Everyday, I am encouraged by the stories I read of men and women entering the world of entrepreneurship. The freedom that it brings is intoxicating.
But in reality, there are days when I want to quit. Then suddenly, one of my crazy, random ideas actually materializes into something real and I realize quickly that I’m on this train for life and I just need to get comfy and prepare for the bumpy ride ahead.
I am not even close to where I want to be professionally or personally. And I’m ok with that.
Over the last few years, I have learned a lifetime’s worth of lessons. It often takes going through something really tough to get us to the other side of awareness and enlightenment. It’s a journey.
What is the one thing every entrepreneur must have to reach success? It is a question I’ve been thinking about.
Is it education? I don’t think so. My dad was my first example of true entrepreneurship and he only had a high school diploma but was one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known when it came to strategy and business acumen.
Is it who you know? Well, I actually do think this does play a large role in your business. Your ability to network and build relationships and maintain connections helps a ton when you work for yourself. But, I still think this isn’t it.
Maybe it’s how much money you have? I know this one can’t be it because I started Brandpointe with only a couple hundred bucks lol. I also do NOT come from a wealthy family. My dad cleaned and mopped the floors of my Catholic private school in order for my sister and I to attend there. We’ve been hustling and turning a dime into twenty five cents as my dad used to say for as long as I can remember.
Let me clarify. Liquidity is definitely a business owner’s best friend. It honestly takes money to make money. But. I still don’t think it’s the one thing that ensures success for an entrepreneur.
It’s taken a great deal of pain and a big ol’ mirror for me to finally discover that there’s only one thing that can ever lead to life filled with passion and achievement.
And that is to love yourself.
No, I’m not about to get all hippie on you lol. But what I am going to try to do is keep it as real as possible.
Many of us spend our lifetimes chasing – people, places, things and money. Only to still feel incredibly lonely and empty inside at the end of the day. We eat, shop, drink, pop pills, work too many hours, to escape that mirror. But it is always there.
Over the last few years, I’ve witnessed some incredible professional highs with my business but simultaneously dealt with some personal lows. I was a part of some really cool projects and met amazing people but, personally, things were chaotic and dysfunctional. I was running on empty. Drained.
I was chasing money for the material aspect rather than for the love of my passion. I was chasing affection and attention rather than demanding it. I was moving fast; running away from the one key that unlocks every dream or wish that I would ever want to come true – ME.
If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else. But digging deeper, you will never truly be ok with success without having an authentic, sincere love affair with yourself. And I don’t mean in a conceited way. This isn’t about ego. Far from it.
As entrepreneurs, we bust our asses every second of every minute of every day. It’s a hard life for sure. And for most, you know that the reward far exceeds the pain so you keep going.
But without self-love; without realizing how special you are with or without the money, even if “they” leave or your business ends tomorrow, you’ll essentially be like one of those hamsters on a wheel going round and round. You’ll waste time barking up the wrong tree, partnering with the wrong people and not fulfilling your ultimate destiny.
When you love yourself; you systematically nurture and protect your self-esteem which means you’re gifted with a fresh set of eyes that allows you to look at your own situation clearly and make the changes necessary to win. When there’s a lack of self-love, insecurity, fear, ego and greed exist. We are blinded by things that don’t matter when we don’t love ourselves.
I’ve always considered myself to be a very confident person. But as entrepreneurs, we’ve learned how to sell our butts off to anyone and everyone; putting on whatever face the situation called for.
We’ve all got baggage. I think it’s those challenges that actually create most of your successful entrepreneurs today.
But I know way too many men and women grinding, hustling, working nonstop but have no idea how special they really are; what a gift they are. I’ve met so many small business owners that have achieved extreme professional success but their personal lives are in shambles. And I think many people think this is just the way it’s going to be and just deal with it.
Not me. Not today.There is only thing that will guarantee an ultimate life of success at home and at the office and that is loving yourself completely.
Here are a few ways to do this:
Protect Your Heart, Mind & Soul
Considering the amount of rejection that entrepreneurs deal with on a daily basis and the amount of work completed on very little sleep suggests that we might all be a little on the crazy side. Understanding how stressful this life is you can only permit the people, places and things that uplift, encourage, inspire and energize you. If you are worn out and ragged over a toxic project or partner, then you are no good to your business and your team if you have one. Not all money is good money. And if people want to be in your life, they will have no problem respecting you and being a source of constant positive energy for you. Guard your peace of mind fiercely.
It’s Ok To Say No
Self-love means only doing the things you want to do. There is strength in being able to speak up for yourself. Out loud. Even if it’s not the most popular opinion. Love yourself enough to have confidence in your ideas, thoughts and beliefs.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
It’s very easy to get into a rut when you start a business. You have so much on your plate and for the most part, you’re primarily focused on generating revenue so the idea of trying new things doesn’t always appear on your radar. But I think one of the elements of loving your self is finding ways to constantly boost your confidence and self-esteem. Whether it’s a new hobby or even taking a class on public speaking or a foreign language, pushing yourself does wonders for the belief in yourself.
Daily Positive Affirmations
I used to think people that did this were cheesy, not going to lie lol. But there is something to be said about filling your mind with positive thoughts so that you aren’t dependent on others for them. Start your day repeating positive phrases, repeat them in the afternoon and end your day with these messages of love and acceptance for the person most important to your business – YOU. Here are a few to get started with:
- I feel joy and contentment in this moment right now.
- Every day in every way, I am becoming more and more successful
- I see fear as the fuel for my success and take bold action in spite of fear.
- I live in the present and am confident of the future.
When you love yourself, you are no longer concerned about what others are doing. The need to compete or use people or things to get what you want goes away too.
As an entrepreneur, you often feel this nagging pressure to achieve and be the best. And I was someone who used that pressure to propel my actions forward and motivate me to succeed but it’s so short lived. It’s not sustainable. You will wear out eventually. Like I did.
As you build a strong foundation for your business, take time to do the same for yourself.