Many entrepreneurs I have come in contact with cite fulfillment as one of their primary business goals. But like any great endeavor, starting and managing a successful business will have its peaks and valleys. So how can you stay consistently fulfilled through it all?
Fulfillment in entrepreneurship is what self-actualization is to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — it is an ideal state of being in business. While I have learned that fulfillment can take on completely different forms, there are common threads within the fabric of small business ownership that resonates with most of us.
If you are on a quest for business fulfillment–a cure for entrepreneurial insanity–here are ten steps to help you get started.
1. Acknowledge where you are.
If you are living in a state of denial — it is time to pack your mental business baggage and relocate. Recognizing a favorable or unfavorable situation in business is the first step to changing it. However, do not confuse acceptance with complacency. Realizing where you are (from a non-critical standpoint) is not an excuse to stay put. Tell me… what specifically is causing you mental anguish, lost sleep or anxiety in business? Next, tell me how is it different from your expectation(s)?
2. Commit to personal development.
It is impossible for your business to grow if you are not personally growing and changing. Leadership will yield organic change in most of us — and so will rising to meet new challenges, experiences of success and opportunities encountered. A commitment to business has to be preceded by a renewed investment in yourself.
3. Surround yourself with people who make you smile.
Who have you been hanging around lately? The reason I ask is because your friends (or lack thereof) have a larger impact on you than you may even realize. If the people you associate with do not bring value to you (nor you to them); why are you investing your time? The reality is: Depend on yourself for your own happiness yet surround yourself with people who add to you, rather than subtract from you (figuratively speaking). Not convinced? Consider this: How long can you make withdrawals on your bank account without deposits? Not long.
4. Never deviate from your core values.
Your personal values will often shape your professional values and business ethic. Consider your values as your measuring stick — a foundational barometer for all people, places and things you encounter. Think about what is specifically important to you and your business. If your business is out of alignment with your core values–get ready for a bumpy road ahead.
5. Rethink how you think.
Thoughts rule the world. So, what have you been thinking lately? If you have been problem-focused instead of solution-oriented — therein lies your frustration. Master your thoughts and emotions instead of being enslaved by them. What you want in business is a mere thought away — a spark of creativity that is waiting for you to clear mental room and give it space to grow.