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The Eight Greatest Obstacles

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This is Part 7 of the special series “Discover the Work You Were Born to Do“, by author Nick Williams.

By the end of this article, you will have explored:

  • The 8 greatest obstacles to becoming an Inspired Entrepreneur.

If becoming an inspired entrepreneur is so wonderful and rewarding, how could anything get in your way? Well, there have never been fewer outer obstacles to creating your own business and becoming entrepreneurial than there are today.

Depending on where you live in the world, to become self-employed legally can be as simple as making a telephone call to your tax authority and then getting yourself a good accountant.

Similarly, technology is no longer an obstacle for most people, and you can outsource many of the areas we need support with. With a telephone and a computer we can potentially run a business with a global reach from a humble desk at home!

When it comes to becoming an inspired entrepreneur, the greatest obstacles – and the greatest opportunities – lie within our own minds, within our beliefs, and within the way we present things to ourselves.

Having made the transition from employment to self-employment myself in 1989, and having helped thousands of others to do the same, I have come to a pretty clear understanding of the major obstacles that you are likely to experience in your own journey.

Some of them are so subtle and insidious that you might not realise the extent of the damage they can do to your spirit. By becoming aware of the eight major obstacles that can squash entrepreneurial dreams and aspirations, you will be able to see them coming and learn to avoid or overcome them:

Here are the 8 major obstacles:

  1. You have too few entrepreneurial heroes and heroines that you can aspire to.
  2. You are afraid to be a pioneer in your work or life and afraid to fail.
  3. You don’t believe you can – or should – make money from doing what you love.
  4. You have great ideas, but don’t know how to bring them to fruition.
  5. You feel you have too much invested in your current career to change now.
  6. You’ve received erroneous opinions from people you respect and love.
  7. You’ve only ever been employed and few of your friends are businesses owners.
  8. You’re yet to understand the power of baby steps and incremental growth.

Let’s go through each of these in a little more detail, and I’ll offer you ways to tackle each obstacle.

1. You have too few entrepreneurial heroes and heroines to inspire you.

These days there are popular roles models such as Sir Richard Branson or the late Dame Anita Roddick. However, the image of entrepreneurs that I grew up with was of characters like Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street (1987), who was greedy, self-serving and uncaring.

As I was raised in the UK, my other experiences of entrepreneurs included characters such as Arthur Daley in the television series Minder and Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses. In essence, they were dodgy, opportunistic but nonetheless likeable rogues. All the same, although I liked the idea of being an entrepreneur, I didn’t want to be like them, and yet I had very few other role models to model myself on.

Question: Do you have many inspiring entrepreneurial role models? Who do you look up to?

Strategies:

  • I bet that within a mile of where you live, there are probably dozens of self-employed people who are doing things they love. Seek them out, spend time with them and ask them questions.
  • Read stories of people like yourself who have followed their hearts and done something successfully.
    Go to meetings where entrepreneurial people congregate.

2. You are afraid to be a pioneer in your work or life, and afraid to fail.

We may start off with an adventurous spirit, hungry to learn, but as we grow up and enter the world of work that spirit often gets dimmed – and increasingly – we tend to stick with what we know.

Our thinking may be along the lines of: ‘I haven’t done it, so I can’t do it’ or ‘I’ll do it, but I want to avoid looking stupid or failing at any cost’. What’s really going on here?

Pride and fear: By definition, if we have never been self-employed and decide to make the transition, we’ll start doing things that we’ve never done before – and that’s precisely what makes it so exciting. We can create our own way in life by moving off conventional and seemingly safe career paths.

The bottom-line question is: do you want to move in the direction of your deepest dreams and desires, or shrink your life by remaining a hostage to your fears?

In order to achieve great things it’s likely you’ll encounter fear, sometimes great fear, but here is what you should know: the bigger the fear, usually the greater the reward and fulfilment you will experience when you conquer it. Feeling fear doesn’t mean your idea is bad or wrong – often quite the opposite. It demonstrates how much you care, how much passion you have, and how big the draw is for you.

This path is not about being neatly organised and eliminating all your risks in advance. You will need to learn to live with and tolerate ambiguity, confusion, paradox and contradiction. At times you might even find yourself in chaos, but out of that chaos your creativity can begin to emerge.

Strategies:

  • Make friends with your fear – recognise it as the pointer that it is and do not use it as a ‘Stop!’ sign.
  • Develop your courage – you already have it within you – so start to draw it forth in small ways by consistently doing new things that break you out of your current limits. Your courage will then become a ready resource for you when you need it.
  • Begin to enjoy the excitement that growth entails – beyond your fears lie great riches. Every fear you overcome is like a skin you shed and you will grow more confident in the process.
  • Keep your focus on the rewards you reap by facing your fears – the freedom, joy, creativity, money, love, appreciation, self-esteem, self-worth and success that await you. Keep reminding yourself that short-term discomfort is a small price to pay for greater rewards.

3. You don’t believe you can – or should – make money doing what you love.

If we have only ever earned our income doing work that we haven’t particularly enjoyed, or that we have actively disliked, we may find it hard to believe that people will willingly and happily pay us to do something we enjoy doing.

Even if we haven’t had a specific religious upbringing, many of us in the West have been influenced by the Protestant belief that we shouldn’t be paid for doing anything that feels good. In fact, we may have been taught that money is the compensation we receive for not having enjoyed our work.

Inspired entrepreneurs don’t believe they have an implicit entitlement to money – they know that money flows to them as a result of the value they add to other people’s lives. So they are motivated to add value in the knowledge that success is the natural reward for their contribution.

They know that money doesn’t flow merely in return for hours worked, but in exchange for great ideas well executed. Inspired entrepreneurs know the power, and value, of great ideas. They don’t think of their business as a single source of income; they think of multiple sources of income.

Strategies:

  • Think of the people whose company you are grateful for and with whom you are happy to spend money – then imagine those people being equally happy to spend money for your own products or services.
  • Start thinking of money as a blessing that you are grateful to receive.

4. You have great ideas but don’t know how to bring them to fruition.

The first question that often follows hot on the heels of a brilliant idea is this: ‘But how on earth could I ever do that?!’

Knowing how to bring your ideas to fruition
The issue of ‘how’ suddenly becomes paramount and many people become instantly discouraged because the means to accomplish their dreams may not immediately be apparent.

However, we don’t need to know exactly how we are going to achieve something; often it is a blessing not to know as it is this that makes the process such an adventure. We can learn as we go, not just before we set out. Don’t get too practical too soon!

We need to have a destination, but even a vague sense of direction will be enough to get our momentum going. Remember: you can clarify your course as you go.

Most people who have achieved anything significant in their lives were not clear about how they would do it when they set out. It became clear as they went along only because they had already started their journey.

You only have to know that it will happen – you can and will learn as you go – the important thing is that you start building momentum. When your love and your skilfulness come together, you will create masterpieces.

Strategies:

  • Research and find out how others have done it. Whatever your idea, many people will have done something similar before you. How did they do it?
  • Ask others if you can – a radio-producer friend of mine wanted to know how to start her own radio station. She took various people she knew out for lunch and asked them how they thought she might do it. She learned so much that she described it as, ‘A PhD over curry!’ She now has her own radio station.
  • Plan the next two or three steps and let the larger plan emerge as you go. Don’t be afraid to cross bridges when you come to them.
  • See yourself as having already achieved your goal, and then ask your future self, ‘How did you achieve it?’ Discover what that future projection of yourself has to teach you in the present moment.

5. You feel you have too much invested in your career to change now.

Many people I’ve coached are on the threshold of positive change when they start worrying, – ‘But I’ve invested so much time and energy in my career so far. I can’t bear to throw that away. What a waste that would be!’

Another variation is: ‘This job is who I am! So much of my self-worth and my sense of identity are tied up in my job title, my status and position. I don’t know who I would be without them. I need them to feel good about myself.’

These are genuine and valid concerns, but they are also obstacles to change. It amazes me that we would sometimes rather waste the rest of our lives than ‘waste’ an education. But the truth is that nothing we have ever done or learned is ever redundant.

Our total experience has brought us to where we are now; it has grown us, shaped us and made us more confident and clearer about our aims – even if being clearer means that we recognise we dislike our present situation and want to move on.

We should be grateful for all our experiences and nevertheless remain willing to move on. And, yes, we may move into a temporary void – and that may be uncomfortable for a while – leaving us wondering who we are. But nature abhors a vacuum and soon a new and greater sense of ourselves will emerge, and we’ll like ourselves a lot more!

The temporary discomfort of growth is well worth the new confidence and identity that will emerge. Discomfort is usually a good sign, an indicator that you are pushing your limits and growing. One simple step that creates success is when we dare to move outside our comfort zone and then stay outside them long enough to grow into a new sense of ourselves – rather than shrinking back to the familiar.

Strategies:

  • Reflect on all the changes you have already been through in your life and how much your sense of identity has changed.
  • Consciously put yourself in places of discomfort in order to grow into a larger sense of yourself.

6. You have been subject to erroneous advice from people you respect and love.

As soon as you start telling family or friends you’re thinking about starting our own business, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a torrent of advice. Some of it may be unhelpful, some discouraging, and some of it may be useful and encouraging…

…but here’s the bottom line: most of this well-intentioned advice will come from people who have never taken this step themselves. So their advice may be based on hearsay or have little grounding in fact and experience.

We may encounter cynics who’ve never had the courage to follow their hearts – but yet they’ll tell us we’re crazy to be considering this move. We may meet disgruntled business owners who’ll tell us to stick with our jobs and be more realistic. When it comes to business, it seems everyone’s a pundit – every cynic who’s picked up a newspaper likes to trot-out statistics about how many small businesses fail.

We need to become discerning about who we listen to. A wonderful piece of advice comes from the mystical poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207–73), who said, “When embarking upon an adventure, do not consult someone who has never left home”. So whenever you are offered advice, bear this mind: consider the source.

This means checking out whether the person in question is a card-carrying Inspired Entrepreneur themselves. If so, listen to them; if not, be very, very discerning, even if they are someone you love, respect and care for. They may simply not know what they are talking about in this area.

It is an uncomfortable fact that many of the people we love, look up to and respect simply don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to being self-employed. Don’t let your fragile dreams be crushed by bad advice.

Strategies:

  • Develop a degree of discernment about the advice you receive – always consider the source and ask yourself: ‘To what extent should I be listening to this person?’
  • Create a list of people you would like to receive advice and guidance from – your mastermind group – and then take steps to start receiving support and guidance from them.

7. You’ve only ever been employed and too few of your friends own businesses.

If you grew up in a household where everybody was an employee, and most of your family and friends worked a 9-5 job, then you may have inherited a lifetime of thinking and acting as an employee – not as an entrepreneur. So it is hardly surprising that many of us have a void in our knowledge about entrepreneurship!

From the outside, entrepreneurship can seem like a parallel world – exciting, mysterious and appealing, and maybe a little scary and unknown too. In the absence of solid knowledge, facts and actual experience, we are likely to fall back on our existing prejudices and opinions, and so becoming an entrepreneur can be like learning a new language.

There are many differences in the ways that employees and entrepreneurs look at the world. One of the biggest differences is that inspired entrepreneurs have a greater willingness to take responsibility for their lives, knowing that both their successes and their failures are down to them.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t look for excuses or anyone to blame, not even themselves. They are willing to be visible, and when things don’t work out they want to learn and adjust their course.

Strategies:

  • Reflect on your own preconceived ideas about being an entrepreneur – exactly how well-founded are those views?
  • Read articles, books, biographies and stories by and about inspired entrepreneurs.

8. You’re yet to understand the power of baby steps and incremental growth.

Every business starts with the first steps and then with the first customer, the second and the third customer. It may take several years before the operation is scaled up to become a substantial business.

Any business is a seed that can blossom – but patience is necessary!

One of the biggest mistakes many people make is to focus on the gap between where they are right now and where they want to be. Sometimes they think it’s so huge – and insurmountable – that they can’t bring themselves to take the first steps.

Another mistake is that they take the first few steps – and then stop – because those tentative baby steps didn’t seem ‘sexy’ or significant, or catapult them directly to fame and fortune. The truth is that every step, however small, moves us forward as every step builds on the step before.

As we have seen, we often only find the confidence to do something when we are actually in the process of doing it. This is why baby steps can give us access to resources that otherwise lie dormant within us. At times we may also experience quantum leaps and breakthroughs, but these will often be as a result of our previous baby steps.

One of the most powerful things we can do is to make the most of what we have right now. The belief that every step on the way must be ‘sexy’ and exciting can be a great obstacle. In contrast, baby steps can throw wide the floodgates of momentum, abundance and magic.

Small deeds done are more potent than great deeds planned, so think big, and keep your mind on your ultimate goals – but act small. You cannot avoid investing energy and labour by taking short cuts to glory. The idea that massive leaps of faith pave the way to success is deceptive, and in fact many leaps of faith are actually achieved through gentle little steps.

Strategies:

  • Regularly ask yourself, ‘What baby steps can I take next?’
  • Take new action on a regular basis in order to start and build your momentum.

Sometimes we block ourselves from acknowledging our innate entrepreneurial spirit – especially if it has been perceived as a problem in our previous roles as employees.

For example, the entrepreneurial spirit is forever questioning why things are done the way they are, thinking about how those things could be done better and making suggestions for change.

In some environments this spirit is welcomed, whereas in others it can be seen as a problem and we are told – ‘Why you can’t you just accept things as they are and do your job?’ So recognise that your own entrepreneurial gifts may be perceived as a problem if you are living and working in non-entrepreneurial environments.

If we follow our entrepreneurial spirit we will also learn to recognise, rely on and trust in unseen forces. Whilst our ego generates resistance, we also have unseen allies and positive forces supporting us. As we take action consistently, we’ll find synchronicities occurring in our lives; for instance, chance meetings, affirmations and opportunities may come our way.

Positive unseen forces are working on our behalf and the Universe itself is designed to support our joy, our creativity and the liberation of our potential. There are no universal forces pitted against us – just our own resistance!

About the Author

Through his books, and live talks, workshops, personal coaching and on-line learning programmes, Nick Williams has inspired tens of thousands of people to discover the work they were born to do.

Website: www.nick-williams.com
Blog: http://nickwilliams100.typepad.com

Develop a Successful Business Mindset, Part Two

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One of the most intriguing things about business (and life) is how two people can have substantially the same opportunities – training, know-how, capital and experience – yet produce dramatically different results. This paradox exists everywhere.

Having the right mindset for business success goes well beyond establishing goals and being positive. In part one, we considered the importance of being aware of your reality and understanding your expectations to develop a successful mindset. In this second-part, we consider the following:

3- Responsibility. To have a success mindset you MUST acknowledge your responsibility. Highly successful people acknowledge their responsibility. Only by acknowledging your responsibility can you take control and invoke the necessary steps to be successful. Blaming others, validating failures and making excuses are simply ways of avoiding YOUR responsibility. To become more responsible:

  • Acknowledge that if you want your desired outcomes to be realised, YOU solely are responsible.
  • Others DO NOT share your passion for your vision. They may say they do, but ultimately only you are truly passionate about achieving your vision.
  • Accept that others will not complete things to your entire satisfaction.
  • Take full responsibly for outcomes. Avoid blaming others. Even when you delegate a task or use an outside business, if something is not done to satisfaction, YOU are ultimately responsible. Often when people delegate a TASK, they also try to delegate RESPONSIBILITY. This is not appropriate to successful people. YOU:
    • May not have given clear enough direction;
    • May not have effectively managed the process;
    • May have withheld important information;
    • May have varied your expectations of the outcome without informing the other party;
    • May not have managed the resource well enough;
    • Chose the employee/supplier in the first instance.
    • Have the choice to use another person/supplier.

4- Appropriate use of Force. Highly successful people apply their time in the most leveraged areas to escalate the success of their business.

Business is diverse. As a business owner you’re required to perform an extremely diverse range of activities on a daily basis. Each individual has their strengths and weaknesses. And each has their specific area of interest. People generally do what they perceive they’re best at, or feels most comfortable. NOT what’s best for the business.

First and foremost you have to realise that YOU ARE A BUSINESS OWNER. You are not a Life Coach, an administrator, or a bookkeeper. You must put the interests of the business first. Only then will you think and act in a context that will assist you build a flourishing business. Only then will you apply force in the right areas to create maximum forward momentum toward your objective.

The most powerful question you can ask yourself (and should ask yourself SEVERAL TIMES per day) is “What is the most effective use of my time RIGHT NOW?”

Other questions you should ask yourself include:

  • What tasks do you most like doing?
  • What tasks do you least like doing?
  • Where do you spend the majority of your time and effort?
  • What tasks, if done well, would make the most significant positive impact on the success of your business?

5- Your subconscious holds a powerful key. Your subconscious has extraordinary power. Your subconscious is your hard working servant to your conscious thoughts. In fact, your subconscious mind never stops working. That’s good and bad.

Your subconscious works day and night 24/7 making your conscious thoughts become reality. What you think, you are. Unfortunately, most people consciously think limiting, negative thoughts. These negative conscious thoughts put the subconscious to work, and hence they become a reality. And then people say “See, I told you that would happen”.

Reflecting back on our comments about self concept, people that have a poor self concept in a specific area ALWAYS have poor conscious thoughts relating to that area. For instance, if you think (your self concept) you are not good at public speaking; you will find that you reinforce it through your conscious thoughts. When someone mentions public speaking you’ll think to yourself “I hate public speaking. I just can’t do it. I get really nervous and usually make a fool of myself”.

Your subconscious can not discern between positive and negative. It simply acts to bring your thoughts into reality. So when you consciously think about being bad at public speaking, guess what happens? You become bad at public speaking!

The beauty of the subconscious is that you are never aware of the diligent work it does. So it doesn’t actually feel as though you have expended any effort. So in order to invoke positive outcomes you must concentrate on having positive, effective conscious thoughts. You’ll then immediately put your subconscious to work in a positive context:

  • Think in positives and always expect the best.
  • Reframe all your negative conscious thoughts into positives.
  • Think of your subconscious as a child that requires careful training and direction.
  • Become more aware of your negative conscious self talk.
  • Spend 20-minutes each night in bed before sleep thinking about positives and affirming your positive expectations.

6- The power of perseverance. Perseverance is a sum of positive attitude and persistence. Perseverance goes hand in hand with expectation. If you fully expect a certain outcome, there is no obstacle that can’t be overcome.

To the expectant, persevering mind, a challenge is an opportunity for a solution. It’s simply something that has to be worked through on the road to success. When confronted with a challenge, the expectant, persevering mind will think “That’s part of life and business, what’s the best solution?”

To the non-persevering mind a challenge is a barrier. The non-persevering mind doubts that a challenge can be overcome. They look for the worst in every situation and hence the worst often occurs. When confronted with a challenge, the non-persevering mind will think “Oh no, it’s happening again. Why does all this bad stuff have to happen to me? It always seems to happen to me and not anyone else.”

Worry is simply a negative thought caught up in procrastination. To develop a success mindset, you must develop perseverance. Because challenges confront everyone, they are not discriminatory!

7- There is someone that can do better than you. This is probably not the type of realisation that someone aiming to establish a success mindset would ordinarily have! But it’s simply reality. Once you accept that there is someone out there that could walk into your business tomorrow and do significantly better with the exact same resources, you’ll acknowledge that YOU can do more, better.

You’ll quickly realise that you have the capacity to make an extraordinary difference in your business. The thoughts you have; where you focus your attention; the assistance you seek from others; how you apply your capital; the skills you seek out to attain; all dramatically influence your success – and hence your lifestyle.

The New Entrepreneurial Spirit

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This is Part 6 of the special series “Discover the Work You Were Born to Do“, by author Nick Williams.

By the end of this article, you will have explored:

  • The new entrepreneurial spirit
  • Some of the common objections to becoming an entrepreneur
  • The six passions behind the new entrepreneurial spirit

A new entrepreneurial spirit emerges via the work we were born to do. As we have seen, it is based on creative inspiration rather than purely on economic gain. I call working in this way being ‘an inspired entrepreneur’.

However, many people’s hearts sink when they think about turning something they love into a business. There are two major reasons for this:

Being an entrepreneur or business owner has connotations of being tough, greedy, competitive, self-serving and perhaps even exploitative: just as the word ‘work’ is negatively emotionally laden for many people, so is the word ‘business’. But it needn’t be! Both words can be redeemed when we realise that a successful business can be based on serving people without losing our integrity in the process.

‘Going commercial’ does not mean that you are suddenly transformed into an aggressive salesperson who looks at everyone with pound (or dollar or euro) signs in their eyes. However, being an inspired entrepreneur does mean being willing to ask for (and accepting) money for your work and proactively seeking financial reward. After all – if your business struggles to accept money – how can it grow to serve the world in a greater way?

Another big myth is that, by turning professional, we’ll somehow lose our love for the work as it will be reduced to a sterile business activity. We may think that amateurs ‘do it for love’ whereas professionals ‘do it for money’.

I want to turn this around and suggest that if we stay amateurs at something we love, then we actually don’t love that activity enough! As professionals we may accept money for what we do, but we also do it for the love of it. We have to love what we do, otherwise why would we want to dedicate so much of our life, time and energy to it?

We look out into the world and think, ‘But there is so much competition. What’s special about me? How am I ever going to beat the competition to find my customers? I don’t have enough to offer!’

There are various issues to understand here. Firstly, each one of us is unique and whatever we do will be unique – so customers may choose you simply because they like the unique way you approach the work.

Secondly, far from there being a shortage of opportunity, the world is overflowing with it. There are so many unmet human needs, things being done badly, and dull and uninspiring businesses out there. If we do something in a competent and inspired way, we are very likely to succeed.

And finally, the economy is always growing and people are always spending more money. So we don’t necessarily have to compete – we just need to turn up, show people what we do and – as people see what we do – they will start wanting it!

The main difference between an ordinary entrepreneur and an inspired entrepreneur is whether our focus is mainly on seeking money or serving our own heart.

The two are by no means exclusive, but the key question is which factor we are primarily motivated by. The prevailing questions for most ordinary entrepreneurs are: ‘What is hot?’ ‘Where can I make money?’ ‘What is the market hungry for?’ ‘Where is the demand?’ In contrast, the prevailing questions that guide the inspired entrepreneur are: ‘What does my heart want to do?’ ‘What am I inspired to do?’ ‘How can I help my fellow human beings?’

Inspired entrepreneurs are the motivating, central cause in their working lives – rather than being at the mercy of outside forces and dictated to by markets.

I want to help you discover what’s in your heart and then successfully take it to the marketplace – so that many people can experience the benefit of it and so you can create a successful business of your own.

You can be a force in the marketplace without selling out. When you do what you love – the money will follow – but you will need to learn how to make the money follow rather than just hoping that it will. And I can teach you that.

The Six Passions Behind the New Entrepreneurial Spirit

Whilst the new entrepreneurial spirit is not primarily about making money, many inspired entrepreneurs are very successful financially – and you can learn to ‘put out the welcome mat for money’ in the same way.

The new spirit sees business simply as a vehicle, not as an end in itself. It is a great canvas onto which to express our soul, find freedom, be creative, make a contribution and grow and evolve ourselves.

The new entrepreneurial spirit does not necessarily lead to our wanting to create a huge business; most likely it will manifest itself as a desire to be a solo professional, working in association with others – with a handful of employees at most – and often working from home.

It’s based on six principal passions:

A passion for the work you were born to do. Being an inspired entrepreneur is about doing what we love and work we’re passionate about, with a sense of purpose… it’s about serving our clients and generating the income we need and want – whilst feeling that we are doing what we came here to do. Inspired entrepreneurs get out of bed fastest and go to work happiest; they hit the ground running because they express themselves through their work and find intrinsic fulfilment in doing it.

A passion that creates something that didn’t exist before. Being an entrepreneur is not a job title, but a state of mind. The inspired entrepreneur sees business as an inherently creative act. The Latin root of the word ‘create’ is creare, meaning ‘to bring into being’; to bring a business into being means imagining it first, dreaming it into existence.
Even though the world can seem an unsafe place for our dreams, we can all find the courage and skills within ourselves to bring our dreams into existence. Inspired entrepreneurs see the creative potential and power in ideas; they love creating things and they love doing things creatively. And once they have created something, they are always wondering what is next.

A passion for freedom, individuality and interdependence. This expresses itself as a need to ‘do your own thing’ and as a tendency to take responsibility for yourself and for your business. An inspired entrepreneur has little interest in blaming her mother, the economy, or the Government, realising instead that she can only truly change herself.
The inspired entrepreneur is in charge of his own destiny, and that makes him giddy with excitement. With this spirit, we want to help change the world, not wait for the world to change. In doing so we become more fully alive, and that vitality is transmitted energetically to our customers, attracting customers who are also fully alive.

A passion for personal growth and fulfilment of your potential. As humans our nature is to keep growing, developing and unfolding into our own greatest good – so there is nothing sadder or more tragic than to have our potential go untapped. There is a greatness of spirit in everyone, and our fulfilment will come from finding and expressing that potential through our work. Our playing small does not serve the world.

Our work and business can stretch us and help us discover our creative talents and solve problems; it can enable us to satisfy continually our curiosity about all that we can become. Through it, we can discover and activate new aspects of ourselves, constantly evolving and learning. And as we grow, so the opportunities open to us increase as well. We will find ourselves presented with more exciting projects, bigger challenges and new things to master. In this way, we don’t stay as acorns, but grow into oak trees. The business we end up with may be very different from the one we start; it will always be evolving and changing as we learn, grow and understand more.

A passion for building a lifestyle, not just a business. When we are doing the work we were born to do, the delineation between work, play and life begins to blur for us. When our work is an expression of our real Self, we won’t want to get away from it, although we may well occasionally need to refresh and renew ourselves. Even when we are doing what we love, we will still want and need fun, family, friends, balance, renewal, rest and adventure, and time just to ‘be’ rather than ‘do’. But we will nevertheless become a whole person in the process, rather than someone who lives their life in compartments.

A passion for service and contribution. Service and contribution are what makes your life fulfilling, and making a difference in the world is the highest function of your business. Your own inspired business can be a great way for you to share your particular gifts and talents with people, and make your unique contribution to life, and make your difference in the world.

It can be a channel for your generosity of spirit. A passion for helping others will lead you to richer life financially, emotionally and spiritually. You can have what you want in life when you help enough other people get what they want. And one of the greatest ways of contributing is you doing what you love and working from the highest energy place within you.

If people around you, or you yourself, doubt your sanity for wanting to give up your career or secure job in order to pursue the work you were born to do, then consider the points above. Remember the reasons why you are setting out on this path and the many rewards along the way!

About the Author

Through his books, and live talks, workshops, personal coaching and on-line learning programmes, Nick Williams has inspired tens of thousands of people to discover the work they were born to do.

Website: www.nick-williams.com
Blog: http://nickwilliams100.typepad.com

Develop a Successful Business Mindset, Part One

Business Development Comments Off

One of the most intriguing things about business (and life) is how two people can have substantially the same opportunities – training, know-how, capital and experience – yet produce dramatically different results. This paradox exists everywhere.

Within the coaching industry, there are extremely successful coaches, and coaches that find it a challenge even to get clients. Yet each coach may have had substantially the same resources when they started. So what’s the difference? And how can you ensure that you’re the successful coach?

Whilst coaches may make different strategic choices at junctures in their business development, there is one overriding factor that differentiates extremely successful business people from the rest. That key differentiator is their MINDSET.

Having the right mindset for business success goes well beyond establishing goals and being positive. To develop a Success Mindset, consider the following:

1- Your reality is a mirage. Have you ever considered what your reality actually is? How it was formed? And how your perception of your reality affects outcomes in your life?

To each of us our reality feels extremely tangible and real. Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, expectations, capabilities and limitations all feel real. They feel as though they are things that happen to us over which we have little control. As though they are external forces that ultimately drive us toward our future or fate.

Yet the truth is: people with substantially the same circumstances often have extremely contrasting realities (or perceptions of their realities). When impacted by the same set of events, whether opportunities or challenges, people with much the same physical resources to deal with that event, produce dramatically different outcomes.

Consider 2 start-up coaches. Each is in their late 30′s, each just finishing a coaching qualification, each with similar start-up capital, skills and attributes. Each coach competes in the same market. They have substantially the same opportunity to create their future. And yet within 6 to 12-months one may have a prospering business turning over $10,000+ per month, and one may be struggling to get clients. This is an extremely common scenario (not just in coaching, but in business and in life).

One of the most important differentiators between the successful coach and the other is their perception of their reality. To an outside observer, each coach has the same resources and hence should have the same reality, and produce the same results. Yet, successful people are often able, through subconscious and cognitive processes, to frame their reality in such a way as to create a substantially more beneficial outcome.

They are able to see opportunity where others see adversity. When confronted by a challenge they’re able to reframe it into a positive outcome. They’re able to remain focussed on their objectives. They’re able to see the bigger picture rather than being caught up in non-productive activities.

Take some time to think about YOUR reality:

  • What is your perception of your reality?
  • What beliefs do you have about yourself, your capabilities or your circumstances that are limiting your capacity to achieve a better reality?
  • How did you formulate those beliefs? Are they learned? Have they been reinforced by past failures? If so, why do they need to limit your future?
  • Are you aware of other people, in similar circumstances to your own that have a ‘better’ reality than yours? If so, why can’t you create a reality better than the one you’re in now?
  • What steps do you need to action to produce a set of belief systems that are conducive to you creating the reality you want?

2- Expectation. Expectations are the precursor of outcomes. What you expect to happen will happen. The expectations you have are extremely powerful in determining the outcomes you produce. It’s very rare indeed that we have a low expectation and produce a high outcome. Highly successful people expect to be successful. And interestingly, they expect to be successful even before they have evidence to validate such expectation.

Using the case study above, the successful coach expects (not wants, but expects) to be successful. Deep in their inner being they KNOW with absolutely certainty that they are going to be successful. They are void of doubt. They know with certainty that they will achieve their desired results. Any challenges that confront them along the way they KNOW they will overcome.

The other coach however, may WANT to be successful, but they have limiting beliefs which prohibit them from expecting to be successful. These limiting beliefs manifest in doubt and work at a subconscious level to ensure that the coach is not successful. Their ‘want’ to be successful is a conscious desire. It’s not hard coded into their being. But their doubts are hard coded, and hence overcome their conscious thoughts about success.

In both instances, the coaches are correct in their expectations!

It’s critical that if you want to be successful, and develop a success mindset, that you identify limiting beliefs and reframe them. You NEED to hard code your positive expectations and become void of limiting beliefs and doubts. Only then will you be able to develop expectations that will be realised.

  • What beliefs do you have that are limiting your ability to achieve?
    • I don’t have enough experience to be successful in business?
    • People won’t perceive me as an expert?
    • People won’t pay me enough for my services that I could be successful?
    • It’s impossible for me to charge $500, or $2,500 per month for my service.
    • If I ask someone to commit to a contract they won’t see value in it?
    • I feel uncomfortable asking people to sign up for my service.
    • I feel embarrassed talking to people about my service and about myself.
  • What past or present experiences do you have that may reinforce your limiting beliefs?
    • I only earn $30,000 per annum now, so it’s impossible for me to earn $100,000 per annum in business.

So WHERE does your REALITY and EXPECTATIONS come from and how can you change them? Your reality and expectations are founded in your SELF-CONCEPT. Your self concept is essentially how you perceive yourself. And your overall self concept is an average of how you perceive yourself in all areas of your life. For instance, you have a self concept of your ability as a driver, as a parent, son, business person, coach and salesperson.

Coaches with a weak Marketing Mindset, have a poor self concept of themselves as salespeople. If you ask a coach with a poor marketing mindset: “Are you good at selling your services?” or “Are you good at closing sales?” they will invariably answer “NO!” 

The paradox is that your self concept is totally subjective. Your limiting beliefs are mostly based on erroneous information. It is not founded on reality. It is ONLY a CONCEPT. In areas where you PERCEIVE you perform well, you DO perform well. In areas where you believe you perform poorly, you WILL perform poorly.

Most often limiting beliefs and poor self concepts are developed from early experiences that have resulted in poor outcomes. Often these experiences don’t even relate directly to the area of your self concept. They are often superimposed from similar experiences or simply presumed. But once they’re formed they are significant impediments to performance.

To develop a positive, effective marketing self concept you must:

  • Accept that your ability to perform well at marketing is only limited by your perceived ability to so. As soon as you accept this fact you are then able to begin work on developing an effective marketing self concept.
  • Actively and consciously take the necessary steps to reframe your belief systems.

The results you achieve (in marketing and business) are DIRECTLY proportional to what you perceive yourself to be worth, or deserving to achieve. And this is directly related to your self concept.

Often coaches enter the profession with a certain financial objective. Yet this objective is vastly disproportionate to what they’ve been achieving in their lives prior to entering coaching. If you’ve been earning $45,000 per annum for 10-years, then you have significant and powerful reinforcement that you are only worth $45,000 per annum. To earn substantially more than that, you must reframe your self concept or you’ll find that you’ll cap your ability to earn as a coach at $45,000 per annum.

Use AFFIRMATIONS and reinforcement strategies to reframe your limiting self concepts. Your self concept as a salesperson or business person has been established and reinforced for a LONG time.

To re-wire your beliefs takes proactive strategies and repetition. It is simply not enough to say to yourself “Ok, I’m going to be a good salesperson now”. You must invoke change at a deep subconscious level.
 
In part two (next post), we will look at how responsibility, appropriate use of force, perseverance and other factors can assist you develop a success mindset.