The hard part about being an entrepreneur is the uncertainty of revenue and the persistence of problems. All of the successful entrepreneurs I have worked with have a common thread in how they approach life and business. Though they have their share of negative thoughts, they entertain and choose winning thoughts.
Invariably, you become what you think. This especially flushes out under pressure. When you are faced with a deficit in revenue, depending on your belief system, you are thinking about winning or losing each time.
Losing thoughts include worrying rather than figuring out how to solve a problem. There could be paralysis over a problem or resignation. I have seen people do the classic E-Myth reaction to their problems. They work heavily in their business rather than on it. It’s easier to monkey around with operations than get out there and sell.
If you are avoiding the hard work of building new relationships, telling as many people about what you do and selling your value, then you are choosing losing thoughts. It’s easier to hide inside the busyness of your activities.
What You Do With the Lull
A good litmus test to see whether you are truly growing your business or merely hiding in the work is what you do when the lull comes around. These are blocks of time when the work is not frantic and you have complete discretion on what to do with your most valuable resource – your time.
If you do the jobs that any worker in your business can do – sweep up, reorganize data, run errands, etc. – rather than do things that grow your business, then you are acting like a technician not an owner.
Technicians don’t have to think. They just do. They can hide in the details.
Owners think hard about strategy and how to get a new customer, build strategic relationships or create scalable systems for growth. They work on the business not in the business.
The lull is the time where you act like an owner or a technician. It is a defining time.
Salespeople make natural entrepreneurs because they don’t get caught up in the busy work and work on building relationships. However, buttressing up robust systems and processes to deliver on what has been sold can be hard for a salesperson’s personality. But if you had to pick the better of the two personalities, early stage entrepreneurs benefit from focusing heavily on sales.
It’s important in the course of work and the choice of tasks to not fool yourself. You are the easiest person to fool. You are either choosing winning or losing with your time by pushing into the hard things that grow your business or distracting yourself with tasks that avoid the hard work.
So, how can you push yourself to take on winning behaviors and mindsets as an entrepreneur?