The myth of the Quantum Leap: Why we as entrepreneurs often feel inadequate
Episode #1 of the course Mental exercises for beginner entrepreneurs by Genevieve LeMarchal
As soon as you decide to become an entrepreneur and bring your business to life, you take on the responsibility of keeping your business alive. No matter what. In the early stages, all sorts of crazy things happen, all in the name of making it work and surviving to the next day.
When we are seeing very little progress and our goals seem so far away, it becomes disheartening to see others succeed. We hear stories all around us of overnight successes. It seems like everybody had lightbulbs go off, things fell into place easily, and their company skyrocketed just like that.
But this is not the case.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “It takes an average of 7 years to become an overnight success?” It’s true! We often don’t notice anybody working away until they skyrocket. Then the media and others like to portray them as overnight successes, because overnight success is much more interesting than “they toiled away in obscurity before finally getting things right.” That doesn’t sell issues or drive clicks!
So in the short term, we feel that we must sacrifice everything to make our business work—our health, our relationships, our free time, our hobbies. While it’s true that all businesses require dedication and sacrifice, it’s a myth that they will require everything of you. Your business will only take from you what you are willing to give it.
So, what can you do in the early years to feel like you are sacrificing less and still continue to build your momentum and traction?
The answer is simple: gain a new understanding of time, start viewing how you spend time, and allocate your priorities differently. The better you get at this, the less you will have to sacrifice. (Want more information about getting things done when your schedule is crazy? Blog post: “How to Get More Done in a Week.”)
Tony Robbins is famous for saying, “Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year—and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.”
Don’t fall for the Silicon Valley “unicorn.”
Don’t allow the media or the general culture around you to dictate how you should look in order to be a legitimate entrepreneur. You don’t have to wear a hoodie and sneakers to be good at what you do and worthy of doing it. You don’t have to wear an expensive suit either. You don’t have to build a certain type of business, be in the hot industry at the moment, have your branding look a certain way, or be young and “hip.”
This is all just an image that was created of how an entrepreneur should look and act. But this image was created by society, and it has absolutely nothing to do with you.
Tying your self-worth to the performance of your company is a sure-fire way to find yourself stressed, unhappy, and feeling like throwing in the towel. Take the approach of turning any internal self-criticizing talk into self-guiding talk. There is a resource below that can help greatly with this and the concepts discussed in this first lesson.
Your Action Tip of the Day
Upping your mental game is a practice!
Define priorities for yourself each day that are realistic. Are you putting a major part of your focus and attention on minor things? (For example, are you stressing out and overextending yourself to publish a blog post each week when blogs are not a key driver for your business?)
“The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson
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