New Year, New Challenges
To become a well-rounded and successful entrepreneur, one needs to constantly evaluate the World around us and adjust our strategy accordingly. To do that, we must challenge ideas that are scary to us: our limiting beliefs and assumptions.
Challenge Our Limits
Are the ideals we hold so tight to our chests already conceived and prepackaged by parents or mentors? Or did we cultivate and manifest these limits through our own conditioning by colleagues, friends, and loved ones? Probably a little of both. Are we beholden to these pre-conceived standards? I say, “not so much.”
Instead of gripping your beliefs so tightly, open your lens of opportunity though small challenges. These daily practices can transport you from your comfort zone to your inner-explorer screaming to jump off the cliff with a bungee cord attached. Why jump from a perfectly good cliff? Because you can. You may just learn something along the way that might influence your decision during your next project.
What do you think is completely insane? How could you integrate that into your next activity?
Challenge Your Beliefs
If your business is akin to Atlas shouldering “shoulds” like the weight of the World, then I might suggest readjusting your perspective to allow free-thinking. Externally imposed “shoulds” and “values” can cloud your decision-making abilities, turning them into lens-limiting dogmas.
Long ago the Catholic church believed that the Earth was the center of the universe. Copernicus (my hero) discovered through years of observation, that our universe was heliocentric -the sun was at the center of our universe. Consequently, this posed a challenge to the Catholic church and their belief system. Yes, this was a radical challenge, one that almost cost Copernicus his life and I can only imagine the church scrambling to manage this emergency message to the people.
My mantra: Don’t fall in love with your ideals -they will change, I promise you.
Challenge Your Assumptions
Think of your mindset as a dogma that limits your lens. The dictionary defines dogma as: a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle.
What’s true for today isn’t necessarily true for tomorrow or for your next project. You can use this establish set of principles to help launch your next project, but many of those assumptions may not fully apply. This is when you open your lens to explore new boundaries.
The photo above challenges one assumption I had growing up in the North: that dog sledding is only for snow. Really? Just for snow? The Scottish have an annual event called ‘Dogmanay‘ based on their Winter event: Hogmanay. Dogmanay is a New Year’s Day challenge with dogs sledding on grass. Yup. Grass. Dogs love to work and they love to play. Sledding on grass is a fun way to keep them active, happy, and challenged.
Do you create products or events that are typically seasonal? Could they be modified for another?
Creative Thinking and the Entrepreneurial Mindset
I came across a lecture on “The Art of Teaching Entrepreneurship and Innovation” given by Seelig at Stanford. Seelig teaches courses on entrepreneurship often she asks her students to form teams. Each team is given a sealed envelope that contains “seed funding” and the students have no idea how much seed money is contained within. The student are encouraged to make as much money as they can based on the amount in the envelope, challenging any assumptions and leveraging limited resources.
Seelig’s lesson is a fascinating study that we can use every day in our business. I know it gave me at least 10 ideas to use today. How about you?
Still wondering if you could make it as an entrepreneur?
I found a quiz on Psychology Today that reveals and assesses your inclination to become your own boss. The quiz should take no more than 15 minutes with sixty questions. This style is based on those found in Bill Wagner’s book, The Entrepreneur Next Door . The types identified in this book each have their own strengths and limitations. Reading about your type can give you insight into the environment in which you would thrive as an entrepreneur.
After finishing the test, you will receive a Snapshot Report with an introduction, a graph and a personalized interpretation for one of your test scores. You will then have the option to purchase the full results.
How did you score?
Here’s to Cultivating Your Creative Independence