In my book I wrote that “The hardest part about being a Misfit Entrepreneur isn’t building a successful business endeavor; it’s doing so while being true to yourself.”
The challenge is earning an income while filling your cup. This is particularly difficult because the need to earn a living can trump the need to align your efforts with fulfilling your greater purpose. Furthermore, finding that sweet spot doesn’t happen over night. So many of us need to earn a living and so we grab at the lowest hanging fruit because making a deposit into your bank account feels oh so gratifying.
But if you’re not careful, you can continue to do the thing that makes you money and slowly start to lose yourself. Maybe you decided to start your own business so you could enjoy a quality of life, only to find that you’re working the same crazy hours, sacrificing your family time and making a fraction of what you did at a corporate job. Ouch!
How do you dig yourself out? How do you course correct without losing your shirt or your soul?
This is where effectual thinking comes in. Effectuation is a term that was coined by Saras Sarasvathy, based on the research she conducted on the way that successful entrepreneur’s think. What she found was that most corporate stooges are causal thinkers – “if you can predict the future, you can control it!” But the world of entrepreneurship looks much different than that. You can’t control the future, the only thing you can control is yourself.
Most of us need to do some soul searching. There’s an inherent tension in being a Misfit Entrepreneur, the need to earn a living with the aspiration to be true to oneself in the process can feel completely at odds. This feeling can be compounded when you’re simultaneously operating one business model while innovating a new business model.
The process of self-reflection is continuous. It’s not like you decide to take the leap into entrepreneurship with your business plan and half-baked ideas without ever updating them. No, you must re-evaluate, looking for lessons learned and clarity gained.
Steve Blank is famous for saying, “no business plan survives first contact with it’s customers.” While this sentiment is true, embodying such an idea is easier said than done. We have to let our ideas, plans and business models evolve, which means we need to make a habit of testing how our insights gleaned from the market correlate (or don’t) with our inner truth!
Here are some reflection questions I’ve pondered in my journal on this topic:
- How do you feel about the insights you’re learning about your business model/market?
- What resources, skills and strengths can you better leverage in your business?
- What fulfills you? What drains you?
- What opportunities can you leverage now that align with your values while generating revenue?
- What are/aren’t you willing to sacrifice/give/change in order to succeed in your business?
What’s Rosabella Consulting Up To?
We’ve got some exciting things cooking…related to this blog post that we’re not quite ready to share yet – we’ll let you know when they are!
Last week we hosted the very first Intro to Journaling and Mindfulness Workshop and it was a great success. Some comments from participants are below. We will be hosting this workshop again in May, so if you missed it and want to partake, email or comment below and we’ll try to schedule around your availability.
“I love that the Intro to Journaling and Mindfulness Workshop gave me time to focus on myself without all the distractions of everyday life. The tools for making journaling more impactful and useful helped me gain greater self-awareness and allowed me to explore issues more deeply. Ariana is always so fresh, authentic, and willing to share from a really honest place. She also has a lot of personal experience which makes the learning all the richer.” Carrie Pinsky, Pink Sky Career Counseling
“I’ve already recommended the Intro to Journaling and Mindfulness workshop to a friend. I told her it’s great for beginners and finding a place to start plus gain confidence in journaling. I loved the intimate, safe space to be authentic, and that it was free of pressure to write ‘perfectly'” – Erin Valenti