I'm Dr. Jennifer Jones, the Entrepreneur's Shrink. I've been working with entrepreneurs for over a decade and would like to teach you some lessons and research I've uncovered along the way. First, I want to introduce you to two former patients of mine, Alexandra and Erica (their names have been changed to protect their confidentiality).
First, there’s Alexandra. Alexandra is busy; busy checking off “to do” lists, wearing many hats, taking care of everyone and generally “getting by.” She dreams of starting her own online business and earning enough money to be her own boss. But somehow, her family's needs always seem to proceed her own and this dream now seems impossible. She’s almost given up.
Then there’s Erica. She earned an MBA from an ivy league school, recently sold her innovative tech-company and became ridiculously wealthy. She lives in a fancy house with her husband and two kids but never sees them! She is afraid he will lose everything she has worked so hard for if she steps away from her non-stop-work addiction.
With some guidance, Alexandra and Erica made some bold moves and now have plenty of money and spend time with their families. They laugh easily, and make their own rules! We call this Authentic Success; (financial freedom paired with purpose, joy and meaning). It’s an expansion from the idea of traditional success which is solely focused on wealth. What did they learn?
1. Successful Entrepreneurs Break The Rules! They have learned to question the meaning of "success" and in doing so, tend to break many rules and do things unconventionally. They understand that to be innovative, they can’t always “fit in.” If this is something you are working on, do things that make you feel like an outcast and get out of your comfort zone! A patient of mine was so nice to everyone that I had to work with her to be disagreeable which helped her take more risks and subsequently launch her business.
2. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Feeling-Driven Goals. When setting goals, Successful Entrepreneurs envision how they want to FEEL, not what they want to HAVE. They've learned that money doesn't buy happiness and therefore work toward things that make them feel good. Instead of "I want to be a millionaire," they think "I want to feel free to choose what I want to do in my life." Having feeling-oriented goals is a process of introspection. One exercise you can do is to take your current list of goals and translate that into feelings you want to have, then brainstorm other ways you can experience that feeling.
3. Successful Entrepreneurs Take Action. Because they know risk leads to reward, Successful Entrepreneurs often leap before they look. How to take more risks: practice doing 3 things per week that scare you, put yourself in intentionally awkward situations, and let go of your ego.
4. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask for Help. This is hard for many, especially women, but know that without asking, you will not succeed to your potential. How to ask for help: break the habit of doing things alone, know that it makes people feel important to help you, and remember that no one who is successful has done it alone.
5. Successful Entrepreneurs Are Authentic. Authenticity creates trust. Your customers and investors are reassured by stark honesty and no-frills communication. Gone are the days of exaggerated marketing; people need you to be real. Being more authentic is accomplished by being more vulnerable. To be more vulnerable, practice sharing things that make you feel ashamed and embarrassed. Not only will this make you more likable but will make people trust you more!
6. Successful Entrepreneurs Are Passionate and therefore, their passion is contagious which makes their business successful. If you ever wonder if what you are doing is the right kind of work, ask yourself if you would do what you do without making money--if the answer is yes, you are truly passionate. If not, move on quickly and don't waste your time.
7. Successful Entrepreneurs Use Mental Tools to Reach their Goals They understand the power of the unconscious mind and use mental tools such as MindFocus, meditation and realistic visualization to help them achieve what they most yearn for. From Albert Einstein to Elon Musk, the most successful people do this regularly.