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Do you feel as if you lack a sense of purpose? Does it frustrate you that everyone around you seems to have found their direction? This type of frustration can be toxic and difficult to manage because you can’t always pinpoint exactly from where these issues stem.
As the founder and CEO of a lifestyle accessory company, I’ve seen a number of business leaders who think if they had more money or came across the right opportunity, their problems would be solved. But the entrepreneurial life comes with constant obstacles. In my experience, this is something many business leaders will go through. Starting my entrepreneurial journey, I had very little money and absolutely no direction or experience. The first company I started was a trading company that lacked a clear focus. It was through trial and error that I found direction, purpose and motivation. There are few ways you can do the same:
1. Learn from your failures.
This was likely one of the most common sayings you heard growing up. You know it, but do you practice it? In my experience, many people tend to give up after a few failures because their mentality has altered to a sense of lacking. I believe a quote famously attributed to Thomas Edison captures it perfectly: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
I spent most of my career in manufacturing, in which I built materials for construction projects. We developed a process to make natural stones thinner and more durable, which helped reduce waste, among other benefits. The idea was to promote greener living, but we quickly learned that it was a difficult process to educate a traditional industry. Instead of giving up, we created a lifestyle accessory brand that we had zero experience in. From my previous failures, I knew I had to first educate the public and gain acceptance before we could introduce a new eco-friendly product for green construction.
By simply changing how we thought about failure, we quickly transitioned an obstacle into an opportunity. As a business leader, I believe you should avoid dwelling on what you did wrong, and instead focus on how you can gain or improve from the situation. There is a solution to every problem; a situation is never hopeless. You just need to find that solution.
2. Focus on yourself — not others.
Today, I believe people are bound to compare themselves to celebrities, friends or even strangers on social platforms. And though we know social media depicts a filtered reality, many are still frustrated they don’t live that seemingly glamorous life.
But there are a number of ways business leaders can develop a healthy relationship with social media. For instance, consider implementing a routine that doesn’t prioritize social media. Humans are habitual creatures; it might be difficult to change your lifestyle at first, but once you get used to your new routine, a new passion or direction might appear to help you find the motivation and purpose you’ve been missing.
3. Practice appreciation.
In my experience, some leaders can become so focused on what they believe is missing from their lives they lose sight of what they have. I believe it’s normal to have a bit of frustration when you are striving for more; the frustration can act as a reminder that you need to adjust your current goals.
This is when I believe appreciation can help put your mind at ease while working toward a better life. Practicing gratitude can benefit your mental health in various ways. I believe it starts with the little things, such as appreciating the people who love you and valuing what you already have. When times are tough, try looking at the positive side of the situation, and consider thinking of appreciation as a chance to grow as a person and leader.
4. Do what scares you until it doesn’t.
The unknown can be terrifying, and at times, I believe it can stunt our personal growth. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, nothing boosts motivation more than progress. If what you’re doing is causing you to be in a rut, ask yourself if there is a lack of progress. If your answer is yes, consider changing things up. You can start with small adjustments in your everyday life, such as establishing fitness goals or developing a new skill. Or, you might decide it’s time to try something scarier, such as changing fields in a job.
Allow yourself to become comfortable with change and the unknown. Instead of fear, see a new situation as a challenge and an exciting adventure. Stepping into the retail world was completely new to my team and me, and it could have been scary. Instead, we saw it as challenging, exciting and rewarding. It taught us new skill sets and brought opportunities that would have been closed off as a manufacturer.
In my experience, people tend to overthink the situation and scare themselves when it comes to the unknown, but you’ll never know the answer until you try. Instead of overthinking all the possibilities of how you will fail, take a step forward. If you do fail, you can either start over or move on to something else. It’s time for you to get out of your comfort zone and live the entrepreneurial life you deserve.
January 29, 2019 at 08:28AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs