What exactly is an entrepreneur then? We do band this word about and I often wonder if we truly recognise its value? Most dictionary definitions include some mention of the word risk and commercial orientation. My personal definition and one I use when describing a Divapreneur is someone, in our case a woman, who is driven to build a business bigger than themselves. The key word here is BUILD. We are a nation fixated with self employment and short term contracting and although by choice or circumstance thousands of people leave the corporate world to plough their own furrow, very few actually step up to entrepreneurship, they simply create a job for themselves.
The true test of entrepreneurship for me is what happens to your income if you take a 3 week holiday? Does is stop altogether? Does the business exist without any input from you?
I am passionate about business and would love to see more people in the UK grasp the nettle and set out with plans to build a business as opposed to simply better their corporate salary or in the worst case match it. We have become a nation of risk averse creators and this is not helpful for our economy. I accept that much of our support framework needs to get better, in particular banks (don’t get me started on this one!) but the key to growth in any business is the mindset of the individual holding the idea.
You can have the best business plan in the world, a fantastic idea, oodles of marketing savvy and money in the bank but all successful entrepreneurs know that without the right mindset you will flounder and flounder fast.
So what is the right mindset then? I run a whole day’s workshop discussing this question but here are a some fundamentals…
Start with the end in mind – think big, it takes just as much time and effort to set up and manage a small business as it does to create an empire and besides the fun is in the big stuff!
Find Your passion – make sure you are in the right business, if you are not 100% juiced by it, no-one else will be and it will very quickly become hard work.
Recognise that Potential is Infinite – know that your capacity for greatness is not based on your past performance. In business we have a habit of projecting growth in percentage points based on how we did last year. This is nonsense. It takes no account of momentum, brand attraction and passion. If you believe you can do whatever you set your mind to do the numbers will follow.
Build a strong Network – never under estimate the value of your peers. Surround yourself with the people that inspire you, motivate you and deserve your admiration. Anything less is self sabotage. You become who you mix with so choose carefully.
Dump Perfectionism – stop waiting for it to look and feel perfect. This is just another form of procrastination born of fear. Get going and get better. The website does the job and you do NOT need to go on ANY more courses, honest! Just jump in and learn to swim. The lessons can only be learnt in the pool!
Let Go of the Baby – Women tend to place an emotional attachment on their business. They talk about it as ‘their baby’. This attachment is not conducive to growth, in fact it keeps a business small and insignificant and turns the owner into a scary, control freak! Let it go ladies! You can find the staff, there are people out there that can do it better than you and you will find more work life balance when you are richer and can employ others!
Knowing all of this at an intellectual level is not always enough to make the necessary shift in behaviour. Quite often our beliefs about ourselves are stored at a sub-conscious and cellular level and need a serious amount of wobbling to release. I run a full day Divapreneur Mindset workshop that does this, next one in Manchester on 26 February and I am sure a simple internet search will bring up hundreds of other options too!
The bottom line is if you believe, you will achieve. In the words of one of our most fearless entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson….
‘The brave may not live forever – but the cautious do not live at all.’
Go make it happen, your life will be all the richer for it!