Entrepreneurial life… the blood, sweat, tears, late nights, holding yourself to account, delivering above expectation, having difficult conversations, being kind and giving your time and energy to others. These might be just some of the things that make success happen. Reflecting on my own journey, I can say that the below, define for me, what it really takes to be an entrepreneur.
Wake up and think… How will I be the best version of me today? How can I make progress today? The Japanese theory of working towards quality is one small step in front of the other. It doesn’t have to be giant strides. Just a small commitment every week or day to step forward or step up.
STRONG WORK ETHIC
Deliver… On time… To, or above, expectation. Don’t make excuses for yourself or others. Don’t pass the buck. Own it. My mantra… “Happy to be here, easy to work with.” If I’m unhappy or finding it all really difficult then the work won’t be good, and it is better to move on.
Come back stronger. Someone turns you down, someone breaks your trust, your circumstances change. Are you going to sulk? Maybe. But then what? You can’t sulk forever. Make a commitment to yourself to learn, grow and to come back. People love a comeback story and you will love being your own hero in that story.
Share your ideas, your visions, your dreams. Allow others to open up because you have been so bold to do the same. Openness is a doorway to real connection, good energy and inspiration. It can resolve problems and it can encourage others to flourish where they might have previously been closed off.
People will bend it, people will break it, people will go out of their way to hurt you. People can be desperately awful, and people can have no awareness at all of the harm they cause. One thing I have learned… It is better to trust. Trust is hope. Hope is motivational. Distrust when they give you a reason but until then, embrace it.
You will be your own best boss and the boss of your nightmares. You will be in flow one minute and ready to quit the next. Accept this. We are subject to our emotions, thoughts, feelings etc and these make up our magical, profound and imperfect selves. Acknowledge yourself, accept yourself, love yourself. You are on a one-person journey here and it’s going to suck if you don’t at least try to BE, and LOVE, YOU.
THE ABILITY TO LET IT GO
Holding onto negative people, negative influences, negative experiences. This is a difficult one, but we must ask WHY we hold on. Is it for you or them? Is this influence or experience keeping you safe from repeating it? Or have you absorbed it as a part of your story and let it define you negatively? If something doesn’t actually benefit you positively, be it person or other. Let that sh*t go.
Breathing, stepping away, looking at things from an emotional, psychological or spiritual distance. Learning that immediacy is not always needed. Some things take time to process and that is OK. Just breathe.
Work life, private life, life admin, adventure. I work towards all of these and try to find a pace and balance. This also applies to the balance of the internal parts of my ego, Perfect Annelies, Critical Annelies, Hippy Annelies and me. How much do you feed each part of you? Each wolf? How do you maintain a steady balance?
Challenge yourself, put yourself in difficult situations and environments. Sit in the awkward silences and have the difficult conversations. Meet and talk to people who intimidate you personally or professionally. We don’t shrivel up… We grow.
Not just yes people who tell you what to you want to hear but the people who tell it how it actually is. The ones who don’t flatter you, who listen when you are sad and tell you to get over it when you are having a pity party.
A combination of support from people “in” business and totally removed from it is my key to success.
Honouring your mind and its ability to project into the future and imagine incredible things. Embracing the creativity, the possibilities, the seemingly impossible. Let your mind visualise and imagine, let it run free and see what it comes back with. It might be gold dust.
Respect the effort you have made to plan and consider but take action immediately. Tomorrow is too late. Do it now. Jump before you are ready.
“A true entrepreneur jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.”