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I’m an entrepreneur – get me out of here!

How to break through the 5 most common barriers to success

Andro book coverWe are thrilled to bring you this post by one of our favourite people – author Andro Donovan. If you’re an entrepreneur and feeling stuck in any part of your life, you want to read this.

Stifling, unfulfilling, boring – if these are the adjectives you use to describe your working day it may be time for a radical change.

  • Are you trapped in a job you don’t like?
  • Are you managed by a boss who doesn’t see your true talents?
  • Have you disconnected from your soul for a regular paycheck?

If you find yourself in these circumstances, starting your own business may sound like the panacea to all evils. However the experience can be fraught with difficulties and risks.

Forbes reports that 8 out of 10 small businesses fail in the first year – a whopping 80%. Despite this, many people dream of starting their own company. But being your own boss is a challenge, especially as your biggest barrier to success is managing yourself, your own inner confidence and emotional ups and downs.

As a would-be entrepreneur, preparing yourself for the emotional rollercoaster you’re about to go on is key. Managing your emotional states and negative self-talk, day in day out, is a fundamental requirement. You better get good at doing this!

Entrepreneurs have amazing creativity, optimism and bags of energy. They regularly leave their comfort zone, which means they frequently hit barriers. What are barriers? They are emotional states with unhelpful accompanying negative thoughts briefly summarized into varying versions of ‘I can’t’ or ‘I won’t!’.

The five most common emotional barriers entrepreneurs hit are:

APATHY – one of the lowest human emotional states. The physiology of this state is low to no energy, slumped in the chair or lying down. Your negative thoughts might be: ‘What’s the point? I can’t be bothered with this anymore. I have failed. I am worthless! I have let everyone down.

GRIEF – a slightly higher energy level and in this state we might have thoughts like: ‘It’s not fair, will it be ok?, why me?, why is this always happening to me?

FEAR – in this state our energy is held in our stomachs, we can lose our appetite, and our thoughts might be: ‘Will I survive?, what if I lose my business?, what if everybody wants out?!

ANGER – a much higher energy state and in this negative emotional state we’re having frightful thoughts like ‘I will kill them, I am furious!’ We pace up and down, as we feel so full of explosive negative energy. This energy can then turn in on itself and become…

PRIDE – the highest energy state of all the negative emotions, and broadly an expression of ‘I CAN’T’ and ‘I WON’T’: ‘How dare they?, who do they think they are?/do they know who they are dealing with here?, I am not apologizing, they are in the wrong, and I am right.

It takes a lot of emotional energy to be angry or in fear. The way to breakthrough is to transform your thoughts and channel your energy. A great way of doing this is to physically move – go for a run and clear your head. Then, once you are feeling more positive, more helpful thoughts will start to come into your head. This is when it’s important to set a short- term goal and achieve it. Success breeds success; this could be something as easy as walking the dog.

Now you’re ready to start using the Motivational Breakthrough method. There are four stages to this model:

  1. Once you have IDENTIFIED what your barriers are you can break through this cycle.
  2. You DECODE your thoughts and feelings and acknowledge that you are trapped.
  3. You focus on a SHORT-TERM GOAL (e.g. if you are in APATHY in bed you focus on getting up and going to the shower).
  4. You raise your energy and TRANSFORM the negative self-talk to positive self-talk, e.g. ‘I can get through this, I have done it before and will do again.’ Remind yourself that this too shall pass.

As you transform your thoughts, you transform your emotions. Your physiology and focus are more positive; you are walking tall, smiling and expressing energy. You are now in the positive emotions of ‘I can’ and ‘I will’. This is a wonderful space to be in and, once there, you will want to stay there.

You can hit any one of these negative barriers throughout the day. Your skill at managing negative self-talk and your willingness to express energy and focus on a small, short-term goal will assist you to move through these states quickly and not wallow in a self-limiting stream of thoughts. Enabling you to channel your energy into succeeding with your new business!

Motivate Yourself – Get the life you want, find purpose and achieve fulfilment by Andro Donovan is out now, published by Capstone, priced £10.99, available from Amazon.

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