Too many opportunities wear you down. Saying no often means saying yes to yourself & business.
Does your head spin with all that's happening in entrepreneurship these days? Social media, blogs and articles, forums and workshops? Do all the opportunities to learn, to grow, to improve yourself leave you feeling . . . well, overwhelmed?
Young, keen entrepreneurs — those sponges who take it all in and seize every advantage — are becoming exhausted. As a coach, I'm noticing a trend among the new and brilliant entrepreneurs: their enthusiasm to learn and be involved is wearing them down both physically and mentally.
When I started out 30+ years ago, I too was exhausted. There were far fewer opportunities then, and saying no was out of the question. Now I know how to be discerning in business — and why. My body lets me know that a relaxing evening at home means a more productive day tomorrow.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the smartest of them all?
Smart entrepreneurs understand two basic concepts:
- There is only one of you.
- There are 24 hours — no more, no less — in every day.
As tempting and brave as it is to want to know everything and take every opportunity offered to you, it all comes back to you. You are the essence of your business, the captain of your ship, the hub that holds it all together. If you get exhausted, the ship sinks.
Sure, when you are young and keen, having limitations is unthinkable, especially physical or emotional ones. Young entrepreneurs are the new superheroes. They do, do, do. They have also learned how 'to be' through yoga, meditation and exercise. Being so well-rounded, many are under the false impression that they can do it all. Yet, they strain themselves, often to the breaking point.
Owning a business is a tremendous and admirable challenge. Even so, if you are young and energetic, if you meditate and exercise, there is still a limit to what you can do. Don't take yourself and your energy for granted.
It's Time For A Hug
Hug yourself. Embrace the incredible journey you are on and say to yourself: "Discern, discern, discern!" You are more than a machine. You are a fabulous human being with human limitations. Stop overloading your system before it crashes. We all know what happens when a system crashes.
It takes longer to repair a broken system than to care for it properly in the first place. When it crashes, we regret pushing it too far and we wonder why we didn't back it up. Your body and mind give you signals before they break down. Be in tune with yourself and your purpose in the world. Take better care of your precious body and mind.
Yes, it's great to want to better yourself and learn more and more. Now it's time to really learn the two basic concepts and embrace them fully: one of you, 24 hours in a day. It always comes back to these.
Trust In Yourself
To become a discerning entrepreneur, you have to go back to the first priority and measure everything against it.
I asked Ashley Wray of Mala Collective what her top priority was for being an entrepreneur. Ashley created Mala Collective from scratch and runs her fair-trade business of mala beads sustainably. Mala Collective's malas are blessed and made with love. Their purpose is to keep the wearer connected to their heart and grounded in her purpose. Ashley is open about her priority: to see her business flourish while spreading the ideal of peace and staying true to her values.
Ashley admits that she sometimes finds it hard to be discerning about when to say yes and when to say no, because the opportunities for growth are tremendous. As her friend, I have mentioned to her a few times that she looked exhausted and was following too many leads, letting her resources run low.
Having coached many up-and-coming entrepreneurs, I've noticed that all of them have guts, as well as a sixth sense about what is good for them professionally. All they have to do is trust in themselves, knowing that they already have what it takes to succeed. Everything else is icing on the cake.
While it is admirable to want to keep growing, it is even more important to be discerning. Try it! This week, instead of accepting all the opportunities that come your way, trust that you know everything you need to know to succeed, and from that place of trust, discern what would serve you best.
The questions you want to ask yourself are easy:
- If my top priority is to see my business flourish, how will this opportunity advance me?
- How will following this lead affect me physically and mentally?
- How many hours in my 24-hour day do I still have to fit in this opportunity?
Put Yourself First
Remember, you must always put yourself and your well-being first. We older entrepreneurs have learned this the hard way. Even though some of us discovered yoga and meditation back before it was a trend, we still got burned, both physically and mentally. Young entrepreneurs are much more aware. With a few simple adjustments in your life, you can avoid the boring mistakes we made of overdoing it. You may want to choose day at the beach or a hike versus one more seminar.
Never forget that your balance is fragile. If stretching yourself to seize a new opportunity will tilt you off balance, then it's easy to say No!
Monica Magnetti – Professional Certified Life and Business Coach, Brand Consultant and proud YourTango Expert. Monica has designed free products for the brave new generation of entrepreneurs and for established entrepreneurs who put fire and passion into their business. Download Monica’s free ebook, Ignite Your Fire, Brand Your Essence: A Collection of Fiery Wisdom on Business and Life — and trust your wisdom.