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How To Conquer Your Fear Of Becoming an Entrepreneur By Being Disciplined

Dirk Coetsee shows you have to become disciplined in the art of entrepreneurship.

Dirk Coetsee

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Jocko Willink

“Discipline equals freedom.”

– Jocko Willink – Former Navy Seal Commander of operation Bruiser in Iraq

Fear sets in as anyone dabbling in entrepreneurship contemplates the magnitude of the task and the risks taken. Your stomach might also turn and your mouth become desert dry as you start facing the consequences of a dilemma that you have judged as impossible to manage or solve. An invisible object seems to press hard against your chest as you attempt to figure out how you are going to pay the bills with your cashflow under severe strain.

Symptoms of fear such as the aforementioned can test your resolve and assist you to reach a higher level of consciousness or it can numb you to a degree of total debilitation. Your choice, no one can overcome the fear for you.

Jocko Willink an ex-Navy Seal commander turned Business Leadership coach sites discipline as an antidote to fear. The more you practise even in situations when you do not want to and the harder you practise consistently the fear of failure diminishes in proportion to your conscious effort. I have not met Jocko Willink in person yet sincerely hope to. I am however a fan of his podcast and his books.

Related: 6 Timeless Strategies That Drive Successful Entrepreneurship

Besides being a decorated Navy Seal commander and respected task force leader in the much-publicised operation Bruiser in Iraq he is also reported to be a daily practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu an art that certainly requires a high level of discipline and humility, when a practitioner does not display a character of the aforementioned traits the art will teach it to him or her the hard way.

The reader simply has to listen to Jockos’ intense speech or watch a video on his Facebook page to realise what a lifelong practise of discipline can do to a man’s’ state of mind and what discipline can mould you into. Fearless Entrepreneurship is what we need in South Africa; fearless leadership is what we sorely miss in this potentially wonderful country of ours that is if we are as a collective truly serious about making this country great.

Fearless does not mean arrogant, it most certainly does not allude to ignorance, and above all it most certainly does not mean being totally self-absorbed.

Serve others, your friends, your family, your employees, and your customers through your fearlessness and through your brave action

Fearless in this context does not portray the superhuman ability of never experiencing the emotion or feelings around fear, it instead describes the cultivation of discipline to such a degree that you harness the experience of the senses as it confronts you with apprehension and turn it into brave action. There is no sense in denying that entrepreneurship is extremely hard work and not for everybody. Nobody told you that this was going to be easy, yet the journey of entrepreneurship can be extremely rewarding and positively challenging.

Motivation and Willpower is an internal matter, no one can motivate you, you are the decision maker as an entrepreneur. The only thing that a mentor or coach can do for you is to assist in creating an environment wherein it is easier for you to motivate yourself. Motivation and Willpower is fickle however and something as small as a craving can overcome your level of motivation. Discipline is not fickle and when cultivated as a habit through repeated work and sacrifice a high level of discipline can overcome almost anything.

Turn the volume down on the excuses that you use to avoid being a “disciple of discipline”. The most popular ones that has most likely run through every entrepreneur’s mind, at least at some stage are:

  • “I do not have the time.”
  • “I am so busy.”
  • “I am tired, let me hit that snooze button.”
  • “That person de-motivated me.” (As if motivation was an external factor.)
  • “I am not naturally gifted.”

Related: 46 Facts You Should Know About Entrepreneurship (Infographic)

“So, and so is just lucky, and I am not so lucky.” (When you witness the blood and tears and hours spent on honing their respective crafts you can find to your surprise that success can often appear to be luck, yet the truth more often than not is that successful entrepreneurs in general faced extreme hardships and had to work extremely hard before the appearance of luck occurred.)

“It is not my fault, it is … (fill in the blank) fault.” (The blame game has become an international sport with I believe more players than soccer, basketball, baseball, and American football combined.)

“Yes, but it is so hard.”

“I’ll leave it to the experts.” (And then you do not actually leave it to the experts you simply leave it undone.)

Continuously paint your excuses on the canvass of your mind and that will be your beliefs which in turn logically will affect your actions negatively. This is your choice and your responsibility as an entrepreneur just remember that you are the painter.

The above statements naturally lead to the follow up question of: “How do I reach a point of fearlessness if I already am in a lifelong spiral of apprehension, worry and concern?” I am confident that various answers exist to this question and with this writing I challenge the reader to diligently take on the effort of research and practise to find an answer that best works for her or him. Simply to offer help in the process I offer the following as a possible answer:

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

– Mark Twain

Start small as to not overwhelm yourself with too much and sudden change. Begin with simple things to slowly start cultivating a more disciplined approach to business and to life:

  • Have a morning ritual even if it is just a few minutes in the beginning to start the day in a positive frame of mind. You could start your day by reading a few pages of a book that challenges you to higher level of thinking. You could pray or meditate. Do some exercise. Experiment until you find a morning ritual that works for you.
  • Make your bed. It can be the simplest things that when put together results in a more disciplined and better form of you.
  • Cut out one bad thing at a time from your diet. Cut out bread this week. Next week maybe sugar.
  • Start exercising even if you start with a five-minute walk.
  • Start a journal. I call this “bleeding on paper”, and from personal experience I can honestly say that if I did not have the therapeutic device of regular writing at my disposal I most probably would have had a severe panic attack a day. The purpose of this journal is to give an honest account of your struggles fears and progress as you slowly advance on this journey of discipline.
  • Follow those that you respect and learn from on Facebook, listen to their podcasts, read their books and or blogs. Never stop learning. Increase the time spent slowly but surely on this and eventually ensure that the average time spent on learning by far exceeds the time spent on watching TV. Act on what you learn and you might just be very surprised at the results.

“Accustom yourself to tireless activity.”

– Supreme Commander Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov.

Have a clear written statement of your purpose and your various goals that you often refer to. Fix your mind and actions on making your purpose a reality and steady yourself through disciplined practise and lessen fear, for failures will approach to test your resolve and discipline.

I root for and have South-African entrepreneurs close to my heart. I sincerely hope to see you on the other side where we all are in a state of fearlessness. Until then do the work, repeatedly and tirelessly.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

(Podcast) Being An Entrepreneur Is Painful

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Nicholas Haralambous

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Entrepreneurship is fun. But on the whole, running a business is hard. Far fewer business owners succeed than fail. Statistically your business is going to fail. Those are the hard numbers.

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Listening time: 5 minutes

Related: (Podcast) Playing To An Audience Of One

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

3 Dangerous Entrepreneurial Myths You Need To Ignore

This terrible advice won’t actually get you anywhere.

Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneurial Myths

We’ve all heard the numbers about how hard it is to build a long-lasting business. While there are many factors at play to get there, without effective marketing and sales a business cannot survive.

Unfortunately, there is a multitude of dangerous and destructive marketing advice swirling around the heads of vulnerable entrepreneurs. Like vultures seeking their next meal, “gurus” pontificate nonsense that these hard-working business owners follow, only to discover that what they tried doesn’t work.

Often, once the damage is done, it is too late for them to do anything else about it.

If you want to not only survive, but thrive, here is some of the terrible advice you need to start ignoring:

1“You need to be everywhere”

I’m sorry, but how do these people sleep at night without the use of narcotics? “Experts” spew out dribble to make headlines saying you need to get on Snapchat, get on Periscope, do YouTube Live … be everywhere! They’ll say you need to get on this platform or that social media network. Oh, and use LinkedIn Live! And make sure to post on Instagram three times a day and Facebook twice a day. And don’t forget those Facebook Lives. Make sure to do them every day.

Related: The Journey Of Entrepreneurship: How The Tough Get Going

ACK! Just writing that paragraph stressed me out. How the heck are you supposed to be on all of those channels, never mind doing it all effectively, and still run your business? Of course you can’t. And you shouldn’t. (Unless self-torture is your thing, in which case have at it. There are books about that, but I’m not giving any titles because I’d have to Google them and then I’d be retargeted by the ads and that would just be gross.)

It is impossible to spend even half an hour on each major network and still get any work done. Forget about focusing on measurement, profit and return on investment. They don’t mention that on purpose, because then these crazy-pants suggestions would really make no sense. But, then these “experts” would stop making the headlines, so they keep serving up spoiled advice for the poor folk who chow down and then get sick on it.

Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to their plots of deception. Demand strategies that value your time and produce results in a significant and measurable way quickly.

2“It takes money to make money”

cash-flow-management

I didn’t take the easy way out. I am part of a group of scrappy entrepreneurs who have a lot of hustle and heart and little/no/negative funds. I didn’t come from family money, and the big banks certainly weren’t lending to businesses like mine.

The only way I was going to get a big pile of cash was if I won the lottery. And since I’ve only played about four times in the last decade, the chances of that happening were slim. What I had to find was the same thing you most likely want – a solution to predictably bring in customers when there is no marketing budget to play with.

3The Schmo-bags

The worst are who I call the “Ferrari Marketers.” They rent a sportscar for an hour or two, hang out in front of it and then sell us shiny object strategies that they haven’t even used in their own business.

Related: 6 Timeless Strategies That Drive Successful Entrepreneurship

They are abhorrent, hideous and dangerous. Not only are they crooks stealing the money of the people who are seeking a solution from them, but they may prevent really talented people who have a gift/service/product/offer to share that can help someone else from ever reaching them.

Did I mention they suck?

But, once you discover a game-changing system, you are responsible for implementing it. You can’t be distracted by shiny objects any longer.

As Jack Welch says, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

Don’t allow yourself to be enticed or distracted by fads or the “latest and greatest/not greatest” new social media strategy, channel or tactic.

Once you uncover how to truly get results, be strong-willed and stubborn. Repel any idea, strategy or initiative that requires you to keep spending money to make money. If you keep throwing dollars and time at a goal, hoping and wishing that it will work, yet not tracking or measuring the results and scaling accordingly, then you cannot expect results.

Start measuring, tracking and demanding results from your time and money, rising above others and landing in the successful minority that thrives instead of survives.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

5 Mindset Changes You Must Make When Going From Employee To Entrepreneur

As one prominent author wrote, “Entrepreneurs don’t finish when we are tired. We finish when we are done.”

Sujan Patel

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entrepreneurship-mindset

Thousands of people dream of the day they can quit their jobs and escape the 9-to-5 life. In fact, Gallup found that 87 percent of the employees it surveyed worldwide did not see themselves as engaged.

But quitting your job and starting your own business is only half the battle. You need to prepare to be an entrepreneur. Besides getting your finances in order and having a plan in place, you also need to prepare your mind.

Your habits dictate your success, and if you’re still stuck in that 9-to-5 mindset, your endeavors will fail. You must adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and start thinking the way the world’s top leaders do.

Being an entrepreneur is very different than being an employee, and the way you envision it may be completely off base. Here are five changes you must make to your thinking in order to prepare yourself for the realities of being an entrepreneur.

1Train your mind to think outside the box

Once you leave your office job, you’re no longer confined by corporate life. That means you need to open your mind to new possibilities – possibilities that may not have been an option in your old life.

Related: For Shatty Mashego Success Lies In Maintaining A Positive Mindset

In an article for TIME magazineWarren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said, “People will always try to stop you doing the right thing if it is unconventional.” In short, others may not see your vision, but you can’t let that stop you. You need to be creative with your business, offer something new and be different to be successful.

2Develop both short-term and long-term vision

Albert Einstein once told the New York Times, “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.”

That new type of thinking needs to be focused on a strategic goal. You must have a vision for your company – an idea of where you’re going and how you’ll get there.

As an entrepreneur, you are the leader of your company, and your team members are looking to you to show them the path to success.

What’s your plan? You should be able to see the big picture as well as all of the steps it will take to reach your main goal. Then, you must communicate that vision to those on your team and ensure they each understand their individual roles in the plan.

3Let it all fall on your shoulders

stress-on-shoulders

Becoming an entrepreneur can be scary. Your success is now completely dependent on the work that you do. You can no longer fall back on a salary or benefits.

As an employee, if you had a bad day at work, you were still paid your salary, regardless. But as an entrepreneur, if your business isn’t successful, you won’t make any money. Plus, you now have others relying on you for their livelihood.

Ryan Farley is a typical example of corporate employee-turned-entrepreneur, quitting a fast-paced finance job to start lawn care marketplace LawnStarter Lawn Care. “I was used to working extremely long hours in the corporate finance world,” Farley told me. “I thought that would have conditioned me well, but nothing can prepare you for this amount of stress.

“It’s pretty common for founders to have the stress get so bad it affects your physical and mental health,” Farley continued. “But you have to press on, and you’re better off for it.” Prominent entrepreneurs like Brad Feld and Mark Suster, have expressed similar sentiments.

Working for yourself also means you need to be your own motivator. You no longer have a boss hounding you to get your work done. You need to stay organised and focused, and you’re going to have to be comfortable with hard work and long hours.

Related: 8 Mindsets That Will Set You On The Path To Success

4Get ready to be a jack of all trades

As an entrepreneur, you can’t say “That’s not my job.” Every job is your job now. There’s no one else to pick up the slack but you. You need to make sure everything in your business continues to run on track, and that may mean doing work you aren’t used to doing. You may need to be the accounting department, IT, marketing and more in addition to leading your company.

Entrepreneurs wear many different hats and are constantly learning new skills and working hard. If you think becoming an entrepreneur means you get to sit back and kick your feet up, you’d better stick to your day job.

As entrepreneur, author and investor Robert Kiyosaki has written on Twitter, “Entrepreneurs don’t finish when we are tired. We finish when we are done.”

5Be flexible, focused and positive

Attitude is everything in business. You can’t let challenges get in the way of your dream. Entrepreneurs need to be optimistic and stay focused on their goals. Your passion must drive you.

Related: An Entrepreneurial Mindset – Why And How To Develop One

As Steve Jobs once said in an interview with the Smithsonian Institution, “Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So, you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about; otherwise you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there.”

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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