For every action I have taken as an entrepreneur, I was never ready. When I left my corporate job, I didn't feel ready. When I hired my first executive, I felt at odds with myself. When I acquired my first company, I felt out of my wheelhouse. I never felt fully prepared.
But I took the leap, and I stepped into action regardless.
It comes down to shifting your mindset away from questioning when will you be ready and what experience you'll need to step up at any given moment.
Had I considered the experience, credentials, or number of dollars in my bank account, I would have stayed where I was and missed out completely. In my life, every opportunity I have received or been presented with was just beyond the edge of what I knew or had experienced before. It is in these moments the greatest amount of growth will occur.
If you want to succeed and grow, it's time to throw yourself into the deep end of the pool without a life-jacket on and access resources you never knew you had, such as the innate human ability to float. To embody this mindset, here are the skills you must adapt:
1. Be willing to ask for help.
To take big steps, you must be willing to take big action, which often requires you to reach out to others. Asking for help is not a weakness. Strong and intelligent people ask others to weigh in on their needs.
Once a month I meet with a business coach. During our calls, I can ask him three questions. That's it. It may sound like nothing, but the reality is that it forces me to seriously consider what I need to know and what information he can share that will help me the most.
I have found the willingness to ask for help requires you to first remove your ego and then eliminate any fear of embarrassment or rejection. When you create intention behind the ask, it becomes easier to step up without fear of rejection or looking dumb.
Part of asking for help requires you to ask the right people. Spend time figuring out who will provide the best results. Before you reach out, actually take the time to compose a powerful question for which you really need the answer. Show that you first tried to navigate the question at hand yourself. This way, the receiver doesn't feel like you are dumping your issues onto them. Rather, you are looking for additional guidance and value their unique advice.
2. Know your triggers.
To date, I have owned and acquired a handful of companies. But the first acquisition call I was on, I was by no means ready. I didn't have the money or the experience of acquiring companies. Yet, the opportunity to pitch myself was present, so I took it.
It was messy, and I didn't get this deal, but this event itself was perfect. It put me in a place to reflect and learn how to ask myself bigger questions. I had to think abstractly, creatively, and on a larger landscape of possibility to navigate future deals. It forced me to get clear on where my insecurities and triggers lay.
In reflection, I realized I was nervous about the fact that I had never spent this much money before, and I was unsure of how to pitch myself without the traditional acquisition experience. I knew what I needed to change.
I gained a deeper understanding of who I was and then outlined what I could confidently offer. This first call pushed me to think outside the box and prepared me for a stream of future successful acquisitions.
3. Accept that you will never be perfect.
There is value in allowing yourself to be messy in the pursuit of success and within the process of growth.
Making mistakes and course corrections builds the muscle of skill, a concept rooted in neurological science. Journalist and author Daniel Coyle wrote that living on the edge of your capabilities and actively making mistakes, generates more myelin--the neural substance connected directly to developing skills.
Simply put, to become more skilled in anything, you must make mistakes, and then be willing to fix them.
Boldly allow yourself to mess up. The mistakes you make will not only teach you far more than your wins, but they will help you build stronger, more authentic connections with those in your network. When I have combined my ability to release perfection with asking for help, I created friendships and business partnerships I know will last for life.
Use whatever opportunities life gives you to step into greater leadership opportunities for growth. This is what makes greatness.