A favorite spin instructor, Paul, has a great statement just before he takes us into a particularly grueling portion of the class. He says:
Ready your mind and ready your body for the work ahead.
He is telling the class to mentally accept that what we are about to do is going to be hard and uncomfortable. He’s telling us to prepare our bodies and muscles for the coming workload by relaxing into it, not overthinking it, and just doing it.
The first of 3 things I did after committing to launching an online business was to ready my mind. My post “Attacking your start up when timing isn’t great, but good enough” lists all 3:
#1 ready my mind
#2 prepare my family
#3 accept what I didn’t know
In this post we talk about #1:
Ready Your Mind
Once I accepted my business partner’s invitation to launch an online business, I knew I had to get comfortable with being a high-growth entrepreneur, an industry player, and a working professional (reminder: I’ve been out of the workforce for 12 years, never owned or started a business, don’t know the industry or technology beyond casual use). Those could be major obstacles. How could I apply Paul’s wise words? I broke down my obstacles into digestible steps:
Write a personal mission statement
Working on a personal mission statement gets to the heart of your values, your roles, who you strive to be and how you plan to get there. Your personal mission statement is your touchstone to keep your work aligned with your values and goals.
Get started today: Use the outline provided by The Ohio Literary Resource Center to get started on your Personal Mission Statement.
Tap into your passions
I love to write. I love to chat with interesting people. I am intrigued by technology. Notice I did not say I am a great writer, an excellent interviewer or a techie.
Use your passions to get closer to the topic. For me the topic is the online media industry and challenges faced by female entrepreneurs and those reentering the workforce. Everyday I write about it, read about it, talk about it. My knowledge base is growing and my confidence is building while doing the things I love: writing, talking, and playing on my computer :).
List what you love to do. Not what you are good at doing. Now apply your passions to the goals identified in your Personal Mission Statement.
Accept what you don’t know
Looking back, this was the single greatest obstacle for me saying “yes” to launching a business. I was intimidated by my lack of work experience and technology know how.
Honestly though, the intimidation didn’t last long. I found that when I approached opportunities ready to learn, people were ready to teach me.
Break it down and list the subject areas you need to learn. Arrange them into categories:
- Need to know only the gist of it
- Need to know well enough to intelligently participate in the conversation
- Need to be an expert and own it 100%. Ownership of your business’ area of expertise is critical, even at the beginning stages of a start-up, when talking to potential clients, investors, the media.
Join in: How do you ready your mind? Do you have a method to learn a new hobby, technology or subject matter? Leave a comment below.
Coming Up: in my post “Prepare Your Family” we will talk about the importance of communicating your vision to family and friends in a way that excites them and also prepares them for major changes ahead.
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