Yesterday I had the great pleasure of speaking to the Entrepreneurship class at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) here in New York City. I was invited there by Emily Blumenthal, an amazing entrepreneur in her own rite who is also an author, a professor at FIT, the founder of Handbag Designer 101 and the Independent Handbag Designer Awards. To say I had a blast would be an understatement. I love getting the chance to speak to budding entrepreneurs because it gives me the chance to not only share my strategies and insight, but also to share my own ups, downs, mistakes and highlights, and illustrate that the road you travel as a small business owner is never in a straight line and will certainly have some bumps along the road, but in my opinion the journey is 100% worth it.
One of my favorite parts of my talk was sharing "Entrepreneurial Mindset Musts" that included attitudes and behaviors I've mastered as well as those mindsets that I continue to work on every day. I can't stress how crucial having the right mindset is on your journey to small biz (and really any type) of success, so I thought I'd share an excerpt of some of my favorite mindsets with you here:
Get use to hanging out in your discomfort zone - that place where things start getting difficult, uncomfortable, and perhaps even cause a twinge of nerves or "can I do this-ness". As an entrepreneur you will do things that make you uncomfortable nearly every day - if you’re doing things the right way. It means you’re moving yourself up the success ladder rung by rung and tapping into the drive you need to succeed.
Avoidance is the drug of choice in for too many people and entrepreneurs - and in both cases it can cause too much damage to your success, so don’t get addicted to it. As an entrepreneur this means you do not want to begin:
- Avoiding the “business side” of your business
- Avoiding signs that things are going wrong. Things will go wrong, so go with them, observe them and try to fix them, don't hide from them.
- Avoiding an employee who isn’t pulling their weight or doing what they need to be doing.
Avoiding the way a customer is speaking to your business with - or without - their dollars.
Try to steer clear of bright shiny object syndrome (hopping from idea to idea to shiny idea that can slowly lead you away from the big picture). That said don’t feel bad when you do it, as we all do that at one point or another as entrepreneurs and we learn a lot from it. Let's face it: Taking risks, innovating and fearlessly trying new things are traits most entrepreneurs have, but try to be a bit particular with the ideas you chase and really ask yourself "is this part of my big picture and goal, is this worth the experiment". Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. You'll get better at deciding which it is as you live out your entrepreneurial journey.
Don’t spend thinking about other people judging you, don't lose sleep over what others may think of what you’re up to, don't compare yourself to other people "doing better" (that's just so subjective) than you. These are all massive wastes of your time and energy and I would love to see an entrepreneur who has stores of either of those sitting around. Just do you - plan your work, work your plan and focus on the grass in your own yard.
- Stop obsessing about the finish line and throw yourself fully into your passion and purpose and the work required of you to get to the finish line. Don’t get hung up on the specific details of the result- that doesn’t mean don’t do focused work with a plan, and don’t have dreams of success. But when we get fixated on the specific details of an outcome instead of what it takes to get there, we lose our track and focus, and here’s the kicker - the outcome could be - and often is - bigger and better than you even planned on it being in the first place. If you need something to fixate on try instead to be sure your work life is in line with the bigger life values that guide you as a person because when you make sure of that, success on your own terms is inevitable.
Need some more feel good motivation: check out our other "holistic business" posts HERE.