You followed your heart. You turned your passion into your mission. Your fear of regret superseded your fear of going for it. You’ve worked hard, but the success you desire didn’t arrive on schedule. You’ve had achievements, followed gurus, and kept your dream alive through sheer tenacity and a determination not to return to the hamster wheel from which you jumped.
You’re exhilarated at the thought of being your own boss, working alongside your dog, and not punching a time clock. What you may not have known about entrepreneurship is that, like raising kids, there are ups and downs, overwhelm and excitement, pain and joy. You’ll think you’re doing it wrong most of the time, while secretly hoping you’re getting some of it right. You’ll want to quit. To all those statements, I can say, me too.
Here’s 10 ways to change your game and get it right:
1. Refine and release your product offering
Your business isn’t just about what you’re selling and what problem it’s solving. Focus on what gives your life meaning and how what your offering represents that. You’re selling your story, not your product or service. And, if you’re stuck in the pondering, refining, revising, rewriting, or redesigning stage, move forward. Get a good, not perfect, product out there. Rinse and repeat. Done is better than perfect unless you’re engineering heart valves or knee replacements.
2. Build your brand from your heart, not your head
If no one knows who you are, where to find you or what you do, they can’t buy from you. A legitimate problem but easily solvable. The step that matters most to your bottom line, however, is incorporating bits of your journey and soul, not just your expertise. Focus on being resonant. A great brand builds relationships and relationships are why buyers choose you over and over.
3. Determine if you have a fear of failure, a fear of success or both
You are probably clear on fear of failure- the hesitancy that comes with the fact that what you’re doing might not work out and could be painful to you and your bank account. What you may be less familiar with is a fear of success, that can be equally paralyzing because you have deep-seated worries about how your life will change if your business really takes off.
You might be disappointed that you haven’t reached your goals, but you are comfortable with the familiarity of how your life is now. Fear of success is released the same way as fear of failure. Ask yourself three questions. What’s the worst that can happen if I’m successful? Can I handle it? And, what’s the best that can happen? Then choose comfortable and familiar or success.
“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.” -Karl Augustus Menninger
When you link your service to your story, you can easily talk to everyone all the time about what you do without sounding coercive or salesy. If you want to be successful, you have to be the mayor. Fake being outgoing until you’re outgoing. You may have held back because hustling sounds icky. You may also have mistakenly thought you were hustling when you weren’t!
If you work all the time but aren’t getting where you want to go, you may be doing more of what’s comfortable rather than what works. Give your inner badass entrepreneur a hustler nickname and embrace that part of you that knows you’re in business to make money as well as making the planet a better place.
5. Focus on what you don’t do well but desperately need
If you’re spending all your time becoming more of an expert at what you do, chasing more credentials and living in the comfort zone, but you’re neglecting marketing, strategic planning, competitive analysis or some other part of your business, success will continue to elude you. Instead of listening to Ted talks and reading journal articles in your field, focus on the major players in a business like Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, and Gary Vaynerchuk and everyone they interview.
6. Focus on the small goals on the way to the big dream
I love dreaming big, like focusing on becoming a NY Times best-selling author. That goal is definitely on my vision board but so is to finish writing the book and get it published. That’s a simple example but overlooking consistent, focused small steps while affirming the big goal will not get you where you want to go. Don’t focus on a net income of $2 million when, immediately, you need to focus on making enough money to keep you out of a day job.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” -Jim Rohn
7. Make “I can” your new motto. Banish “I can’t” from your vocabulary
It’s rarely true anyway. You can say: I don’t know how, I’m working on it, and I need to figure it out, which all imply that there is a solution to be had. I can’t is final and permits you to quit. I can, not only psychologically primes your brain to find a solution, it switches your thoughts from a fixed to a growth mindset.
Related Post: How to never give up on becoming an entrepreneur
8. Ask for help
It’s easy to slip into excuses, like “everyone’s busy”, “you have to pay people to help you” and “why would so and so want to help me”. It’s a risk to ask for assistance. However, wishing, wanting and hoping what you need magically appears succeeds far less often than asking for it. The answer will either be a yes or a no, and either is ok. Don’t take it personally. As Jack Canfield says, every no brings you closer to a yes. Be sure to show or tell them why they want to help you and offer to assist them in return.
9. Know your role models
Don’t reinvent the wheel because wheels exist. Find who’s doing what you want to do, be and have. Study them, contact them, and do what they did. For work, life and relationships- know your role models. And keep it in perspective. Your big goal may be that your mentors become your friends but you need them to be your mentors first.
Related Post: 8 Obvious signs you were built for entrepreneurship
10. Enlist a support team
You need your cheerleaders and tough lovers. These are people who will provide unbiased support- celebrating the victories, cheering you through the difficulties and asking the tough questions that help you win big. They brainstorm solutions and provide a much-needed connection for the SOULpreneur.
Most of the success is mental, not mechanics, but these steps cover both, require no financial investment, and you can start on them today. As mega fitness superstar, Shaun T says, “Let’s goooo!”
What gets you excited? Comment below!