Doubt your happiness ?

‘Thanks Charlie, I’m back in a fortnight, without the doubt I promise, and we can follow up then, ok by you?’

Ben was away for a well-deserved holiday. Together we’ve put in place a short-term strategy for success, something Ben is more than capable of achieving if only he could lose his doubt.

Stepping out of the shadows of his parents business was hard for him. Finding himself now in charge, the dynamic had changed for him. Ben found all this uncomfortable and he needed to swap those shoes.

Considering his was the successful business of footwear – as a Cordwainer – you’d be right to suggest it shouldn’t be too difficult …

Ben was indeed a ‘worry-guts.’

 

‘The existing clients love mum and dad. What if they don’t like me, Charlie? How do I maintain the relationships, the status-quo in the community? I know not a lot about sales either, what happens if I don’t hit the targets?’

Ben’s expectation of life was scuppering his happiness – it was time for a holiday.

As a young man, unclear about how he should follow in mum and dad’s footsteps, Ben was beset with doubt. You know, the kind of uncertain feelings we all collide with from time to time, for whatever reason.

Ben … I replied, we have the contingency in place – no doubt you and half the population are taking a break this time of year, you have a trusted support staff who know the business. Your only concern should be how to cope with the business of ‘holiday mindset.’

What do you mean?”

When we’re away from site Ben, ‘off the familiar patch,’ life works the magic, releasing the not so important ‘stuff’ enabling us to realise what is most valuable …

Our happiness.

Success Ben, is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.

Take some time, enjoy the holiday and understand that each small step takes you closer to those goals of personal and professional happiness.

Commited. Entrepreneur In or out?

Those in the Network see it daily. Some who have it and some who do not.

Building the business is not simply about ‘showing up,’ it’s more about being there to set course and follow through to destination.

Commitment.

There is no middle road for the commited entrepreneur, see if you recognise some of the following traits …

Those actively seeking leadership and responsibility. Many people need the comfort of following, rather than leading. Why? Because when things go wrong, it’s easier to point toward someone else. As an entrepreneur, the promises colleagues make on your behalf are your own. You need to be ready to accept that “the buck stops here” and act on the promises.

Those who exhibit surging raw ambition. Successful entrepreneurs are generally ambitious and confident in their abilities. They may have many ideas, some being more workable than others. Failure is viewed as a learning opportunity, so it’s no real disaster that some of these ideas don’t actually make the starting line first time ’round.

Minimum positive feedback required!  Yes, it’s lonely at the top. If your psyche is one that needs regular plaudits and the corresponding reward to stay motivated, you need to find a real job rather than an entrepreneurial one.

Social life is not top of the list. Unable to clear your head after a day at the front line? That’s commited. Social relationships are important sure, and you need to switch off from time to time, but if social is your priority, then you probably won’t enjoy the ride as entrepreneur.

Being comfortable with out of hours working. Some of us, perhaps those with family to support, or simply in need of peace of mind require a predictable lifestyle. Entrepreneurs learn to be flexible, they anticipate longer working hours. If you are dismayed rather than exhilarated at the amount of attention required to consolidate the business, you may be involved but not commited.

Holidays just get in the way. Most entrepreneurs I know can’t remember the last time they had a “proper” holiday (without bringing their work along.) OK, this may not appear healthy to some but it illustrates the level of commitment required to compete, to ‘exist’ in the marketplace. Those insistent on holidays “without checking in,” need go and work for a big company offering the holiday loading.

Ever thought about retirement? Surely most people involved with startups work hard, but are they simply looking toward retirement? Not so the commited entrepreneur, they wouldn’t think of retiring, even if they’ve made a fortune from the current project. The true entrepreneur enjoys the business too much to put the feet up and can’t wait to start their next venture!

Next time you meet someone with the urge to chuck the ‘day job,’ to live the dream of being their own boss, offer them a selection (or all) of the above points. See how commited they really are … before they take the leap of faith.

Circle or Square?

Who’s happy? I asked.

‘I just seem to keep heading in circles,’ came the shout from the back of the room.

‘Great’ I said.

‘I don’t feel as if I’m achieving though, I feel I’m doing all the right things, for very little reward.’

‘Widen the circle perhaps, maybe you’ve become stuck in a corner?’ I replied.

‘Try knocking a couple of corners off here and there. I continued. We all need help with ‘the path’ at times, support in clearing the obstacles in the way of progress.’

‘I like to think circles. Ever decreasing circles, moving in circles through the business practice, as we maintain the flow, the awareness of what is to be achieved, those small rewards we offer ourselves and within our circle the vision of the path we’re heading toward – the end game is always in sight.’

‘Whaa … ?’ Came the reply as the room fell silent.

‘Think about it, just for a minute.’

‘Think circles. As business owners we have many different tasks and projects to accomplish at any given time and keeping focused on where we should be spending most energy can often be a struggle, more so with today’s eternal distractions.’

‘By thinking circle, a starting point within a given circumference we flow, we’re not held up, were avoiding seeing distractions, obstacles to our destination, we’re hitting the target(s) and flowing. Seamless business is, after all, better business.’

If you’re feeling lost, like minded friends can help. Effective networks offer support going forward, business connections working together offer vision, after all, that’s why were networking … think circles, don’t get stuck in ‘squares’ by overlooking the resources within the network.

So if you cannot get help within your circle? Let’s increase those connections.