by Sandra Dawes | Featured Contributor
It’s been a year since I left my full-time job in order to pursue my passion as an entrepreneur. The journey so far has been quite the ride! There have been up and downs, but I have no regrets about the decision I made. There’s nothing that has been more rewarding than the work I have accomplished in the past 12 months, including publishing my first book, becoming a paid speaker and workshop facilitator! I’m excited to see what else is in store for me 🙂
Here are 5 traits that I have found helpful as I persevere through the challenges and obstacles that come with entrepreneurship. These have allowed me to push through the difficult “stuff” so that I can celebrate my successes (big and small) on the other side.
This is a must! We have to be creative in how we market ourselves. Whether it’s social media, or your e-zine, you have to be able to grab your potential client’s attention in a way that leaves them thinking “I need to work with HER!” Sure there may be other people who offer the same types of services or products that you do, but they’re not you. Put your personal stamp on everything that you do.
I know I’ve suffered from “shiny object syndrome” and it’s something that has prevented me from doing the things I needed to do in order to achieve specific goals. Whether it was television, Facebook or signing up for my 100th webinar telling me things I already know, I’ve been easily distracted in the past. The only reason I was able to complete the first draft of my book in 6 weeks last summer, was because I gave as close to 100% of my energy to it as I could, without needing to wear adult diapers and be fed through an I.V. I’ve learned that multitasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be sometimes. Concentrated effort and energy works wonders!
This was a big one for me! When I first started my business on a part-time basis, the idea of going to networking events didn’t appeal to me whatsoever. When I tried to do my first workshop and struggled to get people to register, I realized the importance of stepping away from the computer and making a personal connection. When I first started networking, the idea of doing my 30 second introduction made me nauseous. The more I did it, the more confident I became. The more confident I became, the more clients I attracted! You have to be confident if you want people to feel confident in giving you their business.
Right after I registered my business I went to a full day workshop with a friend, led by Bob Proctor. He gave each participant a copy of the chapter on Persistence from Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. He challenged us to find a partner and read the chapter to one another every day for the next 30 days. My friend and I did it. That was almost 5 years ago. In this past year I have reminded myself of some of the triumphs achieved in that chapter, by people who were told that couldn’t do it, or encountered circumstances that would have justified their quitting. Their persistence paid off and those stories have helped to keep me motivated and inspired to do the same.
This falls in line with persistence. It’s hard to stick to personal or professional goals if we aren’t truly committed to them. How badly do we really want to succeed? What are we willing to sacrifice in order to make our dreams a reality? When we want something bad enough, we’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. I’m not talking about breaking the law here. It’s more about keeping an open mind, being willing and able to take giant leaps outside your comfort zone, and being okay with being a little very uncomfortable at times.
By no means have I mastered any of the traits I’ve listed above. I continue to be a work in progress. What I do know is that my first year as an entrepreneur has been one hell of a ride! I’ve learned a lot, met some really cool people and I continue to be amazed at the opportunities that are being presented to me to help me live my dream and teach others to do the same.
Sandra Dawes is a recovering control freak and excuse maker, as well as founder of Embrace Your Destiny, her life coaching practice. Her work involves teaching women how to stop making arguing for their limitations so that they can create the life that they want. Sandra’s inspiration to help others in this area comes from her own journey and experiences in dealing with the heartbreak of losing her father. She published her first book Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve, a story that outlines her personal journey, in November 2013.
In her down time, Sandra loves to read, do yoga and spend time with her partner Satnam and their dog Lulu. For more information on what she does, visit www.embraceyourdestiny.ca.