What do you wish you had known when you started your business?” asked a young woman who had attended several of my Leadership Development Training sessions. She told me about the business she had just started. “I’m gathering advice from those who have been where I am now.”
“If I had it to do over again,” I said, “I would think bigger about visualizing the future of my business.”
We spent the next hour talking about fears shared by most new business owners. Her biggest fear was about becoming intimidated and overwhelmed with doing everything herself. She was used to working in a large business environment where there was always someone to assist. I told her she needed to nurture relationships with former colleagues, friends and other entrepreneurs who may be able to share support services.
I remembered that being by yourself in the beginning can be lonely.
And then it struck me. She had not yet discovered her inner mentor.
Tara Mohr gives a wonderful explanation in her book called “Playing Big” where she describes the Inner Mentor as “our future self, who is waiting to be called on for guidance and help.”It’s a voice of wisdom that “knows exactly who we would be if we were brave enough to show up as our true selves,” says Mohr.”The inner mentor gives us a specific, vibrant, compelling vision so that we don’t have to depend on what we can see to prescribe what we can be.”
That’s a powerful concept. What would your “true self” say about decisions being made now? Think about creative ideas and your compelling vision. How could your inner mentor influence all of your critical thinking?
For entrepreneurs like me, inner wisdom helps us enjoy our business, enrich experiences with our clients, and guide our decision-making while we are growing the business.
Starting my own business was not a single leap of faith but rather it has been a continual walk closer to the edge. I didn’t make the decision to resign from a corporate position until I had listened to my own inner voice and discovered my true passion for my life’s work. I voluntarily left the steady income of a secure and challenging management job and started my own company. I could envision success – although I’m not sure I fully understood ALL of the challenges that would await me.
My inner wisdom made it possible to listen and learn, and to become what I hoped to become, and share that with others.
Okay it’s your turn: “What do you wish you had known when you started your business?”
Offer one piece of advice and we’ll share your response with our readers.