One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is the independence and the freedom you get. You are your own boss, your own employee, your own manager, and you’re creating your own destiny. Self-reliance can be a huge asset, but it can also be risky. If you aren’t self-aware, then you risk being your own worst enemy in ways that you might not even notice.
Self-awareness means knowing your deepest flaws, your strongest attributes, your core guiding beliefs, and your biggest ambitions inside and out. In order to make self-awareness a true advantage in keeping yourself motivated and successful, here are a few tips:
Listen to your instincts: Your instincts are guided by your deepest senses of right and wrong. Whether it’s a moral dilemma or a day to day decision regarding your business, if you follow your instincts, you can be sure that you’re following your core principles. It’s important to take guidance and advise from others who have expertise, but at the end of the day it’s your business and you should go with your gut.
Invite and accept criticism: There’s not a single person who doesn’t have some flaw that stands in their way when they strive for success. Big or small, these flaws aren’t hurting anybody else except you, so it’s in your best interests to dig deep and really hear what your shortcomings are. Of course, nobody likes to take criticism, but if you know what your weaknesses are then you’ll be better equipped to work on them and improve them. You never know what other areas in your life such self improvement can help! In the end, it’s all for your own benefit.
Learn from your mistakes: This is another aspect of self-honesty that can be difficult but is totally essential for entrepreneurial success. There’s two parts to learning from your mistakes. First of all, you have to acknowledge what your mistakes were. Take ownership even if in the past you might have tried to shift blame to others. Second of all, you need to implement real changes in how you handle future issues based on the outcomes of previous mistakes. Taking a critical eye to the decisions you’ve made which perhaps didn’t work out well can only help you make better decisions in the future.
Know your strengths and weaknesses: This might sound like the other categories, but there’s a key difference here. Even though being an entrepreneur is all about self-reliance, sometimes you just need outside help where you’re weakest. Whether it’s bringing in an accountant, a manager, or finding a great seller to work with on a project for your business, knowing your weaknesses can help you reinforce those areas. On the flip side, if you know you are good at something, then you shouldn’t second guess yourself when you face naysayers!
The most important thing during all of this is to remember that these things take time! Self-awareness, like building a business, is a process and it will have ups and downs. The most important thing is to be true to yourself and your goals and always keep evaluating your progress.
What are some strategies you have for staying self-aware? Tell us in the comments!
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