Poof, you’re an entrepreneur. It feels magical to say the words: “I’m an entrepreneur.” Yet, it takes more than waving a magic wand. It takes shifting mindset from being a follower to being a leader. Entrepreneurs are leaders.
You’ve heard it said: CEOs of their own businesses. The essence of leadership is the self and the inward journey back to the self. It’s really all about self-mastery and how we present our authentic selves to the world.
As leaders and as entrepreneurs, to become masterful we must develop these five keys qualities:
- Self-Awareness. The best entrepreneurs are self-aware. They learn about their strengths and weaknesses, not to brag or to be self-critical, but to improve themselves and their business practices. Their assessments may include a SWOT analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) or a 360, completion of a self-assessment and then feedback from peers, clients, customers to get a true picture. They also ask for informal feedback, and most importantly, they take concrete steps to change their behavior and improve their skills.
• Observe yourself in situations and ask yourself: how do I want to be in this situation? Then practice. Ask for feedback.
•Thank your feedback givers and tell them what you’re working on. Ask them periodically: how am I doing?
- Self-Confidence. Self-confidence comes from a belief in yourself and being fully present in the moment to yourself and to others. It is letting your authentic light shine as you engage and work with others.
• Be curious about others. In a networking situation, for example, turn the situation from thinking about yourself and your fears to the person who is in front of
• Change your self-talk. I have a friend. I’ll call her Alice. At a party, Alice said, “I don’t want to mingle. I’m shy.” Avoid labeling yourself. A better declaration for
Alice would have been: “I’ll spend the evening getting to know one other person.”
- Self-Promotion and Self-Marketing. A caveat: self-promotion is not bragging. It is knowing your competencies and what you and your product provide the consumer. It’s about knowing the value of your product. It’s about putting yourself and your brand out there and getting known, so that you will build relationships, good business being based on good relationships.
• Make yourself known online or in person. Attend networking events virtually and face to face. Set a goal for each networking event
you attend: whom you would like to meet; how you would like to come across.
• Create some bullet points of your value and the value of your product or service. What value will you or your product bring to the
- Self-Reliance and Consistency. Are you someone who gets flustered and wants to give up when faced with a challenge? As an entrepreneur you’ll need to develop a mindset and body of determination. Be focused on your goal. Be as fierce as a ninja in pursuit of your goal. And hand in hand with self-reliance goes consistency. Practice taking daily actions in working at your business. I believe it’s David Allen of Getting Things Done fame who said, “small things done consistently over time create major impact.”
• Set up daily practices and routines that you daily. Post your business plan and review it daily. Know the why of why you became an entrepreneur. Set a
goal to spend an hour on your business each day.
• Track and monitor your progress. Celebrate your daily wins.
- Self-Reflecting. Self-reflection is an important, yet often overlooked component in forming new habits. Think of learning as a complete circle and self-reflection as closing the loop. Effective leaders and entrepreneurs go back and reflect on what worked and what didn’t. They set time to look at what they did well and what they could do differently.
• Build time in your calendar for self-reflection. This can be daily, monthly, quarterly, annually.
• Successful entrepreneurs and leaders build their muscle. Practicing these five keys will produce many benefits for yourself and your
customers and will take you far in entrepreneurial success.
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