Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur? Think about that question for a minute. Which are you? Small business owner or entrepreneur? You might be thinking that they’re basically the same and to some extent, you’re right.
When I think of entrepreneur I think of someone who is creative, lives on the edge, is excited about their business, and is always on the frontline of the newest trend. When I think of small business owner, I think of the hair salon or the mechanic down the road. They have a brick and mortar business, signs on their building, and they wait for their customers. Maybe they run their business or maybe it runs them. Small business owner could also be a virtual or online business.
Now which are you? And which do you want to be? When you started your business were you full of excitement, new ideas, and ready to go — like the entrepreneur? Do you still have that entrepreneurial spirit…or have you slipped into the small business owner mind frame, living and running your business in chaos?
If you’re not careful, as the years go by — or even as you’re struggling in the early years to be successful — your business can slowly drain your emotional capital. From Conquer the Chaos “Emotional capital is the currency you use to wake up every day and fight the battle. It’s the passion, enthusiasm and positive outlook that propel you through your day, keeping you driven to achieve your goals.” If you don’t make deposits to your emotional capital account, the next thing you know, you’re living in chaos — the ambition and drive you had to have a successful business is wearing thin, and your business is running you!
How do you keep your emotional capital account in the black? There are a few things that you can do to make deposits into your emotional capital account, and that’s what I’d like to share with you.
Network with other entrepreneurs. These people do not need to be in the same industry as you. This is a time to share your entrepreneurial stories — successes, failures, and dreams. It can be a small group, just three or four people. Discuss problems and ways to overcome those problems. Let the ideas, creativity, optimism, and support flow — all the time making a deposit into your emotional capital account. This group of like-minded entrepreneurs can also be accountability partners. Have you ever said, “I’m going to do X, Y, and Z this month” and then never did it because you didn’t have anyone holding you accountable? This group can do it.
Next thing you can do to make deposits into your emotional capital account is to read books by the experts. You’re not the first person in the world to try to build a successful business. There have been plenty of others before you, and some of the more successful ones have written books about it. Here’s a few books on the suggested reading list:
~ The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
~ How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
~ And of course, Conquer the Chaos by Clate Mask and Scott Martineau
I know what you’re thinking…”I don’t have time to read books.” There are things you can do to help you read faster, like speed reading. Check out my blog for some tips on how you can read very quickly.
Seek out inspirational quotes. There’s something about a one-sentence quote that can pick us up when we’re feeling down!! Take advantage of those to add to your emotional capital account. There are several websites built around quotes for different occasions. Sign up to receive their “Quote of the Day” or “Quote of the Week” e-mail. Social media sites are also loaded with them. If you see one that calls to you, share it with your peers.
Read inspirational stories. Maybe the quotes aren’t enough for you. Maybe you need just a little more to make that deposit. Who inspires you? Who do you admire? Read those success stories. But also remember to stop periodically and look at your own successes and give yourself a pat on the back, too. Perhaps quarterly, stop and acknowledge your accomplishments over the past three months.
Let yourself dream. Get that entrepreneurial spirit back and dream big! What can you do to make the good things better? Think about the reasons and feelings that drove you to start your own business to begin with. What were you hoping to achieve? How big did you want your company to be? What were you hoping to find in starting and running your own business?
Reward yourself. Set a goal — even a small one — and decide what your reward will be when you reach that goal. Then follow through and do it!
Now that you know how to build your emotional capital account, spot-check it occasionally to make sure you’ve got the funds needed to continue your entrepreneurial dream!