Staying inspired as an entrepreneur can be difficult. It is also easy to get distracted from your own plans when you are working so hard to make everyone else’s dreams come true.
Running a business is tough. Even though a lot of people portray entrepreneurs like we are always sitting on the beach, laptop in hand with a margarita writing blog posts and coaching clients, it isn’t really like that…not very often at least.
When you are focused on your business, providing excellent products and services, day in and day out, it can be draining. Even the most exciting work can be exhausting.
The key is to find what keeps you inspired AND helps you create breakthroughs in your own business.
Almost every entrepreneur I have ever met has craved a breakthrough. I believe it is part of what makes entrepreneurs so driven. When you have that true inner drive to achieve your dreams, you will do everything you can to make it happen. That craving for success and fulfillment is part of what drives a breakthrough.
How To Create A Business Breakthrough
First, let’s define what a breakthrough really is.
A breakthrough is a point in your business when you overcome something that has been holding you back or you finally achieve a major milestone.
There are tangible breakthroughs — you reach a revenue goal, a customer goal or launch a new course; and there are emotional breakthroughs. Let’s focus on emotional breakthroughs for just a bit.
Emotional Breakthroughs for Entrepreneurs
Ah, the mountain top! Have you ever had such a moving experience that it changed you? These types of emotional breakthroughs often happen when we take ourselves out of our typical environment and let our walls down. Emotional breakthroughs are as important as tangible breakthroughs because the emotional breakthroughs satisfy our need for significance.
We need to feel significant. You don’t risk your money, time, freedom and sanity to feel average. At least entrepreneurs don’t.
Here are three steps to help you create an emotional breakthrough:
1. Step away from the desk.
How can you expect to have an emotional breakthrough if you are doing the same things day in and day out?
For most emotional breakthroughs you have to leave your usual surroundings and look at your business from a new perspective.
Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again but expecting different results.
Give your mind and spirit a break by changing your scenery.
2. Surround yourself with positive energy.
Get a mentor or coach who will help you focus on what you want. Infuse your days with positive, uplifting people who support your dreams and goals and can remind you of what is important.
Positive reinforcement can help you get in an emotional state that can move you to change. Set the intention with your coach that you are ready to move your business to the next level, not just in activities but emotion. When you set an intention to breakthrough emotionally, you are signaling to your body that you are ready.
The positive energy of intention is key to having an emotional breakthrough.
3. Feel your feelings.
When you allow yourself to feel how you truly feel, you are nearing the breakthrough. Day in and day out we shove our feelings down or push them away because we are busy.
Most emotional breakthroughs happen when people are uncomfortable or unhappy. We can’t know if those feelings are real if we are on autopilot and not facing reality.
When you leave your usual surrounding, set the intention and align yourself with positive energy and allow yourself to be in the moment with real feelings you are well on your way to an emotional breakthrough.
Creating a Business Breakthrough
I once read that a rut is just a coffin with both ends removed.
Do you feel like your business is in a rut? Have you ever felt like you have hit the proverbial wall and you are not sure what to do next?
Entrepreneurs crave change. It is part of our DNA. If your business has become stale and sluggish, it’s time to create a breakthrough for your business.
Here are three ways to create a business breakthrough:
1. Align your business with your purpose.
Sounds pretty straightforward and obvious but it isn’t. Every day I work with entrepreneurs who started a business on hope. The hope that someone would buy what they were selling.
Sometimes we confuse hope with purpose.
We are so anxious to get started when we first start out on our own that we sometimes don’t do the work to discover what our true purpose is.
When you are clear on your purpose, and you align your activities to support that purpose, you will be ready for a breakthrough.
2. Create a clear strategy.
If you have ever heard me speak or been on one of my webinars, then you have heard me say ‘STOP BUILDING THE AIRPLANE WHILE IN FLIGHT’.
I hear ‘experts’ tell wide-eyed, inexperienced, hopped up on hope entrepreneurs all of the time to just get started.
Don’t just get started. Get clear, get a plan, create a strategy and THEN get started. The first thing to steal your enthusiasm for your business is to wander around without results because you never took the time to create a real business strategy.
If you are new to the entrepreneur thing, don’t try to do this alone. Join a mastermind, get a coach, network with people who can help you navigate the land mines of being a startup.
When you create a clear strategy (not the wing and a prayer approach), you are setting your business up for progressive success.
Everything you do in your business will build upon the last action, so a clear strategy will help you build the road to a breakthrough.
3. Look at your business from a new vantage point.
Sometimes we are too close to the trees to see the forest.
Take time away from your business and the routines you have created to get a fresh perspective. Turn your business on its side and look at it from all angles.
I recently had to do that to find my breakthrough.
I was stuck. Still successful, but stuck. I had lost my ‘jump out of bed and get to it’ energy that was so important for me to have to work with the amazing clients that I get to serve.
My job as a coach and strategist is to be excited about my client’s business, and that starts with being excited about my business.
Your job as a product or service provider is to love what you do so your customers can fall in love with it too.
My favorite question to ask to get a new vantage point is “What If?”
When was the last time you asked yourself that question?
If you want things to change, you have to change the way you look at things. When you combine a clear strategy with an open mind and a new set of questions, you will begin to see more possibilities for your business.
The bottom line is this:
- To create a breakthrough in your business you have to be ready for it. Breakthroughs don’t sneak up on you. You have to make space for them.
- The breakthrough is always waiting for you if you will allow yourself the time and space to step out of the rut.
- Step away from the desk. Get some space from the day to day operations.
- Surround yourself positive energy. Ask for what you want. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
- Allow yourself to feel your feelings. Be prepared to get uncomfortable. A breakthrough rarely happens when everything is perfect.
- Refresh your purpose. What moved you to start your business may not be strong enough to get you to the next level.
- Create a clear strategy. Hope is not a business strategy…or at least not one that works. Be clear on what your next steps are for your business by working with a coach or mentor to help you get there.
- Ask yourself ‘What If’ until you find a new approach that will help you get to the next level.
There’s a scene in one of my favorite movies — Working Girl, with Melanie Griffith ( Tess McGill) and Harrison Ford (Jack Trainer) that illustrates this perfectly. Melanie’s character had just proposed a new way of looking at Mr. Trask’s business. A business that was set in stone with its current way of running. When Mr. Trask realized the potential of the new approach, he tells this story:
“There was a story on the news last night showing life imitating an old children’s riddle.
It seems that a truck got stuck at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. Too high for the clearance.
Well, for hours, the experts tried to find some way to unwedge the vehicle, but to no avail.
Finally, a ten-year-old girl in a passing car suggested simply letting the air out of the truck’s tires, thus lowering it to the clearance level, which they did.
And it worked. Well, by letting some of the air out of our strategy to expand into broadcasting, Miss McGill and Mr. Trainer have effectively shown all of us here at Trask the light at the end of our tunnel.”
Do you need to let some air out of your tires? It might just give you the perspective you need to get to the next level.
Good luck on creating your breakthrough. I’m here to help.
Lisa Bollow | Business Strategist
I help clarify the journey of being an entrepreneur for over-achieving, passionate, creative business owners. I want to remove the overwhelm of building a business with simple, step-by-step programs, systems and support.