Tag Archives | Why

Captains Curious: Curiosity, Transformation and Transformative Leadership


Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 244

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 246

Welcome to Captains Curious, a weekly series of guest posts on the subject of Curiosity. The newest contributing member is Raj Neogy! To learn about the other Captains Curious, please click here.

First, my story

Getting here was no easy task. It started in the womb, when my mother decided to abort me and changed her mind moments before the doctor arrived to perform the procedure. When I popped out, I was cyanotic – a blue baby. My heart was wired incorrectly and I was not getting any oxygen. So I was whisked off for my first invasive surgery. When I hit 6 months, I had my second surgery. And by the time I was 2, I had my third open heart surgery. Needless to say, safety was not something I understood well, if at all. Just to make this really clear – my heart stopped three times, for each surgery. And I was “revitalized” or, in essence, “reborn” thrice. At 35, I started noticing a pattern emerge: For me to feel alive, I needed to have near death experiences. When I had that awareness, I was rather stunned.

The story continues with my parents getting divorced at the tender age of 4. And my life falling apart at 7, when I moved in with my step-mother. For 11 years, I endured physical beatings, emotional torture and utter humiliation and cruelty. And then to top it all off, I came out at 19 and was promptly disowned. “Be straight or leave” is what my father said.

When I left, I immediately drowned myself in cheap beer and by the time I hit 27, I was only black-out drinking. Not recommended as a relationship-building skill!

I was what you called a “functional alcoholic.” I prefer the term “functional dysfunctionyte.” By the time I was 28, I was traveling around the world for business, making great amounts of money, meeting amazing people, teaching cutting-edge technology. And I was a serious mess. I was angry, reactive, defensive, impulsive, arrogant, and mean. What I didn’t know was that I was also tremendously sad, painfully hurting, severely traumatized and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

All my initial forays into therapy were shameless expeditions of flirting until eventually the cutest one of them all called me on it. I, of course, blatantly denied it, left her office and never went back.

It was after pulling the plug on my second start-up, where I worked insane hours for three years and lost $100,000, that I crumbled. I didn’t know who I was anymore and completely fell apart. Suicidal and lost, I tumbled into an abyss of confusion. And eight months later, I lost my job, my wife and the house I lived in within a one week period. I now found myself homeless for the second time. And I couldn’t fake it any longer.

Two months prior, I had started an 18 month self-help program at NLP Marin. It was an amazing 18 months of peering into my life, and it laid the foundation for who I have become. It also taught me a list of core questions that have changed the way I engage with people.

I then got an MA in Transformative Leadership Development, as I wanted to do change work with individuals, teams and organizations. I took this program (offered at CIIS in San Francisco) so I could formally learn leadership skills and disseminate those learnings to others. What I realized a year after graduating was that I was really learning the skills to lead myself, to actually walk toward the talk, and where I continued the healing journey. Once I graduated, I entered a post-graduate depression which segued two months later into my psyche imploding, causing the last of my shell to fall away.

Curiosity

It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am now and the journey has been challenging, at times miserable and often downright difficult. But through it all, there was one element that kept me taking the next step: Curiosity.

When that life and death pattern came into my awareness at 35, I had profound curiosity as to why I kept manifesting that pattern, so I started asking myself questions about “the Why.” Mostly, I was curious about how I could get the pain to stop. It was unbearable, and all the coping mechanisms were falling to the wayside. I decided that if I wanted to heal and move through the pain, I had to get curious so that I could shift both my thinking patterns and behavioral patterns.

Transformation

So I held up a mirror, looked in it every day and started asking myself questions about me. “I wonder why that is…I wonder what is behind that…this just happened, what need of mine is not being met…what made her say that just now?” These questions, combined with my ferocious curiosity, afforded me the courage to continue to take each tiny step toward healing.

Transformative Leadership

In my quest for healing and all of the learnings that I have come across throughout the years, I noticed many patterns. Some of the patterns that we run unconsciously become outdated and are no longer useful. Some even become detrimental. How do we transform them? In the diagram below, I outline the path of the 7 Phases of Transformative Leadership, the first phase being Curiosity.

These phases have helped me untangle destructive patterns, unearth the roots of the patterns and allow me to choose something different.

Curiosity

Curiosity is the first of seven phases in Transformative Leadership. It’s the crowbar, the key to unlock a dead bolt, the hand gently reaching forward. Curiosity is the starting point and the entry way. Though it is the first phase in the diagram, curiosity is always welcome to visit any phase at any time. The 7 Phases of Transformative Leadership is not a linear process, but rather a fluid adventure in exploration. You may begin at a decision, act accordingly and have an unexpected result, sending you back to curiosity. You may have an awareness about something, which triggers a question, which results in more awareness which then results in yet another question.

Awareness

Think back to a time when you had one of those “Ah-ha!” moments. It could have been about yourself, your partner, your friend, your toddler, your coworker. The experience may have gone something like this: “Oh…when x happens, y person responds like this.” And then you make a decision: “Remember not to leave the food on the counter, otherwise the cat will eat it.”

Self-Reflect

This piece isn’t so much about wondering why the cat eats food left on the counter as about what’s going on with your 17 year old son who forgot to put the food away…and your reaction. It’s about looking at the reaction fully and seeing what the need is behind that reaction. Is the reaction to storm into his room and begin yelling about responsibility? Or is the reaction getting frustrated and cleaning up the mess yourself? If the reaction is on the spectrum of annoyed, angry, irritated, etc, it’s usually about a need that is not being met in some way.

Decide

This is the fork in the road, the pivotal moment, the point where you make a choice. You choose to explore your own set of feelings and not storm into his room. You choose to give yourself empathy and set aside some time to talk to him later when you’re calmer. Decisions are always about two choices: It’s about choosing one thing and not choosing another. When I choose to eat the salad for dinner, and not the pasta dish: I am choosing one thing and not the other. We always have choice, whether we choose to see it that way or not.

Act

Now that you’ve made your choice, it’s about aligning your intent (the choice you decided to choose) with impact (your behaviour). How are you behaving and how is your behaviour being received? Did you achieve the results you wanted? If not, why not? (Curiosity!) Did you have a real heart-to-heart with your son? Or are you noticing that while you may have wanted it to go one way, it actually went the opposite way – or another way entirely that wasn’t even on your radar?

Realign

When we drive a car for a period of time, we eventually wear out our tires. We make a choice about replacing tires and often get them realigned. Wheel alignment “provides safe, predictable vehicle control.” How different is this from humans? Sometimes we’re worn out from the week, jet-lagged, hungry, injured or feeling down. We may need to have a little extra care in realigning our intent with our impact.

Review

Ever filled out an evaluation after attending a training? What about after eating a meal at a restaurant? Or how about a 360 or employee evaluation? Maybe after watching a movie with friends and discussing it over chocolate cake? Taking inventory of an experience is important, especially when it relates back to us. When we know what is in our suitcase, we won’t be petrified going through customs. When we are either hiding something we don’t want others to see or we are just not sure what is packaged inside ourselves, it can be a scary thing to look inside.

So how can this help you?

The answer is: I don’t know. All I know is from my personal experience and the countless stories I have heard from others with whom I have worked. Each person has moved through each of these phases at some point through their life trajectory, whether consciously or otherwise. The key is to create a heightened level of curiosity which allows for a greater sense of awareness. In becoming conscious of entering and exiting The 7 Phases of Transformative Leadership, you have a greater ability to make the choices that you truly want. You begin to align your intention with your impact much more accurately and you travel on path in which you experience freedom in ways you may not know yet.

* * * * *

Raj Neogy, MA is a consultant, facilitator, and entrepreneur who offers training and consulting in topics such as transformative leadership, conscious business and breakthrough strategy. She has worked with over 500 corporations and organizations worldwide over the last 20 years, including Fortune 100 companies like Sony, Adobe, JVC, and amazon.com. She is the principal of Argien Consulting www.argien.com and founder of Queer Leadership: A Global Perspective.

* * * * *


To sign up for updates Click Here.

Would you like to submit a guest post on the subject of Curiosity? Send an email to susan {at} susanTblake {dot} com with the subject line: Captains Curious.

Eagles and Turkeys and Music in the Air


Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 244

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 246

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning I got up and, rather than sipping a leisurely cup of coffee, I got dressed, grabbed my camera and went for a walk on my favorite nature trail.

One of the things I love about my little town is that it is laced with walking and biking trails. My favorite is about a mile from my home and is only open to foot and bicycle traffic. It winds through meadows and along a greenbelt next to a small river, and is either home or a stopping place for a variety of wildlife. I have encountered deer, fox, feral cats, turtle, ground squirrels, red squirrels, snowy egrets, great blue herons, Canada geese, mallard ducks, turkey vultures, red tailed hawks, red shouldered hawks, lizards, and tree frogs. Not to mention a host of small birds, including goldfinches, house finches, bushtits, red-winged blackbirds, scrub jays, mourning doves, band-tailed pigeons, cliff swallows, black phoebes, acorn woodpeckers, Anna’s hummingbirds, and plenty I haven’t identified yet.

So on Sunday morning I set out at the crack of dawn, wondering what I would see and who I would meet.

My first encounters…

I started with my regular encounters with the finches and flycatchers, common on nearly all of my walks. I stopped to take pictures of a snowy egret where the creek and the path pass under the freeway, and he obliged me by posing and being quite patient with me.

Up above my head…

I walked on, and at a point where oak trees on either side of the trail form an arch overhead, I paused. I heard a sound… it wasn’t a cluck, and it wasn’t a squawk. It was more like a … mrrrrp. I heard it again. From overhead. Then I heard it from tree on the other side of the trail. Mrrrp.

I stood quite still, slowly looking up into the branches above my head. Mrrrp. Finally my eyes focused on a large brown bird amongst the leaves. Mrrrp. It was a turkey!

I heard the mrrrp from several places in the trees above me, and realized there was a family of turkeys roosting in the trees, checking in with each other. I counted five young turkeys and the mother, happily perched in the canopy of leaves.

Now, I have seen turkeys on the ground on numerous occasions; in fact, wild turkeys are quite common around here. It is not at all unusual in July and August to see families of turkeys with their chicks parading around.

But in trees? That’s a new one on me. In retrospect, I remember a friend telling me that the turkeys on her property roost in the trees, but I had never seen it myself.

As I stood there, trying to get some clear pictures, a group of walkers came by.

“There are turkeys up in the trees!” I told them. They stopped, and looked, and marveled.

“This may be a dumb question,” one of them said, “but do turkeys fly?”

“Apparently,” I answered.

I wondered, how old do the young turkeys have to be before their mother can get them to fly up into a tree, away from possible predators like foxes or raccoons? How does she protect them until then? They were clearly unconcerned about me (although they were apparently talking about me) being on the ground below them, but couldn’t a hawk swoop in from above and grab one for breakfast?

That’s nice, but…

You may be wondering, “What does this have to do with business, or consulting, or coaching?”

Well, everything.

The day before, I had been talking with a successful professional who has been struggling with standing up for what is important to her in her home life, and it struck me that you can’t be partially true to yourself. Once we put a stake in the ground or take a stand about something, it becomes more and more difficult not to do that in other areas of our lives.

The same thing is true about curiosity. Once we begin noticing what is going on around us and we being exercising our curiosity about what we notice, that spreads into all areas of our lives.

Curiosity, like enthusiasm, is contagious

If I hadn’t noticed that “mrrrp” in the trees above me, and if I hadn’t been curious about what it was, I never would have seen turkeys roosting up above my head.

If I don’t notice what’s going on with my thoughts and reactions, I can’t wonder why I haven’t been successful with something, or why I have been successful with something, or why I am uncomfortable around someone.

If I don’t notice what’s happening with a group I’m working with, or a process I’m part of, I can’t wonder why things are happening the way they are, or why we can’t seem to improve something, or what needs to be done differently.

If I don’t notice they way things are, I can’t appreciate what and who is in my life, and I can’t wonder what I need to do to make things even better.

Noticing and being curious apply to everything, beginning with our inner worlds and extending to everything around us.

And when I share what I notice with others, they often get curious too.

Soaring with the eagles

You know that old adage, “It’s hard to soar with the eagles when you’re surrounded by turkeys”? Well, in this case, being surrounded by turkeys is a very good thing. If you notice them.

All of this talk of turkeys mrrrping up above my head reminds me of a song… enjoy!



To sign up for updates Click Here.

Photos by Susan T. Blake

Captains Curious: Why Are Some People More Curious Than Others?


Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 244

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 246

Welcome to Captains Curious, a weekly series of guest posts on the subject of Curiosity. The newest member of Captains Curious is Karim Benyagoub! To learn about the series and the other Captains Curious, please click here.

I’ve always been curious

I’ve always been curious about many things:

  • How were spaghettis living in the deep sea manufactured? (Being a kid I didn’t know they were marine creatures!)
  • Why did the horizon on the Mediterranean Sea, from my balcony, form a 3° inclination with my mason’s level?
  • Why is it that when you were younger, time seemed to go a lot slower? And the more you age, the faster time goes by?
  • Why do we live moments we feel we already lived in the past? (Ok, I’m sure you asked yourself that one many times too.)

Those are just few of my past curiosities, but what intrigued me for good is the effect that graphic and musical arts have on my aesthetic senses. When in front of beauty, I always ask my self: “How is it made? Why is it so beautiful? How can I produce the same effect?” And that’s how I learned to draw by myself, and play music with imaginary instruments, then digital ones.

How curiosity makes me discover hidden secrets

In my school days, and life in general, curiosity always helped me to focus on important questions dismissed by the vast majority. Many times it made me pierce the “truth.”

But what I observed is that people around me never seem to notice irregular phenomena – like the 3° inclination of our sea’s horizon – or try to understand what caused some observable facts like when I told one of my dreams to someone and saw the events come true.

If people didn’t understand what happened, they just denied it, or said something was wrong with the measuring tools or their own sight, or that it was coincidence! I can’t tell enough how frustrating it was to endure people’s absence of curiosity or, even worse, total denial.

Today, even though I still feel a little like an extraterrestrial, I’m very glad I can have that kind of curiosity because it lets me learn new amazing things.

The Curiosity who killed the cat

I had this “curiosity that killed the cat” in my adolescence, like many I’m sure, but no longer now; too-personal details about people is not what I am curious about.

When we want to know someone we like, there’s nothing more natural than our need to discover some aspects of his/her life. True. But I wouldn’t want to learn any too intimate details about anyone, unless it happens within a private discussion with that particular person.

On the other hand, I ask myself: Why are some people that curious about other people’s lives, but never do anything positive with their findings? They just talk about it with their curious mates, with no clear objective. Why, exactly? I wonder.

My musical curiosity; back to the source

I like to be curious about what makes music so hooky or groovy. For example, I choose a musical hit and reverse engineer it to its source(s) of inspiration that the artist used in the first place: It’s amazing how people in general don’t recognize some obviously famous music compositions from the past, which are adapted by some trendy artists today.

Isn’t it funny when someone listens to an original composition and says “Oh, they plagiarized my favourite singer!” But they don’t realize they just listened to the original music piece! When you tell them the truth about all their latest favourite music hits, people fall into total denial and distrust once again. I’m used to those reactions now.

Here’s how I listen to music I like: The first thing I’m curious about is, what was the artist’s inspiration? What were their influences? It’s fine to appreciate today’s art productions, but if we don’t study their sources and influences, then how could we fully appreciate their new contribution?

I almost succeeded to make them curious

I often share my curious questions with family and friends, but one simple curiosity I have is: Why aren’t they curious? Why do they settle with what they know and never seem to want to learn something new? Or think about possible answers to unanswered questions? How would it be possible to open their appetite for curiosity, or for learning new things?

When I thought I was about to succeed in making someone permanently curious about a subject, they suddenly found an excuse to escape from any further thinking; it looked as if someone slapped them to wake them up. That’s really funny to see.

What’s happened then? Is it a lack of patience? Short focus span? Fear to discover the truth? I really wonder. Maybe you know that secret answer.

Now It’s Your Turn!

What are you curious about? Please share your curious thoughts, experiences or questions in the comments below, or just type whatever crosses your mind right now, we’re curious to know!

* * * * *




Karim Benyagoub is a graphic designer and digital music artist in Algeria; you can follow him on Twitter at @KarimBenyagoub. http://twitter.com/KarimBenyagoub



* * * * *

Sea Anemone image by OpenCage.info under Creative Commons’s Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license



Would you like to receive more fun, thought-provoking posts and occasional announcements in your inbox? Click Here.

Would you like to submit a guest post on the subject of Curiosity? Send an email to susan {at} susanTblake {dot} com with the subject line: Captains Curious.

Captains Curious: Living the Questions


Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 244

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 246

Welcome to Captains Curious, a weekly series of guest posts on the subject of Curiosity. The newest member of the Captains Curious is Tara Joyce! To learn about the series and the other Captains Curious, please click here.

To be open and asking questions is often frowned upon

We are encouraged to see the world in black and white, as an either/or proposition with a right or wrong answer, and we are expected to chose accordingly.

We are told that those who “know” things are experts, and are here to help us make the right choices. We are taught that experts are those we can trust when we have problems. And we are led to believe that, by asserting our own “knowing,” we can create evidence of our own professionalism and abilities – and be experts, too.

To not know and admit it, to be open and asking questions is often frowned upon. We are made to feel ashamed for “not knowing.” We are made to feel that we need to be certain of things — that we need to have the answers before the questions have been asked. This “knowing” is seen as an accomplishment and proof of our abilities.

Many of us build our careers around this false belief, that if we live as the expert, we will know what’s best. We fool ourselves into believing that we already have the answers, despite the fact that we do not yet know the questions that need to be asked.

We hold on to answers to questions that have not been asked, and this causes us to live in fear of our own, and others’, curiosity and wonder.

Living in Questioning

What I wonder is, what’s so bad about “not knowing?” What makes me less professional or able if I don’t have your answers? I believe my curiosity and wonder, my need to question, is my greatest gift. It allows me to think beyond the answers spoon fed by others in their attempt to assert their “knowing.” It allows me to see that there is never a right answer, only an answer that works best for me.

My openness to “not knowing” gives me permission to live in questioning. And as experts busy themselves trying to be seen as right, I, curious about the world and all that I do not know, am busy trying to see everything.

Curiosity and wonder live and thrive in the exploration of Why? Great solutions are found in the Why? Through the use of questioning, I give permission to myself, and my clients, to brush off the chains created by “knowing.” Through questioning, I dig deep to uncover the real reason behind why something “must be done this way” and help myself, and others, to move past assertions of “how things are” to find the solutions that feel true to us.

Living in Creative Tension

In Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline, Senge states,

“The gap between vision and current reality is a source of energy. If there were no gap, there would be no need for any action to move towards the vision. We call this gap creative tension.”

Living in creative tension is living in curiosity. Our curious Self sees, in the gap of “not knowing,” a safe place to problem-solve, to dream and to focus on living our questions.

As someone full of wonder, and as someone who helps others use curiosity to grow their business, I see the “grey area” of life, outside the “black” and “white” world, as my home. In creative tension I feel safe, as this is where I am free to be a beginner and open my eyes, heart and mind to the authentic answers within myself, and within my clients.

Your own creative tension, your own place of living the questions, is the place where curiosity lives and is the place most ripe with the solutions you need. Living without fear of “not knowing,” and ignoring those who “know” without questioning, we create our greatest possibility to close our gap between what is and what could be.

* * * * *

I, Tara Joyce, can be found exploring business, design, consciousness, communication and culture on my blog, Rise of the Innerpreneur or as @ElasticMind on Twitter. I can also be found working with business owners to close the gap between their business vision and their business reality through the use of design, which, of course, involves a lot of questioning!

* * * * *

Would you like to submit a guest post on the subject of Curiosity? Send an email to susan {at} susanTblake {dot} com with the subject line: Captains Curious.

Coincidences and Beliefs and the Importance of Why


Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 244

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 246

I have learned to pay attention to coincidences. If something comes up multiple times within a short time frame, it gets my attention.

Many people rely on the Rule of Threes, or the idea that things happen in threes. But when it comes to coincidences, I am willing to stand up for things happening in pairs. After all, if you think about someone, and then they call you, aren’t you usually willing to say, “Wow, what a coincidence! I was just thinking about you!”

In fact, just the word “coincidence” points to a minimum of only two events. “Co” means “with” or “together,” and “incidence” means “to fall on.” So only two events happening together can be a coincidence.

This may not appeal to statisticians who look for at least five data points in a certain direction before they are willing to pronounce the existence of a trend. (That’s for another blog.) But I submit that it only takes a couple of incidents to get my attention, and a pattern of events really gets my attention. It doesn’t have to be trend, just a Coincidence in order to make me stop and ask questions. A Stereophonic Theory of Incidents is fine with me – I don’t require Quadraphonic Incidents or Surround Sound when it comes to noticing something and making me wonder.

Case in Point: Multiple Events have come up recently that asked me to stop and think about my beliefs and the effect of my beliefs on my actions.

In their Triple Impact Practitioners Programs, Michael Broom and Edie Seashore recently asked participants (including me) to stop and think about their beliefs about support that guide their behavior about getting support for themselves. Hmm. Then we were asked to consider where those beliefs may have come from and whether they are appropriate now. Hmm.

Then, within only a few days, Marcia Wieder, in her Dream University’s “90 Days to Transform Your Life” program, asked participants to articulate their beliefs around their dreams, and to think about whether they are limiting beliefs or empowering beliefs. Hmm.

Double Hmm. Within only a few days, I have been asked to stop and think about my beliefs, many of which I take for granted, and how they affect my actions and the choices I make. That was enough of a coincidence to really get my attention.

If we take some beliefs for granted, how do we even identify them? How do we bring them forward, or to the surface, so we can look at them objectively?

I think that asking the question “Why?” is a great tool for this. If I make a statement, or a decision, or a choice, such as “I couldn’t possibly do that,” “I must do X,” “That person will or won’t do that,” or “The universe works this way,” and then I ask myself “Why?” (or “Why Not?”), the answer is probably a Belief. It may be helpful (or even necessary) to ask “Why?” several times to get to the core belief. (Or the Root Cause, in the language of various Quality programs, although they do not typically talk about Beliefs. Consider the “5 Why’s” of Taiichi Ohno’s Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing.) Once that core belief is uncovered, I can then ask myself why I may have adopted that belief, whether I really believe it, and whether it still makes sense.

This can be a very useful practice for identifying why I may say one thing but do something else, or why I may have trouble with X, Y or Z. It can help me to be authentic, to be the author of my own life. It can help to shine a light on the beliefs at the root of tunnel vision. Because the truth is, we can choose what we believe, once we stop and think about it. Coincidences may make us sit up and notice things, but we do not believe things because of coincidences. We believe things because we choose to accept them – or not.

If you are facing a stumbling block in some part of your life, whether it is a pattern of events that trouble you, or a project that has gone poorly, or a relationship isn’t what you would like, or you are stuck in some way, think about the statements you have made about it and then ask yourself “Why?” Then ask “Why?” about the answer. Take the elevator to the ground floor and see what is there when the doors open.

It might be scary, and you may feel like you don’t have a net. Don’t worry, we’re here to catch you.

I’d Love to Start My Own Business, But…


Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 244

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home2/stblake1/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 246

How many times have you said those words to yourself, or to someone else? If the answer is at least once, you’re not alone. But why do so few people take the plunge?

There are a lot of answers. One answer is security: Despite the common pitfalls of working for someone else, or for a big company, there is a great deal of appeal in knowing where your next paycheck comes from, in not having to go out and find your own health insurance, in not having to Sell (that’s a Four Letter Word). In not having to think much, really, about anything except the work itself. Is that a good enough reason to not take the plunge?

Don’t get me wrong, not everyone should go into business for themselves. For a lot of reasons. Only you can decide which are the right reasons to go into business or continue working for someone else.

But people do go into business for themselves all of the time. (And a lot of people are doing it right now.) Some are successful, some are not. Many are not successful the first time, but they keep trying. Others go back to The Corporate World.

If you are seriously thinking about launching your own business, there are a number of issues you will have to wrestle with, including being clear about why you want to do something this crazy, formulating your idea, coping with fear and uncertainty, dealing with isolation, accepting the fact that yes, you will have to Sell, balancing planning with action, and thinking about the type of business you want to run. (Hint: I don’t just mean your line of business or your niche. What kind of soul do you want your business to have?) Not to mention all of the traditional business issues like dealing with taxes, licenses, insurance, financial planning, and so on.

That list may be enough to make you thank your lucky stars for the boss you hate and the paycheck that’s too small and the benefits that are too expensive. Or make you call a recruiter instead of a CPA. But if you’ve thought that you might have a great idea for a business, or at least you’ve got a solid platform of experience that you could use in your own business, and you are willing to wrestle with this stuff, stay tuned. We’ll talk more in the coming days and weeks about these issues and about some of the other things to keep in mind as you consider taking the plunge, and I’ll share some of the things I’ve found helpful as I have gone down that path myself.

Stay tuned…

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes