Updated: Dec 5, 2020
So Entrepreneur, why haven't you taken that action? What's so difficult about taking the next step? Well today's episode is looking at two of the biggest limiting beliefs that hold us back as new entrepreneurs. They keep us playing small, stop us leveling up for our business and unless we overcome them, we're just not going to achieve our full potential.
And these limiting beliefs today are that you don't feel like you're good enough and you don't have enough time. If that's you, listen up because I'm going to be tackling them one by one.
So first up, do you ever feel that you're not good enough and that you can't compete with other people out there doing something really similar? Do you know the feeling where you're scrolling on Instagram or somewhere else and suddenly somebody pops up and you have the sinking feeling in your stomach and you go,
“Oh my God, they're doing what I do!”
Oh, no... not only are they doing what I do...but they're doing it so well. Oh my goodness. Look at all their followers. Oh, look at their amazing offer. Look at their posts. Oh, look, look, look. And if you're anything like me, when you first get into that whole vibe, you just think, Oh, I can't do it. I can't do it. Oh, now how will I ever, ever build myself up to that? And you know what? I really have to have a real word with myself about this one. And it takes a bit of a mindset change because otherwise you're never ever going to step forward and succeed at what probably you're born to do. And the truth is look within and ask yourself, can I really add value in this area? And if it's your true purpose, then the answer will always be yes. That's because you'd simply have to take a step forward and start to build your business irrespective of how well other people are doing. I have to say that some of the quality out there is amazing. It's really easy to feel intimidated.
I always think to myself, how can you compare my first chapter to their finished book?
They've had the benefit of the time, the experience and all the things they've learned along the way, which are in my future. And it's the same for all of us. We just have to start where we are. And one thing that makes me feel a lot better about it (I don't know if you've ever done this) is when you scroll back and have a good look at their very first post. if it's a podcast or go to Episode one, go to their trailer, their introduction, if it's someone you're looking at on YouTube, scroll all the way back to that very first post and a few things always strike me about that.
One is how far they've come since they made that first post. And you can really see how they weren't fully formed at the time but also that they've often changed their offer and changed exactly what they talk about and concentrate on. I think that's so reassuring because it says we can't get it wrong even if we start on one thing right now. if we evolve and change in the future, that's fine. Other people have done it and those people have gone on to great success. Yeah, that's actually what we’re meant to do. We’re really meant to, right?
And we're meant to learn. We’re meant to keep taking steps forward because ultimately the world needs your gift. You have something to contribute and you have value to give. But I know that also these other great feelings come over us. Massive feelings, like a fear of failure and a fear of shame because ultimately there's a lot at stake.
For a new entrepreneur, if you're like me you're a mum. You obviously want to earn enough money to support your family but at the stage in life where you want to feel that there's a sense of meaning. There's a lot at stake, going into this business because this business is what's going to sustain you both emotionally and financially for the rest of your working life. That's certainly my ambition. So with all that pressure on yourself, then needing to feel that your work is perfect is brilliant, is as good as the market leaders, there starts to become quite a big pressure. But to that, my view is that you just have to fail fast because if you don't learn, then you can't iterate. And if you can't iterate, then you can't make it better. If you can't make it better, you're not going to build your business because ultimately from action comes the clarity.
You can't get the clarity, just reading it and looking at it on paper. You can only get the clarity you need from when you actually act and you get feedback.
Feedback from your ideal clients and understand what they need in order to create the transformation that you are working to achieve with them. And that's where you really have to get into messy action. Because if you go with everything being perfect, it's just going to take too long. And you're never going to get to that point of iteration where you can actually get to your very, very best work.
You know, I had a 20 year career working in media and advertising. Within that industry, we were taught very, very much that perfectionism wasn't only necessary, it was absolutely demanded of you. You had to just get everything perfect. So if we were writing a presentation, for example, that was going to be seen by the client... your boss would look at it...some other colleagues would look at it...everybody would have an opinion. It would be changed 20 times. You'd have to build in a lot of time to do all of this to make very, very small changes.
It always strikes me, you know, the 80/20 rule. That last percentage of time actually gives the very least value. And working as an entrepreneur, it's very, very different to that. You have to feel and realize that your work is good enough. If you're 80%, there is good enough to go. Cause that last 20%, it's probably going to take you 80% of the time and yield very, very few results. And it's much, much easier to get stuff out there and make an impact quickly. And if it doesn't work, you have to change it and you have to iterate it.
It is all about that 20 seconds of courage. You know, when you get that moment where you just press go. In the time that I've been doing this work, I've generally found that when I have taken that 20 seconds of courage and just press go, I've hardly ever regretted it. No, and to this point, at least I've never regretted just taking that 20 seconds of courage.
Some amazing stuff happens when you step into that zone of fearlessness.
So if you feel like you're not good enough and you can't compete, try not to hold back. There really is space for you too.
There's this beautiful Japanese proverb. And it goes like this...
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.
I just love that because it just says that we can all be beautiful. We can all succeed. And ultimately, if you really feel like you can't, it's probably because you're not clear that you're making the transformation, for your ideal customers.
Go back there, work with some more people, work with them to deliver the transformation, even if you do it for free. If you're at a very early stage in building your business, start to get the self assurance that you can transform people. Get their feedback and their testimonials. Because when you come from a place of knowing that you can help, that's when you can overcome that feeling of not being good enough.
Here's one...Do you ever say, I don't have enough time? We all say it. Sometimes we just don't have enough time and it's true, right? We don't have enough time. Like at the moment in 2020 with the pandemic, most of us got less time than ever, right? It's homeschooling our kids, caring for relatives. I know that a lot of people are working two jobs while you're building a business and doing your previous job. It's really, really hard to carve out enough time to build this new business. The problem is, when you keep saying, I don't have enough time, you're believing that.
Before you know it, you're not achieving your goals because you're not putting enough time behind the things that will make you achieve those goals in the long term. Because ultimately we've all got the same 24 hours. This blows my mind because it means that, you know, the top CEOs running multi-million pound empires, who've built it up themselves to all of us. We have the same 24 hours. I'm really curious what differentiates what they're doing with people who aren't succeeding? And I've come to the realization that it's all about being intentional with your time. It’s how you use the time that's going to make the difference and whether you achieve success or you don't. It's being effective with your time and taking effective action.
When I looked at my business, I realized that some of the work I was doing just wasn't moving the needle and actually finding the needle movers, you know, the tasks that really make the difference and move your business forward is what you need to focus your time on. And all the rest of it is essentially some level of time-wasting. You just don't realize it at the time. You don't know that you're wasting time until you really go through the exercise and you do an audit and you literally write down all the things that you do in a given day or indeed over an entire week.
And you start to ask yourself... “What exactly is taking up all my time?” When I am working on my business…”What is it that I'm doing when I'm not working on my business?” Because prioritization is going to become the real key to unlocking the effective action, that will level up your business.
And so, so often we default to what's easiest. You know, we don't do the hard things first and I'm an absolute lover of getting the hard things out of the way. I'm really into delayed gratification. I noticed that when people don't do that, they come unstuck really, really fast. Because most of us, and this might not be the case for you, but most of us have more energy at the start of the day. When we kind of waste that energy doing peripheral, not needle moving tasks...by the time the day goes through, we think...Oh, I must get to that hard thing. The thing that's really going to level me up. The thing that is stretching my ability right now I'm moving out of my comfort zone. We still have the energy gone by then. So, I really, really would urge you when you wake up in the morning. If there's something that's hardest that needs more concentration, just do it first, because that's most likely going to be the piece that's going to level up your business.
Ultimately we do quite a lot of time-wasting. One fantastic tool is called the ‘not to do list’. So after you've done your audit of all the things you're doing. Go through this list and ask yourself the following questions... Which things on this list can I automate, eliminate or delegate? The task is to really find a way to stop spending time on these things that aren't leveling up your business.
A good example for the mums out there just like me: I've hired a cleaner. So for me, cleaning the house was taking quite a long time and I had all these icky feelings about hiring a cleaner. But I have to say that having a cleaner just changes the game because I know that those hours that I'm not spending cleaning, I am going to work or needle moving tasks for my business. I'm actually investing in my future. You know, I'm spending the money on the cleaner, but I'm actually viewing it as an investment because I'm going to use that time so effectively. So have a look through that list and work out what you can automate, eliminate and delegate and remove from the list.
Here's one particularly about ‘eliminate’. How many hours are you spending watching Netflix? I know I love a boxset and you know I really enjoy that downtime. You know, I've got this feeling. I sort of sit down at the end of the day and I go, I've earned this. I deserve this. You know, the kids are in bed. I can flick on my favorite at the moment I'm watching The Crown. I was just like, this is awesome. I just feel great. And I gotta be honest. I'm not going to stop watching Netflix because life's about more than just business. It's your entire life. It's one of the reasons that we want to build our own businesses so we can live life on our terms. So I would never remove that element of enjoyment from my life. But there was also a time where I found myself sitting on the sofa during the day and the kids were at school and this was absolute primo working time. I could have been really efficient with that time and instead I just sunk into Netflix and very quickly I realized, no, no, no, that has to be eliminated because this is not a person that's going to succeed in building a great brand and a great business. This is someone that's sat on the sofa and middle of the day, watching Netflix. Now there's always the odd day, but ultimately it shouldn't be the biggest part of what you do.
So have a look down your own personal list, do a really honest audit. Ask yourself what elements here can I really take off my plate? Create more time for the needle, moving things that are gonna make the difference. So really it's about making the best decisions possible about your time. Really drop into asking if I only had one hour a day, what's the one thing I could do today and for this week, that will really move my business forward?
So as action takers, we know we have to overcome these limiting beliefs. The two that we've talked about today...not having enough time and not feeling good enough. These just come up over and over again for me, for my clients, for everyone. Even as I'm looking on social media. So today just shine a spotlight on one of those areas for yourself. Ask yourself if it's holding you back. If you can do one thing today, one action, that's going to move you in the right direction. Get in touch. Let me know what it is. Have an action filled day. Bye now.