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The Mindful Entrepreneur: How to Slow Down and Get More Done PART #1
Posted: 7/28/2010 | Personal Development Comments
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The life of an entrepreneur is a busy one. Running your own business means constantly juggling a half dozen (or more) business tasks at once, while trying to keep a watchful eye on each of them. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to feel scattered or stressed out. Because of this, it’s important for entrepreneurs to stay mindful.

There are inner and outer aspects of both being mindful and having mindfulness that will help you run your business. The inner way of being mindful is paying attention to your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis, which will inform your decisions, clarify what you need to do next, and help you determine what you want for and from your business. The outer way of being mindful is being intentional with your actions, such as taking the time to strategize and plan, as well as being conscientious about details and making sure your “I’s” are dotted and your “T’s” are crossed.

The beginning of mindfulness is to slow down in both thought and action. This slowing down helps you to both de-stress and tap into your inner wisdom.

Now, you may be thinking, “Slow down! Are you nuts? How can I possibly slow down? I have so much to do. I need to be working faster, not slower. How would slowing down be helpful?”

It’s easier to work ourselves into a state of frenzy than most of us would care to admit. Even if you’re a task oriented person and are able to get a lot done, allowing a few minutes to slow down, on a regular basis, helps you to continually refocus and reenergize.

When you don’t take the time to slow down regularly, you can end up running around like that chicken whose body hasn’t yet gotten the message that its head has been cut off. Instead of making wise decisions that will help you move forward in a focused and productive way, you end up saying yes to more things than any one person can reasonably handle, and get bogged down in trying to keep up with the endless details.

If you’re not careful, or mindful, if you don’t slow down enough at times to see the way ahead clearly--to see where you’re going and how to get there--then your drive to succeed can actually work against you. It can cause you to work so hard that you end up sacrificing your profitability and progress.

Are you running around in a frenzy like that proverbial chicken? Or is the opposite true? Are you moving as slowly as a slug in the hot summer sun, so overwhelmed by everything you have to do that you can barely move?

The beginning of mindfulness is self-inquiry.

How do you handle juggling the many tasks required of you as an entrepreneur? Does the stress of dealing with the 1,001 details of doing business get you running around so fast that you’re not as effective as you could be, and does it leave you constantly feeling like you will never get it all done? Or does a feeling of overwhelm slow you down, or even worse, bring you to a dead stop?

What are your favorite—your habitual—ways to take yourself off track? How do you self-sabotage or get stuck? Or if you feel you’re doing fairly well, do you notice any subtle ways that you slow yourself down?

Take a moment, here, and take a deep breath. Breathe in… and let it go. Take another deep breath in, and just for a moment--as you ask yourself the questions above--notice your thoughts and feelings.

What comes forward to be noticed? Breathe into that.

What feeling is most present? For a moment just let it be.

Now breathe in some understanding and compassion for yourself. Allow space inside for you to just be, and let that deeply wise aspect of yourself be just a little more present.

Notice what happens next.

Please let me know about your experience of this mindfulness exercise, and any questions you may have that arise out of it.


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