Mindfulness & Entrepreneurs

For those who are ready to take the advanced path, I’ve created an intimate education opportunity that will walk you through the details of the Mindful Startup Formula.  To learn if your business qualifies for the intimate education opportunity, a $1000 value, please complete the following application.

In business, we’ve always been taught to set our eyes on a goal, to not let anything stand in our way, and to never stop pursuing it. But the fact is entrepreneurs must be wise enough to also keep an eye on what’s going on around them while striving towards their goals. To succeed – to survive – you must be mindful of the many pitfalls to success.

Mindfulness may be the most important skill for any entrepreneur to cultivate. And throughout the StartupHeat website, I explain what mindfulness is and put it in a business context for entrepreneurs.

The thing that really inspired me to write down my thoughts for this blog was seeing so many new entrepreneurs crashing and burning because they weren’t paying attention to external signals. Instead, they were wasting time being distracted by noise and letting their entrepreneurial exuberance for their solution get the better of them.

They had fallen in love with the solution as opposed to falling in love with the problem. Successful entrepreneurs are obsessed with solving a problem, ridding a prospective customer of their pain, and that obsession leads to the creation of products and services that stick!

So, what exactly is mindfulness and how does it apply to early-stage businesses?

In basic terms, mindfulness is a state of being conscious or aware of something. To take it a step further, I use the following definition of mindfulness for founders:

A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. 

Based on this definition, there are three quick steps to helping achieve mindfulness in your everyday, business decision-making:

 

  • STEP 1: Focus (focus on what matters)
  • STEP 2: Awareness (be aware of the inputs required)
  • STEP 3: Acceptance (accept the situation’s reality)

There is a lot of overlap between mindfulness and meditation as a mental activity and as a spiritual practice. In the Buddhist tradition, meditation is used to calm and clear the mind. In business environments, the three steps to mindfulness also allow us to still our mind in the moment, become aware of situational noise, check our emotions, and become grounded in the critical moment of decision-making.

So what does this all mean for you as an entrepreneur?

Gaining focus, reigning in exuberance, and becoming more in-tune with personal and business/data inputs will provide the clarity, awareness, and rationality you need to separate signal from noise and make sound decisions on your journey to success.

The Mindful Startup Formula

I created the Mindful Startup Formula to give entrepreneurs a guide, a GPS, to help them be more mindful about how to start a startup. The most important thing we can do at the start of our entrepreneurial journey is to calibrate our GPS to seek signal every step of the way. We need to know exactly where we are and have a good idea where we’re going. With these coordinates accurately uploaded, we can proceed towards our goal with confidence.

Most investors will tell you they invest in great founders first, big opportunities and blue ocean markets second, and actual solutions/products third (with special consideration given to unique approaches to solving the problem).

The ultimate goal of The Mindful Startup Formula is to help you increase the odds of success in your entrepreneurial journey. There are three key stages of The Mindful Startup Formula, which make up the founder’s journey:

  • STAGE ONE – Idea to MVP: Leverage your love for the problem to achieve problem-solution fit, and build a successful business model, starting with a minimum viable product offering (MVP).
  • STAGE TWO – MVP to Revenue: Prove your business model by establishing cultural foundations for your team and finding more early-adopter customers so you can confirm product-market fit. Prove that target customers love your solution and want to buy through a model that’s profitable.
  • STAGE THREE – Revenue to Sustainability: Walking the customer journey so you can properly acquire and align the talent required to execute on the big opportunity to scale the business model. Execute the strategy by aligning all of the firm’s capital with the market opportunity.

In order for entrepreneurs to build a successful startup, they must do three things right. And by design, those three things correspond to each of the three stages of The Mindful Startup Formula:

  1. Achieve problem-solution fit (Stage 1)
  2. Achieve product-market fit (Stage 2)
  3. Achieve team-opportunity fit (Stage 3)

This Formula was created to help you get those things right. It’s your roadmap. Your trusted GPS.

The three stages of The Mindful Startup Formula will guide you by providing valuable directional signs and mileposts along your entrepreneurial journey for signal. But even more importantly, this particular map offers the critical element of mindfulness to pace you every step of the way rather than chart a quick shortcut to riches.

Like the friendly, ever-present voice of your GPS, mindfulness necessarily overlays each step in The Mindful Startup Formula. As we’ve detailed in earlier posts, mindfulness keeps you focusedaware, and anchored in reality as you passionately strive towards your goals. When speeding down an unfamiliar highway, you must keep your eyes on the road and sometimes pump the breaks to steer clear of hazards.

A map alone just isn’t going to cut it.

The Mindful Startup Formula’s guidelines remind entrepreneurs that they shouldn’t move to the next step without confirming success at the current vital step. It may seem simplistic, but there is a correct order of operations that will help lead you from your big idea to business sustainability and increase your odds of success.

To learn more about each stage of the Mindful Startup, I recommend subscribing to StartupHeat and choosing your own adventure of learning.

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For those who are ready to take the advanced path, I’ve created an intimate education opportunity that will walk you through the details of the Mindful Startup Formula.  To learn if your business qualifies for the intimate education opportunity, a $1000 value, please complete the following application.