An Open Letter to Entrepreneurs

An Open Letter to EntrepreneursDear Entrepreneur,

By being a business owner, you are on the fast track to self-growth. Every twist and turn brings a new challenge, opportunities to release personal “stuff,” and the possibility for success if you rise to meet the road that lies before you. They don’t call it the entrepreneurial roller coaster for nothing.

You’ve taken a risk, more than likely leaving a secure job with benefits to pursue something that matters to you and make an impact. The problem is there’s no owner’s manual for this puppy known as being self-employed. You struggle with questions like:

  • How do I find clients and customers who will buy my thing?
  • When will I start making enough money?
  • How do I expand and grow without losing quality or sight of what I really want?

And feelings like:

  • Overwhelm over all there is to learn, do and handle which simply compounds itself every day as new technologies multiply like bunnies in a closet.
  • Fear that you’ve risked the finances and security of your whole family.
  • Exhausted to the bone yet determined to make this work (so you just keep working longer and harder).

There are times when you simply sigh and wonder, “What do I need to do to be successful?” And other, darker times when you find yourself head in hands crying on the floor curled up in a ball thinking, “What the hell am I doing wrong and how do I make this work? Can’t someone just show me the secrets already?”

It’s a well-known fact that new businesses fail at a rate of between 50% and 80% (depending on the source, time in business, and definition of failure). No wonder there is an endless fantasy and quest for a magic pill or entrepreneurial pixie dust that will take you from point a to z as if by magic.

There isn’t a magic pill but there is help available.

This starts off innocently – an idea, a passion, a desire for a new career. How are you going to grasp this brave new world? How are you going to learn all the things you need to do? There are websites, social media, marketing, client attraction, pricing, packaging, finances, and so many things, and lions and tigers and bears oh my!

The Entrepreneurial Roller CoasterThere is no denying there are a lot of things to know. That is why you shouldn’t try to do it all yourself. A coach can help you cut the learning curve, avoid costly mistakes, and guide you through the jungle. This entrepreneurial roller coaster may have its ups and downs but it doesn’t have to be a nail biting screaming affair.

There are certain trends and myths out there that perpetuate the notion that to suffer is a badge of honor and that you are a loser unless you are part of the “in” crowd (which usually comes at a price of the totally appropriate investment of tens of thousands of dollars (if not six figures or more)). Pundits say that’s how you know you’re in the big time!

The most visible help available are the Mega Coaches aka “Celebrity Entrepreneurs” that everyone seems to know, who promise you the world. It feels like everyone who is “in” with the in crowd has worked with or is working with these people that seem to hold the magic key. You want to be with the in crowd too, right? Especially if it means you’ll be as wildly successful as other members in the in crowd say they are. So you take a deep breath and join…

The hype you read and experience nonstop online makes big promises. “Make $30K in 30 days!” “6 months to 6 figures!” “Earn millions in passive income while you sip margaritas on the beach!”

Except all this hype comes at a price:

  • Thousands of business owners hire Mega Coach Jane, go deeply into life-long debt only to realize that The Magical Seven Step Proprietary Process™ doesn’t bring real results to 99.99999% of the participants. (And then they hire Mega Coach Steve thinking things will be different this time.)
  • Talented business people follow the battle cries of growth above all else and bright shiny promises that lead them to continuously change their business models and expand too quickly.
  • Good-hearted, smart professionals end up going broke and risking everything without a clear picture of what it really takes to build a business that will sustain them and the life they most want to lead.

So, when Mega Coach Jane promises to do all that (and more) while making it easy, fun, luxurious, and sexy, you are hooked. You are ready to Live. The. Dream. Who wouldn’t be?

Except…

You find yourself handing over your power to someone like Mega Coach Jane who will stretch you in new ways you never thought you could stretch. Like taking expensive flights to far off places in indulgent luxury where you can spend money you don’t have and are told about how you can be more if only you bought more of the Mega Coach Jane’s product. Never mind that after the sparkle dust settles and then you go home and realize you are so deeply in debt you can’t even afford a burrito at Chipotles.

Pivot your businessUnfortunately, this happens not just for solopreneurs, heart-centered entrepreneurs, and small business owners; the coaches, consultants, and healers who go broke trying to serve and live their dreams. The same guru effect happens to Silicon Valley startups that keep throwing millions of dollars into changing strategies midstream or expanding far and wide before the model has been proven for a sufficient time. Simply looking at a story like that of Fab.com or Jobster makes you wonder – how could no one look them in the eye and say “Hold on, wait! Let’s really get clear and execute deeply before we look for the next shiny object?” There’s pivoting and then there is digging your own grave.

This is why a grounding presence is necessary for entrepreneurs. Someone who can bring the solidness of the earth to otherwise untethered energies and offer practical wisdom during both the exciting and tough times.

A Grounding Presence for EntrepreneursA smart business owner sees what IS mindfully. That doesn’t mean you aren’t open to infinite possibilities or success beyond your wildest dreams. It doesn’t make you a negative nelly. But it does mean that you know that anything worthwhile is built on a solid foundation. That overnight successes happen after years or decades of hard work.

Do you want your business to serve you for the next year and fizzle out or provide a lifetime of security, challenges, and meaning?

Unless you’re a serial entrepreneur with a “get in/get out” mentality akin to flipping houses (and that’s not most of us) there are an awful lot of unsexy, hard-working steps to take to success.

But it doesn’t have to come at the expense of your mental and physical health, your relationships, or your dreams. It doesn’t have to look like a twenty-year-old hipster living in their car and eating ramen noodles. Because let’s face it, most of us have a life, possibly a family, and responsibilities. We can’t afford to not meet our obligations. And seriously, whose idea was it anyway to glamify the idea of living in a garage eating crap, and working 24/7/365 anyway? All this does is perpetuate the notion that martyrdom is a requirement for success (and what a hollow success that breeds).

NOT how I want to spend my precious days. How about you?

As a mentor, I will ask you what you really want – not only from your business but for your life as well. I will “get you” on a deep level. As your trusted guide I will teach you what works while customizing it and adapting it for you personally. A worthy companion on the journey, I will tell you things that are hard to hear with ruthless compassion while standing for your worth and your highest potential.

I will never treat you like a number, consider 100 people in the room an “intimate” experience or employ the sales funnel of death where you have nowhere else to go but to spend WAAY more than you ever imagined.

Don't Drive Your Golden Business off a Cliff

Want a downloadable copy of this manifesto?  Click here for the pdf.

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