Most often I am super-charged and invigorated by the world around me and the entrepreneurial filter through which I experience it.
When I describe my early business model of decorating eggs, what distinguished me from the multitude of other egg decorators out there (!) were the opportunities I saw in the art form.
I quickly let go of using the traditional symbols and colors of Ukrainian Easter eggs in favor of quilt and paisley patterns along with the marvelous hues aniline dyes allowed a contemporary artist vs. one reliant on natural ingredients. I was able to monetize the art by not only selling the decorative eggs, but expanding it to include jewelry, stationery items, framed photos and a book on the subject. My first paid speech was entitled, “If I Can Make a Business Out of This, You Can Make a Business Out of Anything.”
Whenever I am out and about or simply reading the daily news, I find nuggets that pertain to me and my audience. There’s a journalism expression I learned from a colleague, “Notice what you notice.” For me it’s the opportunities that life sends our way and how we handle them. I see the entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated many times a day. There is always plenty to fill these paragraphs on a regular basis.
But today I find myself nursing a cough and laryngitis and feeling better lying prone, laptop mounted on my belly, than in a desk chair. I’ve been in for a couple of days and not interacting in my typical way. So I reached out to my coaching community for help.
One of my members, Jennifer Polk, posed the question, “Where do good ideas come from?” which I immediately recognized as a universal, age-old quandary. Thank you, Jennifer!
My best tool is to close my eyes, quiet my over-active brain and let inspiration come. In this moment, it’s telling me to address another question that came out of that same request for help today. How easy was that!
Another member of my coaching program, Rita Burke, wanted my thoughts on this:
The fear that grips you when you’ve decided to do something and you remove all the noise to get ready to move forward and there it is – you and the blank canvas, the abyss, the unknown. How do you not cycle backwards, distract yourself, inevitably postponing or avoiding the very action you decided to take….
This is an easy one to answer since it comes up for me on a fairly regular basis. It also applies to every entrepreneur I know because we work alone, don’t have cubicles next to us or a water cooler or cafeteria to wander into for support. What we ALL need is support.
My solution is to pick up the phone and call another entrepreneur. I’ve identified a handful of people to whom I am not afraid to say, “I’m afraid.”
There’s something extraordinary about giving voice to our fear. Naming it, saying it out loud, describing that gripping fear this client describes is the equivalent of throwing water on the Wicked Witch of the West. It dissolves it. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t tried it. Fears shared are fears lessened. False Evidence Appearing Real is the acronym I like best to describe this gremlin.
Now, if you’re saying to yourself, no one wants to listen to my nonsense, you’re WRONG! There you go minimizing your impact on the world. Ask one person…today…if they’ll be there for you. Picking up the phone, which is much better than email, and making the human connection is empowering beyond words for both parties. If I didn’t have laryngitis, I’d insist that you call me!