You’ll recall last week I asked if you are working in a culture that values enforcement or empowerment?
I was surprised that no one reached out to tell me they were working for a company that has a culture of empowerment. My hope is that they’re all just busy enjoying their work 😉
Meanwhile, a number of readers wrote to tell me that their company’s culture of enforcement has been stifling their growth causing them to feel frustrated, angry, and resentful.
Instead of holding on to these feelings, they’re channeling it in a more positive direction: striking out on their own.
It’s always great to hear people feeling empowered to start something.
Of course building a business is not an easy endeavor, so I followed up and asked them if this is what they really want?
And I received an affirmative: YES!
I dug in a little bit deeper to understand what their next steps were, and if there was anything holding them back.
I figured some might have started a side project, done some research, and were saving up to go full time.
I’m not “good enough”.
“My idea for a product isn’t good enough.”
“I don’t know if people will pay me for my service.”
The beauty of being your own boss is that no one gets to tell you whether you are or aren’t good enough.
Sure customers will tell you if they are dissatisfied with your product or service, but that’s not YOU, that’s your product. You still have free reign to start.
What is really happening is a combination of the inner critic + imposter syndrome.
The inner critic is that little voice inside your head that shows up anytime you want to make a change or take a risk.
It acts like a best friend, looking out for you. It values what you value, it cares about you, and anytime you’re headed down a path filled with uncertainty and risk, it stops you dead in your tracks. It makes you re-think your decision, and pursue a safer path, that may not be what you really want.
So just like you would acknowledge a best friend, recognize the inner critic when it shows up – don’t attempt to try to kill it. It’s nearly impossible. Instead, tell it, “I appreciate you caring about me, and I know this is going to be challenging, but I want to do it anyways.”
While the imposter syndrome is a feeling that no matter how talented or how many achievements one accomplishes, they feel like a fraud. They think they got a lucky break, they had good timing, or they were just good at persuading others. They don’t attribute their achievements to hard work and effort.
Just like the inner critic, you have to acknowledge the feeling, keep it in check, and carry on pursuing what you want.
I have FOMO
Just when you send in your resignation letter, your boss comes back to you with a counter offer and the opportunity of a lifetime!
Where was this opportunity one month ago?!
Oh, they didn’t know you were unhappy….
Now all of a sudden this opportunity seems to good to pass up.
Well now is the time to ask yourself, “Has something really changed here? Is this no longer a culture of enforcement? Did my resignation letter change it to a culture of empowerment? Or is this just a ploy to get you to stay because there’s a war on talent out there?”
You’ll know if it’s a ploy if you counter their counter, and they aren’t willing to budge.
Fear missing out on want you really want. Not what someone convinces you to want.
I want to support someone else’s dream
A corollary to being side-tracked by FOMO is someone else recognizing you’re unhappy and trying to get you to join their dream.
But here’s the thing it’s THEIR dream, it’s what they want. Not what YOU want.
So kindly turn down their offer and get back to what YOU want.
7 years ago when I struck out on my own, I set a goal to be able to take more time off to pursue my own interests and spend time with loved ones.
It’s been a challenge, especially since I’ve been bootstrapping for the past few years.
The business has demanded so much of my time that I haven’t had any to spare for other interests let alone time off.
But this year I noticed the hard work is starting to payoff, and it’s given me the freedom to revisit my personal goal. I’m going to spend 6 weeks in Europe, studying Spanish and French, honeymooning with my husband, and hanging out with friends.
I focused on learning what I didn’t know and would help me meet my personal goal, like generating consistent revenue,
How is important, but is shouldn’t stop you. If there is something you don’t know, then invest the time to learn. That’s definitely something you can do on the side while hold down your day job.
I have a family, a mortgage, a student loan, a car payment, etc.
I hear ya! As we get older we have more and more financial commitments and responsibilities, which take up our time and energy.
That just means you can’t dive right in. You’ll need to start slowly and seek out help. So work on your company on the side consistently, and make a list of the things you need help with both at home and at your company.
Being resourceful, learning to delegate, and juggling are all traits you need to practice if you’re going to be running a company 😉
Getting by with less is actually a good thing. Constraints limit what you can spend your time, money, and energy doing, which is a good thing because it makes you thoughtful and decisive. Having too much leads to waste or analysis paralysis, which limits your progress.
In the end, you have to ask yourself if this is something you really want.
If it is, then you will figure out a way to make it happen, and ditch the excuses.
If it isn’t then that’s OK too.
But being in limbo land is no way to live life.
Will it really make me happy?
Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. It’s uncertain. But one thing is certain: you’re unhappy right now in your current environment.
Starting something new and pursuing a goal gets you one step closer to finding flow: most of us know this as being in the zone. Once we’re there we are just so deeply involved and focused on a particular activity or goal, that we forget problems or other issues that we might be dealing with or are around us. Hence, it is the pursuit of what we want, despite all its ups and downs, that brings up happiness.
Now I want to know, which of these 5 do you think is holding you back from pursuing what you want? Or if you’ve overcome one of them, how did you do it? Let me know in the comments below.