As a business coach, one of the most common questions I get is how to make room for your new business vision. You don't like where you are, or, at minimum, picture someplace better to be. You will be better once you get there. The messy middle, transforming from one career to the next, is where we tend to get too intimated to fully move forward.

We often don't successfully change because we haven't made space for the new life to begin. There are three techniques you can use to begin the process.

Say "No" - a lot

Like many entrepreneurs and creatives, I hate saying "No". Why? Unlike scientists and other logic-driven people, we don't see the downside. We usually see the possibility.

Unfortunately, saying "Yes" to everything means eventually saying "No" to other things. This is one of the few times when the "scarcity mindset" actually comes in handy: You can't just make more time, nor can you just make more energy. They will come from something else. You may as well make that a conscious process.

Saying "No" more often actually gives you more space for your next thing. You just need to be comfortable with creating a void. There are many thoughtful, honest ways to say "No". And it's even easier to say it when you are going towards your career goal with clarity and confidence.

Focus on service

A funny thing happens when you focus on serving your community: You stop worrying about goal posts. As you go towards your bigger goals, those clear goal posts often become unclear, murky and even deceptive.

Success depends on metrics. Pick the wrong metrics and you can easily get frustrated when you don't, say, become a millionaire by age 30 or a New York Times bestseller with your first published book.

Service, though, is infinite. I explained it in an interview with entrepreneur Will Lucas:

I shared with Lucas off camera that the real secret to being of service is that it gives you a continual purpose. Early in my career, my goal was to have a best-selling book, which I did twice, and then to make a cultural mark beyond journalism, which I did with Cuddlr. Then what? Again, as I talked about recently, dead-end goals have hobbled many an entrepreneur.

But the goal of service? To quote rapper Andre 3000, that is forever ever, and infinite potential is a great tradeoff for helping someone else shine.

Stretch your timeline

I became an entrepreneur the same time I became the primary caretaker of my four-month old. It was a time full of discovery - and, initially, of frustration. Progress on my business seemed to take forever, especially since I was waking up at 3:15 am to do work before my son awoke.

Then, I had a moment of clarity: I needed to stretch my timeline. As a new stay-at-home dad, it would take me 2 months what a young, single entrepreneur could do in 2 weeks. I would succeed. It would just take longer.

Six months after starting, I launched my first app and, from the exposure, did my first TED Talk, too.

Your frustration may not be in whether or not you can do it, but if you can do it within your ideal timeline.

Luckily, you have control over that part.

Published on: Jan 15, 2020
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