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The Success Secrets of Entrepreneurs You Need To Know

The Success Secrets of Entrepreneurs You Need To Know

The success secrets of entrepreneurs actually aren’t as secret as you think.  In order to be successful as an entrepreneur, you first need to understand what type of entrepreneur you are.  There are two primary types of entrepreneurs – those that have created their own businesses in reaction to their life and those that create business from inspired vision and action.  Reactionary entrepreneurs got fed-up with working for someone else. They are dollars driven and fear-based.  They want to have their own business because they’re tired of reporting to someone else and fantasize about making more money than they could in their day job.

Then there are inspired entrepreneurs.  They have an inspired vision, are fearless in negotiating unchartered territory, and love the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Risk-taking comes naturally to them, they know how to be in the unknown, and the more they integrate themselves with their businesses the more success they experience.

These 15 success secrets can transform a reactionary entrepreneur into an inspired entrepreneur

1.  Be conscious.

Here’s the deal: understanding your business means understanding yourself.  If you don’t intimately know what motivates you, depresses you, inspires you, or diminishes you, you cannot be successful as an entrepreneur.  Consciousness is gold to an entrepreneur because it allows us to move from being reactive to being proactive.  If you understand why you respond the way you to to the things that happen in your business, you can consciously make a choice to respond differently.

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2.  Embrace the unknown.

A lot of entrepreneurs say they like the excitement of living in the unknown and charting uncharted territory, but the reality for many is that when the mortgage is due, when your car needs emergency service, or when your child gets sick and you can’t afford to pay for health insurance then living in unknown stops being fun.  How do you respond when you have a bill you don’t know how to pay?  Is it, “Oh my God, how will I ever pay this?” or “Now I know how much money I need to earn this week.”  Your mindset around the unknown will affect your success as an entrepreneur.

3.  Take inspired action.

Most of my inspired action gets generated not when I’m in front of my laptop or networking.  It shows up when I’m walking my dogs, washing dishes or folding laundry.  It is the small, quiet whisper that floats through my mind. It is, unconditionally, an easier, better, quicker way to get the results I want.  It is also, unconditionally, an out-of-the-box approach I wouldn’t have considered while strategizing in front of my laptop. Out-of-the-box thinking generates success for an entrepreneur.

4.  Define the vision and stick to it.

This is not the time to daydream about Plan B if Plan A doesn’t work out.  Ensuring Plan A’s success requires perseverance and focus.  Million dollar businesses don’t happen overnight.  You have to be willing to live in the muck of creating your business in order to generate long-term, sustainable results. If you are sure that Plan A is a viable business plan, and if you’ve got support for making it happen, stick with it long enough to see what kind of results it can generate.

5.  Define success.

Define what success means to you, and not just financially.  Take a holistic approach to understanding your definition of success.  Does it mean that you will have a balanced lifestyle, working 20 hours a week or less so you have time to care for yourself and your family? Does it mean creating an automated system for your business so you can run it from anywhere in the world and travel as much as you like?  Define what you want your life to be like and that will help you create goals for achieving success.

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6.  Understand your mindset.

“Success isn’t something that you do on the outside, success is something that you are on the inside. The rest will follow.”Chuck Danes

Know your limiting beliefs. Do you believe it isn’t possible to have your cake and eat it too? Do you believe you don’t deserve to have a lot of money? Do you believe that you aren’t qualified enough to run your own business or offer the product/service you’re marketing?  Everyone has limiting beliefs.  Get to know yours.  Get into right-relationship with them so they no longer dictate your decision-making.

7.  Embrace change.

Wake up in the morning delighted to learn how your life will change that day.  Change is fun for inspired entrepreneurs.  What wasn’t working today paves the path for something else that could work better tomorrow.  When change needs to happen welcome it with open arms.  Build a vision for your business and then be willing to be flexible for how that vision unfolds.  You may be surprised by the results generated when change happens.

8.  Work smarter instead of harder.

Take the offensive instead of the defensive stance.  Ask yourself, what do you need to change in order to get your business moving in a different direction in an area that isn’t working?  It’s the difference between patching a leaking dam because you’re afraid of getting flooded and recognizing that the dam isn’t where you want to be in the first place.  Reactionary thinking leads to a lot of needless action in order to address limiting beliefs.  Offensive thinking leads to inspired action and elimination of limiting beliefs.

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9.  Know your feelings.

Staying in your head all of the time actually doesn’t benefit you as an entrepreneur.  Getting in touch with your intuition (that guttural, knowing place in you) and activating your intuition will radically increase your level of success as an entrepreneur.  Staying in your head and trying to think through everything logically will slow you down, confuse you, and keep you from being able to see the bigger picture.  Going with your gut will save you time, will build your self-confidence, and will keep your business moving forward.

10.  Yep, feelings, again.

Cultivate more feelings and less strategy.  Be in the feeling of being successful.  There is not a cause and effect for success. We’re trained to think: If I get this thing, then I’ll be fulfilled. You have to be fulfilled, and then you’ll get this thing.  Like attracts likes.  If you feel confident, you will experience more confidence.

11.  Expect the unexpected.

I am continually surprised by the directions my business takes and how I have transformed in my journey of being an entrepreneur.  I have stopped assuming that I will know what my business will look like this time next year, and I have stopped assuming what I will be like at that time.

12.  Learn to love the journey.

To be an inspired entrepreneur you must unequivocally love the entrepreneurial journey.  In this lifestyle there will never be traditional safety and security.  You will never be able to definitively predict your income.  You will always be learning new things about yourself and your business.  You will always experience unexpected challenges.  Loving the journey and living in the unknown will be your only safety and security.  Inspired entrepreneurs know and accept that reality.

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13.  Treat your business like a newborn.

A new business, or business idea is like a newborn.  Newborns need to be held close, to have absolute attention given to them, and to be supported in every possible way.  Do the same in your business.  Do not expose your business to negativity.  Hold it close.  Allow your business ideas time to gestate before exposing them to the dark, dangerous world.

14.  Create your own acknowledgement and celebration.

It is a habit of many entrepreneurs to always be focused on the next goal, instead of acknowledging and celebrating the goal that has just been met.  You are your own best (and sometimes only) cheerleader.  Taking the time to acknowledge and celebrate each and every goal will help to motivate you to continue to move forward, and, more importantly, to recognize how far you have already come.

15.  Start.

Stop daydreaming about your business idea. Start taking bold action to make your business a reality.  Your business begins with you.

After reading all this you may be saying to yourself, yes, but how do you actually be a successful entrepreneur? All this stuff about feelings and mindset are interesting, but what do I really need to DO in order to be successful?  Here’s the thing: 90 percent of the coaching work I do with entrepreneurial clients is around feelings and mindset.  Why? Because that’s 90 percent of what makes an entrepreneur successful.  The remaining 10 percent is implementation.  If you’re serious about being a successful entrepreneur then hire a coach, mentor, or join a mastermind group, and start taking a serious look at your mindset and your feelings.

Featured photo credit: John via flickr.com

More by this author

Emma Churchman

Emma is a Creative Business Consultant, and Leadership Coach & Trainer

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Last Updated on September 17, 2020

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

There’s nothing quite like a state of “flow” when you’re working. The rare moments when your inspiration aligns with your motivation likely lead to some of your most creative work. Plus, it feels great to actually check a task or project off the list so you can move on to the next thing. Meanwhile, a mental block — its opposite — can cause work to feel laborious and uninspired. Forget creativity when you have a mental block — it makes it difficult even to start working on what you need to do.

A mental block can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your imposter syndrome is squelching your creative ideas, for instance, or you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of a project and its impending deadline. Maybe you’re just tired or stressed.

Either way, having a mental block feels like being trapped in your own head, and it can seriously dampen your ability to think outside the box. The problem is, you’re so locked into your own perspective that you don’t see more innovative approaches to your problems.[1]

Luckily, jumping over these mental hurdles is simpler than you think. You just need the right strategies to get your flow back.

Try these five practical ways to overcome a mental block.

1. Break Your Project Down

A few years ago, I was working on changing a company product that I believed would hugely benefit our customers. Sounds great, right?

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As inspired as I was to make people’s lives easier, though, the sheer magnitude of the task at hand felt overwhelming. Every morning, I cracked open my laptop to work and felt totally paralyzed. I loved the idea, yes, but actualizing it felt risky. What if it didn’t turn out the way I pictured in my mind? More importantly, where would I even begin?

A former colleague gave me great advice over coffee:

Change how you think. Start by breaking the big project down into small tasks.

When a major project overwhelms you, you only see the entire forest instead of the individual trees. And as you stare it down, you start to feel discouraged by your own lack of progress, thus slowing you down further.

Breaking down a massive task into smaller chunks makes the work feel more manageable. You’ll have multiple clear places to start and end with, which will lend a motivating sense of productivity and mastery to your process. Learn more about it here: The Motivation Flowchart: The Mental Process of Successful People

Think of it as accumulating small wins. When you realize you’re more capable than you have once thought, you’ll develop the momentum and confidence needed to get your big job done little by little.[2]

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2. Change Up Your Scenery

Of course, there’s a time and place for sitting down to get things done. But if you’re experiencing a mental block, switching up your surroundings can make a big difference in your output.

Have you ever noticed how your environment directly impacts your performance and mood?

Your brain associates your physical surroundings with certain feelings and activities. So, if you feel mentally stuck, your mind may need some new sensory stimuli.

During this time in your life, it may not be possible to set up shop at a cafe or move from your cubicle to a conference room, so you may need to think outside the box. If you’re working remotely in a home office, try going to your dining table or couch. If the weather cooperates, sit outside for a bit with your computer or take a walk around the block.

You can also simply rearrange your workspace. Not sure where to begin? Try decluttering. Some studies show that an organized desk enhances productivity.[3]

The point is to stimulate your brain with new sounds and sights. You may find a much-needed dose of inspiration when you work while breathing in the fresh air, listening to city sounds, or staying in the comfort of your own living space.

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3. Do an Unrelated Activity

When it comes to productivity, a bit of distraction isn’t always a bad thing. That’s especially true if your chosen distraction helps you get things done in the long run.

Have you realized how your most creative thoughts tend to bubble up when you’re, say, lying in bed or taking a shower? In their research of the “incubation period,” scientists have discovered that people’s best ideas seem to surface when they aren’t actively trying to solve a problem.[4]

In a 2010 study, participants needed to look for a roommate or new employee based on the profiles that the researchers gave. The people who had a brief “incubation period” — in this case, working on an anagram — consistently made better choices than those who spent more time weighing their options.

If you can’t seem to prime your brain for a project, try doing something completely unrelated to work, such as washing your dishes, working out, or calling a friend. Some experts say finding another low-stake project to work on can help jump-start the creative part of your brain and activate your flow.[5]

The key is to allow your unconscious mind to do its best work: eliciting the new knowledge your conscious mind may be ignoring or suppressing.[6]

4. Be Physical

Feeling antsy? When your mind won’t seem to settle into a state of flow, it may help to swap out your mental activity for a physical one and see how it impacts your perspective.

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While any physical activity is beneficial for your body — and getting up to move can serve as a helpful form of distraction — certain forms of exercise can more directly impact the mind. To be specific, relaxing, flow-based exercises like dance, yoga, or tai chi can create a gentle sense of momentum in your body, which can prime your brain for the same state.

Stress-reducing activities may also be necessary. Meditating or taking slow, deep breaths will also calm your nervous system if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Evidence shows that the logical, creative part of your brain essentially shuts off when you’re stressed.[7]

On the flip side, when your mind and body are relaxed, you can think more clearly, be more creative, and focus for longer periods — all of which will help you overcome a mental block.

5. Don’t Force It

It can be frustrating to fight against your own mind. If your mental block won’t go away after some effort, it may be time to take a break. Forcing creative thoughts only adds to your stress levels, which in turn inhibits your ability to think creatively. And if you sit and stare at a project for too long, you’ll not only waste valuable time but also begin to associate this specific work with frustration and produce work you’re not proud of.

“I know that forcing something is not going to create anything beyond mediocre, so I step aside and work on a different project until it hits me,” the artist Ben Skinner said about his creative process.[8]

If your work isn’t time-sensitive, then it may make sense to step away for a while to focus on something else, be it an administrative task that requires less creativity or a project that you feel motivated to work on.

When the time is right, you’ll find your way back to the original task with a fresh, creative perspective (hopefully).

More on Getting Rid of a Mental Block

Featured photo credit: Jonas Leupe via unsplash.com

Reference

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