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Most businesses fail because of psychological sabotage. Here are five mental models of solopreneurs whose mental strength keeps them resilient in the long term
Tuesday MD Edition, 3-min read.
Do you think success as an entrepreneur is more about doing the right thing or… being free from mental limitations?
One of the benefits of having been in the online business game for so long is I get a zoomed-out vision of how things unfold.
I’ve seen things play out over a decade.
I’ve visited that place where I want to quit many times.
I’ve seen people say silly things online in the heat of rage and quit.
I’ve seen perfectly talented, intelligent people shuffle their feet and rarely take action.
I know the tightness I get in my throat when comparing myself to others doing well.
But I’m still here, and though I am not the most successful writer, nor the richest, I am generally very happy.
That’s not to say my life is perfect at all.
But how I manage my mind and thoughts has matured significantly, which helps me a LOT.
I’d say for those of you guys creating your own thing online and building your brand, mindset is 80% or more what makes things work.
So let me share with you some of the most vital lessons I’ve learned that keep me focused, motivated and creative:
1. You probably don’t need therapy.
If you’re really struggling with mental illness, get therapy to detach from those vines that hook themselves in.
But most of us complicate our lives by thinking we need to be ‘fixed.’
We buy into the societal programming of having to ‘heal’ and that something is inherently wrong with us.
But it’s this thinking that sits at the root of our malaise. Realise you are ok just the way you are.
The more you scratch the itch, the more painful the perceived ‘wound’ becomes. Focus instead on your business and helping people.
That’s the best ultimate form of therapy.
2. Enjoyment is a choice.
Just like happiness is a choice.
Just like dissatisfaction is a choice.
If these concepts seem wrong to you, you are absolutely in the wrong profession. You’re far better off taking orders from a boss who sends you a check every month to stay comfortably numb to reality.
The real killer solopreneurs realise they can genuinely enjoy anything they put their minds to.
Enjoyment is internally-created, just like creating a carrot cake.
You better know this is possible because business isn’t always sunshine, peaches and cream.
You either outsource that hard shit or find a way to enjoy the less-than-easy stuff.
3. Every failure is teaching you something.
I know, I know. This sounds like some feel-good quote some faceless bell-end shared on an Instagram slide up against a backdrop of a pretty beach.
But it’s true, and you must look deeper into what this really means. It’s transformational in its simplicity.
It means that no matter what you do, you’re going to receive valuable data that serves you.
Success or bust, you win either way. So when you next have what feels like a setback, take the pain momentarily (you’re not a cyborg), but then ask yourself this nourishing question:
‘What did I learn from this, and how can I USE this to drive my next steps in the right direction?’
This is mental resilience in a nutshell.
4. Doing things is the cure to overthinking.
Many of us are so confused about how the mind works we spend all our time in the mind trying to figure out what on Earth’s going on.
We think we need to think to fix our thinking.
And we end up in free fall, staring at the ceiling at night, trying to exert some control over our thoughts.
That’s like trying to catch a piece of dust in our eyes by looking at the damn thing. It always eludes us.
Overthinking is always cured by taking action, particularly lots of it, and those actions that instil within us a sense of leadership or responsibility-taking.
If you’re anxious, it’s often a sign you need to take more mini-risks.
Doing anything, when the body is in motion, will still the mind and calm us physically.
This is why I do a lot of business when I’m out and about walking by the river here in Krakow.
It’s keeping me sharp, trim (ish) and dragon-fueled (🐉).
5. Thoughts are great, until they’re not.
The elite minds in the world of entrepreneurship have a secret.
They think, but they know when too many thoughts lead to a sort of mental law of diminishing returns.
People burn out not because they’re working too hard.
They burn out because they overwhelm themselves with a washing machine of thoughts in spin mode.
Great minds use thoughts to visualise what they need to do.
They use thoughts to plan next steps and judge what is good and bad and what their priorities should be. Great.
But they also know the majesty of the wise mind that flows beneath all of these judgy and subjective thoughts.
This is where the entrepreneur opens a passage to the Universal flow driving the growth of all things.
Tap into this on a reflective walk, for example. Bring this inner intelligence into your business, and people will gather around your work like you’re second in command to Jesus himself.
Unplug occasionally from the swelling Matrix of thought, friend, and plug back into wisdom.
Thanks for reading.
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