Accountability´s archives ↓

4 Ways To Lift The “Curse” Of The Entrepreneur

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017

First of all, what is the curse of the entrepreneur? When I sit down to interview an entrepreneur, I ask them to tell me about their project. Almost without exception, they apologize, explaining that they have 2 or 3 projects they are working on, which would I like to know about first?

We all know it, even if we haven’t grouped the symptoms and given them a name. Some people call it “shiny object syndrome”, non-entrepreneurs and our mothers call it an inability to stay focused. Lots of phrases are used to describe it: multi-tasking, balls in the air. In the depths of an entrepreneur mood swing, I have even called mine mental illness. On the flip side of all this negativity, I prefer to think that we see opportunities in every air molecule. It is the desire to want to experience many things at once. Because we are too impatient to experience in a linear fashion, we just stack it all up at once and go for it. It is at once our greatest liability and our greatest asset. And no where near mental illness.

Why do I say lift instead of cure? Because the “curse” is not a disease, or a liability. If it can be lifted even blessed, then it can become our greatest asset, our greatest gift.

Magic happens at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

Ready to wave the magic wand?

#1: Know your core competencies.

Although important, this means more than knowing what skills you know and are good at in a certain industry. Most of us happened into a job or career path and stayed there because we became good at it, got paid well or saw a clear road to fame and fortune. Definitely take the time to catalog these things.

What is equally important to know is why were you good at it? And then, what are the other things that separate you from the pack? What are the things about you that make your world right? The things that satisfy every part of you?

How will this help you bless a current or future state of chaos?

If you can clearly identify these things, you can use them as a guide. Does your next shiny object stay true to your core? Then find a way to fit it in and keep on going. Does it deviate way off the mark with no hope of coming back? Might want to postpone that one for now, don’t abandon, just postpone.

Write it down though so you don’t forget. Matter of fact, write everything down to get it out of your head! Gotta leave room for more of the wonderful things you have yet to encounter!

#2: When in doubt, seek the experts.
Ok, true confessions time. Sometimes, when I want to spin off following another shiny object, it is because I am stumped on how to proceed on my current chosen path. I just flat out don’t know what to do next.

I have been experimenting with this one, so I think it is safe to say, when in this kind of doubt, go find the expert that can help you overcome this challenge.

#3: Do stay focused.

Until recently, I have hated that phrase. It reminds me of humiliating grade school parent-teacher conferences. Ever the optimist, I decided to see the flip side of it. Instead of the scowling teachers face, I now choose to see the successful completion of my current dream and all the fun that will come from achieving it. If I can just make a plan and stick to it, I can get to that completed dream.

It also helped to create a plan of action for these moments. I do the tasks I don’t like first, outsource what and when I can, and save the tasks I like to do for the last. I use them as a reward.

And once again, I write down the ideas I get that want to sidetrack me, you know, for later.

#4: Get a life.

It’s taken over half of my life to realize that not everything I like to do has to become a business. I think that is the negative consequence of reading Joseph Campbell’s “Follow Your Bliss” at too early of an age.

It is ok to have hobbies, matter of fact, it is okay to have lots of hobbies. It is okay to also do them just for the joy of doing them – NO other reason!

Just know that you will have to balance the time spent on hobbies and on your business. This is a choice you get to make. Swallow those complaints, because only you are in control of the choices you make.

There! Consider your curse lifted and your ventures blessed! Now, I gotta go, did you all see that shiny object over there? Onward and upward!

How Do You Learn And DO At The Same Time?

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017

I help entrepreneurs and small business owners create and improve their online presence. It can be tough stuff. They run full force into long held personal beliefs, “I am not good at math” or “I am not smart enough to do that internet stuff” all the way to “what if I break it?” Hard enough to face those demons, they are all developing marketing strategies that they will implement while trying to DO their business at the same time.

When you are actively involved in learning how to do something new, especially something on the internet, just how do you learn and do at the same time?

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur discusses how to get things done

Here is what I do, now, after making many, many, many mistakes(why can you only see this after the fact?).

First step is deciding if it is something that would be better off done by others, from a time and money perspective. Often for me, plain old curiosity gets in the way of better decision making. I am curious to see if I could pull it off, so I try it, get involved and then find myself in the middle of doing it. Was it worth it just to know something new? Or would my time be better spent in selling existing products/services?

Second step is developing a strategy for learning the new. Big picture to little picture to tasks. I am a deadline nut, so I tie it all to time.

Then I overlay that onto my existing routine of doing the business.

Then I have to massage everything to make it all fit. Tweak the strategy, adjust the doing, extend the time. Finally I have the plan.

Third step is that I intentionally recognize that I am taking on extra obligations and I am doing this to and for myself and my business. So, before I launch out with it all, I vow to not complain about it. I am the boss, I make the decisions on how I spend my time. And since I have chosen to learn something new I don’t get to whine about it, or at least not too much!

And then I just go do it. All of it.

How about you? Really want to know how you handle all of this. Onward and upward!

How Do You Balance The Needs Of The Many With The Needs Of You?

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017

If you are like me, you are available night and day to all of the people in your network of business associates, friends and family.

Only going on my own experience here, I think it started way back when, as a need to be needed. Ouch. There, I said it. But, then, over time, it became a habit and an ingrained part of my personal brand. I don’t think I would go so far as to say it became a personality trait, because I don’t need to be needed anymore.

And just because I don’t feel this need anymore, doesn’t mean that those in my life feel the same way. They have a picture of me, I belong to a set of principles that they can tap into, they are used to me needing to feel needed. And they want that back!

So, how do I help them adjust, balance their needs with mine?

Do you run across these same issues? How do you handle them?

I have a few suggestions that I have tried, that work, or am trying and I will give you results later.

learning about setting boundaries at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

I have set firm boundaries.

When my kids left home, I took back the time that I had given them(of course, it was A LOT!). Initially, I felt guilty and very self-centered. Initially, they thought I was very self-centered and complained of feeling abandoned. Took a few years, but, they are over it and so am I.

When I resigned as a working partner in my husband’s business, I turned my attention to creating/operating my own business. Firmly, on a daily basis, I assure him that we are still life partners, but, I am no longer available 24/7 for his business. We are still working on it, because he doesn’t want this to change. If I hit the magic answer I will share it with you.

Managing the daily needs of my business is a bit tougher, as I am the chief cook and bottle washer. I created blocks of time in my day. I do this at this time, that at that time. I meet people face to face only on this day, I take phone appointments only on that day. For the most part it works. And I try not to allow too many special circumstances to intervene.

Linda M Hughes @iempoweru belly dancer
Spartan Race 2013 Ft Carson, CO Mud Crawl

Personal time has gotten easier. I realized that in order to be able to get up every day, I had to have something fun to look forward to, something that belonged only to me. For quite some time, belly dancing satisfied that need. Then last year I added obstacle racing. Then, the obstacle racing accident interrupted all of my routines for awhile. At that time, it was all about me and my recovery.

Thank goodness that time is past. But, the silver lining in that experience is this:

You have to take care of you and your needs in order to take care of anyone else. You can not really give, or serve others well, until you give and serve to yourself. Really. It’s not selfish, self centered, wrong or anything else negative that you might want to call it. It is a fact.

So, how are you doing this? Share with your thoughts with us so we can all learn from each other