It's easy to criticize an entrepreneur's tendencies, especially if you're married to one, work for one, or are one! Entrepreneurs, like any pioneers, have their own set of RULES. Many entrepreneurs are successful in spite of themselves. The key to succeeding as an entrepreneur is to fully understand your weaknesses are often also your biggest strengths, although YOU may not think so! You just have to find a way to balance the two sides, and find the positive side of your natural tendencies.
LOTS OF IDEAS
The entrepreneur's currency is ideas, often a flood of ideas. This is good -- even if it doesn't seem that way when you can't focus on completing one of those thoughts. When you find support channels that challenge you to come up with more and BETTER ideas, you will find one to NATURALLY focus on. The reason you can't focus is often that you haven't yet flushed out all of the half-baked ones. Find a coach or mastermind group or colleague who can serve this role in your life, and reciprocate whenever you can with other entreprenuers.
NOT GOOD WITH DETAILS
Many entrepreneurial-types fail or have lots of STRESS, specifically because they won't or don't want to sweat the details. However, the problem is generally that the detail isn't small enough -- it seems too overwhelming because it's really a grouping of many smaller details. Often, it's just a matter of BREAKING a problem down into small enough pieces that they can be handled with ease. And if it's a matter of time, consider delegating some details to staff, freelance contractors, or even family members.
FEELING DIFFERENT OR STRANGE
Entrepreneurs are simply wired differently and they SHOULD feel a little different from the average clock-puncher, and there is nothing wrong with it at all. In fact, if you can learn to RELISH your unique, contrary, leading edge ways, you'll feel better about yourself and increase your flow of ideas and success. The key is understanding the species called Homo entrepreneurs.
GOOD AT STARTING BUSINESS, BAD AT RUNNING THEM
Many entrepreneurs think that they have an obligation to run their businesses and become a great manager. 90% will never be great managers; they shouldn't even try -- too much stress on everyone! There are two solutions -- either develop a TEAM that can help with the day-to-day management, or work withthe understanding that your business is a commodity and you plan to SELL it to someone who wants to run it. Selling is not failure; it's good business and can allow a person with lots of interests to spend time on all of them. This will turn a perceived weakness into a profitable strength.
FEAR OF FAILURE
If you look at a failing business as a PROBLEM or as a reflection on the entrepreneur's ability and strengths, then this is a negative. But, just like a kid has to fall a couple of times when learning to ride a bike, so do entrepreneurs fail as they learn how to be successful. There is often a LEARNING curve as the entrepreneur learns to compensate for weaknesses by delegating, outsourcing, maturing, and learning new skills. The Spark usually wins in the end.
Exaggeration and pipe dreaming are as important to the entrepreneur as faith and believing are to Christians and other religions. Entrepreneurs are so out in front of the rest of us that they NEED to exaggerate how well things are going, in order to keep the faith -- hey it's lonely out in front (or in left field, depending on how savvy the entrepreneur is!) Just make sure that you have a system in place for turning those pipe dreams into concrete actions -- and someone to help make you ACCOUNTABLE to your dreams. You never know what you can accomplish!
FINANCIALLY AT THE EDGE
There is often an emotional DILEMMA attached to being financially on the edge that entrepreneurs are trying to heal, via their business. The psychological source may be an addiction to adrenaline, the high of "pulling it off" at the last minute, or the rush that victory brings, the need to be better than everyone else, and even the inability to establish a reserve of cash and time so that they function without this stress. But when the entrepreneur has proven, time and time again, that they are resourceful, can survive and bounce back from adversity -- that should be seen a plus. Learn to direct this energy into creating a healthy SAVINGS account instead of leveraging so much, and you'll have a successful venture.
Your spouse didn't just marry another person or even a business person -- he or she married an ENTREPRENEUR! And they don't come with instructions, warning labels, or antidotes. While it's important for you to be able to do your own thing, you can work to involve your family more in your business -- ask for their help, advice, and assistance. This will not only STRENGTHEN your marraige, but also your company.
Thomas Leonard is an Infopreneur. You may contact him at or visit his website at www.thomasleonard.com.
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