When we first take the leap to become self employed, we often have a vision that we’re going to change our lives and the world, yet the reality for most of us is that we’re buying a job (and one that may not pay nearly as much as being an employee would!)
We have high hopes for ourselves and our little business and we are full of anticipation, excitement and passion. Our drive gets us up each morning and inspires us to continue along our path to success.
We have no idea what we don’t know — which is probably a good thing — because it’s not usually as easy a journey as we think it’s going to be.
My husband recalls how excited I was way back in 1996 when I started my first business. I started it in an industry I knew nothing about. However, I was excited because this industry — the incentive industry — was a perfect fit for my beliefs about treating people well, win/win relationships and my passion for travelling in luxury!
My motivation to take the leap to become self-employed, was to have freedom to do what I wanted, to be near my children and to build something so I could retire young and wealthy!
That first year was a blast as I was on maternity leave when I started my business — so I was bringing home some money. I was also blessed with a very mellow child — one who didn’t mind amusing herself while I worked. After maternity leave was over, I reluctantly went back to work. However, I was able to go back in a job-share situation — which meant I worked 2 days one week and 3 days the next. It was perfect for easing out of my “employee role” while learning the ropes of this new business in this new industry.
BTW, I don’t recommend teaching yourself the ins and outs of a new industry as a new entrepreneur unless you have a really good risk tolerance, financial cushion, strong support network and an unwavering belief in yourself.
I was thrilled when the opportunity to get a buy-out was presented about 2 years after I had started my business. By this time I was sure this was the right industry for me and I was sure I didn’t want to work for that company any more.
So when I took the leap with both feet into the world of being my own boss, I had a toddler, a child in school and a buy-out package. Also, because I had been laid-off, I was able to apply for to be part of a federal program where I would receive unemployment benefits while I was getting my business off the ground. I had essentially bought myself a job — just like most other entrepreneurs.
In the past 20 years, I’ve learned there is an easy way to do things and a hard way and I tended to do things the hard way, which gives me all sorts of stories when I teach!
I’ve gone down many paths along the way — some of them were great, others weren’t. However, even when things didn’t work out, the lessons ended up serving me.
Changing the world, living your dream, achieving success and leaving a legacy are challenging and the sad reality is that most entrepreneurs fail.
If you are just starting out and you’d like to avoid some of the pitfalls, I recommend following what we teach and joining us in the Enlightened Capitalist™ community. In this community you will learn how to create a business which transforms lives — yours and those around you.
During your Entrepreneur Journey, you, as the business leader, will be challenged in ways you’ve never been challenged before. You’ll have amazing successes and sleepless nights. You’ll constantly be learning. You’ll have to learn very quickly who to trust and who to stay away from. You’ll have to protect your business from those who try to destroy it. You’ll do soul searching along the way. You’ll have great days too and — fingers crossed — you’ll be one of the minority of entrpreneurs who survive and thrive throughout your journey.
Stage 6 of the Entrepreneur’s Journey is Higher Purpose
Traditionally, entrepreneurs spend years getting to the Freedom Stage (stage 5) and then they start to consider their legacy and higher purpose. Enlightened Capitalists™ do things differently. They start with the end in mind and they create and grow their business with a higher purpose which aligns with their personal higher purpose. By doing so, not only do you build the purpose into your business DNA but you’ll have more of an impact. You’ll also eliminate Stage 6 because you’ve been working on it all along.
How do you stay motivated during your Entrepreneur Journey?
When you first start out there is so much to learn and some days it’s overwhelming. Even with an unwavering belief in yourself, you’ll still be asking, “Am I doing this right?”, “How do I do this better?”, “Why is this so difficult?” “How can I make a leap?” and so on.
Obviously, you need a great deal of intrinsic motivation to keep going when the going gets tough. You need to have a very strong “Why” to keep you going. You need to believe in yourself and your purpose.
While optimism is necessary, so is practicality. If the market isn’t buying what you are selling you need to make changes.
It also helps to have a great support network. When I first started, my husband was my sole support — now I have many people who support me and my work.
I strongly suggest that you look outside your immediate friends and family circle to get a fresh perspective. Sometimes friends and family are too kind, when what you really need is useful and constructive criticism and suggestions.
I also celebrate a lot! I celebrate when I solve a problem. I celebrate when I finish a task. I celebrate when I sign a contract and I really celebrate when I make a sale. These celebrations varied (and still vary) in scope and size but I am sure to include those who help me along the way.
I also give myself goals and rewards to keep me going. For me the reward usually includes some form of travel and entertainment. In fact, it is these rewards — the carrots I give myself — which keep me going when I want to stop.
If you are having difficulty with your own motivation, consider ways to incorporate your strategic plan and your goals with rewards and celebration.
If you are still having difficulty with your own motivation, check out the Quadruplets of Discontent. Perhaps one of them is messing with your success.
Finally, if you are still struggling with your own motivation after trying these suggestions, perhaps your intuition is telling you to make some changes. Spend time exploring what these could / should be.
To ease your Entrepreneur Journey you need a few things that I didn’t realize were important when I started out.
You need a framework, systems, Impact Performance Measures, great employees and/or outsourcers, mostly “A” List customers, excellent mentors, teachers and professionals along with a valuable product, service and experience mixture which solves problems for a market which is big enough to support your dreams.
You need to be different — in a good way — with high-value products, services and experiences which are delivered better than your competition.
You need to have the 5 new P’s to marketing down pat.
You need to be able to sell…
… but before all of this, you need to start with YOU, the person, and you the Professional, if you intend to become a successful Enlightened Capitalist™ with a platform which makes a positive impact on the lives of others and our planet.
Your Entrepreneur Journey starts with knowing yourself
- What do you want?
- What are your passions?
- What is your vision?
- What is your WHY? and is it strong enough to keep you going during the tough times?
- What are your core values?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses (personality, attitude, skills, experiences and perspective included)?
- What resources can you tap into?
- What does your ideal day in your ideal lifestyle look like?
Our role is to guide you on your Entrepreneur Journey
My personal purpose is that I’ve been Chosen to Reinvent Lives Globally.
The purpose and higher purpose of my brands is to Reinvent Business to Transform Lives.
My vision includes changing the dialogue about how business is conducted. As the leader, I am passionate about bringing humanity back to business by tapping into the desires and potential of people so that they willingly support the purpose, vision, core values, strategy and goals of the business. With engaged people profit increases and it’s that profit (or a percentage of it) which transforms lives.
I’m leading a movement to bring Enlightened Capitalist™ concepts to the mainstream. Our planet, our economy, our communities and we, personally, need this to happen sooner rather than later. Join us…
Continue Reading the Second Stage of the Entrepreneur’s Journey