As a lawyer, I have the privilege of using the law to help business owners set up brand-new businesses or evolve and grow existing businesses. Using the law is certain, it creates predictability, which promotes confidence, and THAT is fantastic! Yet, with any business, so much remains uncertain. You can follow the law, do things the “right” way, and being “in business” is still unpredictable, scary, and difficult much of the time.
That’s why managing your mind around your business and yourself as you begin, grow, or evolve a business is crucial to success.
If you are anything like many of my clients (past and present), you might think successful business owners are people (unlike yourself) who have been born with certain traits that make them more capable of doing the entrepreneur–ing the right way.
Maybe you assume that successful people haven’t failed at very much, that they were just born fearless, resilient, confident, and determined. After this blog, I hope you begin to see that those rockstar entrepreneurial traits such as courage, resilience, and capacity to fail, are all intentionally cultivated, practiced, learned, and applied.
I want you to see that you, too, can start and run a successful business once you know how to manage your mind. If you are already running a successful business, maybe this will help you continue doing so with less grasping and wanting and more presence and enthusiasm.
Here’s the truth: even the rock star entrepreneurs are humans with human brains, just like yours and mine. Their brains, like our brains, sometimes conjure up unhelpful thoughts, fears, worries, and doubts. But the most successful entrepreneurs have simply learned to manage their minds and choose their thoughts intentionally. And here’s the good news – this skill is something you can learn to do, too!
Below are 4 myths that will kill your dreams if you believe the hype. Beware of them, recognize them as the BS hype they are, and absolutely DO NOT let them stop you!
Myth #1 Entrepreneurs are fearless.
Ok, Scaredy cats—here’s the truth, it’s ok and normal to be scared when you start a business or make big moves in your business. Be scared, then do it anyways. From what I’ve heard (and, experienced) this fear happens a lot on Sundays in the form what millennials call “The Sunday Scaries.” So, I’ve put together a Sunday Scaries Guide so you can learn to expect the occasional fear and anxiety, but you don’t make it a problem.
When you have the Sunday Scaries about your business – follow these steps and then download my freebie (below) for more help.
- Examine your thoughts and realize that your fear or anxiety IS because of the thoughts you are thinking. Recognize that. Your fear is NOT because of any specific circumstance, i.e., luckily, we humans are not routinely running from lions, tigers and bears anymore.
- Think intentional thoughts to help you be courageous. Thinking the scary thoughts does not serve you. Think better thoughts!
- Don’t try to avoid it. It’s part of the deal. You are a human, and you were designed to feel fear. Don’t make it a problem.
- Recognize that fear gives you extra energy, it’s like the energy / adrenalin that animals shake off after they have been chased. You might notice you have extra energy, anxiety, and it is possible to use that in a productive way!
Myth #2 Hustle culture is a necessary part of being an entrepreneur – it’s 24/7, lazy bones.
In #bossbabe and #girlboss culture, women business owners love to wear stress, overworking, overwhelmedness, and sleeplessness as a badge of honor. I’m here to say…. come off it already. There is no point in glorifying stress – it wastes your time and muddles your brain. Budding entrepreneurs—you do not need to hustle your way there. In fact, don’t. Your services and products will suffer for it.
Here’s the truth, you aren’t going to create the business of your dreams from thoughts that lead to spazzy panicky feelings while pulling all-nighters. Telling yourself you NEED this and NEED that just makes you feel like YOU aren’t enough right now. It simply doesn’t serve you to run yourself ragged and build your identity around glorifying stress.
The most successful entrepreneurs create products and services from a place of enthusiasm, enjoyment, and calm acceptance. And their number one motivator is providing value to their clients. Period.
Seeing a late night #killinit or #crushinit spreads the narrative that pushing harder, sleeping less, and working constantly are the keys to success. Don’t buy into it, especially you #hustle ladies. Choose intentional thoughts that create feelings that allow you to love your work and yourself right now, as you are.
Myth#3 Failing is for losers.
Most people never achieve their business goals because they’re afraid to fail. Here’s a shocker: Failure, unless you know how to use it and manage your mind around it, feels terrible. In fact, it’s so “not fun” that there is an enormous amount of information available about how to avoid failing and how to succeed instead.
But the truth is there needs to be more talk about failure and how to do it the right way. You ever hear of Thomas Edison? Well, when asked about his failures, Edison stated that he knew “definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work.” Yep, he tried more than 10,000 times to invent the light bulb.
Get where I am going there? I am suggesting you, and only you, get to define failure for yourself. You get to decide what counts as a fail, and then you get to decide what you will make it mean about you and about your business.
Myth #4 Confidence is a requirement — nothing to worry about over here, right?!
So many new business owners beat themselves up for not feeling confident enough. Here’s the deal – unfortunately, confidence is kind of a byproduct of failure. It comes after you have had to rely on courage, to build capability, and finally you have become so capable, you feel confident. So, stop beating yourself up for your lack of confidence. Most importantly, don’t let lack of confidence stop you. Because….I hate to say it, but it happens ALL.THE.TIME. to some of my favorite people!
Lastly, I’m here to tell you that being an entrepreneur really just comes down to committing to be an entrepreneur. That’s it. You have an idea, you believe in it, and you commit to it no matter what. It IS simple, but it is NOT EASY and that’s why working on your entrepreneurial mindset is a crucial part of being a business owner. Building a business doesn’t always feel great, but you can train your brain to overcome any obstacle. Managing your entrepreneurial brain is a trick you MUST learn to do, otherwise it’s just too easy to find reasons to give up.