Talking Yourself Into Your Business
I’ve had a couple of conversations recently with people on the edge of quitting their jobs or businesses and starting a new business.
They’ve had enough of feeling unfulfilled and unfocused. They’re lacking the energy, enthusiasm and most importantly of all confidence they once had in themselves.
The thing they want most of all is something to sink their teeth into. Something to reignite their spark and make use of their talents and skills. They want to feel like they make a difference again.
The challenge some of them face is that this slide has been going on for some time. Without realising it, they have drifted away from their true self and forgotten the dreams and goals they once had, to live a life of purpose and success.
As we all know, starting a new business is effing difficult. We need to be on our A-game. We need to be full of beans and bluster. To hell with the risks, we’re going for this whether you like it or not!
The trouble is, this mentality takes confidence and energy...shit loads of it.
Going back to our disillusioned worker, how ready do you think they are to dream up, create and start a new business? The answer is not at all.
And here inlies the challenge. I’m sure you all recognise the situation above. Perhaps it’s you. Perhaps it WAS you, perhaps it’s someone you know. Either way, it is not uncommon and as people are becoming more aware of their possibilities and less prepared to grind out a shit job just so they can receive a charming carriage clock upon retirement, it is becoming more so.
So what to do about? How to break the vicious cycle of lack of fulfillment -> apathy -> low energy -> low confidence?
I believe the secret comes in the form of one of my favourite topics ‘flow states’. Those moments where you are completely absorbed in a task or activity. Time flies by. You’re stimulated, challenged and ultimately successful. Crucially you have more energy at the end than you did at the start.
When in a state of flow all sorts of exciting chemicals are whizzing around our body and brain. The effect is we are more energised, we are happier and if we do it often enough, a damn site more successful.
Don’t make the mistake some people make and overlook flow states, believing them to be the preserve of sports stars, musicians and artists. They’re not. They’re available to all of us and can be induced quite simply, as long as we know how.
For some people it’s as simple as having a deep and meaningful conversation helping a friend in need. For others it’s writing short stories or painting a picture. For our technical friends it may involve coding or designing a website.
As simple as these moments are to create, so often we treat them as indulgences -something to attend to, once the other important stuff like work and family have been taken care of. “How can I possibly entertain such frivolous activities when I should be focusing all my time on my work?”
Whilst this approach is understandable it is fraught with danger, especially when our work is the main thief of our energy! How could we possibly expect ourselves to correct the slide.
With this is mind, my suggestion is thus: find the things that put you in a state of flow. Some of you may have to go back years for this (if so, that should be an indicator that something needs to change!)
Get hyper clear on what induced those flow states in the first place. Think of 3-5 examples and break them down into their component parts:
What were you doing?
What was your role?
Who were you with?
What was your environment?
What was the outcome?
Do you remember how confident you felt after these moments? Did you see any patterns in your examples? What are some of the must haves for you to be energised?
Now, what can you do RIGHT NOW to incorporate them into your life? No need to complicate it. Think of simple, cheap ways to get yourself into that energised state. Set aside ample time per week to engage in these activities and watch your energy, confidence and momentum build.
Do that for long enough and soon the downward spiral you were on will be reversed and you will be putting yourself into a position to start your new business.
Now get started and report back!