26Dec

5 keys to be a mindful entrepreneur.

NELLIE AKALP, CONTRIBUTOR, CEO of CorpNetcom


This is the time of year when we tend to reflect on our lives, and realise that 80pc of what we do is spent on stuff that we hadn’t bargained for when we set out on our entrepreneurial journey, with only 20pc of the time focused on what we are good at and our reason why we started our journey in the first place!  As a result, we get stuck, stressed and burned out.

It’s all about having the right mindset. The right mindset will make you happier, more effective and more inspired. 

To get to the right mindset , focus on the five key pillars: purpose, presence, gratitude, generosity and growth. 

  1. Purpose helps me stay grounded and inspired.
  2. Presence keeps my mind clear and calm. 
  3. Gratitude helps me stay blessed and positive. 
  4. Generosity connects me to the world. 
  5. Growth ensures I’m always reaching further, as an individual and business owner..

1. Revisit your purpose.
When you’ve been running a business for a long time, it’s easy to lose connection with the inner fire that made you start your business. Take a moment to 
revisit all the reasons you started a business. What’s your why? 

  • Were you looking to make a change?
  • Make the world a better place?
  • Build something unique?
  • Did you want to make changes in your own life?
  • Have more time?
  • Get more freedom?
  • Did you want to operate according to your own values?
  • Was there a better way?

 Knowing your why will help  you to get going every morning, excited to move things forward.

2. Practice mindfulness and meditation.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

It’s about living in the now and appreciating every moment – making it meaningful to you 

Concentrate on your breathing. When you eat, be mindful of everything you eat,  practice mindfulness throughout the day, take 10 deep breaths before you answer a question – slow down. 

Your thoughts will be clearer, you will be more stressed and Have more energy 

3. Be grateful.

Wr have a lot to be grateful for — and being mindful of these blessings can improve our happiness and health. For example, psychology studies have shown that participants who practice gratitude (by writing about the things they are grateful for) are more optimistic and feel better about their lives. By contrast, participants who focus on the things that irritate them are more negative and have less energy and poorer 

  • recognizing what you’re grateful for, 
  • acknowledging it and 
  • appreciating it. 

One approach is to keep a “gratitude journal” where you can note down the things that you are grateful for on a daily basis.

4. Never stop learning.
No matter how successful your business might be, you can’t rest on your laurels. In this day and age, things are evolving at such a rapid pace; it’s not enough to assume that what worked for you in the past will work in the future. You need to constantly experiment and study what others are doing. Most importantly, don’t ever think that you have all the answers. Always be open to listen to others.

Opening yourself up in this way isn’t easy, but I think of it this way: Nothing positive ever comes from avoiding the truth.

5. Pay it forward.
We didn’t get to where we are alone. Even if you bootstrapped your company from nothing, someone or something helped you along the way . . . maybe it was a mentor, colleague, friend, your school, an organization or the local community.

Most entrepreneurs realize how fortunate they are. That’s probably why surveys have shown that entrepreneurs are more likely to make a charitable donation than any other professional. How can you give back? Donate  to a local organization or cause that’s important to you.

Get involved in community service, or donate some of your time to formally mentor or teach through an entrepreneurship/small business organization.

Adam Grant of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania wrote about what he called his “Five-Minute Favor” philosophy in his book Give and Take. It’s a simple premise and requires only five minutes during which you help someone out.

This can be a small gesture that’s of little or no cost to you but can help someone else immensely. For example, you might set up an introduction between some of your contacts. Or meet with a budding entrepreneur for coffee, or answer a few questions over the phone.

With these simple actions, you’ll not only be laying the foundation for the next generation of entrepreneurs, but you’ll rekindle the excitement and purpose you felt during your early days as an entrepreneur.

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