Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bootstrap StartUp Secret #4

Deal Effectively with Feelings of Desperation

Your ability to notice and respond to desperate feelings while you’re getting your BootStrap Start-Up going are essential. Because you really are the key element of your business at this stage, your feelings, actions and choices are the foundation of success—or failure. My clients find these tools consistently helpful, so you can have a head start by using these simple steps for handling these kinds of feelings.

First thing to do: Quickly notice your desperate, helpless or overwhelmed feelings. You may be tempted to just work or power through your feelings. You get short-term benefit for a long-term, undesirable impact. You may end up working in counter-productive directions.

What are your “tells” when you feel this way? Even if no one sees it, you feel it and can find the small cues for your experience. Extra fidgeting? A sudden urge to multi-task? Unexpected craving for coffee or sugar? Cranky for no reason? Whatever your symptom, develop the ability to recognize them quickly.

Take a look back at times when you’ve felt this way and see what you can learn so you’re better prepared next time.

Second thing to do: Make a physical change for yourself. When you recognize the symptoms, do something physical to create a mini-break. In the training business it’s called a state-change. All you do is change your physical position—other changes follow.

Kandy Love, my yoga teacher when I live in Florida said, “If you have a problem do a headstand or a down-dog. It’s got to look different from upside.” And it works! Just like deep breathing, these two poses increase blood flow to your breath. So when desperation comes up, don’t just stay there! A la Churchill, keep moving!

Third thing to do: You might be tempted to just jump straight to this one. Sure, you could do that, but I strongly suggest using the first two steps—you’ll get better results when you use them in order.

Ask yourself, “Is this actually true?” For example, you may feel desperate about taking the step to start your business. Maybe you hear things such as you never could do it before, why don’t you just get a job like regular people, you’re too old, you’ll waste the retirement, you won’t have enough energy to do a business now, and many other internal arguments for moving forward.

One way to find out what’s true is to write down all the reasons the next step is a bad idea. Now, ask yourself if each one is true. What could make each panic point true? What makes them less likely to be true?

You’re going to run into a lot of myths on what it takes to be an entrepreneur and what you have to do to have a successful business. That’s one of the reasons I teach which rules to break when during the BootStrap Your Start-Up Program.

Many of those rules simply aren’t true—I’ve been “breaking” most of them for 20 years now. What matters is looking at whatever fears/rules come up and figuring out if a desperate feeling is a warning you should heed or an assumption that just doesn’t apply.

Your goal is be aware that feelings of desperation are normal for new entrepreneurs. And they don’t have to define if you succeed or not. You have choices when you find yourself in this situation. It’s fast and effective to change your physical orientation such as standing up, moving from your desk to a table, or even taking a quick walk get you out of the loop and stimulate nature abilities to be clear and intelligent.

With so much mythology and long-standing tradition, being able to tell the difference between what’s true for you, true now, or just not useful is key.

Wishing you Success & Heart,

Heidi Sue

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