Entrepreneurs Ask: As a Novice Entrepreneur, How Can I Feel Less Overwhelmed?
Overwhelm is common among entrepreneurs, but especially so for those just embarking on the path of new business ownership and management. This state-of-mind is temporary and can serve as an important reminder to practice the seven crucial tools ANY TIME these familiar feelings arise. These tools will profoundly alleviate the frustration and paralysis that can accompany overwhelm.
Great question! Overwhelm is very common even among the most veteran entrepreneurs, so take solace in the fact that you are not alone. With the ever-increasing numbers of new entrepreneurial endeavors, and therefore new entrepreneurs, there are many who are experiencing the very same feelings as you.
So, Tool 1 is to Join or start a business-focused support group. Napoleon Hill’s MasterMind Principle* has profoundly and positively impacted business life. Success breeds success and surrounding yourself with colleagues who are also on the entrepreneurial path will propel you to heights you cannot even imagine.Each participant makes a commitment to himself as well as to the group, meeting on a regular and frequent basis. The group dynamic is powerful and will surely increase your confidence and diminish, or completely eliminate, your feelings of being overwhelmed by the daunting volume of details that require your attention. You will learn practical techniques from fellow professionals that can be implemented immediately! You will also come to understand that you’re not as bad off as your runaway mind would have you believe.
That brings me to Tool 2 - YOU ARE NOT your feelings. If you realize that your entire experience doesn’t have to be dictated by what you feel in this moment, you release your hold of being in, and remaining in, the state of overwhelm. Allow yourself to fully embrace that “this too shall pass” and that your feelings aren’t in control of you, but rather, although you “feel” overwhelmed, you are in control of your feelings. This is true no matter how incompetent or inadequate you feel!
FEELING (or believing) SOMETHING DOESN’T MAKE IT TRUE! Think about it. If your client FEELS (or believes) that you are a lousy business person because their order arrived late, does this make it true? Maybe the courier made a mistake. Maybe you were caught in an unexpected rush that didn’t allow you to call your client as soon as you might have otherwise. Maybe your CLIENT was having a bad day and nothing would appease him/her even if the order arrived as promised.The point is this - You get to decide what these feelings of being overwhelmed mean to you, e.g. “I am completely overwhelmed and that must mean that I am a total loser who doesn’t belong in business because I am too inept to ever succeed” or “Even though I feel overwhelmed, I am confident in my abilities and will learn the skills necessary to feel less overwhelmed in the future.”
Tool 3 - Consult with a Coach, Business Consultant, or Advisor. You will be amazed at the peace of mind you feel after making this investment in yourself and the life of your business. After all, what is it worth to regain your confidence and stability and get back to producing?You may ask “How can I take the time to meet with an advisor if I am already short time and long on tasks?” The answer is this: Because taking the time to learn a new way of approaching business can SAVE YOU TIME in the long-run. Working smarter is smart work, so go ahead and schedule a one hour consultation with an expert!
There are times I prefer to consult in person and you may as well. If this is the case, it will take more time than the actual session due to getting ready, travel time, parking, etc. However, if your meeting is conducted over the telephone, it is truly a one hour investment well worth every minute and every dollar.
As your business grows to depend on more sophisticated systems, this evolutionary process will require a fresh perspective. However, the more involved you are in the day-to-day operations, you will notice that it is difficult to bring an objective attitude and viewpoint. This is the perfect time, yet again, to consult with a professional for their expertise.
Tool 4 - Establish simple, yet effective, systems that work for YOU. This is important. If you need help establishing a new system or refining an existing process, hire a professional Virtual Assistant (VA), professional organizer, or enlist the help of a willing and trusted friend or family member. Then see how practical these systems/processes are for you and the way you work. Modify them as necessary to ensure that you are working as efficiently as possible. Something that works for your colleague may not work for you in the same way it works for them, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Some ideas take only a minor adjustment to make them an excellent fit for your working style.
Tool 5 - Allow creative resolve to find you. Always keep your ears and eyes open for solutions to your yet-unresolved business situations. (I don’t call them “problems” because assigning that label sets up a scenario that requires me to find a solution based solely on my own experience and this always drains me of precious energy. I prefer to set my intent on allowing resolve to find me!) This has happened to me more times than I can remember. Picture a business discussion about something completely unrelated and all-of-a-sudden, your thoughts go to how the information could be modified and applied to fix your current situation!
Tool 6 - Prioritize daily tasks. A daily to-do list may seem like a haunting reminder of everything that needs to get done, but if you make this a part of your everyday routine, it makes prioritizing effortless. And you don’t have to depend on your memory! Once a task has been added to your list, you have just freed your mind-space for something else.
The first 15 minutes of each day is spent creating a to-do list and prioritizing each item based on the estimated time to complete, importance, and the best investment of time and energy based on other demands on time for that particular day (meetings, travel, long-term projects, etc.). It feels great to cross off items as each is completed and visually you will be reassured that you are indeed moving forward and accomplishing!
Tool 7 - Delegate, delegate, delegate! Delegating tasks frees you to focus your energy where it needs to be—on generating revenue and growing your business!As soon as you begin to feel overwhelmed, make a list of the jobs from your daily task list that can be delegated to competent hands and transfer ownership so you can focus on the aspects of business that truly require your personal attention.Getting to the place where you are deeply overwhelmed can cause paralysis. Integrating these seven tools into your regular business routine will prevent overwhelm, but if you find yourself in the midst of it as many of us do on occasion, ASSESS IT and ADDRESS IT before overwhelm gets the best of you and becomes a bigger issue!
* A MasterMind group is a unique group of people utilizing the MasterMind principles for achieving business and personal goals. MasterMind groups are held in-person and by telephone.
Through the MasterMind process, you combine your own strength with that of at least one other person, as well as that of the MasterMind. This principle is based on the premise that the combined energies of two or more like-minded individuals are many more times greater than the sum of the individual energies involved. Happiness is found in lending, doing, helping other members in your group achieve their goals, not merely possessing the information about goal achieving. The "WIN-WIN" attitude is key to a successful Master Mind group: If I help you win, I win, too. The MasterMind principles also teach that other like-minded individuals can believe for you, and accept as true for you, things you may find difficult to conceive or believe for yourself.
Adapted from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
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All rights reserved. Charlon Bobo is a Professional Virtual Assistant and the Founder and Creative Director of Muse works™, a dynamic trend-setting Virtual Assistant enterprise in Southern California that caters to the niche needs of entrepreneurs in the handmade beauty industry. To learn more about Muse works™, please visit Muse works™ and Muse works™ Blog. You may contact Charlon at 805.405.4944 and via e-mail at email@example.com.
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