Recognize investments and expenses.

Entrepreneurs sort spending this way:

  • Expense:
    Spend this on a regular basis to cover the basics of running the business. I see the value of creating stability by laying a foundation of spending for regular operating expenses.
  • Investment:
    This spending could create more value later. I see strong enough growth potential for results that I value. These results may be money, resources, referrals, market share, and more. Continue reading

See what is present. Fill in what is missing.

What if you could have it all? No compromise. Win-win, as they say in the conflict resolution seminars. When we employ natural entrepreneurial thinking, we look for ways that a situation could be whole. We look for what we can fill in, even if what we are filling in is more space to breathe.

Always ask both of these questions, when looking for opportunities or solutions:

  • What is present that is working?
  • What is missing that, if it were present, would make things better?

Keep asking these questions. The answers are like puzzle pieces that can come together to give you a vision of what is possible. Translate and convert any negativity into something that is missing.

The Elements

We love rags-to-riches and triumph-of-the-underdog stories because it reminds us of our own basic human capacity.

For several years, I had the honor of working with and learning from Barbara J. Winter, best selling author and guru for inspired entrepreneurs. Barbara is a great muse for many who choose to leave corporate life to be “joyfully jobless” and make a living with self-employment, multiple income streams, and creative small business.

She helped me clarify the difference between the experience of the classic employee and the inspired entrepreneur.  Below you will find my version of the chart we developed, followed by descriptions of each aspect of natural entrepreneurial thinking. Continue reading

10 things learned in the past year

Like most lessons, many of these are repeats, and now I get it even deeper. I hope this inspires you in your self-made lesson plan.

1 ~ When life happens, roll with it: Around this time last year a chain of unforeseeable events started in my personal life. By the time I got to the end of that chain, 5 months later, it felt like I’d been hit by a tidal wave. When the first challenge came, I pressed on, determined to be unshaken. By the time the rest of the challenges stacked up, I felt as if I had died and wasn’t sure what mattered anymore. I was shaken, stirred and on an odyssey to rediscover everything. When I let go and rolled with it, I found deep gratitude for all the lessons that came my way.

2 ~ Perspective is paramount: I know by now you’re guessing it was the economy. Actually, the news of Wall Street was mostly background noise to the challenges I faced, which included hospitals, the death of loved ones, accepting that I would not be having children of my own, and wondering if anyone really wanted to learn what I wanted to share (self-doubt is so syrupy isn’t it?). My “tidal wave” was a mere ripple in comparison to what some people have experienced in the past 12 months. I am so grateful for the way these events got me to step back and take a long slow look at it all. I softened my focus, widened my view, and tried on other people’s ideas. This practice helped me let go even more, saved me from getting stuck in grief, and opened me up to new possibilities. Continue reading

What are the best lessons to learn?

In my last post, some will imagine that I am suggesting we all go out and play with matches to feel like entrepreneurs. Others, who resonate with the metaphor and feel they have been burned in an entrepreneurial venture, will imagine that injurious experience means they are not well suited to for entrepreneurship. Others who really enjoy playing with fire in a destructive way will imagine I am condoning destruction.

None of them would be getting the best lessons here.

However, you are NOT one of them. Continue reading

Flirting with captivity and freedom

When people speak with me about captivity, freedom, and entrepreneurial thinking saving their lives, I understand and encourage us all to take a deep breath and let it out with a big sigh.

In this moment, you may choose any place on the continuum between captivity and freedom. Like everything else, it’s a matter of perspective. No matter where you see yourself right now, you may see it as an advantage or a disadvantage. Freedom can feel both exciting and terrifying. Captivity can feel both protective and confining. It is all part of what is true.

The dance upon that continuum tells me something about us. I notice that we approach entrepreneurship much like we approach fire. Continue reading

The crackpot theory that could save your life

First, the theory

We are born with everything we need to become entrepreneurs.

The elements are simple and accessible to all who dare to remember.

When dormant, these elemental desires and behaviors merely await release and expression. Sometimes we just need a tickle in the right direction. Sometimes we require some deprogramming or healing to enable these experiences to have full expression. Sometimes we need to rally friends and family to help. Sometimes we need to find like-minded partners. Sometimes we just need to plow ahead on our own. In my experience, when the effort is made, the elements are always there in each person’s mind waiting to bloom.

Continue reading