“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up –even royally sometimes -- so understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a part of it” – Arianna Huffington
Welcome to Episode 36: How To “Untangle” Your Mindset
Starting your business is like growing a garden. You must first invest your time and money. Then, you must take care of it while expecting nothing in return. (Often a lot longer than you think!) However, when everything finally blossoms, it makes all the hard work and patience worthwhile.
But it’s not just about those behaviours … it’s also about our expectations vs. reality, which once again boils down to something else ... our MINDSET!
Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...
Are you ready?
Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!
Starting your business is like growing a garden. You must first invest your time and money. Then, you must take care of it while expecting nothing in return. (Often a lot longer than you think!) However, when everything finally blossoms, it makes all the hard work and patience worthwhile. #Priceless
You could ask any number of CEOs how to succeed in the big bad world of business and truthfully, you'll get an equal number of insights and amazing advice. But in the end, it boils down to the following ten behaviour categories:
But it’s not just about those behaviours … it’s also about our expectations vs. reality, which once again boils down to something else ... our MINDSET!
Over the past handful of years, our high-energy world is seeing a huge rise in the number of people taking charge of their own aspirations. And just as any other upward trend, there are endless presumptions and notions that get established in time as parameters of success.
If you truly sit back for a moment and think about it, we are living amid a start-up renaissance (which you’ve heard me talk about before). It is filled to the brim with endless opportunities for anyone and everyone who has a passion and a strong idea!
Entrepreneurship sure has changed a heck of a lot in the past couple decades and our access to unlimited resources is now greater than ever thanks to the advances of technology. Our culture favours startups -- which is utterly amazing -- as it encourages young innovative thinkers to follows their ideas and dreams more than ever before.
However, there are quite a few misconceptions about this renaissance era which creates that mound of statistics for those who don’t succeed.
So, today to keep entrepreneurship vs. reality in check, before we dive deep into the mindset that flows alongside … I want to share 5 quick tips to help you succeed -- and not become a statistic!
TIP #1: YOU NEED MORE THAN JUST A GOOD IDEA.
We are known as ideators and dreamers and without us, this world would spin a lot slower. And these days, originally good ideas are far and few between, but when found are unbelievably valuable. Yes, you may have a phenomenal idea, but you can’t spend years in your basement lab tinkering around like a mad scientist. You would be much better off focusing on the execution of your idea.
TIP #2: YOU WILL NOT MAKE MILLIONS OVERNIGHT.
I want to be short and to the point for a moment if you don’t mind … all those overnight success stories you read about online and misconceptions. They are not the truth. (Sorry if I just burst your bubble!) Not one single entrepreneur out there has made millions overnight. Not even Steve Jobs. This level of success is a product of hard work, early mornings, sleepless nights, heavy investments, trial and error and of course ongoing education. So, don’t be fooled!
TIP #3: YOU CAN’T MAKE ALL THE RULES. BUT YOU CAN BREAK SOME.
There is no cookie-cutter way around this one but there are no real “rules” in the land of entrepreneurship. I understand it may be more comforting to think so. Every business is different just like every one of us humans is unique. You just need to find a way that works for you and just go for it! You should also work smarter, not harder.
Sounds too simple, right?! Well, that’s the point.
Think of it this way … If you’re relying on someone else’s “rules” to make your business decisions for you, then you’re not really building your own business anymore, are you? You are building theirs.
TIP #4: YOU MUST NOT WORK WITHIN YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
In this lifestyle there are no guarantees -- except for the fact that sometimes you are going to be uncomfortable. When you chose this lifestyle, you chose to walk on the path of the unknown. There is no way around it, sorry.
I know it seems easier to live inside that warm, cozy, and comforting box some days because it feels safer. And making yourself do things that are new or that are outside your comfort zone can be super fricken scary. But that’s why it’s super important (and healthy) to branch out and become talented at new and different things, even if you don’t plan to use them right at this very second.
TIP #5: THIS CULTURE IS NOT JUST A PAJAMA PARTY.
Don’t let this comment throw you off. You can totally work in your pj’s if that’s your jam however being an entrepreneur isn’t always about casual dress codes, sleeping in and lax work schedules.
For most entrepreneurs TIME is a luxury that we find by chance and try to make the most of before it’s spent going back to making crucial decisions, managing a team and all those other fun activities we do to grow our businesses. So, don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the world. Start by working on what you need now and then what you need to do tomorrow. It’s all about setting manageable targets and goals.
Okay … now that we got a better grip on the nitty-gritty of expectations and reality. Let’s dive into the real reason we’re here today … “untangling” our MINDSET!
As we all know, life as an entrepreneur can often feel like you are in the middle of a natural disaster … a tornado … sometimes even a zombie apocalypse (if you haven’t had much sleep lately and technology is not on your side).
The unexpected fires, the technology glitches, the endless unanswered emails, the ghosting clients, the no-show team members, the never-ending to-do lists (yes, more than one) and the list seriously just goes on, and on … AND ON!
You’re constantly feeling as though you’re being pushed and pulled into a million different directions, but you tell yourself, “This is just normal for an entrepreneur lifestyle”. Well, today I’m here to tell you today things can change.
Maybe not your workload or your filled to the brim inbox or how early you get up in the morning when you’d rather sleep in for just 15 more pleasurable minutes …
But you can change your mindset.
Everything you read online tells you to make it a regular part of your day. Even if it’s just for 5 short minutes to help you be more present. It seems like an impossible thing to do when you’re already running circles around everyone and everything. But trust me, I felt that way too at first. It’s not always easy finding 5 minutes, quiet ones to be exact, for yourself and your sanity.
Putting mindfulness into practice can be challenging, especially when you’re first starting out. But here’s a handful of 6 simple ideas to get the ball rolling so you don’t lose your mind, throw your business out the window, and can find some time for yourself to breathe, re-center and be more present …
#1: PRACTICE DAILY GRATITUDE.
Entrepreneurship is about the act of creation, no matter your niche. And during all this “creation time”, it’s easy to lose sight of just how far you’ve come. So, practicing daily gratitude gives you time to reflect on the narrative of your journey. Time to quiet your mind and focus. Focus on the good, the bad, the ugly and even the “what could have been”. And while you’re taking some time to reflect on your journey’s narrative, also take time to focus on what you have learned from all those experiences by expressing inner gratitude for the education you’ve earned from the results.
Now this next one has always been a struggle for me …
#2: LEARN THE ART OF LETTING GO.
In an entrepreneurial lifestyle there is a lot that goes on that is out of our control or that may upset us. It can truly be an emotional roller coaster somedays (maybe even weeks or months). And with this we must try to learn what I like to call the “art of letting go”. It’s the only way we’ll get ahead.
This is honestly one of the hardest lessons yet. But one of the best things I’ve ever done during my virtual journey. I have always proudly worn my heart on my sleeve and taken great pride in everything I set out to do. However, once again, there is no cookie-cutter recipe for this. Sometimes we’re not able to cope with the person or situation that’s right in front of us -- but the best advice I can provide is to just dust yourself off, figure out what lessons can be learned and move on. That’s how we grow … by letting go!
Arianna Huffington, who I admire in this professional space quite greatly once said …
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up –even royally sometimes -- so understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of it.”
#3: EMBRACE YOUR IDENTITY.
This one is easier said than done some days … But never doubt yourself over the way you look. Either as an entrepreneur or your business’ brand. Too many people spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME looking at those they admire wishing they could emulate their style and charisma. Otherwise known as a form of “shiny object syndrome”.
Why not spend your time better by embracing your unique qualities?
Strengths, flaws, and yes, even your quirks.
Let yourself flourish and grow with your ideas and do not model yourself onto others. You are unique -- just like everyone else -- so stand tall and proudly BE YOU!
#4: ESCAPE YOUR INBOX.
Being online is a must for every business owner, especially when it comes to the land of email. It’s an efficient way of communication yet can sometimes become a hindrance on one’s productivity.
So, to help you escape your inbox and be more productive, here’s a few small tips:
#5: TIDY OFFICE = TIDY MIND.
Okay, so you’ve heard me talk about organization time and time again. That’s how important this topic is when you’re an entrepreneur -- being organized and staying organized, will only help you in the long run. Especially when it comes to your mindset. You will be able to free up some of that precious brain space and feel less frantic on those overly busy days.
So, whether you have a designated office space or just a laptop or tablet that you use in your favourite places, a tidy office means a tidy mind. Get rid of all your clutter. Limit your workspace to only relatable items. Clear up space on your desktop (no stray folders -- I know you know what I’m talking about), delete apps you no longer need, and empty your virtual trash and downloads folder -- at least once a week.
A well-organized space is conducive to the same type of mindset. A clean and tidy place for being creative, productive, strategic, and HAPPY!
#6: YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE PAST.
You cannot change or control other people. Or any of the outcomes you may face in your entrepreneurial journey. However, one thing you can do is be in control of yourself. And by doing so, you will find that your lifestyle, your business, and even certain “sticky” situations will prosper all by having a change in mindset.
Gandhi truly states it better than I ever could …
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become YOUR WORDS. Keep your words positive because your words become YOUR BEHAVIOUR. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes YOUR HABITS. Keep your habits positive because your habits become YOUR VALUES. Keep your values positive because your values become YOUR DESTINY.”
And another thing …
If you’re a creative individual like me MINDSET is super important when it comes to your creations. So, stop waiting for permission … YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!
It’s time to fight fire with FIRE!
I know it’s not just me. I know other creative individuals struggle out there with that thought of “Is my work good enough?” or even “Am I making a big enough visual statement?” But the truth is … it always was.
So, stop doubting yourself because YES, your work IS good enough. You do NOT need permission anymore as it no longer matters whether you are neon yellow, black or hot pink! The only thing that matters is some truthfully good content, visuals or story that at the very least one other person can enjoy.
In my eyes, if I’ve made a difference and/or an impact in one other person’s life each and every day then I feel I did a job well done!
For far too long, I was sitting on the sidelines, waiting for someone (to this day, still no idea who) to come and rescue me, to show me the way to my dream job, to my next step, to my next level of creative living. Waiting around, twiddling my thumbs for someone to tell me that I was good enough, that they needed me, that my hard-earned skill set was so exemplary that they just had to hire me.
And for as long as I can remember, I felt like I was the hardest working person in my field. However, I was feeling frustrated and like I was stuck standing still in one spot. Like my creative juices were flowing out of my body, down my legs and through my fancy wedge heels.
Then I heard someone say … “just go find your carrot”.
I’m sure you can imagine the deranged and confused face I had!
I thought it was strange at first then took some time to process this phrase a bit deeper. To me, “finding your carrot” means to find what motivates your being … the “craft” at hand. Because when you create every single day (and remember, this isn’t just about art or writing or graphic design or making things pretty in a DIY sort of way) you begin to develop a large body of work that absolutely nobody can touch or stand in your way. You begin to dominate your niche, dominate your space -- no matter how big or small. And you know deep down that not every single piece, blog, website, logo, canvas, sculpture will be your absolute best work, but you will create so many more opportunities to create your best work. And you grow better with time. Kind of like how when a fine wine ages -- it just tastes better! 😉
As my favourite graffiti artist says it best …
“Your mind is working at its best when you’re being paranoid. You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clarity.”
Now going back to those years of creative struggle for a minute …
I think all along I wasn’t waiting for someone to rescue me. I was waiting for permission. Waiting for someone to notice all my years of hard work, my enthusiasm, the way I thought so hard out of the box that that box didn’t even exist. Waiting for someone to tell me it was okay to leave my 9 to 5 BS job and take on my dream full time.
For some strange ass reason, I was always waiting for someone to tell me that it was okay to pursue my dream, no matter how crazy some thought it was at the time. Waiting for permission …
But guess what?!? That day was never going to come. You know why?
The only person who could give me permission to follow my dreams was me. And I did it … I am not waiting for permission anymore. There is no powerful external force coming my way to tell me that I am worth more than I was being paid. That my creativity was more extravagant than the position I was stuck in.
So, the moral of today’s story is … NO ONE is going to make that change for you. It’s all up to you. You have the power and the strength to make your dreams come true. You and you alone. Learn from my mistake … Don’t wait. Get out there and create your own destiny TODAY!
So, what are you waiting for?
Be the amazing human we all know you are. Untangle your mindset so you can give it your all. Whatever that “it” may be. And most importantly ... STOP. WAITING. FOR. PERMISSION.