraid of getting it wrong, making mistakes, being judged, not being good enough, or that you won’t have enough money? But why continue accepting that all this is inevitable when in fact it is based on mis-education and conditioning, and it is in your power to change it, given some education, guidance and support.
Your mind believes the stories it has been told about who you are and what you are entitled to expect. It wants you to play safe, to live by fear, to cave in to conformity, to be afraid of what people will think, and walk away from your own innermost desires because you believe you must sacrifice yourself to please others, you don’t deserve happiness, you feel guilty, or that other people are better than you.
There are keys to unlocking the entrepreneurial spirit that lies within you, that is always longing to break free. The keys are all about empowering yourself and claiming your right to be the authentic you that only you can be. It means having some courage to tackle challenges, and the mindset to see that every obstacle and difficulty is a learning opportunity you can use for your benefit. It means overcoming thinking small like a confused obedient child, and, instead, learning to think like an independent adult who can make her own choices based on sound beliefs and values. You need education, information, contacts, determination, hard work, discipline, respect and love for life and for yourself and others. You may need to root out some of the negative conditioning that has told you that you are unworthy. You may need someone to show you how to stop getting in your own way, as you may not fully realise how you are doing it.
I offer resources for anyone who wants to develop their entrepreneurial spirit, become more successful or get a new project on the road – both coaching and journalling which offer support and training to help you be you in this world. Please contact me to discuss if I could help.
*My definition of “entrepreneur” is doing/creating what you really want, while simultaneously earning enough!