Two Steps Toward Success

By Naomi Simson, an EO Sydney member and Founding Director of RedBalloon

Now, before I even start talking about ‘success’ let’s define it. Everyone has a different definition of success. In fact I think success is like the notion of beauty; it is in the eye of the beholder. To some it is wealth and to others it is a state of contentment.

When I was in my twenties, I thought success was being able to buy a pair of shoes without looking at the price tag. In my thirties, success was about having healthy, thriving children, and in my forties it is about the number of people I get to make a difference in. To achieve success, the first element is to know what it is for you and to allow yourself to dream.

A colleague tells her children daily, “Do one thing today that scares you.” She does it not because she’s an irresponsible mother, but because she wants them either to try something, fail and realize it isn’t the end of the world; or try something, succeed and experience the feelings of pride and success in overcoming a fear.

“To open yourself to the unknown means cutting the ground from under your familiar actions and habits “writes Deepak Chopra.

Fear is often the emotion that holds us all back. Fear, and its ugly sisters anxiety and guilt, are useless emotions in an entrepreneurial context. How often do you stop to consider that the only thing getting in your way is yourself?

Facing Fear
I recently went scuba diving at the Barrier Reef. For a girl who thinks sharks could even be living in back yard swimming pools, it was an amazing discovery for me to do something way outside my comfort zone.

It made me realize that the only thing getting in my way is me! My fears, concerns and worries can slow me down in many aspects of my life. Similarly, when one of my long-held dreams was physically available to me (like Heli-skiing on a New Zealand mountain) I was not sure if it was actually emotionally available to me, or if I have the guts to actually do it.

The snow was thick and inviting. Making tracks through the powder is every skiers dream. Equipped with special wide powder skis the only thing that stood between me and realizing this dream was fear. I’m not sure what I was scared of; I know I can ski, I know that the snow was soft, I know that if it gets too steep I can simply traverse the mountain and I know that I am fit. So where did this fear come from?

It took me several runs to ‘stop thinking’ and stop trying to control and hold on, and to trust that all the preparation had been done. Now, I had to believe in my own ability and let myself go.

The analogy to business was not lost on me. All the preparation, planning, discussion, and debate – finally comes down to backing yourself and trusting your ability and those around you.

Get enough sleep
It may sound mundane but when I’m tired the wheels fall off. My usual happy disposition takes a back seat. I start to sweat the small stuff. Fear comes from my fatigue. So if you look after your wellness, get enough sleep, you find it a lot easier to deal with fears, anxieties and guilt. You need to be fit in every sense of the word to be a successful entrepreneur.

What is your definition of success?

Naomi Simson is a member of the Sydney Chapter and is one of only two Australians chosen by LinkedIn as Thought Leader. She has more than 100,000 people who subscribe to her thoughts and is the founder of www.RedBalloon.com.au. Naomi is also a regular blogger on www.NaomiSimson.com 

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