10 Steps to a Courageous Business Life, part 2

lion-maleThat famous philosopher Anonymous said, “Being self-employed is the toughest self-development program you’ll ever go through.”

She was right.

You really come face-to-face with your own crap.

It’s time to tune into how we get in our own way and limit our own success.

In last week’s article I shared the first 5 steps to creating and leading a courageous business life. I’m going to share steps 6 through 10 with you this week.

6. Detach from the Outcome. This is the 2nd most important step in this entire process. The most important is developing self-awareness. Detaching from the outcome is a simple concept that can take years to perfect; but if there was one single thing that helped me have the tremendous breakthrough I wanted it was this step.

I think this is one of those things that it helps to look first at what it is not.

Think about the last time you lost a client.

Maybe you spent days creating a proposal and quote and they turned you down. Or maybe you talked to someone about speaking at their event and they said no.

If you got emotionally upset about that it means you were attached to the outcome.

This happens when you take whatever happened personally or you feel as though someone “pushed your buttons”.

It means some aspect of your pride and self-esteem was hurt by what happened.

This can happen any time there’s an emotional response to something and it can be as simple as your feelings get hurt or you get angry.

The more awareness you develop on this issue, the more work you do to remove emotion from your work, the less your self is attached to it and you’re able to examine things that happen for what they are – things that happen.

Someone turning down a quote isn’t a rejection of you personally. But…even if they thought to themselves, “This person is too annoying to work with so I’m going to turn them down,” it should make you happy. Because you probably wouldn’t have enjoyed working with them anyway.

The point here is to not feel rejected if someone turns you down…to not feel stupid if something you didn’t do brought you a result you didn’t want. Look at what it really is – data for you to work with.

7. Understand the business of business. Service professionals like us start our business because we…

  • Want to use our gifts. We recognize there’s some skill set we have that we’re drawn to use.
  • Feel called to a mission. Service professionals are very likely to feel our work is a calling….a vocation. Often there’s a feeling of wanting to make a big impact on the world.
  • Have a passion for the work. We love what we do and our specialty that it’s all we want to spend our time doing. We don’t so much think of building a business as much as we think of doing that thing we do. And since it’s so obvious to us that others need what we offer we can be shocked when they don’t jump at the chance to work with us.
  • Became accidental entrepreneurs. We may find ourselves unemployed and recognize that it’s an opportunity to go out on our own. Or you may feel you have no other choice because you weren’t able to find another job.

Even if you went to school and majored in business there’s a big difference between studying business and running one. And there are very different skill sets at play here. The great skills you have in the “what” you do are very different from the skill set needed to run, market, sell, and manage the profitability of a business.

The added challenge in this is separating the emotional issues from the nuts and bolts of running the business. We may be caught up under-charging, over-delivering to the point we’re no longer profitable. We can get caught up in bright, shiny object syndrome and end up buying course after course, system after system, all because we can recognize the power they have but they’re never the magic wand gurus can make them out to be.

And understanding the business of your business can help remove the emotion from many of the decisions that need to be made.

If you understand your expenses and revenue goals along with your sales process and how long it takes you to bring in revenue then you’re more likely to price your offerings appropriately and not be trapped under-charging or over-spending.

8. Take Massive Action. Yes I know sometimes a baby step is all you can bring yourself to take. That’s fine if it’s truly all you can muster. It’s better than nothing; and you’ll realize nothing awful happened. Nothing that’s not correctable anyway. But I started to realize that if I kept taking baby steps I’d continue to struggle with underachieving and it wouldn’t be enough to have the breakthrough I wanted. As I started to spend more time around risk takers who jumped on whatever new idea they had I began to see that was the best path for me. There’s an old saying that “the Universe rewards action>’ Well, it can’t reward you if you aren’t taking any. Look at it this way: You can watch people swim. You can read about swimming. You can talk about swimming. You can read books about swimming. But you’ll never be able to swim if you don’t actually get in the water and start swimming. So whether you jump in or climb down the ladder…get in the pool already will ya?

9. Have Faith. Now, don’t get weirded out. Acording to Merriam-webster.com Faith is “belief in something for which there is no proof.” More defnitions include “allegiance to a duty or a person”, and “strong belief or trust in someone or something”

Whether you believe in a higher power (for me, that higher power is God) or whether you believe in yourself, or both, success requires faith. It requires you to believe in something for which there is no proof – yet. It requires you to have allegiance to a person (YOU!). And it certainly means you have a strong believe or trust in yourself.

As entrepreneurs, we can talk a good game, but our actions are what demonstrate we have faith or we don’t.
Our lack of faith comes from a lack of confidence in ourselves….from a lack of faith that we can achieve what we dream of….from an underlying sense that we’re not worthy of what we want and not good enough to achieve it.

Internal faith – faith in yourself – grows out of love. So if you find yourself struggling to take the massive action you need to achieve what you say you want, then you’ve got to confront the issue and begin to reconcile this issue. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will either.

10.Stay in your genius zone. We know full well that being an entrepreneur requires us to do everything. We’re not just the deliverer of the service we provide – which you’re likely to be absolutely outstanding at – but we’re the marketing department, sales, accounting, and the tech department. We cannot possibly be outstanding in all those roles and the others we’re called on to perform. And yet, we beat ourselves up like the eye doctor I talked to who called herself “stupid” because she was struggling to write the sales copy for her website.

This woman is no one’s idea of stupid. She went to medical school! She treats patients. And yet she feels dumb because she feels she should be able to write copy – a job people go to school for, get degrees in, and make the whole focus of their work.

The more you can recognize what your gifts are, build a business around those gifts, and then outsource non-genius work to others who excel in those skills the happier you’ll be.
That doesn’t give you a pass at learning the business of business. But it does charge you with building a business that allows you to truly thrive and that means working with contractors or hiring employees who can easily do the work you can’t.

Think about how confident you are when you’re working directly in the tasks you excel in. That’s when work isn’t really work.

It doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes or that you won’t have problems. But it means those situations are likely to be fewer and less severe when you stay in your genius zone.

And you’re giving someone else work that matches their gifts too.

Being an entrepreneur is risky. It’s not for everyone. But in order to truly excel…to make the impact we dream of making…to earn the rewards we dream of earning…it requires us to take each of the 10- steps. It requires us to continuously work towards becoming a better person and becoming a better business person.

And it requires us to confidently and courageously move forward.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level of success but can’t seem to bring yourself to take the massive action needed to get you there, then you’ve got a confidence problem.

I’ve created the Confidence Builder Series to share the strategies and tactics that helped me get out of my own way and achieve the breakthrough I had been dreaming of.

The  free-to-attend monthly series is held on the 3rd Thursday each month through December of 2016. Head over to the Confidence Builder page to check out the upcoming sessions and register.

 

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