How has your last year been as an entrepreneur? Were there things that did not work out as you planned? Have you run out of ideas about what to do next? Are you looking for a better plan?
It all starts with learning how to be an intentional entrepreneur. Intentional was my word for the year back in 2016, and it made all the difference. My business shifted when I learned how to be an intentional entrepreneur.
I want to help you do the same to have more success this coming year with your God-centered business.
We’ll go through 3 practical ways you can learn how to be an intentional entrepreneur through
Prefer video? Check this out.
Start being Intentional
Do you have the practice of creating a focus word each year? I do. I use my word as a filter for every decision I make. The year my word was intentional is the year I got super focused on three things: Where I had been, where I was, and where I wanted to go.
I knew things had not been so great, and something needed to change. I was at a place in my business that was not scalable, and I felt I was exchanging time for dollars. And, I knew I wanted to move forward in a new way, doing what God was calling me to do in a way that was, well, better.
Where do you start with being intentional for your success?
Be an intentional entrepreneur by evaluating.
To be intentional, you must evaluate. I want you to think back over your last year. Please take it in chunks. Quarterly is good. What happened in each quarter? Write out the opportunities that came along, the risks you took, the activities you did, and the projects you worked on.
Of those things you wrote out. . . Which ones were successful in your estimation? Put a checkmark next to them. Then write out why? Which were not successful? Do the same thing with a different colored check mark and write out why.
It is crucial to figure out what is going on. To be intentional, you must evaluate. Don’t skip this step.
I have seen many clients who want to skip this step, keep pushing ahead, and try the next thing to “see if it will work.” That’s called, you know, “shiny object syndrome,” which is not intentional at all.
Look back at those things on your list that did not work out for the best. Were some of them due to “shiny object syndrome?” Highlight those and avoid doing that in the future. 😊
Look for patterns
I had you break up the list into quarters so you could see if patterns were repeating themselves for you. Do you do the same thing repeatedly, hoping for a different result? Insanity, right?
Mark any patterns you see. These could be things that repeatedly did not work out, so forget them. OR, these could be patterns of things that did succeed. Think, How can I make that something intentional moving forward?
Don’t get stuck in the trap.
Another thing, or trap, I see with my clients is that they were trying to work within the confines of someone else’s ‘blueprint.’ They are convinced that because this method worked for someone else, it must also work for them.
This leads to frustration because:
1. You are trying to make that person’s process fit you, but it’s not your style, OR
2. You are on such a big learning curve that you will never be able to do it well.
Again, look back over your list. Were there things you tried that didn’t work out because you were trying to follow someone else’s lead or copying their particular method? Those are also things you can let go of trying to do anymore.
Do an internal audit.
This evaluation is an internal audit of sorts. When you put it all out in front of you, you can realize what you have been doing and can make a plan, an intentional plan, to move in the right direction.
I would love to chat with you about how Calling Clarity can help you to do this evaluation, see God’s design of you, and get intentional with your God-centered business.
Be an intentional entrepreneur by learning.
The following practical way to learn how to be an intentional entrepreneur is by learning. As an entrepreneur, you must always be learning. Let’s face it. We just don’t know everything. And, even if you have a team helping you, understanding every aspect of your business is essential to make wise decisions.
How can being intentional help you? By planning your learning in a way that won’t be overwhelming.
Since you wrote out all your activities for the last year, it should be easy to go back now and see what ‘learning,’ if any, took place. Mark anything you did that you consider learning.
Being intentional with learning is not about paying for a course (but that can be part of it). If it is not on your list already, add. . .
- Books you read
- YouTube channels you follow
- Groups you belong to
- Podcasts you listen to
- Conferences you attended
- Associations you joined
- Masterclasses/Webinars you’ve been on
Was there something new every quarter? Were there things that happened that forced learning? And, What learning actually stuck with you?
Use your time wisely by prioritizing and simplifying
To be intentional with learning means you must use your time wisely. Now I know you have a lot of responsibilities, and time management can be an issue. Many clients have told me they don’t have time to do everything they want/need to do and want more work-life balance.
I don’t believe it is a matter of balance. It is a matter of priorities. As a Christian woman, I already know you are doing too much! So the first thing to do is get something off your plate. I have a video that will show you how to prioritize and simplify your day by doing only what is required of you, gives you a return on your investment of time and energy, and is rewarding to you. (It gives you a way to say NO too.)
Once the priorities are straight, being intentional is easier. You can fit in learning when the extraneous things are taken away, and you redeem your time.
What do you need to learn?
I encourage you to list all the learning you think you need to move forward. What don’t you know? Is there something that you want to know or should know better? What will help you do the next thing you want to do?
Build into your weekly planner a time to learn. Start with small pockets of time, 15 minutes or so, and expand as you create more space, via scaling, in your business. Make a list of what you will do during that time: listen to a video, podcast, or book. Or sit down to work through a course you have sitting there on your computer or your shelf.
Being intentional means you know what you are going to do and when you are going to do it. That small behavior grows you and leads to success in your God-centered business.
Be an intentional entrepreneur with mentoring.
The last practical way to learn how to be an intentional entrepreneur is with mentoring. Now, I know you have loads of mentors/coaches from afar. Those people you listen to, read, get freebies from, etc. But I’m talking about a real-life mentor who knows you.
Being intentional with a mentor means finding the mentor/coach that is right for you. I have seen this too many times and even done it myself. We jump on the first person we see to solve our problem because we want a quick fix.
Entrepreneurship is not a sprint; it is a marathon. Intentional preparation is imperative. Finding the correct type of help and support takes a minute, dare I say, research.
Go back to the list you created with all the things that happened over your last four quarters and your previous year. What activities could have used a second set of eyes? Did you have opportunities that needed a different approach to working better? What risks would have gone better with some advice? What projects do you still need to get completed?
A mentor/coach is the person to give you. . .
- A new perspective
- Different ideas
- Help with assessing
You were designed to be in a community
Are you at a point where you know you’ve exhausted all the free learning, need a plan that moves you forward, and are just out of ideas? That’s when you know you are ready for a coach. Finally, someone outside yourself (and God) will come alongside you to take you to that next level.
You cannot do this alone. God has designed us to be in a community, to allow others to help. And, He puts people in your path that are meant for you. Your responsibility is to discern WHO is the right person.
Be intentional here by listing what you think you need to grow your business. Ask God to help you evaluate what you need. Is it learning more about social media? Creating a course? Better marketing? Accountability? What do you need?
Then find the person that can check off your boxes. Ask God to help you choose the BEST person. The enemy likes to distract us with good things. We want the better things God has planned for us.
Stop being impulsive and start being intentional.
I don’t know if you want to start the practice of creating a focus word each year or not. But if you do, may I suggest INTENTIONAL be your word for the year ahead of you? I encourage you to use it as your filter for every decision. I know it will help you succeed as the God-centered entrepreneur God calls you to be.