this post is the confession of someone who has been in business for a few years.
Have you wondered how to be a successsul entrepreneur? Have you been breaking your head at the search of THE ONE thing that will carry you on your entrepreneurial journey?
You do not have to read the whole post. There will be no attempt to keep you on this page longer than necessary. I will give it to you straight.
However, I recommend you read the entire post to understand how often this simple principle, that I am going to reveal to you now, applies to your daily business.
Here it is:
It is the only thing you WANT to EMBRACE. It is the only thing you WANT to learn to live with. It is the only thing you WANT to radiate.
The . ONLY . thing . that . is . constant . in . your . life . is . CHANGE.
What does this mean for your business? Most importantly how does it help you grow your business?
Here are a few implications of the principle of change. I do not mean to provide an exhaustive list of implications. Simply because CHANGE, as LIFE is a broad concept. But, understanding the following three implications will help you most.
1) ALWAYS START BEFORE YOU ARE READY.
This is a beautiful principle I have learned from MarieForleo.
Whatever step of your business you are at, you´ve got to dive in and see what happens.
It does not mean that you start things unprepared. Nevertheless, for everything that is keeping you from starting, ask yourself the following questions:
– Is it true that I need (write down what is holding you back) before I start?
– Is it necessary that I take or have (write down what is holding you back) before I start?
– If I do not take or have (write down what is holding you back) NOW, will that truly endanger my business success?
You might still feel that you have to be better prepared after you´ve answered the above questions.
Then, consider that many ideas sound glorious when you keep them at the idea-stage.
That is why diving in is so important. Proven adjustments can only be made once you are on the field.
2) WHAT IS TRUE TODAY MIGHT NOT BE TRUE TOMORROW.
As an entrepreneur it serves you to know that you don´t know anything. Be open and flexible toward novelty. Be willing to always ask yourself “what can I learn today from this situation?” even if apparently you have been in that same situation several times before.
A solution that never worked in the past may work today. Was has always worked so far, might not work anymore today.
You wonder why? Because, the only important moment is NOW.
Your understanding changes while you grow in your business. So does life around you. Take technology alone as an example.
The barriers you experienced yesterday, are easy situations tomorrow. What seemed impossible yesterday is peanut today. At the same time, the things that always seemed to work might suddenly stop working. That is your opportunity to grow, to step out of your comfort zone. It is as simple as that. (It is challenging but simple).
3) THE MOST CHANGING VARIABLE OF ALL IS YOU.
That is if you open up and embrace your journey. You will grow tremendously. If everything was always the same, you would be born a baby and you would have stayed a baby. How does that idea make you feel?
Have you ever observed a growing kid? Have you seen how kids learn to walk? First you are always in somebody´s arm or lying somewhere. You can not make any move from a place to another alone. Then, you learn to scrawl. Oh, how much joy and emotion your surrounding shows. When you are ready to walk, you do one careful step at a time until you do not need to be careful anymore. Then one day you fall down big time while running. And you become careful again. Until again, you forget to be careful. But, how did you start walking? Did you refuse to walk before you were sure how exactly it will feel to walk right? Certainly not.
You started although you had no idea how it will feel to stand on your own feet. When you observe children learning to walk, some of them are surprised the first time they stand. When they make a step they fall back on their buts. Do they refuse to ever walk again? Certainly not. They try it another time. And another. Until they can make several steps without falling. Even then they walk funny. One day they get into their own rhythm and walk elegantly.
Starting a business is the same. You can not expect to start and walk tall and elegantly right on your first day. Yet, without the insecure first steps, you will not learn to walk elegantly either.
The more you grow the more you need to take care of yourself. Many entrepreneurs start their business and work as if they were employees. You work non stop everyday. Because the breaks are not regulated the way they are in the life of an employee, you forget to nurture the most valuable asset of your business: YOU.
Furthermore, as an entrepreneur you decide where the journey goes; how you want to grow and where you want to take yourself. The dream is unlimited. Keeping yourself at the same level as 10 years ago endangers your business success. You have to:
– Learn to nurture yourself
– Invest in your personal and business growth
– Invest time in the people who love and care for you and carry you on the way.
Part of that learning is accepting to change your mind. You will learn to let go of ideas, concepts, beliefs…that do not serve you. You will learn to confront others with the changing you. You will learn to say no; oh yes you will.
Here are a few typical examples for beginners. If you are doing these things, you might be hiding from the unknown. Apply the principle that “change will come” to free yourself from your fears.
Example A: hiding behind the website!
Let´s say, you are a coach. You´ve never had a conversation with a single potential client. However you spend your whole time designing your perfect website.
How embracing change can help you? I´d say for the beginning, getting into conversation with potential clients should be your priority. It helps you feel the job. Maybe you hate being a coach after 100 conversations. Things change. And it is okay. Building the “perfect” website only, will not help you find out whether you love coaching. Coaching conversations with real potential clients will help you.
What if you haven´t decided yet who your potential clients are? Well, then you better get started having conversations with real people to figure out whom you want to work with.
You might think that the website helps you find clients. My answer is quick and dirty: coaching is personal.
Clients want a powerful conversation. Meet people and talk to them in person instead of hiding behind your website.
Unless you are starting an online business, a full website is not a priority. If you want to be found online, you can have a landing page, an about-me page, a blog page…etc, where you display who you are, what you do and why you do it. And, of course your contact details. That does not take months to set up.
From now one, know that, if your website is keeping you from starting, although you are not an online business, then you are lying to your self. Period.
Example B: Hiding behind the business cards.
Have you already skipped a great networking event because you do not have your business cards yet? This one is a big bullshit.
How embracing change can help you? Get simple cards with your name and your contact details. You have something to show while figuring out what else you want to put on the business cards. Nobody will sue you because you changed your business cards every now and then.
You cards did not arrive in time? Go to the event and ask your prospects for their cards. You´ve got to always take the cards of the people you are interested in anyway. What if they don´t have cards either? Always bring a pen and paper for those cases. Business cards are great to have. However, you can still make valuable contacts without having cards. Read my post related to “Networking events” here for more hints.
Example C: I am not sure whether the concept will work
How embracing change can help you? There is no better way to find out than to try. If it doesn´t work you will find another way, when the time comes.
Seriously, I often doubted whether anyone will read any of my posts. And yes, it did prevent me from writing blog posts for a long time. I played with the idea of taking a writing course before I start. I also wasn´t sure whether I am capable of writing in english (which is not my mother tongue). But, you know what? I decided 2 months ago to just start. My first post was a book recommendation. I only found out, that what I am writing can help others, once I started to publish my posts. A lady from Canada posted a comment on one of my posts last week. I was speechless. For her to do that, I had to write and publish the post. You will never know until you try.
Example D: Hiding behind the fact that you do not have the financial resources to do something as big as You want
How embracing change can help you?
You´ve got to start somewhere. And I know nobody who started his entrepreneurial career as a “worldwide very well know, life empowering, leading magma with a net worth of a couple of millions”. You´ve got to start somewhere. Didn´t Jessica Herrin start her jewelry business in her living room? Now she is at the head of a billion $ company. Didn´t Steve Job start in his garage? Now we all walk around with Macs. What if they all waited for the financial resources necessary for them to have nice offices and all raw materials? The world would not have heard about their genius.
The only thing that needs to be big is your vision and your commitment to it.
Example E: Hiding behind the fact that you can not hire the team you need for your business
How embracing change can help you? Start by finding the first person you´d like to team up with. Get started. Your results will appeal to others who will join. Soon, you will be choosing from a bunch of interesting people, who gets to work on your project. If not, you might have learned how much you need to improve your ability to work in a team:-)
Example F: Last in this post – but the list is not exhaustive-: Hiding behind the fact that you will not know upfront how much you make monthly.
How embracing change can help you? Indeed, there is no guarantee on that one. The same there is no guarantee on any of the things above. That´s life. If your drive is fierce enough and you want to be an entrepreneur, then you will have to live with the uncertainty. For your information, employees are in the same boat. They also actually have NO guarantee. If the company they work for is bankrupt tomorrow, they are out. There are some social securities but the “perceived” guarantee is fake.
And it goes on and on.
NOW It´s YOUR TURN
Can you relate to any of the situations described in the examples? Share one of the biggest changes in your business in the comments. I can´t wait to hear from you.
If you are looking for more ideas on How to Master Change in Your Life I can highly recommend the book “How to Master Change in Your Life: Sixty-seven Ways to Handle Life’s Toughest Moments” by Mary Carroll-Moore