The transition into entrepreneurial life from the throes of the corporate world brings with it both exhilarating creative freedom and uneasy, irrational fear.
You don’t really know where you’re going most times because your crazy tears have smudged the ink of some parts of your map, and the other parts of it, well, are still blank.
If you’ve been (or are currently) in this position, I assure you, you are not alone.
Deciding to work for yourself in pursuit of your dreams is certainly no easy feat, and you should in fact feel proud that you have chosen this path – this in itself is a reflection of your undeniable courage.
I discovered early in my journey just how much our mindset determines our ability to overcome the trials and shape the kind of business that we want to create for ourselves and for others.
Reflecting on these thoughts alongside my experiences working for other small business owners, I’ve realised that a good business is about more than just profitability and perceived market success.
You could be a big player in your niche, managing a large team of people and achieving high sales month-on-month. You could have access to the best resources, a beautiful office with a magnificent view and the luxury to travel to exotic places. But all of this doesn’t necessarily justify how truly good your business is.
The best businesses are built by kind and passionate entrepreneurs whose work ethic complements their selfless desire to make a positive difference in the world.
All of these musings prompted me to develop what I like to call the 3 Keys to Growing a GOOD Business, a simple affirmation to help entrepreneurs in their business pursuits with a strong sense of purpose and confidence.
Please read on for my explanations of how I devised these 3 Keys as you download this Affirmation Poster printable which I am so happy to share!
3 Keys to Growing a GOOD Business
When I was forced to suddenly depart my full-time marketing job just before Christmas, I was filled with a great sense of fear and lack of clarity about my future. Even though I was always working on creative projects in my personal life, professionally I had initially thought of myself as someone who would simply work to climb the corporate ladder to secure financial stability. In my post Congratulations, now you are an entrepreneur, I discuss the turning point of my career – the moment I realised that the direction I was to take, was already in my power. It was all thanks to a good friend whose words made such a powerful impact on my mindset at that time.
This taught me that in affirming ourselves and/or our desired path, we find greater purpose and clarity. It was such an important step for me to acknowledge this new chapter in my career and wholeheartedly embrace myself as an entrepreneur.
The worlds of entertainment and social media have somewhat conditioned us to measure our personal worth in comparison to the lives of others. Celebrity, Hollywood, YouTube – all are filtered lenses through which we understand success. This my friends, is a woeful thing.
Entrepreneurs are no exception when it comes competition and comparison, in some cases, it can be magnified, especially as you can find yourself quite vulnerable and lonely along the path of creating your own wealth and fulfilment.
Self-belief therefore is an important key to unlocking your full potential and persist amidst the noise of competitors and trolls (on and offline!). The hardest thing is perhaps learning to recognise the value only you can bring to the world, especially if your business idea may not seem entirely original or ground-breaking.
Note that even though it might have been done before, it has not been done by you! You, with your unique blend of personality, talents, ideas and dreams – there simply can be no comparison. As one of my entrepreneurial heroes Marie Forleo says, “The world needs that special gift that only you have.”
One of my greatest displeasures about working the media industry is the selfish behaviours of people concerned only with money, power and social status. The thing is, many of these types are in fact very good at presenting themselves as otherwise, using clever networking tactics to show how caring and selfless they can be.
Genuine kindness was often difficult to find and I learned quickly not to trust anybody completely. It was disappointing to me how personal motives led to emotional manipulation in order to attain certain outcomes. Though on the surface the company may have been seen in a positive light, the morale and culture inside became unbearable.
This revealed to me that truly good business happens when internal and external perceptions work in harmony with one another – and that all starts with kindness.
Be kind to the people who work for you, people who may invest in you or affiliate with you and support you – not just so they give you what you want, but because kindness itself matters. Always.