If you are an entrepreneur or planning on exploring the world of business ownership, then you must learn one invaluable skill and that is the ability to invest in yourself.
Invest Time: First, take time to think. If you constantly have ideas running through your head then take the time to sit with your ideas and write them out. You are essentially investing the necessary time to develop your business idea into a business plan. You can list your ideas, your goals and a timeline. You should list the benefits and risks to make sure that you are properly prepared for the upcoming challenges. Invest time in research as well and see where you fit in to the existing business landscape. Never stop learning and invest time in reading, meeting people and doing what you need to do to stay current with your field. Before you decide to put yourself and your idea out there, make sure that you have carved out time in your schedule that can be specifically dedicated to your business.
Invest Money: There are a lot of free resources available to help budding entrepreneurs set up their business basics. You should absolutely take advantage of everything that you can before you start investing money so that you can essentially, “test the waters” on running your business. However, at some point you have to ask yourself if you want paying clients. If yes, then be the first one. Invest in resources that require money. Invest in a new outfit for the networking reception, headshots for your online profiles, or upgrade your free resources to paid resources. Invest in a professional development or career coach to help you grow your business and properly market your business skills. You may even want to invest in a lawyer to structure your business entity and plan for future tax liability. Eventually, you have to put more in if you want to get more out.
Invest Heart: Build confidence in your self and build confidence in your business. If you heart is not in it, then don’t take the risk because you will not be able to reap the reward. Believe in yourself if your want others to believe in you. Part of building your brand is building yourself as the brand owner. Both are continual processes and even I am still evolving. I recently learned two important lessons from my clients and from my consultants: (1) Don’t discount your self and (2) Don’t allow others to stifle you. In other words, know your value! Recognize the value of your service, the value of your time, and the value of your voice.
Invest (Time+Money+Heart)= You as a successful entrepreneur!
One day, a morning television guest described an interesting exercise. She encouraged people to make a list of ten things they would do if they could. I immediately typed a list on my phone because one of the key objectives in self-assessment is to include those thoughts that first pop into your head, before you allow doubt or insecurities to steer you in another direction. My list was broad and included a lifelong dream of writing an autobiography, some new far-fetched ideas like developing an app, but most importantly, I realized I am already doing at least one-third of the items on my list. It is so refreshing and motivating to change my perspective from “ I wish I could” to “I really am doing it.” Remember that perfection is not the goal. It is the journey that brings the revelation.
In Paulo Coelho’s “Warrior of the Light”, he writes, “It is because he believes that he is what he says he is that the Warrior ends up becoming precisely that.” If you are in a professional rut, feeling stuck and a bit lost, then it is time to evaluate your goals. Try taking a few minutes out of your day to write your list. You may still find that some of the listed items are not immediately attainable but what of the others? Those more short-term goals that you can start working on can bring you a renewed sense of purpose. You will feel more control over your circumstances and regain a sense of direction.
I have a friend who has yet to write her list because she is overwhelmed by the daily stressors of her life. While that is completely understandable, I cannot wait for her to discover the benefits of self-assessment. One of the challenges of being a career coach is seeing potential before individuals uncover their own ability to shine. One of the greatest rewards is seeing people gain confidence in their ability to reach their full potential. Here are 3 out of 10 goals that I am actively pursuing. I am enjoying every moment. Write your list of just 10 things and then think about whether you are ready to shine!
· Coach women through career change....check
· Help mothers return to work and discover hidden professional talents...check
· Schedule virtual trainings to share career advice...check
I am finally writing my first blog post! Why has it taken so long? Two words: “Analysis Paralysis”. A friend used the term to describe her hesitation in making her next career move and what a perfect term for deliberately delayed action. When you are a risk averse, perfectionist, with a need to succeed, it can be really difficult to take the first step towards something new. How can you break free from analysis paralysis?
First, find the right recipe. When you are going to make something good, the first step is usually researching the recipe that is going to work best for you. You have to find one with the ingredients you have or can easily attain and one that uses the tools you have available to you. Well when you are trying to accomplish a new goal, the steps are the same. Do your research to start and then outline the various steps and their order. You will end up with a tailored to-do list of smaller tasks or your “recipe” for success. Then start cooking! Even if you are taking baby steps, just keep going. Whatever your goal, be it a career change or a blog, it is important to keep your forward momentum and keep your goal in mind. You will get there if you just keep working towards it.
Second, add your own flavor. Some of the paralysis comes from comparison. You may compare yourself to peers, co-workers, or even a former version of yourself. But remember that you are the only you. You have been placed in this moment for a reason. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing or how. No two potential job candidates are the same. You are unique. Even when two people follow the same recipe, the results are different. You are the only one with your story, your experience, your perspective, and your particular “flavor”. Self-assessments can help you discover those qualities that will help you to stand out. Be confident and know that your special touch will be on everything you do.
Third, invite others to the party. Don’t try to go it along. It is helpful to share your goals with your support system. One of the most effective ways to combat the paralysis is accountability. When you are an entrepreneur, it is important to keep to a schedule. I make a list of weekly goals and share them with my friends and my husband. I welcome the check-ins to keep me focused. Please let others help you, take the constructive criticism, take the advice, take the contacts, the editing, the reviewing, the mock meetings, take the help. Working with a career coach is a great way to get that extra push you need to get moving in the direction of your professional happiness. Finally, share your success. Once you have found the right recipe, cooked up a delicious meal with your unique flavor, invite others to the party to savor your success. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and be celebrated.
I believe in only giving advice that I find personally inspiring. You are currently reading the result of my freedom from “Analysis Paralysis”.