The Entrepreneur’s Kryptonite

For as long as I can remember I have always been very independent. I rarely relied on any one for anything, especially when it came to my job or my business. Over the years, my career flourished as I always focused on what needed to be done. That’s who I was. That’s why I did so well in the corporate culture – because I developed a reputation for “getting stuff done”.  I was go-to person to lead high-priority, high-visibility, or high-risk projects and initiatives. I thrived on the adrenaline and the responsibility. For this reason, I really believed that I had the experience and the determination to move by business forward – FAST. But, you know what? It’s just not the same when you move from leading teams in the corporate environment, to creating, building, and growing a business of your own.

What is lost in transition is the sense of “team” and the support that comes with regular interaction between peers.  As entrepreneurs, we have come to believe we are strong and we can weather the turbulent up’s and down’s of business development and growth alone. This is especially true for women entrepreneurs as we have an underlying belief system, whether we acknowledge it or not, that keeps us from reaching out to others for support, feedback, or some friendly advice. We keep our ideas and challenges to ourselves for fear of what others might think or say about us. We’re afraid that someone we know or maybe even someone we love will say the words that lie in the backs of our minds and that we struggle with on a daily basis:

“Are you crazy?”

“That’s never going to work.”

“Why can’t you just be happy in a REAL job?”

These questions and comments are our kryptonite. They destroy our power.  They destroy the inner essence of our life’s purpose. I know this because I was there. In 2010, I felt so depleted of my purpose, my confidence, and especially of my inner power. The struggle I had, though, was that I knew I was helping my clients, because they were succeeding and accomplishing their goals, but I wasn’t growing my own business or reaching my own goals. At the end of 2011, I had to decide if I was going to continue the way I was going or if I was going to try to move forward, regardless of what my friends and family had to say.  I knew this would require an enormous mind-shift on my part, and honestly, I wasn’t sure I would be able to sustain it for very long.

But something extraordinary happened in 2012. I found the one thing that made all the difference in my business and, more so, in my life. I found the power that comes in community.  I never knew that there were actually groups of entrepreneurs – groups of WOMEN entrepreneurs – that were experiencing all of the same challenges that I had been experiencing. I took the leap and joined a wonderfully supportive coaching group at the beginning of 2012, and I can honestly say that I wish it were something I had done sooner.

There is an empowerment that comes along when so may like-minded people join together to support each other through common goals like how to grow their businesses, how to find clients, what they need to do with their websites, and even (or especially) how to stay strong through the negativity and the slow periods.  This goes beyond networking.

My wish for you for this year is that you seek out and find YOUR community – YOUR people. Once you embrace the power of community, you will find the people who “get” you. These are the people that understand what you go through every single day of being an entrepreneur, will freely and willingly give you suggestions and feedback without asking anything return, and will even kick you in the ass when your own negative self-talk is getting you down. These are your PEOPLE.

If you struggle with some of the challenges I’ve mentioned, you owe it to yourself to find a community, a group, or a tribe that is supportive and committed to the forward progress of all of its members, and above all, feels right for you. This past year has been my best year yet, largely due to the empowering support I have been blessed with as a result of joining a coaching group, and I look forward to what 2013 will have to bring.

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