According to a recent survey, entrepreneurs regard themselves overwhelmingly as visionaries, with an ability to see beyond the horizon and accomplish lofty goals. However, most entrepreneurs are more limited than they would believe. Business owners need to recognise the unconscious boundaries they abide by, and learn to approach business in truly limitless ways.
The borders on our planet don’t actually exist – they are arbitrary lines that our society has created – and yet we all acknowledge and adhere to these limits. The same is unfortunately true in business. Even individuals who believe themselves to be truly visionary or limitless will function, to some degree, within the boundaries of what they think is possible or credible.
The boundaries of my own life dissolved at the age of ten, when a near death experience left me with an unusual, and expanded, view of life. As an adult, I have spent years researching and exploring beyond the frontiers of conventional knowledge – studying various healing modalities, consciousness and cutting edge science – and I lived a borderless existence for many years, working and residing between South Africa, Australia and the USA.
These experiences taught me the importance of confronting self-imposed boundaries. Here are my tips for entrepreneurs wanting to venture beyond the limits of what is considered possible in business:
Business can be wherever you are. There has been an obvious evolution in this area in recent years, but many business owners still limit their business’s potential because of location. What if you don’t need a physical office or location? Even if you have a physical business, what are literal borders that you have defined? Have you not gone global because you don’t think that’s possible?
Don’t look for a purpose or mission. These can actually limit you. Be careful if you have a particular businesses purpose or mission, as it may blinker you to what is possible for you right now. If your next opportunity doesn’t fit your purpose, you will overlook it.
Forget expectations. It never shows up the way you think it will, and the best opportunities often come from unexpected angles. Beware of opportunities that pop up and look shiny and enticing – the ones that everyone else would say, “Oh, you must do that”. The unconscious pressure to conform is powerful. Stay attuned to what is true for you.
Stop compare-itis. When you are attempting to fulfil your vision by looking through the eyes of, or emulating the journey of, others you will never find what is true for you and your business. I call this compare-itis. When you inject the values of others into your business, you subordinate what’s true for you and function from others’ expectations and projections. That’s when you start feeling overwhelmed and unable to make decisions; you feel like you’re spinning your wheels but not getting anywhere.
Redefine profitability. Business success has come to have very a limited meaning: making money. Business is the adventure of living, profit is not just about expanding your wallet, it’s about expanding your life. When you view business this way, you seek horizons that will not only bring you monetary success, but also personal fulfilment.
Above all, have a willingness to embrace the uncomfortable and the unknown. You will have to work to cross the border: you will have put some effort into being able to take advantage of the new landscape. But if you are willing to step out of where you feel safe and comfortable, you will discover all that is new, challenging and exciting.
Kerry Garner Venter, business and leadership mentor, life coach and certified Joy of Business facilitator