There are many aspects to succeeding as an entrepreneur.
There is no limit for the amount of advice we can get from books, training programs, online courses and videos on how to become a successful entrepreneur.
But in the past few years of trying to succeed as an entrepreneur myself – I have realized one thing.
There is one important element for entrepreneurship that no one talks about. And ironically, no one can talk about it.
I picked this up from a movie I watched long back…
“What is that one thing that once you say it, it ceases to exist?”
The answer to that was “Silence”.
Or as he put it. “Silencio” in Italian.
The secret to entrepreneurship success is – silence.
Our brain is capable of documenting every experience we’ve had. Everything we have seen. Everything we have read. And all that is stored in our subconscious mind.
What we see, what we read, what we talk about, what we think we think are all just tip of the ice berg. What we pay attention to with our conscious mind.
We may think that the missing piece of the puzzle that has prevented us from achieving success until now is information. Things we might not yet know.
So we keep trying to learn more and more things. But trying to learn more things is like collecting more pieces of the puzzle. If you have a 1000 puzzle pieces, it is harder to put them together. If you have not taken the time to put together what you have already collected, there is no point in collecting even more pieces.
What we need is time and space to put the puzzle pieces together – the pieces that we have already collected through our learning and experience.
And to do that, you need to pause and reflect.
Which means you have to slow down.
We are in the constant habit of checking emails, checking our phone, social media updates, consuming information, creating information – and all of us feel overwhelmed.
Life was pretty simple when we were cave men. All our mind had to think was how to get food for ourselves and our family, have sex and take care of offsprings. Our brain was not designed keeping in mind the demands of today’s connected, always-on and information overloaded world. Our mind just can’t handle it.
Instead of making things simple, we are only making things complex. If you have not found success yet, and if you are reading this, ironically, you think that more information is going to help you put the puzzle pieces together. But unfortunately, you are only gathering more pieces, and it is going to be even more difficult for you to put the pieces together – because you have so many of them.
There is nothing wrong in learning new things – in fact it is one of the important aspects of growth, but there is no point in gaining more information that makes us feel overwhelmed.
Information overload can paralyze us and we stop taking action because of analysis paralysis. We try to escape our reality and distract ourselves with more information – which makes things worse.
Of all the information I have gained from books, videos, courses, talking to people… one thing that has helped me the most with entrepreneurship is to pause and reflect.
Entrepreneurs need to take time off in solitude.
Go on a solo trip. Go one a bike ride. Go to a park alone and just keep your mind blank. Cook your own food. Get a body massage. Go to a floatation / isolation tank session. Meditate. Pet and play with your dog. Just watch the fishes in an aquarium. Do whatever is therapeutic for you. This will make your conscious mind Inbox Zero.
Just do one of the above, on a regular basis. For some people, meditation might not be their thing… but anything that calms your mind down is more than enough to start with. Once you start doing it, your mind will start putting the pieces of the puzzle together for you.
All the information and learning and experience you have in your mind will come together and inspire you into action. And the best part is that – the idea for the action you get will be unique to you, because no one else in this universe has gone through the same experience that you have in your life. And that one idea will change your life. That one idea could help you create a billion dollar company.
This is what they call “Instinct”. It’s not a random thought. It is carefully assembled from the pieces of information you have on your mind already – and since there are literally millions of pieces of such information – you can never consciously understand why your instinct is the way it is.
Nobody has been successful trying to deconstruct their instinct. The only way to succeed is to blindly trust your instinct and act on it. If you try to deconstruct it, you won’t be able to, because the conscious mind has 1/100th the power of the subconscious mind.
Many times, we are not able to trust our instincts because we are not able to deconstruct it – and then we try to use our surface level logic to analyze it and make sense of it. When we get overwhelmed and fail to understand it – we don’t act on it. Just because our conscious mind cannot make sense of it, we do not trust it. And that’s a gift from the universe wasted.
That’s why you have to trust your instincts and learn to pick up on it when it surfaces. I don’t know if it comes from the universe, from from deep inside me, but I have never gone wrong trusting my instincts.
Once you learn to trust your instincts, you will get into the habit of it. Initially it is very difficult to do it because you will have a fear of failure and we try to control our realities by only doing things we completely understand with our logical mind.
When your subconscious mind puts the puzzle pieces together, it gives you the bigger picture. That’s what you have to take. You just act on it.
Don’t analyse how the pieces have been put together. Just see the bigger picture. Don’t try to remove all the pieces and put it all together back. Why would you even bother to do it? Because you don’t trust your own instincts? That’s an insult to yourself.
The only way to see the bigger picture put together by your subconscious mind is to calm down. It will surface to you only when you pause and reflect. That’s why most entrepreneurs get their best ideas in the shower – where the conscious mind stops it chatter and the subconscious mind has the bandwidth to push its thoughts into your conscious attention.
When the internet was new, there was limited space in the mail box. If your mail box is full of unread messages, new messages cannot come in. It will bounce. Only when you delete the messages, new messages can come in.
When you are constantly distracted with your daily life checking messages on the phone, worrying about things, talking to people, watching TV or YouTube, and just jumping from one thing to another – the mail box of your conscious mind is full. Your subconscious mind cannot send messages to your conscious mind. The messages from your subconscious mind bounces.
When you keep your mind blank, pause and reflect from the daily chatter of life, you will be able to listen to your instincts. Your instincts are your keys to your future.
Empty your mind, and you will get ideas and directions put together by your subconscious mind by processing everything you have learned and experience in your life. Learn to trust it. It is scary to take it on face value, but you will get over that fear – because the only way to succeed in life is to listen and act on your instincts.
Calming down is the most underrated piece of entrepreneurship advice, but it is also the most important. It has been the most important for my in my journey, and one of the reasons I am writing this post is to reinforce the importance of calming down to myself. Teaching is the best way to learn.