The first time I left my job to begin an entrepreneurial venture, I was ready. I had money and a business plan. What else did I need, I thought? I gave notice to my employer and to my surprise, fear set in immediately. I didn’t leave my job…that time. I realized that while I prepared externally, I didn’t prepare internally – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually – for this life transition.
Almost nine years have passed since I left my job and began my venture as an entrepreneur. I’ve learned that entrepreneurship is a process – it is like building and then crossing a bridge. I’ve also learned that entrepreneurship takes place “within” an individual – it is not necessarily about leaving a job , but rather about living a life of fulfillment. Entrepreneurial thinking and living takes time, energy, tools, and action.
Here are some ideas that have proven to be helpful to my clients in making the transition to entrepreneurial thinking and living.
1. Do Something Different Every Day
The purpose of this exercise is simply to get your mind accustomed to new experiences on a regular basis. Part of being human is that we develop patterns and are comfortable with habits. By doing something different every day, the mind becomes accustomed to change and new experiences.
I gave one of my clients this exercise as part of her “homework;” she came back a week later and said, “The homework assignment that I thought was going to be the easiest (doing something different every day) turned out to be the hardest.” Sometimes, we need to practice integrating change into our lives.
Here are some ideas to start:
- Walk your dog on the other side of the street;
- valet park if you never valet;
- order something different at a restaurant;
- get up ½ hour earlier.
New ideas will come to you once you’re committed to doing new things on a regular basis.
2. Evaluate your Belief System
This is a big one for both new and experienced entrepreneurs. What are your beliefs, particularly about money? Many of the clients I work with have created new beliefs about money because the old belief system no longer serves them. The best example I have is a client who has a for-profit and a non-profit organization. Her non-profit organization raises money for homeless children in Brazil. When she evaluated her belief system, she realized that her old beliefs blocked the flow of money to her, which in effect, blocked the flow of money to the children she was desiring to help in Brazil. She re-designed her belief system and now experiences greater financial success in her business and non-profit organization.
3. Write down your wildest dreams
We can create what we can imagine. After doing something different every day for about ten days, new ideas will begin to flow to you. Creative thoughts will slip in and out of your consciousness, so write them down when they come to you. By capturing them on paper, you make room for new ideas and can then decide in which “dreams” to invest.
4. Affirm, Affirm, Affirm…
Affirm yourself, affirm your goals, and affirm your vision and dreams. Miracles happen this way. I worked with a client who was frustrated with his job; each time he’d return for business counseling, he would share a similar frustration.
One day I asked him what he really wanted to be doing with his life and he said, without hesitating, “I want to live and work in Italy.” I asked him, “Why aren’t you there, then?” He shared the feelings that were “blocking” him from doing what he wanted. From that point, he and I worked on creating affirmations to help him achieve his goal. He left for Italy six weeks later.
Enjoy the process, achieve what you desire, and become who you truly are!