Vaccinations for Entrepreneurs

by Jason on November 14, 2011 · 2 comments

Flu vaccinations make their way to U.S. Army in Europe by USACE Europe District

As far as getting out of my idiotic comfort zone goes, the number one tactic that I’ve found useful is entrepreneurial vaccinations. This isn’t about health care plans.  If you’re serious about building your business, you need to start a regular course of vaccinations… for your mind.

Here’s the thing, as distilled from one coach I had at the beginning of the year and then repeated in a different way: lots of nasty stuff is going to happen on your path to success.  You’re going to have late (or lost) payments. You’ll have to make difficult decisions about staff and other relationships.  And some people won’t be happy with you, for no reason you can figure out, and they’ll complain loudly. And then Tuesday’s messes happen.

The key exercise to be able to handle this without getting 100% derailed is to vaccinate yourself in advance.  A vaccination works by subjecting your body to a small dose of a disease, small enough for your immune system to deal with, and then if and when the real deal gets into you, there’s a system in place to handle it without you dying.

Business vaccinations work the same way, but to get the dose small enough you just have to pretend something bad is happening and let your imagination do the work.  The first thing this gets you is awareness that such an event might occur, so you’re not completely blindsided when your reality goes sideways.  The next is basically an emergency preparedness drill.  You rehearse how you’ll respond in your head, and even though no plan survives contact with the enemy, you’ve got a plan to start with, which makes all the difference in the world.

So how do you know what to prepare for?  Hopefully by now you’ve made a list of your goals and objectives for the next few time periods, like the next 3 months, 6 months, year, 2 years, and onward, so you’ve got targets.  At each stage, what do you think could happen?  Are there interviews with leaders in your field who’ve already done what you’ve done?  Pay attention to them, especially when they talk about the challenges they had to overcome.  And consider getting a coach who works with many businesses, who can tell you what kinds of problems are common.

And then rehearse your reactions and responses like your business depends on it.

Photo by USACE Europe District

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