The early days of entrepreneurship are filled with activity,
busy-ness, a whirlwind of activity. Once that initial phase
passes and things settle down to a more or less predictable
routine, when our fantasies of fantastic wealth have not
materialized after six months of endeavor, when someone is
critical, when those orders just aren't coming in, no matter
what we do or how many hours we work ... we get discouraged
and begin to question whether we really do have the right
stuff for this business, after all!
So, how do you get through those times of self-doubt and
back into the saddle?
The first thing is to prepare for them. KNOW there are
going to be "days like this". If you expect them then you
will be better able to recognize them for what they are and
not give them greater prominence than they deserve. Nine
times out of ten, things really DO look better in the
morning! (You were right mom!)
Next, get right back to basics. What motivates you and
keeps you focused? What is your motivation and purpose
in starting your own business? The strength of your purpose
will ultimately determine your level of motivation and hence
determination. Is your purpose clear in your mind? If not,
maybe you need to remind yourself of the reasons why you
want to work for yourself. You may find your reasons aren't
strong enough motivators. If not, find some that are.
Remind yourself of your purpose when you need to motivate
yourself. If you're a mom, perhaps your purpose in starting
your home business was so you could be home with your
children rather than in the paid workforce. So, when you're
feeling discouraged because you didn't land that account you
wanted or didn't make that sale, remind yourself why you're
doing this in the first place. Picture your children.
Visualize your purpose as vividly as you can. Then harness
that motivation and turn it into energy you can direct back
into your business. Use that energy to examine why you
didn't land the account or make the sale and then change
whatever needs to be changed. By making changes in response
to such stimuli, you are increasing the odds of being
successful next time around.
Your response to setbacks will also be determined by your
personal confidence level. A confident individual is more
resilient in the face of setbacks whereas a less confident
person is more likely to react to a setback as an indication
that he or she is not really capable of being successful.
Your response to setbacks is critical to the future success
or failure of your business. If you're someone whose
self-talk is positive, you will tell yourself, "well, that
approach didn't achieve what I wanted. I'll have to try
something different". If, on the other hand, your self-talk
is pretty negative, you are much more likely to tell yourself
"well, that obviously didn't work. I just don't have what
it takes to be a success at this".
The difference between the two is that one, the positive
self-talker, refuses to internalize a setback as a personal
failure. The negative self-talker, on the other hand,
doesn't view the setback as just part of external
environment in which the business operates but rather,
internalizes the setback as a personal failure.
So, watch your self-talk. The language you use in your
thoughts makes an enormous impression on your subconscious.
If you impress upon your subconscious that you are not
deserving of success, your subconscious will busily go
about proving the truth of that statement. Similarly, if
you impress upon your subconscious that you are a successful,
confident person, it will work just as hard to validate that
presumption. The important point is this: your subconscious
DOESN'T CARE where it takes you. It will literally take you
WHEREVER you program it to go.
One highly effective technique to help remove the negative
self-talk that can be so harmful to long-term success is
self-hypnosis. There are many good induction tapes
available that will guide you into a state of deep mental
relaxation and then provide you with positive suggestions.
If you are in a state of deep relaxation when you receive
a positive suggestion, it will be absorbed much more readily
by your subconscious, where those nagging self-doubts emanate
from in the first place. Choose a tape that deals with
issues such as self-confidence or positive thinking. By
programming your subconscious with positive messages of
confidence and success, it will actively go to work
integrating those qualities.
Do not underestimate the value of positive programming and
the danger of negative programming in determining the
ultimate success of your business. It may very well mean
the difference between stunning success and whimpering
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online.
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