As an entrepreneur, I’ve been through it all: During my first year, I was in such dire straits that my gas was shut off in my home for four months. I ate macaroni-and-cheese from a box for weeks at a time. I doubted myself. I spent large chunks of time in worry.
My cash flow problems escalated so badly that once, I even bounced a check to my sister … for her birthday. (Talk about embarrassing.) Her compassion and understanding fueled me to keep going.
But for all of the financial challenges and worry and wondering if everything will be okay, there has been nothing more painful than the discomfort of being lost.
When you are lost, you have no foundation for choice. You cannot make the right decisions because you don’t know where you are or where you want to be or how you want to get there.
All you know is that you feel some discomfort and a vague desire for something different instead.
It is when you are lost that you turn your power over to other people – people who claim to have the answers, but do not really solve the bigger picture problems that led you to believe you needed their answers. You end up spending money in ways that aren’t good for you, only to find out something is still not right.
Being lost feels awful. You end up floating along, or get yourself into all kinds of trouble by doing what you think you “have to do.” The reason is that when you are lost you get into a place of very limited thinking.
When you are clear, you empower yourself to make the choices that are truly right for you, saving you oodles of time, money and headaches. You end up in the right business model, with the right team and the right people leading you. Your business becomes the entrepreneurial equivalent of your soul mate.
Here is how to get unlost and create a foundation for choice:
1) Before you can know what to do, you must know how you want to feel. Abraham-Hicks and many others teach this … that your predominant feelings about your business form your creation point in terms of attracting opportunities, problems, people and situations. Danielle LaPorte calls this your Core Desired Feelings. (She has a book that can help you identify yours, and an e-book if you like that better.)
For me, understanding my Core Desired Feelings provides a solid foundation for choice. Once I know how I want to feel, I can simply ask myself, “Does this opportunity/person/relationship bring me my desired feeling, or take me further away from it?” Decision-making made simple. (You can learn more about how I used Core Desired Feelings to become radically happier in my business here.)
2) Get clear on what you want your business to do for you. Why did you want to be an entrepreneur? What were you hoping your business would provide that a job – and a steady paycheck – can’t, or won’t? Being an entrepreneur can be challenging. Make sure you are clear on your reasons for taking on that risk. Your business is there to serve you and honor who you are, not the other way around.
3) Understand your Must Haves and Can’t Stands – the things your business must do for you, and the situations and irritations you just can’t live with. Simply make a list with two columns, and away you go.
Here’s an example: If a Must Have for you is to have tons of free time to write and create and express, choosing an intimacy business model where your spend 20-30 hours a week working with clients = bad idea. You’ll end up feeling drained, squelched and unhappy. Having your business and schedule give you chunks of unstructured free time = good idea, such as only working with clients every other week, or moving client appointments to the afternoon so you can spend your morning engrossed in your latest creative project. Or even not working with clients at all, but choosing a completely different business model.
4) Be clear on what marketing archetype you are so you can be yourself and make the marketing choices that are right for you – not someone else. This will allow you to create ease in attracting clients and income and allow you to hire the right mentors and team members. If you are not clear on your marketing archetype, you’re in for a whole lot of headaches. I created a free kit you can use to find your marketing archetype. Request yours here.
If you’re feeling lost, put projects and decisions aside until you get some clarity. Take a deep breath.
Then, start with the above areas. If you need more help, you’re welcome to reach out. I’m really good at helping people get unlost. You’ll find info on how to do that here.
Beth A. Grant is a writer, speaker, marketing strategist and thought leader who helps you be yourself in business, in love, in life. She blogs at www.truthandconsciousness.com.