5 lessons new entrepreneurs can learn from dating blunders
Often we're great at spotting when friends are making dating blunders that will send them crashing to heartbreak. We're instantly ready with tips, tissues and encouragement. But how about applying some of those lessons to our business learning? Perhaps they could give us a head start with creating our business and avoiding unnecessary upset?
1. Know your 'Big Why'
When a person who is looking for a serious relationship unwittingly gets together with someone who's just-out-for-fun, we know this isn't the best match.
Being clear on what we really, really want is important in dating, and it is in business too. We need to know where to focus our actions and be able to spot the opportunities that are right for us.
However, just focusing on what we can get, makes life rather empty (selfishness isn't so attractive either!). When we realise all we have to give and appreciate our uniqueness, we are able to tap into our bigger purpose. That vision draws us forward, whatever twists and turns lie ahead.
2. Be selective
D'you know someone who is settling for a partner with no common interests and different core values? However hard they try the relationship doesn't flow.
We've learned that being selective is best. It shows how much we value our happiness and well-being.
In business, we need to choose our target market using similar principles. We know those who will become our customers and clients must have a need for our products or services. They need to value them and be willing and able to pay for them. More than this, to do our best work, to enjoy the conversations we have and to be able to consistently communicate with this group, we need to have an affinity with them.
By selecting a specific target market, we can build up our knowledge of this group, learn how to 'speak their language', design products and services they love and become known as the 'go to' person they recommend.
The more selective we are, the more easily our marketing and promotion flow.
3. Draw on inner-wisdom
That inner knowing we rely on so much when meeting new people might have different names when we use it in business as opposed to dating, but it is no less essential or reliable.
In both dating and business, we often face situations and decisions where we can not know the full facts. We can't logic our way through. The more we try and figure out the problem, the more knotty the situation becomes.
Allowing our thinking to setting, enables us to tap into a place of peace and expansiveness which is always available to us. This place of knowing in our gut, our intuition, our instinct, our sixth sense or insight is our most valuable business asset.
4. Don't let fear hold you back
Don't ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions on what should happen, not what shouldn't.
- Michelle Obama.
In both dating and business, we're venturing into the unknown, taking risks and learning as we go. This often stokes up our fearful thinking.
When we take those fearful thoughts to heart, the actions that follow are likely to be about staying emotionally safe and holding back. We might retreat from meeting new people or go on dates but be emotionally closed. Whilst this is understandable, it won't help us to connect.
In business too, when we are focused on avoiding failure, we are unlikely to take the actions needed or be our true and authentic selves.
When we see that pursuing fearful thinking has nothing valuable to contribute (it may even make the heartbreak we are trying to avoid more likely) then we are free to see hope and potential and go 'all in' to discover what's possible.
5. It might not work the first time
The first person we date is unlikely to be the one we're looking for. Having sky-high expectations sets us up for disappointment. However, as we meet different people, we learn more about ourselves and our preferences and more about the kind of people we relate to. Our communication and relationship skills develop through the experience.
Not all our business decisions will be right the first time either and there are likely to be highs and lows. Both heartbreak and business failure may feel devastating at the time, but we can navigate our way through and recover. We take all that learning into our next venture and each new phase of our business builds on the learning of the last.
Many see the world of business as an alien environment that involves a whole new mindset and skill set. Of course, there are specific skills to learn. However, I hope this comparison has helped you to see the overlap between business skills and life skills. Entrepreneurial success may well be more accessible than you imagined.