Lesson 2: Channeling Your Inner Entrepreneur
What You’ll Learn: As you start thinking about a new business venture, it’s important to rediscover that inner entrepreneur that made you want to start a business in the first place.
Channeling Your Inner Entrepreneur (continued)
Rediscovering Your Passion
Depending upon how your last venture turned out, you may be reluctant to start over again or try to rebuild what you had. Still, it can be hard to let go of that burning desire to create something out of nothing. Something that customers love, that your community supports, and if you’re lucky, improves someone’s life or solves a vexing problem.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be born with this fire in their belly. Being an entrepreneur is a rare calling. While many people want to create their own business, few, for whatever reason, have what it takes to strike out on their own.
To regain your passion for entrepreneurship, you might want to take a little vacation or, at least, seek a change of scenery. Whether it’s going for a walk or heading to the beach, a new environment can recharge your system and open your mind to a new opportunity.
As you change the scenery, change the way you think, too. An excellent way to do this is through journaling. We all have a lot of clutter in our heads. Stuff we need to do, stuff we should have done, regrets from our past, and fears of the future. A stream of consciousness committed to three pages of notepaper can clear all this crap out.
You need to do this in long hand and fast. Whatever comes to you. The goal isn’t to be the next Ernest Heminway but to get past the clutter that is keeping you from thinking with a fresh mind and curiosity about the world. It’s O.K. to get comfortable; pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea. But you want to do it first thing in the morning, so your mind doesn’t fill with other things during the day.
Return to Main Office
After doing this for a couple of weeks, you’ll find that you’re spending less time with the clutter and more time finding clarity. Journaling creates this clarity. This is where new ideas come from.
You may want to mix things up a bit and go on a “create it date.” Go someplace that you haven’t been to before or in a long time. It’s important that you go by yourself, so you get some “me” time without any distractions. Observe what’s around you. Use all of your senses to experience your surroundings. Listen to what the world is telling you. See things from a fresh vantage point. These outings are a great place to ideate and find your next project. It can be as simple as walking down main street in your town and seeing a space for lease that screams a new business concept or seeing a child at play that spawns a new product or service.
Reconnecting to Your Purpose
In the day-to-day of running a business, it’s easy to lose your way. Reconnecting to your purpose – the reason you started a business in the first place or what is calling you to start one now – is vital. Having a purpose, whether it’s to reduce the carbon footprint, eliminate poverty, improve a life, or anything else that floats your boat and gives you a reason to get up in the morning, will help you find the energy and passion you need to start a new business.
An excellent way to create this sense of purpose is to think about what’s important to you personally. Spend some time at the 50,000 feet level, doing what is called visioning. For the moment, remove all the nuts and bolts of running a business. Think only about the overarching purpose of your business. Ideally, it should align with what’s important to you personally and align with your values and skills.
As you refine your vision, start writing down everything you would love about running a business that is aligned with this purpose. Does it sound exciting to you? Forget for a moment about the market potential or even the viability of the idea. You want to keep your concept broad at this point. Diving too deep into the details can cause you to compromise on your vision or dilute your idea for a business because you see challenges or pitfalls. There’s plenty of time to test your idea later.
Another way to reconnect with your purpose is to ask former customers or clients why they bought from you. It’s easy to think that you haven’t made much of a difference in the world, especially if your business had to close unexpectedly. But your customers or clients can help you find the reason you went into business in the first place, which may be the very thing you need to reignite your desire to jump in with both feet again. You may be surprised at how you have touched others throughout the life of your business.