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