In the spirit of Change for a Change we are going to experiment with a different approach. The reflection questions will appear first. We would love to hear the order you would prefer things come in!
What are your non-negotiable values that you strive to remain true to no matter the situation?
Why are you motivated to change?
How do you know when to hold on to something and when to let go?
In what ways do you need to change in order to enjoy freedom through entrepreneurship?
Part of the reason why this book is called A Misfit Entrepreneur’s Guide is because most people have a strong reaction to the word misfit. People either identify with being a misfit or they don’t. Being a misfit has often been viewed negatively, so it comes as no surprise that people might not want to be a misfit….and yet it is not such a bad or negative thing.
Changing our understanding of misfits from something negative and limiting to something positive and liberating is indicative of the kinds of growth and learning needed in the entrepreneur’s journey of mastery. In essence, you will learn how to change your mind about things. And you will learn that changing your mind is not such a bad thing after all. In fact, reframing how you see a problem can turn a bad situation into a tremendous opportunity for growth.
Change for the Sake of Growth
Change for the sake of growth requires an entirely different mentality than change for the sake of change. There is a greater purpose and intention we seek to create when changing for the sake of growth. You must be keenly self-aware to recognize that your current reality does not match your aspirations.
It is easy to decide to change on a whim. You have a moment of boredom or a flash of inspiration and bam, you start doing something differently. That is how I ended up with a buzz cut in college. It didn’t last long. And most whimsical changes do not have staying power either.
One of the greatest changes I made when I decided to change for a change was to stick with it! There are always going to be hiccups and bumps along the way that make it easy to jump ship, either reverting back to your old ways or seeking some other silver bullet. Seeing these efforts through is a powerful antidote for the change junky who tries on lots of different solutions like pants in the fitting room, you will never find the perfect fit.
Regardless of your affinity, or lack there of, for change you need to reconcile with the fact that you will need to change to bridge the chasm between where you are and where you want to be. The hard part might be initiating the change, sustaining it, or some combination there of. Either way, it probably won’t be easy!
Change the Rules You Live By
Your worldview begins to form in your early childhood and is shaped by your experiences. We tend to systematize things without even realizing it. Our brains are fantastic at creating a sense of order of the world, rules if you will.
These rules of the world are deeply woven into the fabric of our thinking, which is why we are often unaware they are even there. But these thoughts are present and they are persistently problematic. To put it simply, they are limiting beliefs. And you need to untether yourself from them! A limiting belief does not need to be plainly onerous, it probably seems innocuous, smart even.
For example, I had this limiting belief that I needed to let by spirit be free in order to be creative. As a result I feared constraints would limit my creativity. In essence I had horrible productivity habits. I managed my time first by meetings, then deadlines followed by what I felt like doing in that given moment.
I read Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art, which was illuminating to me. And I heard from a few other people that having structure actually helped their creative efforts. It forced me to confront limiting beliefs I had of the way I needed to work in order to be creative. It required me to change the rules I was living by. After that, I decided that changing my relationship with time management, organization and planning was important for my success.
From Smart to Wise
The hardest part about being a Misfit Entrepreneur isn’t building a successful business endeavor. The greatest challenge is doing so while being true to you. There are all kinds of smart business decisions you can make. Things that on paper, seem good. But that does not mean they would be genuine and fun.
It is so easy to focus on the smart thing to do. What is the smart decision here? But the harder more important question to answer is, what is the best thing for me!
I went through a stage where I was “investing in my business” because that is a smart thing to do. I signed up for networking groups and professional development programs that did not feel quite right but also were not resoundingly bad. They just were not right for me.
The thing is, I knew that they were not right for me. I felt, blah about them. But I convinced myself, “This is the smart business thing to do. You have to invest in your business Ariana. You need to spend money to make money. These people have money. You need to network with them. If you don’t do this you’ll probably fail, you will miss the opportunity, your one chance to make it.”
The first time an EntrepreNerd shared how the program helped her learn how to succeed as an entrepreneur, I was stunned to find out why. The single idea that flipped a switch in her mind was when she realized business could be personal. She thought she was going to learn the best way, the smart way to build a business. Instead she learned that you can make it what you want.
There is not one right answer. The smart answer isn’t always the best choice for you. Starting and running a business, just being a misfit entrepreneur is not about being smart it’s about being wise. It is being able to tell the difference between something that you need to change and the things you need to keep the same like your non-negotiables.
From Smart to Wise by Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou
Kaipa and Radjou provide a well-researched and accessibly presented leadership framework that empowers readers to discover their own path to wise leadership. With the majority of leadership texts being either overly academic or simplified formulas, Kaipa and Radjou strike an artful balance. They have created a book that is founded on empirical evidence yet intelligible to leaders and change agents regardless of their position (or formal education). This is a must-read for leaders actively developing their capacity for overcoming the challenges of living in a rapidly changing world.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Creativity is a crucial practice to building a successful business these days. Pressfield debunks the misconception that the most creative endeavors occur with a flash-in-the-pan moment of insight. Instead, he lays out the consistent effort and dedication required to overcoming our most challenging and difficult obstacles. Written in a series of short vignettes, Pressfield first helps readers understand the barriers to creating “Resistance” before providing insight about how to move past such challenges and ultimately embodying the life of a creator.