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7 Things Only an Entrepreneur Understands

7 Things Only an Entrepreneur Understands

I wasn’t always an entrepreneur…

My first job in high school was at one of our local fast food restaurants and within six months, I had a different job working at one of the local supermarkets, where I continued to work through high school and college. Over the last 25 years, I have held numerous jobs in a variety of industries with a vast amount of responsibilities.

Aside from motherhood, no “job” has been as extreme or as difficult as becoming a business owner. The rewards are smaller but carry more meaning. Every piece of education is “on the job training” and there is some solace in knowing (believing) that most will never know of your mistakes.

No matter the industry or type of business, every entrepreneur develops one thing…the same mindset.

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No one teaches us how to have it, but it is something that becomes quite necessary as soon as we open our doors to the public or offer our services. I’m sure there are books out there that can guide us, but it can be quite difficult to completely change the way one thinks, processes information, and puts things into action. All when none of those have ever been done before.

As an entrepreneur myself, I know the diligence I need to have to make my business successful and, every day, that is my goal. Some days, I feel like I accomplish nothing, even though I have been sitting at my desk for over 8 hours (or more).

7 ways to better understand the entrepreneur you know:

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1. We are our worst critic

In our world, no one could demand more of our performance than we do. If we get a bad review, we are embarrassed by it and will do what we can to rectify it. In some workplaces, people will place blame and find excuses for poor performance or lack of attention when it comes to projects being done correctly and on time. However, there are no excuses when you own your own business. There is no one to blame but yourself. Our level of standards and expectations of perfection supersede any that your boss just placed on you. You see, we are the boss and the employee.

2. We are always “on the job”

When you are an entrepreneur, we are always working. We might be away from our office, even out on a date with our spouse, and something will remind us of something we need to get done or create an entirely new idea that we need to explore more. Too often, my husband has rolled over at 3am only to catch me sending myself an email regarding something I just thought of that I know I will forget when I get up in the morning. Little triggers throughout everyday life catch us off guard and, for most people, they can just dismiss it and let it go. Afraid we might miss out on some great new display at the store, or looking for ways to improve a process, is a never-ending task for the owner of the company.

3. Some days, we just need a good cry

Believe it or not, some days are harder than others. Sometimes, we aren’t even sure why, but we know we will feel better afterward. It’s not because we aren’t tough or want to quit. It’s because we are human. Working so hard on something, day in and day out is emotionally exhausting. It wears on us and we carry it with us, even if we think it’s not there. The feeling of being overwhelmed can drain every ounce of energy we woke up with and will stress us out more than any deadline given to us in a traditional job. If the tears don’t come, sometimes a quick escape to have a beer or two with a friend works just as well.

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4. Business is personal

People have said that “business is just business.” But every business has been built and created because of a dream or vision. Someone thought of it before it became a reality. That makes it personal. We created something that didn’t exist before and we built it into what you see today. The roads we have taken may have been the right ones that included being at the right place at the right time and other roads included mistakes we wish we had known better never to have taken. So every decision, every act, every thought brought into a business comes from someone…and that someone is more often than not the business owner.

5. We celebrate the little success

Most of us didn’t start our own businesses to win some great award or make a million dollars in our first year. We face many hurdles and take more chances than anyone else. We know what’s at stake. We know the amount of effort and time we have committed to building this business, so the little things that move us forward in the direction of those same goals are ones we cherish. Maybe they aren’t something most consumers notice right away, but we know we did something pretty exciting. Those small little validations that come our way become treasured moments and sometimes, those dates become celebrated anniversaries for years to come.

6. We don’t sleep well

In some cases, sleep might even be optional. We are the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. Even after we head home, we are bombarded with work we just didn’t get done. When we aren’t hanging out with customers, meeting potential clients, or doing “grunge” work, we might just want to steal a quick 20-minute power nap. Getting to bed after 11pm and up by 5am, every day will take its toll on our minds and bodies. Some of our worst habits are a result of not taking care of ourselves and getting enough sleep just doesn’t make it on the “To Do” list for the day. Right? Sleep? We have too much to do to waste our time sleeping.

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7. We have great support

There is no way any entrepreneur could do what he or she does without the support of great people. Whether those are family or friends, knowing we have people who encourage our dreams and cheer for us, no matter what kind of a day we are having, reminds us of what it matters to keep moving forward. Sometimes that support comes from investors, the loan officer at the bank, or your neighbors in the same strip mall. Our business could not keep growing and expanding if people didn’t believe in us. We don’t always tell you, but we are ever grateful and humbled every day.

The people who choose to take their dream and make it something real will always inspire the rest of the world for a variety of reasons. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to become an entrepreneur. The commitment to moving forward, picking yourself back up, and trying something new is extraordinary in itself. Believing in one’s ability and skill takes great faith and amazing hope. However, once you choose that lifestyle, it changes you. Maybe not at first. Maybe you don’t even notice it. Maybe you can’t explain it. A room full of entrepreneurs will always have one thing in common and that elite group always understands what it takes to own and run your own business.

So, if you are an entrepreneur, I get it. I totally get it.

More by this author

Michelle A. Homme

Author, Speaker, Quote Writer, Empowerment Coach

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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