Focus on the Inner Side of Your Entreprenurial Journey October 9, 2013 RICCentre By: K.C. Dermody There is an abundant library of “How To” Internet references for small-business start ups. But how do you weed out the true nuggets of insight from the empty advice? Most would-be entrepreneurs look at the external requirements, such as finding investors, obtaining marketing assistance and locating the right vendors that can help with particular products or services. But looking inward in order to develop a clear focus on what’s happening in your industry is essential. A new book by Daniel Eisenberg looks at real stories of business insiders.The book, titled “Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value,” profiles different types of companies and the entrepreneurs who made them successful. Consider the common thread of these entrepreneurs’ contrarian mindset and look into the inner side of the entrepreneurial journey. Outfitting Your Startup Team Success is rarely dependent on how good an idea might be, but instead on how well it is executed. According to Krishna Srinivasan, founding partner of LiveOak Venture Partners, his team is the number one aspect his company looks at when it comes to investing. Entrepreneurs must be relationship and engagement managers. Build trust and empower team members by sharing ownership of projects. Outfit your startup team with a sense of co-ownership to help workers feel more deeply connected to their jobs. People who are excited about the difference they can make within an organization and the resources they have at hand are more likely to think about how they can combine them to create something new and innovative. Of course, outfitting the team with the proper equipment is also essential to success. In today’s high-tech world, integrating mobile devices including laptops, tablet computers and smartphones can make it much easier for any team to collaborate. Software and applications specific to your business, such as invoicing applications or retail management software, can increase efficiency. The right technology helps the entrepreneur better communicate with staff, as well as customers and vendors. Going inside to develop a clearer focus Start-up entrepreneurs work with investors, customers, employees and must wear many different hats while developing a business. The stress that develops can cause loss of clarity. Without clarity, it’s easy to get caught in negative repetitive patterns that have likely resulted in the failure of past ventures. Successful business leaders know when to take care of their own mind and body to reduce stress and think more clearly. Meditation, yoga or similar exercises improve concentration, bring a sense of calm and endurance and improve awareness, which is the ultimate goal. Practicing meditation or yoga can be likened to “cleaning a dirty windshield,” according to TechCrunch. Why improving self-awareness can be necessary for success Contemplate and look inward to understand your values, drive, strengths and weaknesses. Self-reflection is an often-overlooked practice that can give you valuable insight and add to your success. An entrepreneur needs self-confidence to believe in her own abilities to develop an opportunity and to bring it to market, even if that need has not yet been acknowledged by the customer. Steve Jobs created something customers became dependent on, yet did not exist until he invented it. Learning to use intuition Steve Jobs also exemplifies the importance of intuition in successful entrepreneurship. He attributed much of his success to his ability to follow his own “inner knowing,” even when most everyone else disagreed. A gut feeling or unexpected coincidence can help you emerge from a challenging situation into an entirely new level of prosperity, financially and personally. During a Stanford commencement speech in 2005, Jobs was quoted, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” This important statement may best summarize how looking inward can be the key to an entrepreneur’s success. — Dermody is an experienced freelance writer dedicated to creating high quality articles, web content, copywriting, e-books and more. She has published work on numerous sites and printed publications including Yahoo! Travel, Sports & News, RunLiveLearn, The Sherpa Report and many others.