6 Entrepreneur Lessons To Help You Kickstart Your 2013!

Authentic Entrepreneurship is about being connected to WHO you are and WHY that lies behind your purpose.

2012 has been a year, when i have wrestled with this notion and have come out the other side, ready to embrace the challenges that life throws at me. I can honestly say that i have never been so clearer about what i do and why i do it, but that in itself, creates its own challenges…

I genuinely believe, that we are all destined to make a mark in this world, in your environment, in your community, on your street or wherever you have some influence. But it is having the courage to take the actions that are needed, which sets those who achieve and those who dream, apart! As entrepreneurs, it is easy to have a ‘me against the world’ mentality, but with the dust settles, we all need support and we all need to learn from what life teaches us even if we do not want to be taught those lessons!

This year, I have actively sought these lessons and have made a concerted effort to understand what they mean to me, in my life..and what i have learnt, has helped me to create change in the lives of others. But as i move into 2013, it is clear that i still have a long entrepreneurial journey ahead, which i am fine with!

As we enter into 2013, let me share with you the six major lessons, that I have been taught in 2012 – I hope they help you, in some way:

1) The only constant in life is change – What is now, with not always be, so any plans, strategies must have a degree of flexibility in them to adapt to the changes that will occur, otherwise you simply remain stagnant and are in fact, going backwards in the fullness of time.

2) Embrace your enemies – forget that saying ‘keep your enemies close but your enemies closer’ – it breeds contempt, hate and bitterness. Learn to embrace your enemies for you have a chance to educate them, or teach them the lesson that stops them being an enemy. However, this lesson goes hand in hand with the next one on my list..

3) Don’t allow your kindness, to be your weakness – even as you embrace your enemies, always operate from the position of your values and standards. That way, you have your own benchmark to gauge your progress, impact and level of relationships with others.

4) Plan, to reflect – setting goals is important, meeting them is key. But aim to be in a position to reflect on what you have achieved in 12  months, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years time etc – from a mindset perspective, it helps you to focus past your goal, but having achieved it automatically!

5) Be clear and honest about your why – people will say they did not understand you, if your message has not been communicated clearly. Eliminate the possibility of not understanding, by being very clear and honest on the WHY of your message. Your WHY is the driver for all that you do, so live and operate by it!

6) Worry less, Do more – Action is the key to success! If you are someone who worries too much about what may happen, then remember to implement my tip number 1 (see above), because by the time you take action, it’s all changed anyway…but at least, you are prepared for it!

Thank you being part of my 2012 and hope to connect with you more in 2013!

Till the next time, J

Your Purpose Lies In Transition

At this time of year, one of two things tend to happen.

You either spend too much time reflecting on all that you have achieved or missed out on in the past 12 months, or you feel a little apprehensive about what you will achieve, in the next 12 months!

The balance lies in appreciating the lessons that you have learnt, through the experiences that you have been involved in – you approach to life has a peculiar way of challenging your habitual mind and ways of working, at times of transition.

However, it is in those times that you learn most about yourself and your relationships with others – this year, I’ve learn’t that the real truth about the world of business, is that it is one of illusions, where what you see and hear may not be what is fact and it is important that you keep close to your values and the standards that you uphold, as both a person and a business – that is what makes you unique, special and makes all the difference when the shit hits the fan!

When opportunities arise, it is ok to evaluate them and to consider their merits. But it is also important to compare those opportunities, with your values and standards, so that conflict on all sides is assessed effectively. Things change, people change, but you must remain steadfast in your foundation principles and reason.

This is important, because some people will always have something to say and often it is without a real understanding of the facts, others may have opinions that are based on their own interpretation – you have the right to defend yourself, but do this from a place of congruency and personal integrity, rather than aggression or retaliation.

Worst thing is that, you can take it all too personal and it starts to affect how you see yourself..

In the last 12 months, I have felt that i have truly embraced who i am – from being a geeky, brown NHS glasses kid in infant and junior school, to being the academic loner / wannabe ‘bad boy’ in secondary school, to being the factory worker on £2.40 an hour, to 9-5 corporate guy, to now a husband, father, award-winning entrepreneur and friend, I truly love me and it has been a hell of a ride!

In the DEN, we focus on that fact it takes time to accept both your strengths and weaknesses as a person and I have been guilty of trying to mask what I need to work on, by focussing on what I am good at – the last 12 months have taught me, that we can create real positive change in the lives of others ( and that in itself, is the legacy I will leave, when it is my time to walk through the pearly gates) if we learn to appreciate and understand ourselves more, with all the good AND bad points!

What you leave behind for the those coming after you, is such an important factor that it easy to forget, as we strive to work on our purpose. But we can all do something, be somebody, create change for others in ways that were once unimaginable…but possible, if you REALLY want to do so!

What can you do TODAY that can help somebody else in their lives? What can you say, do, offer, provide, sell, exchange, or simply GIVE, right now? To whom?

Till the next time,

J

Final six steps to Get Your LIfe In Balance

In the past four blogs in this series, I have mentioned a number of key tips to help you get your life in balance.

In this final blog, I will share with you the final six steps, so that you have the full 12, to help you on your own entrepreneurial journey!

I guess the simple thing to consider, with all these steps, is that entrepreneurship is a way of thinking NOT just the fact that you have started a business…yes, it may sound controversial but it is a myth that entrepreneurship is about having a business that you started from scratch, of living the high life, of creating massive change.

Those things are part of the journey, but not the sole destination that you should focus on.

The human species has evolved through entrepreneurship. The way in which we make decisions, create difference, our very approach to life is built upon creativity and innovation – that is the very essence of survival, of life itself!

What I have tried to do in this blog series, is highlight the fundamental steps that I feel, have underpinned this personal/business balance that we all strive to achieve. Admittedly, they are based on my own experiences, but they have held me ( and others that in my network) in good stead.

So..here are the final 6 ( yes, you have to go and read my other blogs, to remind yourself of what the other six were 🙂

STEP 7. LOVE YOUR FRENEMIES

Trust is a such an important thing in life. That is why it is important to know who is really in your corner and who is not. People tend to reveal themselves when the brown stuff hits the fan…the secret is to know the difference between who these people are and love them all the same.

Hatred and vengeance eats away at your soul, but so does ignorance through perceived trust.

STEP 8. ENSURE YOU HAVE AN AUTHENTIC REPUTATION

People will say what they wish. Don’t give the ammunition to say what you do not wish them to say. Your reputation can influence how people who do not even know you, may perceive you, react to you and the limit your access to the opportunities that lie ahead.

Be the authentic you and allow your true reputation to evolve, naturally.

STEP 9. HAVE A LASER LIKE FOCUS

Stop trying to be a jack of all trades. The more you focus on what you want, the closer you are to getting it. Focus allows you to cut off the things that are not aligned to your end goal and attract the things that are. End off.

STEP 10. PLAY THE CARDS THAT YOU ARE DEALT

The most valuable things that life can teach you, are often found in the circumstances, the situations, the places of negativity that you occasionally find yourself in. The cards that life deals you, are the very ones that you must use to play the game of life – you may never get the perfect hand, so aim to play the best game you can with whatever you have….remember, there are always people who are worse off than you, so stay humble and appreciate whatever you do have!

STEP 11. DEFINE WHAT SUCCESS MEANS TO YOU

Success is relative to you. Don’t live by other people’s definition of success, because you will never truly feel why that is so important to them. Make success something you own, by linking it to your purpose – it is just my opinion, but helping someone else smile, can equate to be being able to buy the Ferrari, or that house or having all those ‘000’s in the bank…but the smile is more priceless 🙂

No, I don’t have a Ferrari…

STEP 12. SEPARATE YOUR WHAT FROM YOUR WHY

Your why is your purpose. Your why is the reason you embarked on this challenging yet rewarding entrepreneurial journey.

Live by and for your why. That is what separates you from others and will give you the power to exceed your own expectations.

I hope my 12 steps get you thinking but more importantly, help you to take the actions that you need to get your life in balance – why not join us in the DEN at http://www.denmembersclub.co.uk and maybe create your own steps too?

Till the next time,

J

@joelblakeAGP
Email: info@denmembersclub.co.uk