My Entrepreneur Mindset

Growing up I remember I had a bookmark with a unicorn on it and underneath it said, anything is possible, if only you believe. I asked my grandmother what it meant, and she told me, it means if you believe in something, then it will happen. I looked at her and said, so if I believe I will be a singer like Madonna, I will be?

You see growing up, I loved to sing, to dance, to perform in front of my family. Sunday dinners ended with me performing the routine I choreographed while the adults drank their coffee upstairs. I even created a makeshift stage and set out the metal folding chairs for my audience. I was a little girl putting my imagination to work and I was my own biggest fan.

Naturally when my mother heard about the call for auditions for the musical Annie, she knew it was right up my alley. Only when my number was called, I stood up on the stage in front of about 20 people and could barely even whisper my lines. Imagine 20 people total, not 20 thousand! Here was my chance to execute my dream of being up on stage, performing like all of my favorite celebrities. Yet, I couldn’t get out of my own way. I was scared, and even at 11 or 12 years old, I was fully aware that my performance up on stage would result in a judgment. Either the panel would like my audition or they wouldn’t. So instead of giving them the opportunity to decide, I made the decision for them by performing below the standard I knew they wanted. I wasn’t conscious of this at the time of course, but after further reflection as an adult, I realized the power of this experience. I wasn’t afraid of succeeding; I was afraid of failing. And to top it all off, I knew my mother was disappointed in my performance. With a pit in my stomach I felt I failed her, and that meant more to me than failing myself. At 12 years old I cared more about getting her approval and validation, and so continued my teenage and early adult years filled with people pleasing and seeking external validation. Sound familiar?

That was UNTIL…

I figured all this shit out. LOL And I didn’t figure it out on my own, I’ve been blessed with wonderful mentors throughout my life that have pointed out these patterns. And don’t get me wrong, there are STILL times when I find myself caught up in what others think or I start pursuing something I know is more important to someone else other than myself. But to be a successful entrepreneur there’s far less time for everyone else. You’re working for yourself, and at the end of the day the only person who matters is you. Thankfully, I figured out how to turn the center of my process from being externally focused to being internally focused. Hopefully this list is helpful to your process.

  1. As an entrepreneur we have to take responsibility for our work or lack thereof, which is the only way we can continue to move on. The longer we “pretend” things are not what they actually are, the more we start to believe the fantasy we’ve created. Face yourself in the mirror, take the emotion out of it, own it and move on. We cannot blame anyone or anything for the ultimate outcome, because as entrepreneurs what we are constantly perfecting is our craft.
  2. As an entrepreneur, you set your own pace. As much as this feels liberating, it can also feel like a lot of pressure. Be smart and strategic with your goals. In addition to setting your goal, write down the daily and weekly activities it will take to achieve your goal. This provides direction and the action plan that needs to be executed. Then you must commit to the action plan. This means embodying the discipline necessary to get the work done without having someone else telling you to do it.
  3. So many things happen beyond our control, yet with an entrepreneurial mindset, we accept what we cannot control and we use our problem solving skills, our creativity and ultimately our belief in ourselves to manage the things we can control. We know for every problem or conflict, there is always a solution. Spending time complaining and wasting energy on negativity takes away from the opportunity to create a better situation.
  4. There is so much experience between success and failure. Let’s apply the 80/20 rule to success and failure. In every experience there’s 80% celebration and there’s 20% for room to grow. How might you take your success to the next level next time? How might you build upon the success you’ve created? Nothing is a complete failure. Reframe it to 20% circumstance and emotion and 80% of an opportunity to identify skills to master or details to better prepare for the future. The 20% is the things we can’t control and the 80% is figuring out a better way of dealing with the things we can control.
  5. Finally, every entrepreneur must have a daily self-care routine. This is essential to keeping your attitude positive. The routine shall include activities like saying positive affirmations aloud, reading on topics like self-improvement, entrepreneurship and/or leadership, journaling, visualization, exercise, meditation, spending time outdoors, yoga, and listening to podcasts or audio trainings. Basically, think about the activities that put the pep in your step and get your creative juices flowing. Those are the things you should incorporate into your daily routine to ensure the best mindset to approach your work.

Success is all about mindset.

I’d love to hear your feedback. Please comment or send me an email!

-h.

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