10 Guidelines to Entrepreneurial Start Up Happiness

Entrepreneur Happy FacesThis is an excerpt from the newly released book – Destiny Defining Decisions: 11 Best-Selling Entrepreneurs Reveal their Greatest Success Secrets. The ebook is currently reduced at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LGCVVYK.

Now for the happiness message. This is the part of the book where I say, “you now have the power”, and “you can be anything you want”, and “success is waiting for you.” Not quite! What I guarantee instead is: You’re going to have failures. You’re going to face rejection. You’re going to lose money on fruitless ideas and campaigns. I tell you this not to scare you, but to strengthen your resolve. My belief is your psychological health must always be your first priority.

Starting a business is one of the riskiest things you can ever do. The odds of success are against you and there is much to learn. As an entrepreneurial psychologist, I feel it is my responsibility to be as honest and protective as I can. That is why before I reveal the passions-based business model, I sincerely advise you to diligently review and apply the Entrepreneurial Happiness (E-HAPPINESS) guidelines to your business and personal life.

Remember: Happiness is the key to success and not vice versa. Developing happiness-focused beliefs and habits will give you the strength, the patience, and the fortitude to move through the very real obstacles you must overcome on your path to freedom.


The E-HAPPINESS Guidelines

Entry and Exit Limits: Set strict entry and exit goals and budgets. My belief is, “follow your dreams, but always with a plan of how you will cover your responsibilities.” If you have children, your financial responsibilities are significantly greater than for someone who does not. You have three start-up business options. Work full time and build your business when not at work, work part-time so you have more hours to commit, or quit all employment. Whatever you decide, it is never wise to risk it all and throw caution to the wind to follow your passion. Always create a plan.

Personally, I think maintaining full time employment is the option least likely to lead to business success, due to fatigue and lack of time. Working part time in an attempt to maintain your basic financial responsibilities is a good option as long as you remain committed on your goal outside of those work hours to build your business. Quitting all employment is a good option only if you already have a good understanding, training and contacts in that industry and you have a strict business plan and time-frame with all basic expenses covered for the time-frame.

For example, you may need to set aside either through savings or a loan $80,000 for your business and a plan of 12 months to start breaking even. If that goal is not met by the end of 12 months, you would need to review all options and seriously consider exiting the business.

Humility over Get Rich Hype: One study purports that 95% of start-ups do not reach their initial income projections and the rate of small business failure in any country is always eye-opening. The business world is a very seductive. You will face many offers that appear too easy or good to be true. “Write a book in a weekend”, “Secret free website traffic”, “Flip your first three properties in a month.” There is a reason this book is littered with fantasy gifts. There are no magic pills. Follow your key passion at a sustainable rate and speed. The truth is, quality takes time and time requires humility.

Your reputation is crucial and you need to decide whether you are a maker or a marketer first. A pure marketer is solely interested in the bottom line and will flood the market with rubbish. A maker wants to create something of true value, but this cannot be achieved in a weekend. It may take years of diligent effort. I call this “pride over paycheck.”

Accountability: Measures like the ones previously provided are required for life and business. Aim to find a positive and supportive confidant and/or group. It is important to be part of two kinds of groups, one being related to business goals and another being related to other interests. The people you are with must be honest and open to exploring their successes and failures and fears. I call it the “No Bravado” policy. Obtaining a mentor that values both business and lifestyle balance is also a viable option.

Passion Focus: Follow your main business passion solely until you have reached a level of success you are satisfied with before branching off into other opportunities. Also, do your best to complete your biggest key business task each day. We are living in a world of full of distractions and it is much more satisfying to fully complete at least one key task than having made incomplete progress with several tasks. Outsource as many non-enriching tasks as possible, so you can focus on what is most essential.

Praise Yourself, Others and the World: Praise is psychological oxygen. Without it, we suffocate under our own fears and doubts. Review techniques in the book for key praise strategies for yourself and others. Gratitude practice is how we learn to praise the world. If there is one simple happiness practice that will give you the biggest result versus the couple of minutes of time spent, it is to write down a minimum of 3 things each day that you are grateful for. This will train you to realize that no matter how difficult the day, there are still great things to be aware and appreciative of.

An additional component is to rate yourself on the effort and not the success you had that day. Effort leads to satisfaction, which leads to happiness, and happiness is the key to success. To assist you, I’ve developed a particular gratitude process you can access on the resources page.

To find out more about Destiny Defining Decisions – watch the short video below!


Inspiration Triggers: Inspiration is the greatest form of motivation. Surround yourself with inspiration triggers: music, posters, quotes, people, photographs, meaningful and/or beautiful objects, and the stories of key role-models. This will help you connect to your deeper vision and purpose and encourage you to go for more. That is why in the next section of the book, I briefly mention the inspiring characteristics of some amazing history changing role-models for you to learn about and add to by creating your own list. I will add a resource in the bonuses to assist you to create your own history defining role-models list.

Negative Emotion and Commentary Acceptance and Transformation: Your mind and the people in your life generally want to protect you. You will have negative thoughts and fears and the key is to seek the lessons from those experiences. Always ask, “what is this thought or emotion trying to protect me from, and what is the best way to move through it?” People around you will not always be positive either. Some may be very critical.

It is important to respect and consider all “valid” opinions. Ignore or remove yourself from all invalid opinion makers. Inspiration without analysis before implementation can lead to catastrophic decision making. Entrepreneurs tend to want to say “yes”, which is why it is good to strategically spend some time with people who tend to say “no.” Seek to understand the reasoning behind the critical opinions of others, because sometimes they are right and you will need to adjust your strategy.

Empowering Belief Generation: Developing empowering beliefs leads to optimism, which is the biggest predictor of life success. Your beliefs about yourself and your success, or lack of success, will constantly be challenged. Limiting beliefs around ‘being good enough’, worthiness, failure, embarrassment, lack of time and resources, self-sabotage, risk tolerance and loneliness all need to be challenged and reframed. I added a special article to help you through those issues in the bonus materials.

Stress Management: Well over 50% of workers suffer from significant daily distress (stress management actually refers to reducing distress as opposed to eustress which arises from being in a positive mindset when challenged by activities you enjoy. The exercises in this book are designed to create eustress). Business owners tend to have it even worse. Falling into depression and anxiety and a cycle of fear, failure and doubt, along with obsessiveness are very real risks that every entrepreneur faces.

Schedule (di)stress reduction activities in your daily plan. Find at least 5 minutes a day up to three times a day for total silence. This allows the mind to recharge without distraction. The addition of mindfulness practice during silent time (I’ll add an exercise to the bonuses) can also be beneficial. Go outside for short walks and get some sunshine for breaks if you can, and aim to maintain good sleep patterns, physical health, and nutrition.

Self-Worth must always be greater than Net-Worth: You are more than your business. The other key areas of your life are just as important as your business and make up who you really are. Your goals need to include family, friends, health, hobbies, greater purpose, societal contribution and so on. There are many factors that go into business success and into personal success and they are not always related.

In my opinion, aside from essential quality time with partners, family and friends, everyone needs a creative pursuit (e.g. photography, art, writing, woodwork, music, theatre, restoring objects) and a sport (preferably one done in a group). These are two other areas of life that stimulate psychological growth and add energy and variety into your life. Although you may only be able to set aside a small amount of time for these activities, the return on your self-worth is not to be underestimated. Finding a way to regularly contribute back to society in perhaps small but meaningful ways, has also been shown to boost self-worth.

Hope you enjoyed the extract. You can get the book at a discount today. Go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LGCVVYK

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