Life of an Entrepreneur: Part II
By Founder and CEO of The Centr: Mia Paulus
This is part two of a two part blog series that I have put together of some things that I have learned along my 15 year entrepreneurial journey. Let’s get into it!
Another thing I have observed and learned as an entrepreneur is that the world revolves around trust. This means that at some point we will likely get burned but if that happens then it’s alright to trust again. To free yourself of trying to control everything in this world you have to trust. Does that mean you don’t set boundaries? No. But you can trust and set boundaries at the same time. If you are trying to control EVERYTHING in business then you are going to be sorely disappointed because you are going to find very quickly that you can’t control everything. You might have this clear plan and you are going to do it no matter what. Well I can tell you that very often “the plan” doesn’t work the way you think it is going to work. So being able to be agile, change and adapt is valuable. Yes, plans are good–but you have to be willing to be flexible. I can’t tell you how many times plans in my business have changed–even as early as week one. I just have realized that this isn’t the direction we are supposed to go. So being willing to shift and adapt is SO important but also trying to have a clear way forward is valuable as well. That is why understanding the foundational elements of purpose, value and vision are so important because then it allows you to shift and change while still moving in the same direction. Entrepreneurship is not a straight line; it winds a lot at times but you still get there. That is why trust is so important. Trust allows you to breathe while you empower your team to make decisions. It allows you to learn how to be okay when your team makes mistakes and understand that mistakes are a part of the learning process. If you try to control all the elements you will drive yourself crazy as an entrepreneur. The key to momentum and growth is really about learning to let go, and set boundaries so that your business can grow.
Faith and Risks
Entrepreneurship is about taking risks. You aren’t always going to know the pathway forward. Sometimes you have to take a step and hope there is something to land on. But if you connect your mind and heart and have a sure foundation then you can make quality decisions. Sometimes those decisions will be leaps of faith. Of course data is important and you should make educated decisions but there are times even with all the data there still won’t be a clear answer on which way to go. In those times you have to choose and move full steam ahead which is where the risk and the faith comes into play. Then if something along the way makes you shift directions then you do that. That is the essence of entrepreneurship, you take steps off the ledge, you keep going, you shift, you pivot, you problem solve and you keep doing that over and over. The sooner you realize that business is difficult (and life is difficult) then it doesn’t seem as difficult any more. You learn to just solve problems. You put one foot in front of the other and take it a day at a time while also keeping a pulse on your long term direction. Ultimately, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. But if you are committed to it and you feel called to be an entrepreneur don’t do it alone, have a team. Whether it is in-house or outsourced, create an environment and a team that you can empower, and entrust to make decisions. Structure it a way to where you don’t just become a glorified project manager, managing individuals. Help your team stand on their own two feet. This is the only way you are going to have freedom in your business.
Well that’s a little bit about my journey as an entrepreneur, as well as my ideas of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. It isn’t for the faint of heart but it is so amazing to see the innovation and creativity that can come from business. So if you have an idea or are thinking about starting a business, then do it! It’s going to be hard, you’re going to hit roadblocks and you might wonder if it’s worth it. But again, always assess, connect your mind and heart, and ask yourself is this really what I need to be doing in my life? Nobody can answer that question but you. The best way to do that is by thinking and feeling again, with the knowledge you have gained then you can proceed forward with confidence.
If you missed last weeks Life of an Entrepreneur: Part I Click here to get caught up!