Posted: 8th February 2017
Succeeding in your own business is a dream for many. Motivations may be different depending on who you ask, but the skills and qualities you need to succeed as an entrepreneur may not be those you first thought. And while you may have a passionate desire to ‘work for yourself’ or to ‘run your own business’ you may find that something is holding you back – something you can’t quite put your finger on. Achieving the mindset to succeed as an entrepreneur is as much part of the process as creating your business plan.
Pinpoint your motivation
Defining your motivations, your ‘why’ – why do you want to take this huge step – will, as Margie Warrell explains in this great article “… the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory.” Defining what matters most to you may be very easy, but for some people, teasing out ‘why’ you want to do something can be a bigger exercise. Yet without this insight, success is likely to be harder to achieve particularly in those moments (which will inevitably come) when you feel as if you are ‘failing’.
Define what ‘success’ will look like
A very personal question – and one that has an almost infinite number of answers depending on who you ask. It’s also inextricably linked with what your motivations are. As a coach, I see many motivations for those looking to set up on their own and forge a different path – their ‘Right Life Path’. Wealth, freedom from the daily grind of 9-5, a desire to do something different – all are valid ‘whys’ but whatever is motivating you, it is vital to define your ‘success criteria’ at the outset and break them down into concrete, achievable objectives. With each objective achieved you will have a clearer view of the progress you are making and help you stay focused.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses
Branching out on your own is just that: essentially a solo project. However developed your network, however much research you have done into converting your vision into reality, you will be on your own. You will be driving the project – and the responsibility for its success or failure lies in your hands. Being honest with yourself, understanding and truly accepting where your strengths and weaknesses lie is a vital step on your road to entrepreneur-ship as it will highlight where you may need to call on others if your dreams of entrepreneurship are to become reality. This includes an honest appraisal of whether you are truly cut out for life as an entrepreneur. Just because you have a good idea doesn’t mean you can cut it on your own, and if you recognise this early, you can consider alternative routes to developing your idea that better fit your character.
It’s one thing to dream of a life where you are in control, making a success of something you love, but turning that into reality takes hard work and persistence. Planning, objective setting and review are all part of achieving your vision – and you need to accept this and find the strength within you to persist. When things are going well, this will be easy – but what of those times when the road seems littered with obstacles?
If you’re focused on your idea, the product or service that is going to be ‘the next big thing’ it may be tempting to overlook these fundamentally important aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset. For all that entrepreneurship may look to be about freedom and creativity, there’s a lot of discipline involved, and most of that comes from within, from having this insight and recognising key drivers.
The good news is that you don’t have to be alone on your journey. While you’re the only person who truly knows what makes you tick, a coach can work with you to help you develop this insight into a more workable knowledge base from which informed decisions can be made. The coaching relationship is a hugely valuable resource for the aspiring entrepreneur, offering objective feedback without judgment to help you develop an entrepreneurial mindset. As you move from aspiring to actual entrepreneur your coach can come with you on your journey, giving you with the space to reflect and strategise for the future – but that’s for another blog!
We’re kicking off our tailored ‘Right Life Path’ coaching programme with a ‘Design your Dream‘ workshop on Saturday 18th March 2017 : if you’re contemplating a big life change, this workshop will help you map out and test out your dream future, identify the working environment you thrive in best, explore your frustrations and stresses – and, crucially, how to avoid them, discover your internal dilemmas and understand those character traits that could make or break – your dream.