One of the hardest things to recognise as an entrepreneur, is when YOU are the reason why your business is not moving forward.
Sounds harsh, but it is true!
As the architect of your vision and the source of the solution to the problem you wish to solve, it is natural and correct to put in the hard work needed, to make it happen!
But, this can also be the very reason why you can also become the blockage. Your passion can blind you from the reality of where your business is at, if you do not have the self-awareness to see that all may not be well, or there is much more for you to do.
As a current member of the free Birmingham ESpark Programme, a fantastic accelerator programme who are currently recruiting, I have found myself in this position.
Nearly 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur is great, but i must say that this programme makes you realise that you have not prepared you for the mental, and spiritual shift that it takes to go from someone who (I think!) has done and is doing good things, to someone who is about to #GoDo monumental game-changing things!
I realise that it is easy to become conditioned by your experiences to date, both good and bad, whether you won’t to be or not. It is also easy to assume that you can separate emotion from logic on the spin of a penny!
So how do you learn to ‘get out of your own way’ to open up the opportunities to maximise your potential, as an entrepreneur?
Lose the ego – contrary to popular belief, ego is not a bad thing. According to the Oxford Dictionary, ego means ‘A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance’ – as an entrepreneur, self-esteem is essential to succeed; if you don’t believe in yourself and your idea, then why should anyone else?
But at the same time, you need to be self-aware enough to know when you are allowing your emotions (based on how you view yourself) to tip the balance towards resulting actions that have a negative impact on the business i.e. I have great time management skills, so I’ll do it later…sound familiar?
Embrace vulnerability – linked to ego, vulnerability is often seen as a negative quality. Your ego can encourage you to believe, that vulnerability makes you weak and ineffective.
The reality is that acknowledging vulnerability breeds humility – an acceptance of what you can do, and what you may need to improve on.
As an entrepreneur, this is key to identifying the areas where you need support from others i.e roles that others are better at doing than you are / they enjoy more, guidance and the benefit from the experience of others such as mentors etc.
Speak to yourself, properly – what happens if you tell yourself, ” I can’t do it, it’s too hard for me, why I am i so stupid?” You start to believe it.
If you tell yourself “I will find a way to..,…I have the potential to achieve ANYTHING I put my mind too!” You start to believe this too!
The brain has a wonderful way of believing what you tell it to believe. The body has a wonderful way of acting in the way that your brain believes and tells it to do. So be mindful of what you say to yourself.
Your thoughts create feelings. Your feelings create actions. Your actions give you the results you deserve.
So think positive…and get out of your way, today!
Joel is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and consultant for the professional services sector and universities.
He brings a reality check to the journey of being an entrepreneur, and helps organisations to integrate entrepreneurial thinking into their board level diversity, commercial and CSR strategies.
Amongst other awards, in 2015 Joel was voted as one of the Maserati 100 Top UK Entrepreneurs, for his work in giving back to others.
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