Originally published on Inc.com.
Suddenly, a series of events happen that take you off track. You’re lost, stressed, alone and bored.
Sometimes for years. Sometimes forever. Entrepreneurs have a burning desire to get to the next level, and it’s not just a money level. When you grow your bank account, you must grow as a leader.
And it doesn’t happen overnight.
Your money mindset is formed by your beliefs and experiences and sets a gauge for how fast you can accelerate. There are millions of stories of people who made it, lost it and made it again, only even bigger the second (or tenth) time around.
Here are the steps to take if you find yourself struggling to advance to the next level.
1. Admit it. It’s not working.
Letting go of something that’s not working is easy to say, but difficult to do sometimes. You hold on tight out of fear, even if the situation or person you’re clinging to is the very thing causing you the problem.
2. Get the clutter out of your head.
Make a list or draw a mind map on a large piece of paper of everything you have going on in your life or at work. The order doesn’t matter, just that you clear your mind.
3. Start pruning.
For each of the items on your list or mind map, place an X next to the ones that you wish to eliminate, circle the things that need to be changed and leave the things that are working alone. Now, you will visually see what’s in front of you.
4. Start saying no.
Every item you’ve crossed out on your paper you must eliminate in real life. Now is the time to start saying no to the things that drain your time, energy or money. These things may be large or small and may take time, so give it the time it needs. You are now left with the things that need to be changed.
5. Get help.
You may be brilliant at what you do, but you cannot possibly know everything about growing your business or becoming a better leader. Find someone that has been where you are now but do NOT ask them HOW to get where you want to go. Here’s why:
There are many steps between here and there that you can’t possibly know yet, but they do. If they tell you a true answer to that question, they will share the steps they took or tell you a step that is above your level of current knowledge, which will send you right back into confusion and learning mode. Instead when you find someone who has done what you want to do, tell them where you are and say, “What is my NEXT step?”
Using this approach will help you get the answers you need that you will be able to understand and implement immediately.
Change can be hard or made easier by allowing yourself to let go of ego, ask better questions, and navigate the situation based on facts, not feelings.
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