Today we are going to help you unlock your potential as an entrepreneur.
I felt restless.
I would shut my eyes, but it still felt like I was running.
My dream life would not allow me to sleep and have actual dreams.
At the time I was living in New York, knitting scarves furiously hoping to untangle my life’s purpose.
I was meant for more than my banking job, despite a big fat paycheck. I was living the American Dream, but I wasn’t satisfied. I was actually full of melancholy and anxiety from not living the life I intended to have in the Big Apple.
My potential had been keeping me up at night for months-and-months.
In the backs of my eyelids, I would be designing my logo, writing blog posts, giving keynote talks, and signing books, all between the hours of 12am-3am. Every. Damn. Night.
Motivation Monday: When your restless mind keeps you up, don’t be overwhelmed – be grateful.
Take a listen because those entrepreneurial desires will not go away.
This is just the beginning for you, and if you are already losing sleep – this means you have a trait that is necessary for entrepreneurs – STAMINA.
So, what is your restless mind telling you?
When I ask this, I want you to tune into your ideas — NOT your questioning of them.
What is it that you are burning to put out into the world?
Don’t worry at this point who is doing the same. Or, that you don’t have the resources. This is your chance to think big with no restrictions.
When you do this, doubt, fear, and lack of resources, don’t cloud your ideas.
True creativity is born in this space.
THIS is also another necessary trait to be an entrepreneur – what I like to call a Realistic Idealist. When you can be creative and logical at the same time.
I know that your fear may creep up as you do this, there is logic in your fear, it helps you double check your strategy. BUT, there is a thin line between fear and doubt.
Fear will push you, doubt will punish you.
The logistics of building and launching will come in time. You are smart enough to figure it out.
Right now, just give yourself permission to take an inventory of your ideas and of your personality.
The road to entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart.
Here is an inventory list of personal traits you will need for the longevity of you, and your business.
Let’s get to know your core competencies.
Perfection is an illusion, and it’s NOT about having all on this list.
It’s about being CLEAR about your core competencies – your strengths – your entrepreneurial superpower.
Motivation Monday: What you lack, you can figure out.
If you are reading this and feel the heat in your body, or excitement in your mind – this is a journey your soul is craving.
Here is a list of traits that make for a successful entrepreneur.
Rate yourself from 1-5 to determine your strengths, and your opportunities for growth, collaboration, or working with a coach.
1 = I’m not so good at this yet.
3 = Depends on the day.
5 = Oh yeah, I got this!
If you feel your inner voice getting all judgy on you, shush it right now!!
Being honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do is the best business plan.
Sometimes, it’s not the perfect time to start your business, doesn’t mean you can’t start formulating your ideas and networks.
So, take a look at your list, and see the areas where you are stellar. Recognize and validate your badassery.
Now, look at your lukewarm qualities, and begin to warm them up with solutions.
You can always find other entrepreneurs to collaborate with or just work alongside to gain knowledge. I’m a big believer of sweat equity, help a person out that can teach you something.
This is your time.
Listen to your restlessness, the answers to your dream life are waiting to be discovered.
Keep your fear in check as you think big. Learn everything you can. Remember, this is your time to take an inventory of ideas, the rest you will figure out in time. You got this!
Motivation Monday: Face Your Entrepreneur Fears
It’s time to face your entrepreneurial fears.
I had nothing.
I had no one.
I didn’t even know where I would be living in a few months.
All I had was two big black suitcases I had bought on Canal Street and a box of journals that held my words from the age of 12 to 33.
I had just temporarily shut down my nonprofit in New York City after a burn-out, and felt like a complete failure.
I knew returning to corporate would be a slow death. I also was sure that I was still supposed to make my work about helping others. But, somehow I needed to do that without hurting myself.
Whenever I’m jammed up this way, I take the first 10 minutes of my day to write. Every day.
Sometimes it would flow.
At times I just had a page of doodles.
Other times just random streams of consciousness.
Three months away from New York, and I still had no solid idea of what my career should form into.
I looked at my meager belongings to understand my own belonging, and that’s when over 30 of my journals came into clear view.
I am a writer.
I love to write.
Words are the one thing we all have in common. This is how I will help others and not empty myself.
The idea came strong and clear – for about a solid 10 minutes before the questioning began.
Who am I to be a writer?
What I have to say is not that important.
English is my second language, who am I kidding?
I am a slow reader that needs to reread a page more than once.
There are a million authors, it’s a saturated market, and I will never make any money.
I exhausted the idea before I wrote my first page.
But, it was too late, somewhere down deep my potential knew this is what I am to do. The ideas kept me up at night, and finally, I gave myself permission to take the first step.
I found more courage and creativity with each step I took, although, every other step was still full of questioning.
Researching your industry and competitors is a must for any successful entrepreneur. It is also a great way to feed your doubtful inner voice.
This is the journey of every entrepreneur.
Understand that your fears are just there to help you double check your approach.
If you don’t let the questioning inside take over your confidence, you will see that it is actually helping you clarify your specific niche.
It took me over 2 years to write “Find Your Voice” and to understand its place in the market. Actually, the audience I wrote it for rejected it, but I remained flexible through my fear and found the readers that felt its impact.
I allowed my questioning to take a curious tone versus a doubtful tone.
Here are two reflective questions I am going to ask you to ponder over. I want you to specifically pay attention to how you approach these questions within yourself. You can be honest with yourself without being a jerk about it.
YOU are the only one in your way.
This is the space for you to practice not answering from a doubtful place, but a curious place – a necessary trait for any successful entrepreneur.
Reflections on your industry
- Who is successful?
- What is the voice of their brand?
- What problem are they solving for their customers?
Reflections on your brand
- What is unique about your approach to the same problem?
- Can you see where you can fill the holes in the market with your perspective?
Please be aware of Black n’ White Betty (or Bob) now that you have answered these questions. This is a name I give my thoughts when they get all-or-nothing / win-or-lose on me. Reminding me that there is no room for my voice and my business out there in the world.
There is enough.
You have enough ideas.
Forget scarcity. Remember abundance.
There are very few businesses (even Apple) that cater to EVERYONE.
Those they don’t cater to, are looking for YOUR business, YOUR approach.
There is enough opportunity out there for all of us. It’s just a matter of figuring out your approach, and how to position it in your market. Take time to research, and take time to step away from it all and clear your head of business ideas.
You have to learn to refuel for the longevity of your business.
Motivation Monday – Three Questions that will Reveal your Inner Strengths
It has taken me two years to write my first manuscript and to find a publisher that was willing to invest in bringing my words to the public.
I was proud.
I thought I was finally headed in the right direction.
The timing also coincided with my first time experiencing Emerging Women Live, a conference that shook me to the core, and I truly walked away thinking differently.
I was confident, clear, and ready to use my voice to share my message and network my lil’ booty off. My publisher gave me an assignment – to find important people that could endorse my book.
At this point, I had only verbally pitched my idea to my publisher, and she came to see me speak on a panel that same evening. I was able to gain her trust before sending my manuscript, which I had sent to her and the editor just days before.
The night before the conference I was cuddling with my laptop in my narrow Airbnb when I received feedback from my editor. And, it wasn’t pretty. I will sum it up as: my first draft sounded like CliffsNotes!!
My throats tightened and my heart fell heavy into my stomach.
I went to bed that night repeating: CliffsNotes.
Despite the feeling of failure, I promised myself the next morning that I would go into the conference with the same fervor, head held high.
I was doing pretty well, walking through the check-in area with a smile, making eye contact, saying hello first. I was pretty damn proud of myself.
Then I was handed a gift bag. It was heavy, and I thought, oh there’s some good stuff in here!
The first thing I pulled out was a book, with nearly the same title as mine!! My heart once again found its way to my gut, and my eyes filled with tears.
I immediately took a picture and texted it to my publisher, asking if this was going to be a problem. Fortunately, the answer was no.
But this instance had awoken a fear in me.
There was too much competition.
Why would anyone listen to my approach?
Who am I, and what am I really putting out there anyway?
I retreated from my inner voice’s craziness and did my best not to get judgmental, I began to repeat inwardly: stay curious and open, stay curious and open…
I was actually in the perfect place to be experiencing such reflective questions. This allowed me to learn my niche in the industry. The information at the conference fed so many of my answers. So much that I would often find myself soaking with sweat while listening to some of the speakers and having to go home to change for the evening sessions.
It was in this place where my entrepreneurial superpower was born.
I was honest and smart.
I did my due diligence- the responsibility of any successful entrepreneurs.
Yes, authors, speakers, and coaches exist in a saturated market. I knew the facts. I did a competitor analysis. Which felt like quicksand full of doubt and fear again. But, I found a way to fight those thoughts with facts.
The facts allowed me to see how my approach actually filled a niche. More importantly, even though I want to change and empower the world, I cannot by myself. Nope, can’t do it.
So, if I can’t, neither can all the other people doing this with me.
In fact, we are all needed, because each of our voices speaks to a segment that is currently out there lost, hurting, and ready for what you have to offer.
It is your responsibility to find your entrepreneurial superpower for the success of your business and to genuinely help those that need YOUR APPROACH.
You are human, you are influenced by your environment.
Please be aware of this as you study your competitors, their content, and approach. We want you to stay authentic to you.
So, look at it more analytically. Here are three questions to help guide your reflection and reveal your entrepreneurial superpower (your niche).
- What one problem is your audience facing?
- What is your competition doing to help this problem?
- How are you going to solve your audience’s problem? List 3 ways your approach is going to solving this problem is different – this is your superpower! (Make sure you are including a product or service as part of the solution)
There is a beautiful opportunity when you have thoroughly studied your industry. You understand where the holes are. You understand where your voice, and your perspective is missing.
Here are some simple tips to approach your competitor analysis.
- Think of 2-3 channels of income you want for your bigger picture. For me, it was speaking, writing, coaching.
- For each income making part of your business find 5-10 in your industry doing the same thing. Divide this list into two parts:
- I like how they are doing things….
- I don’t like how they are doing things…
This allows you to recognize the approach and personality of your industry, and this is where you begin to create a niche for yourself, with your unique point of view!
Please remember to stay curious and open, don’t let this part of the process confuse you. Your niche is your superpower. This is the fun part, figuring out exactly what you want to offer, and who you want to offer it to! Want to learn more entrepreneur secrets? Read more here.