Hey, hey everyone. I know some of you may be wondering if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Perhaps you think because you do not have a fancy office space, or ten thousand followers on Facebook or Instagram you may not be a tried and true entrepreneur. Perhaps you think you have nothing to trade or no value to give others in exchange for money. Well listen up. I have created my own definition of who an entrepreneur is. Listen and then answer the question for yourself. Are you an entrepreneur?
I am so pleased to feature an interview with my entrepreneurship student Dendrea now an entrepreneur in her own right and founder of Dendrea’s House of Fashion. The interview was gratifying as it is so exciting to see the fruition of my student’s entrepreneurial vision. Here I am in one of Dendrea’s garments.
I am proudly #Caribbean and I have been thinking that there are many of our local sayings that can provide guidance in the #entrepreneurial journey. One good one is “one one full basket”. I am going to interpret that for you as a coach in two ways: saving even little amounts is important and many jobs and multiple streams of income all add up to help create wealth.
Saving even little amounts is important. Sometime we think our monetary goal is too large for us to attain. However, we can only attain more savings when we do just that – save. The key I am learning is to save what you can afford to – that way you do not constantly deplete your savings by dipping into your stash. The important thing is to save something – some amount any amount consistently.
Multiple streams of income all add up to help create wealth. Sometimes as entrepreneurs we get discouraged because we are not landing huge contracts, or the revenue amounts that we thought we would generate we have not. However, it is important to have many revenue generating opportunities in order to fill our income basket. Over time as our businesses grow we will need a bigger basket.
So I logged into my Facebook messages today and I saw an awesome message from my cousin who is away at university. This message is so inspiring and so I thought I would share this little story with you.
Simple question: When difficult times approach you; do you give in to them and let your life go south or do you realize that what you need to overcome the situation is inside you? Story: There was a business executive who was deep in debt and could see no way out as creditors were closing in on him and suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.
Suddenly an old man appeared before him. “I can see that something is troubling you,” he said. After listening to the executive’s woes, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.” He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, “Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time.” Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he came.
The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world! “I can erase my money worries in an instant!” he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought. With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.
Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man. “I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you. He’s always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.” And she led the old man away by the arm. The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him.
Suddenly, he realized that it wasn’t the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his new found self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after. Answer: Everything you need is inside you.
A reality check of sorts. Take a notepad and write down some of the thoughts you’ve had since you woke up or even over the past week. What do you notice? This is an exercise that I have done with new entrepreneurs in coaching workshops. Invariably they tend to have more negative thoughts than positive thoughts. Why? Well the journey of entrepreneurship is challenging and uncertain and so we can be plagued by doubts and fears.
Thoughts though are like energy fields and so negative energy emitted by negative thoughts has a terrible effect on our demeanor, personalities, expectations and faith. We attract negative things and repel all possible positive opportunities and possibilities. You can reprogram your brain to think more positive thoughts and you will attract more positive things.
One good friend of mine once said to me at a low point in my entrepreneurial journey, “why doubt yourself, everyone else is doubting you. Are you really going to join them?” Interesting huh! You can find many books and videos on positive energy and attracting what you want. Here are two of my favorite books:
I also do adore this recording from Earl Nightingale:
Now back to that list that you wrote.
I want you to look at each negative utterance, sentence or thought and remove them AND counteract it with a positive one. You are exceptional and you will do the exceptional if you think thoughts that are positive, forward thinking and full of growth! Thoughts are things.
Do subscribe and share!
I know that you do not want to hear this. Yet, it’s true. I know that when you began your entrepreneurial journey that you just knew that your idea was so great, your passion so palpable, your vision so clear that you would be guaranteed success overnight. Now, I am not saying that overnight success does not exist but not quite like that.
Success may happen overnight. Yesterday you had 100 views – today 10,000. Guess what though? It took a whole bunch of tasks, and redefining, and well work to get you there. You put in lots of work for many nights and days before your fortune changed. You were innovating, creating, redefining and well working all the time.
There is literally no such thing as something for nothing. It does not exist and actually defies the laws of the Universe. You must give in order to receive. There is no other way. It is a cyclical process. The more you give the more you will eventually receive. See eventually. Making it takes time.
Every big business was once a small business. Everyone seems to forget this fact. Every huge corporation was once small. Think of Facebook or Microsoft or even Whats App. The common theme that runs through all of these stories is that they started small – often in dorm rooms or basements. It takes time.
I am like you often impatient and wondering where is the success I see. However, you know what I’ve found? When I have poured my heart into projects that somehow the Universe conspires to eventually create opportunities to reach the right people and grow all because of the work I have done before. So:
Don’t be daunted
Work on your patience
Keep giving your best at all times
Then money will come – but it takes time!
I love talking to you and sharing with you so do become a subscriber.
No one tells you this. Not one soul. No one tells you how low the valleys can be in your entrepreneurial journey. They say it’s hard but they don’t define what hard is. Most of the literature says it’s hard work – but it is also hard on your psyche, it’s hard on your pocket, it’s hard on your relationships – and then it is like a cycle because – then it’s hard on your emotions. This is true. I would love to know of one entrepreneur who has not said “this is too much”,who did not feel depressed and down trodden. (If you are one send me an email so I can share your story of ongoing optimism).
All the seminars you attend, all the boot camps, all the podcasts – no one speaks of the psychological lows. I’ve been there myself and though the dungeon of depression can be deep, I have found some ways that you can climb out and move from depressed to just having a down moment – depression is ongoing – down moments are fleeting. This is how I’ve progressed from being depressed.
Introspection: I am starting with introspection, because many of us are chasing dreams of entrepreneurial visions that are not in synergy with our passions and purpose. I’ve suffered from this and I have found that you have to step back and make sure they are in alignment. Why? Well, because the hard work that everyone tells you that is required (and is) to keep your business going can only be sustained if you love what you do. So take some time out, and really be honest with yourself. I mean why work for yourself if it’s going to feel like torture – you can feel that way working for someone else and without all the risk and investment.
Be Brave: Well, what did you think that you would have introspection without action? Never! So you’ve dug deep and you know deep in your heart what needs changing – this can be little, like simply reworking those parts of your business that don’t align or it can be drastic – you may have to stop what you are doing altogether .
Set smaller goals: Sometimes, when you set long range grand plans, you get overwhelmed and can’t see the light at the end of the cliche tunnel. So set smaller goals that get you to the grand goals and set shorter term goals. It’s easier to look at one week at a time than the next 3 years. Plus you are always changing, so is the business environment so shorter term is more effective.
Change your focus: Stop focusing on what you have not done. Focus on what you have! I know you’ve accomplished some things – even if it’s just reading this post to help you improve your frame of mind!