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Choose Your Focus

One of the most frequent calls for help I receive is in one way or another related to the word FOCUS – that magical force that not only assures meaningful accomplishment but a sense of clear purpose along the way.

If you’re like many of my clients, you may be challenged for more focus, because you’re launching something new and don’t want to lose income from what’s old. Or you might be overwhelmed by options thanks to an upward spiral of success.  Maybe you juggle work with raising children or a demanding special interests (like horses!) Or perhaps you’re just stuck in blurry routine.

Regardless the reason for your fuzz, you ultimately are the decider about your focus. When you allow your attention to dissipate in many directions, you lose the one resource that cannot be regenerated – time.

So if you want to pursue your real passion, make a good thing greater, eliminate major pain, repair small annoyances, or otherwise accomplish what is most meaningful, you have to make decisions about what else can wait, or go away completely.

Homework: What gets in the way of your focus? What can you choose to do, or not do, differently to zero in on what will make the biggest impact toward your most meaningful plans?
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The Mentor

Elizabeth&Dodie

Because I’m a paid mentor who’s worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, you may discount my perspective that every entrepreneur needs a mentor. But as a still-practicing entrepreneur, I can tell you even pro mentors need a mentor. Continue Reading →

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The Buzz of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a hot buzz word – especially in my hometown of Kansas City since it was named one of the top five cities globally for entrepreneurship by the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. So if we’re going to be a leader in the field, we ought to know how to pronounce this buzz word properly, how to define it accurately, and which form of the word to use correctly in a sentence. Continue Reading →

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Entrepreneur Job Satisfaction

My home office’s patio foreshadows what I want clients to experience inside and in life.

My home office’s patio foreshadows what I want entrepreneurs to experience inside and in life.

Though we’ve learned through numerous studies that those with high job satisfaction also find greater satisfaction in all aspects of their life, there has been very little study about entrepreneur satisfaction as a measure for success.

I’m not fond of the euphoric implications of the word “happy,” but one study confirms entrepreneurs score higher in happiness than those employed by others.  Another study reports 55% being Extremely Happy, which leaves 45% of entrepreneurs reporting anywhere from totally disliking their business to it making them sorta happy.  Even still, 30-45% of owners report continuous concern about things like payables, receivables, health care benefits, and hiring. One other study I found validates money’s not the only measure of success. 46 percent said they started their business to have more freedom or flexible work schedules; only 19 percent started their companies to earn more.

I recently surveyed my own readers, offering a simple scale of 1-10 to define how satisfied you are with your business, and your life.  Here are the highest satisfaction scores.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 8.43.22 AM

I’ve not cross analyzed the data to see if, for example, whether those meh scores in the 5-6 middle of Business and Life are connected – are people compromising in both areas and finding satisfaction in neither?  I’m sure I’ll continue to explore correlations as I delve deeper in this area of focus.

I do know that through my continued work directly with entrepreneurs, and the upcoming web series for mill-yuns more, I intend to move the Satisfaction needle, and keep it steadily hovering in the 9-10 zone.  And this is where my work gets really interesting.

Satisfaction is not a destination.

What is fulfilling now may not be in three years, or even three months.  That’s what makes satisfaction potentially elusive.  Fulfillment in entrepreneurship is a process, not a destination – it’s a commitment to fluidity amid the inevitable changes in life/business, allowing the accompanying gains and losses that come with change to flow freely, with sufficient cushion that the impact of change doesn’t completely drain all your resources – all while remaining fearlessly curious about every plot twist.

While putting the brand on my upcoming webcast series, it’s become very clear.  My life’s work is about helping entrepreneurs grow not just financially viable businesses, but ones that meet their personalized criteria for success. Entrepreneurship’s infinite flexibility offers the best chance to create a sustainably fulfilling life.

Homework: So if you have not yet seized the powah of your choices, start here, with my Business Owner’s Credo and the homework within.  When you own your business, you also own your life.

 

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Next Gen Entrepreneurship

Jamie Miller Hair Parlour’s owner epitomizes the next gen in age and thinking with a commitment to meaning from her work. www.jmhairparlour.com Painting by Christopher Clark

Jamie Miller Hair Parlour’s owner epitomizes the next gen in age and thinking with a commitment to meaning from her work. www.jmhairparlour.com Painting by Christopher Clark

While developing my own entrepreneurial ventures and mentoring hundreds of other owners, I see the signs of generations to come.  The next generation is not the next youngest, though Millennials’ quest for meaning is contagious.   Continue Reading →

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