I started my corporate career in 1982 and experienced tremendous success until I left it in 2017. Throughout my 35-year career, I learned many of the ways to navigate it and achieve significant outcomes. All the while, I was developing and building my unique leadership style complete with traits, skills, and competencies.
Initially when I left my last corporate job, I thought I might just continue to stay in the lane that I was most successful with. After some time to decompress and reflect on my career, I decided that the next best phase of my career would include being an entrepreneur.
The saying I did not know what I did not know applies to me in my decision-making process. I did gather as much information as I could from other entrepreneurs while I was contemplating my decision. I realize now that I might have left off some of the most critical questions.
I am deep into my journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur after more than a year into it. I am grateful for the challenges that have come along with my decision and continue to be happy with my decision on most days. When doubt creeps in, I remind myself that I am a life-long learner with a proven track record throughout my 35-year corporate career as a leader and consultant.
One of my proudest roles is that of life-long learner, and I take seriously everything I take on in both my professional and personal lives. While many people my age are settling into retirement, I am taking on a new phase of my career.
When I reflect on my journey in pursuit of entrepreneurship, I realize that three significant lessons have supported me throughout.
The three lessons learned are be courageous, get creative, and make the commitment. Each of these lessons learned are dependent on the other—together they make for a stronger foundation when striving to be a successful entrepreneur.
Being courageous can sometimes be annoying or frustrating, especially when it is over-used and under-supported. Each of us has the same capacity to be courageous in our lives—how we choose express it separates the doers from the observers.
Courage is something that can be developed over time and with experience. We all start of with a unique courage baseline and where we take it is up to us.
Courage is required when it comes to learning new things, sharing your previous experiences, and leaving your comfort zone. Each of us has the ability to start where we are with our courage and build more of it. For some people, it might start with applying for a new job, while for others it might be speaking publicly.
Getting creative relies on out ability to see that there are limitless possibilities. This might be a challenge for some people who were successful in their corporate career and have the impulse to solve their entrepreneurial challenges with the same solutions. This might be short-sighted and create more issues in the long run.
When we can do new things, engage with new people, and set ourselves apart, we are in the flow of creativity and more likely to find new ways to create successful outcomes.
Studies have shown that people might be left- or right-brain dominate in how they approach life. No matter the conclusions or the studies, we all have the propensity for experiencing an integrated mind. When we are integrated in thought, we are able to access both sides of our brain.
Commitment might separate you from the pack of entrepreneurs. When you demonstrate your attention to the process and vision, you are following a path that might very well land you as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in your market.
Commitment requires relentless focus on your vision and goals. When entrepreneurs can see what they are working towards\ and stay the course, they are more likely to be successful. Being committed to your business, yourself, and your family might support you through the tough times.
As a successful executive in my corporate career, I was always committed to the companies I worked for and bringing about successful outcomes. This lesson learned was in some ways a much-needed reminder. This is just one of the many traits, skills, and competencies that cannot only support an executive but also an entrepreneur.,
I think it is important as a life-long learner, no matter your age to see the lessons learned in any major change or transformation in your professional or personal lives. By looking for the lessons learned, you give yourself the opportunity to explore, discover, and experience new things associated with the changes.
The changes, that most assuredly happen in your life, will, in turn, give you ample opportunities to find the lessons learned. Those lessons learned will support you as you move forward and encounter stress and frustration.
I invite you to find three lessons learned in the change that you are experiencing at this time in your career. Is it a job change? Is it a company merger? Is it a layoff? Is it a promotion? Is it a relocation? Is it a role scope expansion? Is it a culture change? It is a change in leadership?
We feel more empowered when we increase our ability to respond to changes and transitions with what we learn throughout the process.
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