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12 Self-discovery pillars for the aspiring entrepreneur: Understanding yourself to navigate the uncertainties of entrepreneurship

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There is nothing quite as transformational and exciting as starting a new business! This journey is so enriching and, while there are as many opinions and insights on the subject as there are people, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t share it in its entirety. For some of you, this journey will be filled with success for others it will be as puzzling and frustrating as can be.

In this tumultuous thing we call life, we often find ourselves navigating through a maze of challenges and uncertainties. It’s during these times that we must pause, reflect, and gather our strength to keep moving forward. It is in this vein, that I want us to explore some key points that can help you on your path to growth and self-discovery as you undertake this new journey of entrepreneurship, becoming your own boss, and choosing a life of freedom. What I want to equip you with is not only information but perspective, this journey is unique to you and the people around you.

So build it brick by brick and understand that it is very much a learning experience that doesn’t end. So we will start by laying out some groundwork for the success of your startup, this work involves acquiring the right perspective, actionable tips, and resources;I want us to look at this from specifically twelve key elements that I believe are so powerful in shaping us as humans as we evolve to become who we are meant to be, and build lives that we want.

Let’s begin:

1. Your Story: The Power of Your Personal Narrative

Your story is such a powerful tool in your business arsenal, your personal narrative shapes your vision, values, and mission. It provides the context for your entrepreneurial journey. Take time to understand your narrative. Your life experiences shape your perspective and influence your choices. Knowing your story can help you make decisions that align with your values and aspirations.

Your story is not just a recounting of past experiences; it’s a reflection of your passions, dreams, and the impact you want to make in the world. Your story is unique, which makes it both beautiful and terrifying, and because creative living requires us to show up as we are, to have the courage to stand out and ask for what we want, what we know we deserve. 

This process takes preparation, patience, and practicing self-compassion on a consistent basis; dealing with the incomplete nature of our work as we find ourselves in transitory places that force us to face our darkest fears, our inner demons. It is the connection point, once people see themselves in your story, you won’t have to convince them to join into your vision, it will organically happen.

Crafting your story answers the “why” behind your endeavors and allows you to communicate the reason for your business’ existence effectively to your audience.  When your story aligns with your business, it becomes a powerful tool for storytelling and attracting like-minded individuals who resonate with your vision. So tune into that!

2. Your Beautiful Heart: Your Expressive Nature and Focus

The pursuit of creative entrepreneurship is an exciting journey that enables us to discover new aspects of ourselves and share our unique visions with the world. With each step we take, we gain the confidence to venture into uncharted territories and embrace the unknown. It is important to understand and own your unique voice and creative expression. It’s a journey that requires a lot of exploration, experimenting with new ideas, and taking risks. 

It can be an emotional rollercoaster because it’s not just about being creative, but it’s also about discovering who you really are and making money doing what you love. In order to be successful in building your brand, you are going to move with intention and a clear understanding of your goals and, your life’s direction. It will involve knowing what you want to achieve, why it matters, and how you plan to get there. This is where your creativity plays a huge role!

This helps to provide focus and direction in your business, guiding decision-making and actions towards achieving your desired outcome. It allows you to prioritize your time, energy, and resources towards the things that matter most to you, and avoid distractions and time-wasters. Learn your creative self daily and invest time in creative activities and decisions. Understand your values, passions, and goals. Self-awareness will take you very far.

3. Your Potential: Bring Your Inner Possibilities to the forefront

What I have seen quite often is that as creatives, we underestimate our capabilities. We second-guess ourselves a little too much and are in constant need of validation. Put your unique potential to work by embracing your individuality by recognizing your strengths and talents and leverage them to achieve your goals. Your unique qualities are what set you apart and make you extraordinary.

Embracing your potential means recognizing your unique strengths, talents, and abilities. It’s about acknowledging that you have the capacity to learn and adapt to the ever-changing online landscape. And you do! So harness your potential effectively, set clear and realistic goals, and choose an area of focus.

List your personal goals professional goals, look at your interests, your talents, the current market opportunities, and your relationships, and let all of that help you find and identify a profitable niche that you can focus on. As an online entrepreneur, you have access to a vast array of resources and opportunities, so don’t limit your potential and build with self-confidence.

Ask yourself the hard questions about your readiness and the market readiness that will inform your research starting any kind of venture requires the right skillset in order to thrive so get ready to confront an unpredictable environment.  You bring a lot to the table so take the time to do an inventory of your potential and the following point, skills.

4. Your Skills: Sharpening the Tools of the Trade

Entrepreneurship demands a diverse skill set, as a founder you will have to wear many hats; from marketing and customer service to financial management and digital literacy, your success will rely on your ability to acquire, hone, and hire these skills.  Identify which skills are essential for your venture and prioritize their development; invest in learning and improvement. Take courses, read books, and seek mentors who can help you acquire the necessary skills. 

5. Your Experience: Lessons from the Past

While experience might not be your strong suit as a new entrepreneur, it’s still a valuable resource. Reflect on your past experiences, both personal and professional, to identify the lessons and insights that can be applied to your current venture. Mistakes and failures are part of the entrepreneurial journey, but they also offer valuable teachers. Embrace them as opportunities for growth and learning by leveraging your past experiences, you can make more informed decisions and avoid repeating past errors.

6. Your Environment: Shaped Your Surroundings

Your environment includes your physical workspace, the people you surround yourself with, and the digital platforms you engage with.  A cluttered or uninspiring environment can hinder your productivity and creativity. Create a workspace that fosters focus and creativity by surrounding yourself with a supportive network of individuals who understand your goals and can offer guidance. 

Be selective in your digital presence, engaging with platforms and content that align solely with your entrepreneurial vision. Life can be overwhelming at times, and it is important to have an outlet for your emotions. Have vent sessions, whether with friends, family, or a therapist, so that you are provided a safe space to express your feelings, fears, and frustrations.

Bottling up your emotions can hinder personal and business growth, so don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and seek support when needed. Surround yourself with people who uplift, inspire, and believe in your dreams. Your tribe should be your support system, offering encouragement and motivation. 

Building meaningful connections with like-minded individuals can also provide invaluable guidance and friendship on your journey. Just like iron sharpens iron, your dedication to growth shapes you into a stronger, more capable individual. Each idea you explore, each challenge you face, and each new perspective you encounter contributes to your personal evolution. You understand that growth is not just about reaching a destination but enjoying the journey and becoming a better version of yourself along the way.

As you continue on this path of self-discovery and personally growth, remember that your commitment to growth not only benefits you but also has a ripple effect on those around you. Your journey serves as an inspiration to others, encouraging them to embark on their own quests for personal betterment. Your dedication to growth is a shining example of what can be achieved through self-belief and continuous learning.

7. The Tech: Navigating the ever-evolving digital landscape

In this digital age, technology is the backbone of online entrepreneurship. It involves understanding the tech tools and platforms relevant to your business. Keeping up with the latest trends and advancements in your industry will be paramount to the competitiveness of your business. Ensure that your tech infrastructure is secure and reliable. Invest in user-friendly systems that streamline your operations and leverage automation and data analytics to gain insights and make informed decisions.  A clear tech strategy is essential for scaling your online business effectively.

8. Your Mindset: Your thoughts are your reality

Your mindset can make or break your entrepreneurial journey. Adopting a growth mindset, the belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and learning will set you apart from the competition. Cultivate resilience in the face of challenges and setbacks and befriend failure as a stepping stone toward success. Stay open to new ideas and perspectives, and be willing to adapt to change. A growth mindset not only fuels your personal development but also shapes the way you approach your online business.

9. Your Belief System: Defining Your Values and Principles

The beliefs and culture you establish within your online business are fundamental to building company culture and ethical responsibility. Your beliefs, culture, language, and ethnicity will equip you with the sensibilities that you need to create the right environment for your business to thrive. What values and principles guide your decisions and actions? What kind of culture do you want to create for your team and customers?

Clearly define your core values and ensure they are reflected in your business practices. Build a culture that fosters trust, innovation, transparency, and collaboration. Be a good steward of your resources. When your beliefs and culture are aligned with your vision, they serve as a compass, guiding you in times of uncertainty.

10. Your Self-Image: The Power of Seeing Yourself Right

Your self-image influences your confidence, motivation, and ability to overcome obstacles. Positive self-perception can help you maintain a clear sense of purpose and direction. It is super important that you see yourself as God sees you, in your uniqueness and purpose, this is particularly hard for us women because we are perceived solely based on our looks. Work on building a strong self-image by acknowledging your accomplishments, setting achievable goals, and seeking validation through your progress, not external validation. Self-confidence and a positive self-image can empower you to make bold decisions and pursue your entrepreneurial dreams without compromising who you are to fit a situation that won’t serve you in the long-run.

11. Your Habits: The rituals of success

Most successful entrepreneurs often credit their consistent habits as key contributors to their achievements. Establishing clear and productive habits can help you stay focused and disciplined. Identify the habits that support your goals and eliminate those that hinder your progress.  Create a daily routine that includes time for strategic planning, learning, and self-discipline. Small, consistent actions can lead to significant long-term results.

12. Your Health: Building your mental stamina

It can get very monotonous and super demanding to run a business so it is important to create a vision and an understanding of exactly what you want and how you are going to make sure that it runs smoothly.  Without physical and mental well-being, your ability to make sound decisions and manage the demands of entrepreneurship will certainly be compromised.

Prepare yourself holistically by addressing various aspects of your life. Consider your financial stability, relationships, physical health, spirituality, and emotional well-being. Strengthening these areas will equip you with a solid foundation to navigate the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. Prioritize self-care, including exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep. Manage stress through mindfulness practices and relaxation techniques. 

Your health is your most valuable asset, and maintaining it ensures you have the energy and clarity needed to tackle the challenges of online entrepreneurship. Success in business extends beyond its financial aspects. Taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being will provide the energy and focus necessary to overcome challenges and avoid burnout.

Here you have it friend! Now over to you, use each of these elements to create a foundational roadmap for your new journey!

Xo,

Ange

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