In the summer of 1983 I was working hard gathering the kids at my summer camp after a game of kick-ball. It was time to bring it down for a water break and snack before going into the arts and craft section of camp. I was only 12-years old but I was running my own summer camp right in my backyard! I have had this entrepreneurial spirit in me from a very young age.
As an entrepreneur I often wonder where did this come from. Why did I choose to define my own space in the world of business? In a lot of ways it would be easier to work for someone else; 9-5, weekends off, get paid and be done. There is something about the entrepreneurial spirit; it lives in you and you simply can’t settle on simple. We have this need to use our creative side and bring to fruition our vision, our dream.
I felt this at the rip old age of 12. Maybe even before. I always had the desire to make my own money. I had my first paper route at 11- years old, created my own neighborhood summer-camp at 12-years old, and continued to make money baby-sitting ongoing through high school. Maybe I don’t like being bossed around… LOL! Being the youngest of 6-kids this very well may be the case. No matter what the reason is, the bottom line is I am an entrepreneur and I love every thing about it.
Don’t get me wrong; being an entrepreneur comes with challenges. Some so severe there are days you want to walk away. Those days when you feel the vision you have is impossible and you allow fear to pulsate your brain. GAH! But something keeps you in it. Maybe your fighting spirit or maybe the fact that there is no other option for you, this is who you are, this is what you are meant to do. I know for me walking away, not facing those struggles, simply wouldn’t work for me.
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It’s not all negative… I don’t mean to be an entrepreneurial “Debbie Downer”. There are some amazing perks. Like the ability to work from wherever you want. I have worked on a beach, a ski slope, endless hotels, sports fields etc. You define what any given day looks like – heck I am writing this in my PJ’s with a cup of coffee – aaaah, not so shabby eeh!
There is a balance to it all. There are those ebbs and flows, just like in life. So, how does the young entrepreneur stay in it, embrace it, and thrive at it? There are several ways but here are my top 5 strategies I use daily to a thrive as an entrepreneur:
- Have a plan. Every September I start mapping out the following year. I take out post-its, calendars, and index cards and start creating my plan. This gives me a clear picture of where I am going in my business. I take the index card and write the area business I want to focus on. So for example let’s take product launches. In marker I will write “Produce Launches” on the index card and tape it to the wall. Under that I will place post-its with the month and day that particular product will launch. Under this I will add any specifics that will need to be in order prior to the launch; graphics, email campaigns, anticipation phase prior to launch. Now, I know the what, when, and how of that particular year and each individual product. Not only do I know what the year ahead looks like, this also helps me organize my daily tasks. Everything has a purpose. It allows me to focus on what I need to get done in any given day to make my overall goals of the year ahead happen. Having a focus like this helps:
- Keep you focused. It prevents your brain from going all over the place. You have your plan and that helps you stay laser focused.
- Prevent you from saying, “yes” to other things that are not going to support your business. It is easy to fall into the “yes trap” in the beginning of your business. Having a clear plan will help you to only say yes to things that will support this plan. Guest posts, podcasts, interviews, affiliate marketing etc.
- Have an accountability partner. Whether you choose to hire a coach, join a mastermind club, or have your best friend keep you in check being accountable is critical. Once you have your plan written out share it with your accountability partner of choice. I cannot put into words how important this is. Here’s why. As entrepreneurs we have amazing ideas but somehow someway fear will get in your way. There will be that voice in your head telling you “You can’t do that just yet, you’re not qualified” and it will lay out all the reasons its not possible. Having an accountability partner will force you to face these fears and hopefully overcome them. Without someone to check in with 9 times out of 10 you will choose to not take any action at all. Remember, it is you and your PC for 90% of any given day. You will be constantly in front of people who are killing it on social media and in email marketing and it will remind you over and over how far you have to go. If you have an accountability partner they will snap you back to your reality and help keep your dream alive. Get that in place ASAP!
- Create a daily ritual/system. One of the greatest tools I use is a planner by Brendon Burchard. (You can download here High Performance Academy Planner) It is extremely easy to get distracted in our daily tasks; email, Facebook, IG, Twitter, text messages, more email… you get the idea. This is why daily systems, especially time management is critical. Doing what matters most first is important for brain energy. We play a lot of different roles as entrepreneurs so preserving brainpower is critical. Create a plan, write it down, and stick to it daily. You will be more productive and therefore more successful.
- Honor your voice. I am going to keep this simple. You are you and I will fall in love with you if I am meant for you and you for me. Meaning, don’t try to appease to all, speak to your people with your voice. Those who love you will stick around and those who don’t will walk… that’s exactly what we want. Be you, no one else. You can read a thousand books on marketing your brand, your voice, your product, but always use the voice you have right in your soul. People want to get to know you not your products. What you love, what you hate, what’s your quirks, pet peeves, passions, dreams – your story! Use your personality to build relationships. No one wants your products until they know who you are, they want to trust you and the only way to do that is to be you. So the whole hype on “speak your message” or “discover your message” You know your message, you are the message – just be authentic, your tribe will come based on that alone. Don’t complicate it!
- Never stop learning: One of the biggest mistakes we can make as entrepreneurs is to think we have learned all there is to know. We are never done learning. I have spent thousands of dollars on coaches, books, online programs… learning is frigging awesome! Plus, the online space is a whole different beast, every day there is something new. Platforms, like Facebook, change the user experience often so you have to stay current. Take time each day to learn. When you take out your daily planner be sure to put as a priority 1-hour of learning and research (minimum) per day.
I love what I do, coaching woman how to build a thriving business is truly a dream come true. I love how each day is different and each year has brought about something new and challenging in my business. Be open to all that is in front of you and know each day there is a lesson, something new to learn that will help bring you to a whole new level. Running your own business can get lonely, frustrating, and confusing, but it can also be awesome and amazing! Follow these steps and stay laser focused on building an ass kicking business from the InsideOut!