4 Ways to Succeed as an Entrepreneur – Guest post by Andy Beck

Hi everyone, and welcome to this Wednesday’s guest post, by our very own Andy Beck!

Before I pass this post over to Andy, let me tell you a bit about how I got here. It’s nice to reminisce on where we started and how far we’ve come, but also how much of the path is still in the future…

I hope Andy’s and my words are encouraging and helpful to those reading them.


I started my journey into entrepreneurship by starting my private counselling practice back in 2013, which has grown to encompass supervision since 2016 and coaching as well in the past year.

I’ve also begun a journey into furthering my entrepreneurial skills by publishing my first book in 2018 – 20 Self-Care Habits – and writing a novel which will be published in the next few months through Author Academy Elite (affiliate link), so watch out for that!

I’ve also figured out how to fill my practice through content marketing, which includes blogging, and have started to teach colleagues how to use these tools to their advantage, by showcasing their knowledge and putting themselves out there so the clients that need them can find them.

I’m currently working on finishing my fiction novel based on things that have happened in my own therapy and dream life, and creating a brand new website for new products and services, so stay tuned!


In tune with this week’s post – I have to say, I couldn’t have done it without the support of my colleagues, and more recently my fellow London Chapter Igniters, which includes Andy of course!


Anyway, without further ado, let’s get into what Andy wants to tell us today, It’s very insightful and important, especially if you want to join us in the entrepreneur world!

Don’t forget to check out his book Folk Springs Eternal, the intro to his new course, This is my name, and his blog!


“Look for the things and people that will help you achieve your wellbeing goals, and support each other.”

That’s a nugget of wisdom from our host, the estimable Karin Brauner, and it’s a wisdom that I can attest to. 


When you’re any kind of entrepreneur—especially one just starting out—the uphill battle before you can look unwelcoming, unrewarding, unpaid…you know, [insert negative adjective here]. 

Often we are counselled by society to expect money in return for our time.

I, for one, know that every office job I’ve ever had has cemented that belief, or tried to. 

As such, when you’re attempting to get your own gig off the ground, you’ll likely find yourself investing plenty of time, but not seeing much return.

How do you keep going?

How do you retain momentum?

The momentum you’ll need to smash through the roadblocks ahead, and start seeing results both financial and spiritual in nature? 

In this post, I give you four methods that have helped me so far.

Now I may not yet be earning enough money to live from my Celtic folk music and novels.

But damn it, come hell or high water, I’m going to get there. 



Let’s return to Karin’s aforementioned quote: “Look for the things and people that will help you achieve your goals.”

When you walk away from the beaten path to strike out on your own, you will most likely encounter criticism.

It will come from bosses, colleagues, family and friends, the people who know you well.

But it can also come from strangers.

There’s always gonna be people who don’t get us,” says Guthrie ‘Gus’ Ward, the rat-bag hero of my debut novel Folk Springs Eternal .

“They don’t understand us and they don’t wanna understand. Ignoring them can be hard, but that’s why we don’t walk alone.” 

Re-read that last bit. 

That’s why we don’t walk alone.

Nobody with a dream for better should be forced to suffer alone, whether it’s under the weight of criticism, or the burden of forging that path all by oneself.

Start by surrounding yourself with positive, passionate people.

I really think the late American entrepreneur Scott Dinsmore was right when he gave that advice in his famous TED talk How to find and do work you love .

I’m unashamed to admit that it was through Scott’s videos, and the worldwide Live Your Legend movement that he founded, that my own understanding of the world (and my place in it) was first turned on its head.

The message that Scott lived and breathed was, “find and do the work you love”.

I heard that message, loved it, attended the Live Your Legend meetups in London, and even ended up co-hosting them. 

What did I learn along the way?

Simply put, you should spend your time with people who inspire you, and who are already succeeding.

This will help you cultivate the belief that it can be done, that your dream isn’t impossible.

Conversely, spend time hanging around people who don’t take you seriously, or perhaps even exhibit signs of resentment and jealousy, and that will only sap you of your energy.

Worse still, it may frighten you back into the fold with the other statistical 80% who don’t enjoy their work. 

So when I said “damn it, come hell or high water, I’m going to get there”, I meant it.

Scary as it sounds, what waits on the other side is a life of success, strength and euphoria that you never imagined.

Something that looks and feels a little like this:

Something not to be feared. 



The final part of Karin’s aforementioned quote was, “support each other”. 

So here’s a challenge for ya, dear reader 😉 

Write down the names of 2-3 people who believe in you, and believe in what you do.

They could be close friends, colleagues you get on well with, or people you’ll meet at a networking event advertised on the likes of Meetup.com.

Basically, someone who’s told you that you’re good at what you do, and should try to do more with it.

Ask one such person if they’ll be happy to check in with you once a week, to ask you for an update on your progress against your weekly goals. 

Sounds motivating? 

😊 Good. This approach is called Accountability, and speaking from experience, it’s a powerful weapon in the inventory of the entrepreneur.

The likelihood of you motivating yourself to achieve a goal is 65% higher if you’ve promised that goal to someone.

Book an appointment to check in with that person, and the stat goes up to a staggering 95% . 


The most beneficial Accountability partnerships are, of course, reciprocal in nature, where the other person holds you accountable and you return the favour.

Small groups of three or four can work too, allowing for different feedback that two people alone may not have thought of.

Whatever you do, remember to keep those goals SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

I would particularly emphasise the third of these.

Break that mountain of your dreams down into more realistic, bitesize goals, and soon you’ll find yourself climbing up, edging slowly closer to the peak that previously you’d only been able to revere from the very bottom.



Another avenue via which you may find an Accountability partner, or just the direction you need, is the ever-popular self-help course.

I’ve bought and followed courses by Leah McHenry for my music, and Kary Oberbrunner for my writing.

In Folk Springs Eternal, Austrian-born mandolinist Herman enrols in a music marketing course too, offered by a Leah McHenry-esque figure helping bands to get the maximum out of their online efforts.

While it’s not a five-minute job, Herman makes some serious progress, and slowly I, too, can feel the momentum building in my favour. 

Without a doubt, the biggest change that Leah and Kary have stirred in me is a mindset shift.

In 2016, I suffered from a lot of self-doubt, telling myself things like, “Well I’m not an entrepreneur”, or “I just wasn’t made to succeed on my own terms”.

Fast-forward to 2020, and I’ve cast off a considerable chunk of that yoke.

My own Accountability partners have noted the change in my self-confidence and self-projection over the past four years, and I’ve started to make some sales, with 50 books sold since the novel came out in September. My next target is 50 more by the close of 2020, this most unusual of years. 

Such is the power of the self-help course to give people a sense of direction, and to bring like-minded people together, that I’m in the process of setting up my own course.

Entitled This Is My Name, there’s a lot of work to be done on it yet, but I’m excited for the positive changes that I’ll inspire in others, reflecting the same growth that I myself have experienced over the past few years. 




If you’re not keen on going all-in on personal development courses, some of which come at a hefty price, then one-on-one coaching sessions may be better suited to your situation.

Speaking again from experience, I have worked with one or two newer performance coaches who were looking for testimonials, and agreed to a fixed number of free coaching sessions in exchange for a positive review. So start by asking around.

Alternatively, keep an eye out for whatever deals performance coaches may be offering at the moment, given the craziness of COVID-19 and its pretty devastating effects on the economy.
 

But COVID aside…

just like having a private tutor for learning a musical instrument or a foreign language, having a counsellor to guide you on your personal journey to success can be an invaluable asset.

Again, nobody should have to walk the road less travelled alone, and who better to take you and your ambitions seriously than a certified coach with some glowing reviews in the bag? 

So tell me…

what do you think?

Which of these four approaches resonates most with you?

Is there perhaps a fifth approach that we should have factored in?



You can contact Andy through this contact form.

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Relationship Success – Do we get a cat or a dog? (On Compromise)

Relationship Success – Working on your relationship one step at a time


Welcome to this week’s Relationship Success post.

If you missed the previous posts, you can catch up here:

Working on your relationship one step at a time,

Whose responsibility is it anyway?.

Acceptance


I decided to write this series because I believe in the importance of raising awareness of the aspects of relationships that might help or hinder our ability to communicate and relate in healthy ways with our partners.

Once we are in a space to think about our behaviours, our partners behaviours, and how they impact on one another, we can then start thinking about how to resolve those miscommunications or missed opportunities to make things right.


If you feel you want to discuss this in a session, feel free to book by emailing me or contacting me via this blog’s contact form.


2In today’s post I want to start with a little joke that you’ve probably heard as many times as I have.

“So, my partner and I were having a conversation. She really loves cats and wants us to get one. I don’t like cats, I told her I’d prefer to get a dog. So, after a few hours of discussing this, we decided to compromise, and we are getting a cat tomorrow.”

Switch “cat” and “dog” with any two other things, and you can pretty much get the idea.


The take-home message here is that, in that scenario, one partner gets their way and the other is left with their needs not being met.


So how can we have actual, real compromise, where both partners get a bit of what they want – or all of what they both want – without either partner suffering or having to pass on what they really want?


I would say two things here:

  1. Pick your battles
  2. Come up with a third solution that works for both of you

3Let’s start with the ‘easier’ one.

Come up with a third solution that works for both of you.

Did you know that your solution or his/her solution are not the only ones out there?

Yes? No? Maybe but it’s hard to accept?

Sometimes it’s hard to accept this and try to find ways to fit in with both your lifestyles and desires.

Once you both get your heads around that, then there is a chance to have an open and honest conversation about how to move forward.

So maybe you end up getting a cat AND a dog (remember this is an analogy, replace cat and dog with your situation, it might be more complex than that though!), or you decide to get a Hamster instead, because you both agree that you both like hamsters. Or you just don’t have any pets or decide to leave it ‘til later.

A third solution might give you both a chance to get all or at least part of what you both want, or find a way to not fight or argue about the situation, and find something else that works for both of you, even if it isn’t 100% what either of you wanted.


4

A happy relationship full of communication, respect and compromise is much better than one where “I win” or “why did you get your way, again!”, or “I’ll get them, back next time I’ll get what I want, it’s only fair!”.

 

 

 

 


Pick your battles


Picking your battles simply means, is it worth it to have a big argument about this or that, or can it be resolved by “being the bigger person” or agreeing that it is just not worth it to fight, and let’s find a happy medium or a third solution, or let’s just drop it.

But, how do you know whether to leave it or fight it?

One question you can ask yourself is, will this matter in the long-run?

Is having a cat in the house so bad? is having a dog so bad? Is not having either so bad? Do we really need to have a cat or a dog, or neither?

Do I see myself being upset with him/her because they put their foot down and denied me the chance of having my favourite pet?

If the answer is yes, then this is a battle you need to pick, for the sake of your future self. But be sensible, empathetic, compassionate and understanding of yourself and your partner when you have the conversation!

If the answer is no, then there’s your answer: it is not worth it.

5


Now, we’ve been talking about things that are negotiable, like getting a cat or a dog.

It is important to the relationship that there are things that are factored in at the beginning of the relationship, so that everyone is clear on how the couple is going to handle certain things:

  • How to handle money. This is a big topic that can cause heartache or relief.
    • Do you keep separate accounts or is everything put into a joint account?
    • Are you good at saving but your partner isn’t, how will you deal with this?
    • What is acceptable spending during the week and what isn’t?
    • Can I spend my money how I want or do I have to consult my partner?
    • And so on.
  • Love languages. We can’t help what we prefer to get to fill up our love tank. (I will write a full blog post on this soon).
    • Do you or your partner like getting gifts?
    • Do you or your partner enjoy physical touch?
    • Do you or your partner prefer acts of service?
    • Do you or your partner thrive on quality time?
    • Do you or your partner appreciate words of affirmation?
    • Do you match with your partner’s main love language?
    • How can you get what you need and meet your partner’s needs as well, especially if your love languages are completely different and even a bit incompatible?
  • From that last one stems this last one – how to spend your time
    • Do you enjoy time on your own and in fact need it to recharge and be able to relate well with your partner and others again?
    • Do you need lots of people-time to recharge?
    • How do you want to spend your time together?
      • Planned outings
      • Playing games or watching tv at home
      • Other activities

6Think about these and talk to your partner about the things that are important to you. They might be the same things that are important to them! Or you can find a happy middle, or a way to meet both of your needs without much hassle.

To end this post, I want to leave you a bit more “food for thought”: there are some things that shouldn’t be negotiable in a relationship, things that are inherently vital to our mental health and wellbeing as individuals, and for the health of our relationships:

  • Respect for one another
  • Acceptance of one another
  • Supporting each other in your goals and aspirations.

If these aren’t present, then resentment might arise on either partner and things might get tricky and murky.


Good communication skills and practising empathy, understanding, acceptance and listening for the sake of listening, will help you and your partner find the path to happier conversations and solutions to the problems and situations in the relationship as they arise.


Have you got any ways in which you’ve achieved good levels of compromise, where both of you win? Leave a comment below!


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1

Relationship Success – Whose responsibility is it anyway?

Relationship Success – Working on your relationship one step at a time


Welcome to this week’s Relationship Success post.

If you missed last week’s post you can read it here.

This series is aimed at romantic relationships, but as I’ve seen in the therapy room, the materials and topics I talk about with my couples apply as well to clients who come to see me individually.

We are, after all, relational beings, and many issues that come up in any relationship will be similar to those in a romantic relationship, in one way or another…

…or the issues might just relate to the fact that there are two different people, with different backgrounds and ideas about many things, that are living or in close proximity to each other.

It’s normal. It happens. It means we are human! 


If you feel you want to discuss this in a session, feel free to book by emailing me or contacting me via this blog’s contact form.


1In this post I’d like to talk about communication, and one of its most important pillars, in my opinion – taking responsibility.

It might seem straight forward, but as the title implies, we are sometimes quick to blame someone else, or quick to take the blame for someone else.

Both are detrimental to our selves and our relationships.

 


I see many relationships suffer due to a breakdown in communication.

I’ve seen it in some of my own relationships, which is why I strive to ask questions and clarify what I meant as much as possible.

Doing this, allows me to connect with the person and to gain a better understanding of them and in turn they gain a better understanding of myself, and any confusion, misunderstanding or animosity can be cleared and life can continue.

Easier said than done, and sometimes the relationship needs to end for one reason or another.

Before it gets to that point, there are things we can all do in our relationships to bridge the communication gap and regain that lovely relationship we started out with.


2One thing that I believe is true, and is important to take note of is that we usually end up hurting those that are closest to us. Especially those we live with.

Being aware of the fact that we are prone to snapping or blaming our romantic partners is important, as it might help us stop and take a breath instead of short-circuiting into snap-or-blame games.

Taking time to stop and think is the best thing you can do for yourself and your relationship.


In two words: Take Responsibility.


Stress, anger and other strong emotions need to be processed, but if we can help it, we can work through them without letting them grow into overwhelming monsters that will only hurt us and our partner.

The physical effects of these strong emotions are not good for our physical health, and over-thinking something that could be resolved by asking a question like “wait, what did you actually mean by that?” is detrimental to our mental health.

Asking awkward and uncomfortable questions might be difficult for us – pride or the need to be right and not lose face might prevent us from asking them – but it might be the best thing we can do for the benefit of our relationship. 


Book CoverFor support with your other relationships (non-romantic ones) do have a look at my new book, where I give you tips and advice on how to improve your life and relationships by following 20 self-care habits, with an underlying theme of setting clear and healthy boundaries and learning to meet your own needs. Of course, there’s more to it than that, so pick up the book and find out how your life and relationships can improve!

 


3Increased communication and self-awareness – asking those awkward questions or saying those things that put us in a vulnerable position – might be key to growing and improving our relationships.

Getting our feelings “out” rather than keeping them “in” are only going to be beneficial, even if it’s not obvious right now.

The better we feel in our relationship and how we work through arising issues and situations, the better we will feel about ourselves.


It is all about balance. 


The better we feel about ourselves, in turn, will also allow us to voice our feelings and needs more clearly. We will respect ourselves, we will honour ourselves and our feelings.

This is “catchy” and when people see how we respect and honour ourselves, they will fall in line and act accordingly.

I call it that “vibe” we sent out.

I see it all the time – someone comes to therapy, realises an aspect of themselves they’ve been neglecting; they start thinking differently about themselves, and things start to change in their environment and relationships.

The vibe has changed.


4Earlier in this post I mentioned asking awkward questions and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in order to deepen communication and understand each other better.

I also mentioned taking responsibility as a means to improve communication and our relationship.

Here are some ways in which we can take responsibility and help our partner do the same:


  • I am responsible for my own happiness, not my partner.
  • My partner is responsible for his/her own happiness, not me.

In a given situation,

  • What part have I played?
  • What part has my partner played?
  • What was my reaction to it and how can I take back responsibility for my reaction rather than placing it on my partner?
  • What was my partner’s reaction to it and how can I disengage from taking responsibility for his/her reaction?

In an aim to resolve this situation,

  • I need to be assertive and say how a comment or behaviour made me feel – using “I felt” statements rather than “you made me feel”.  – Ask the awkward questions, allow vulnerability.
  • I need to hear an explanation, an apology, or just feel understood by my partner.
  • I need to own what I said or how I behaved and explain or apologise accordingly.
  • Do we both need a time-out before carrying on with the conversation? – 20 minutes is how long the body takes to regroup.

Links to the past:

  • In an attempt to understand myself and my partner better, it’s important to know whether there’s a link to a situation from their/my upbringing that leads me/them to react so strongly to particular comments or behaviours.

As you can see, it’s all about give then take, and take then give, or both happening simultaneously!

Remember: Both parties have responsibility in keeping the relationship healthy and making it grow.


I hope you have enjoyed reading this first post in the Relationship Success series.

I welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions.

In the next blog post I’ll talk a bit more about communication, compromise and acceptance.


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