Ok, so I decided to be an entrepreneur. No big deal; every kid who’s ever had a lemonade stand is an entrepreneur. So why was I suddenly so overwhelmed by the thought of being in charge of my own money making enterprise? Why was I dragging my feet? What are these stumbling blocks that keep popping up, keeping me from being successful?
There’s nothing more humbling than taking stock of your self. You know, that deep, honest introspection we all try to avoid but that’s so necessary if we want to move ahead. I knew the only way to figure out what was standing in my way was to take a good hard look at my habits and thought processes and figure out what wasn’t working. I ended up outside on my front porch – my “best thinking spot” – with a beautiful view, my dog, a cup of coffee for inspiration …..
NOTHING. Well, nothing but the realization that my “best thinking” was one of the things that wasn’t working. And my “best thinking spot” was waaaaaay too comfortable. Trying to think outside of my box while cozying up inside of it was like trying to hang out at Krispie Kreme and stick to a new diet!
I needed help. Support. Brutal honesty. I called my best friends, the ones who want the best for me but never hesitate to laugh at me when I step in dog poop. They say you should be careful what you ask for because you might actually get it. Well, I got it…
Perfectionism: I’m a perfectionist and I drive everyone crazy, most of all myself. I’m suffering from “analysis paralysis,” believing I have to know every detail, dot every I and cross every T before I start. So I just keep spinning my wheels, which is actually a form of procrastination. “But I thought procrastinators were just the lazy ones! I work all the time,” I argued. Yes, but you need to work smarter, not harder they told me. Stop spending all your time “getting ready to start” and JUST START!
Fear of success: I’m afraid of success? What?! Apparently I’m afraid of the unknown changes and responsibilities that will ultimately accompany my success. Of course it’s going to be wonderful and fulfilling, but what about the parts that will be different and even overwhelming at times? Will I be able to handle it? And will I be able to maintain my success once I’ve achieved it? Hmmmmm. I could feel myself being stretched.
Fear of failure: Isn’t everyone afraid of failure? Ok, now that’s a big one. What if I don’t achieve what I’ve told everyone I’m going to do? What if I don’t accomplish as much as other entrepreneurs who have gone before me? What if I don’t become one of the “top earners” everyone looks up to? “These are all valid and totally normal concerns,” I reasoned. True, my friends went on, but will you use them as motivators or captivators? Will you rise to the challenge or succumb to excuses? Ditch the worry about what other people think of you; that’s none of your business. Then they proceeded to “triple dog dare” me get out there and make it happen.
Biting off more than you can chew at once: My goals are too lofty. “Wait a minute!” I started getting defensive. “How am I ever going to be a success without big goals?” I was sure they were way off-base on this point. And besides, where were their goals? But I bit my tongue and kept listening. It seems I get overwhelmed with the size of my project, which causes discouragement and more procrastination. I need to set little goals, daily, weekly, monthly goals and celebrate when I achieve them. Give myself little pats on the back along the way. So they were right again. After all, if you’re going to eat an elephant you have to do it one bite at a time.
Trying to be a “one man show:” I need a running partner, someone to encourage me as well as to hold me accountable, and a mentor, someone who knows the ropes and is willing to share insights with me. Actually I had already thought of this one. Sure, this is my business and its success is ultimately my responsibility. But there’s nothing more motivating than having to “report” your progress, and no one more motivating than someone who is already at the top of the rock face cheering you on in your climb. I must take advantage of the experience and expertise of this network of industry leaders I’m building. And I must also network with others like me who are working daily to build their own online businesses.
Selling your self short: In my mind I have put my leaders and mentors on pedestals. Not that they don’t deserve to be there, because they’re the ones who have overcome their stumbling blocks, worked their butts off, figured it all out, built amazing lives for themselves. In a sense I idolize these people. Surely they must have something I don’t have, some innate talent or secret formula for success that I don’t possess. “I’m just starting out; what value could I possibly have?” I mused. That’s when I was reminded that my leaders and mentors are no different than I am; they just weren’t afraid to step out, take risks, and take action. Sure they experienced setbacks along the way. But they learned from them and kept going. And that’s all I have to do too.
And that’s how I was humbled and motivated at the same time. Once I was able to see my stumbling blocks more clearly I realized they were really not that big and frightening after all. They were mostly roadblocks I was setting up for myself, things I could in fact control and overcome. Yes, there were some hurdles I couldn’t remove with a simple change of mindset, like my small budget and the need to outsource some of my set up. But those are a topic for another article. For now suffice it to say that the scary monsters we often see in the night really do usually turn out to be “just shadows,” and once we know this we can close our eyes and sleep peacefully.
Today I challenge you to take stock of your own stumbling blocks to success. What’s holding you back from achieving your goals and living your dreams? Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, some of these same stumbling blocks could be standing in the way of your progress, success and ultimately your happiness. If you are an entrepreneur or thinking about becoming one, take my word for it: get over these self-inflicted hindrances and get going!!
Join my blog and follow me as I share what I’ve learned from my amazing network of industry leaders and self-made millionaires. Their mindset works! In my upcoming articles you’ll find out what that mindset is, how you can tap into its power, and how you, too, can experience more in life than you ever thought possible. It’s time for you to get going. I triple dog dare ya!