Push Pull

As a High Performing Entrepreneur, Do We Respond to Pull? Or Push?

February 5, 2020

3.5 minute read

Chattanooga, TN

It’s 2020.

Do you think most people realize their dreams?

Do most private business owners employ their considerable talent and energy to build and capture their Enterprise Value to fuel their positive legacy?

No, most don’t. But then some do. What’s the difference?

A big difference I have witnessed after meeting thousands of successful entrepreneurs lies here: do you respond to pull, or push? Are you attracted or inspired to intentionally create or…just fear negative reinforcement, disappointment, failure?

Taking action on building Enterprise Value and positive legacy in 2020, compels us to change the narrative in our head,—boom—to create the most colorful, graphical intention or destination we can imagine. A compelling vision that is specific, detailed, measurable, and energy creating pulls us into the change we need to achieve our goals. That we are drawn to. Called to the future.

And to do that we have to work through our own doubts and uncertainties, right? Paraphrasing Esther Perel, ambivalence is a very interesting piece of the human psyche. I want, and yet I don't want. I want to achieve, but I don't believe I can. I want to, but I would feel guilty if I did. We’re always playing this game with ourselves, and it intensifies around the new year. Our resolutions reflect this juxtaposition of hope and fear. Reaching our potential and self-criticism. The simple statement that “we will change” makes us think that the parts of us we struggle with will disappear. We fantasize about that other person, the person we could be.

As private business owners can we picture what we can unblock—can unlock—of our own potential? Not in competition of us against some other successful entrepreneur (push); rather the simple effervescence of unlocking our own potential (pull).

I realize in a world where you can google “what’s the best restaurant near me,” it feels too hard; it’s not in our comfort zone to focus on the next chapter and judge yourself against yourself. There is no hack. Give me one example of a person who had a dream, accomplished it, and who didn’t have to make themselves vulnerable to failure to accomplish that dream?

What are the really practical things you can put in place to first envision and then allocate your energy to in the next chapter? For you, and for your organization? What are the behavioral habits you can put in place to make your destination a reality?

What I am Reading / Listening to

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
By Lori Gottlieb

Contributed by Denise C. Burke

Everyone needs someone to talk to, right??

As we approached 2020, my book club thought Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (2019) would be an interesting start to the year.  We were not disappointed.  Gottlieb, an experienced psychotherapist, shares her journey with several patients and exposes her own humanity by revealing details from her own personal therapy.

Throughout this book we meet several of Gottlieb’s patients (with permission and changes to conceal identity) including: a young newlywed woman with terminal cancer; a self-obsessed TV producer who evidently thinks everyone else is an idiot; an older woman who plans to commit suicide on her birthday; and a young woman who repeatedly hooks up with random men. Adding vulnerability from her own story, Gottlieb who is a single mother of an eight-year old son, is abruptly dumped by her boyfriend (who she expected to marry) because he did not want to spend the next ten years with a child.  The departure of “kid hater” or “boyfriend” as she affectionately nicknames him, drives her to pursue her own therapist.  It is refreshing to find even the therapist needs a therapist, and that they sometimes have blinders on to their own situation.

Gottlieb’s narratives are told with incredible candor and humor.  Every reader will find something to relate to in her book.  I found myself laughing out loud in one chapter and ready to cry for a patient in the next.  But what I loved most about this book was the variety of human emotions Gottlieb touched upon: loneliness, heartbreak, addiction, loss of loved ones, death, ability to love and be loved, chronic disease, etc.  In the end, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone left me thinking that we never really know another person’s struggles, and perhaps, if we had more empathy for those around us we could all be in a better place.

Entrepreneur Owner-Manager Quote

“ When you sell your company it's unlikely that you'll get a do-over."

- Anonymous EOM from the 2018 Bigelow Forum

 

2018 Forum

Energy Creation

I have spent my life so far mostly with Entrepreneur Owner-Managers and their families, and my appreciation for them is well-known. Want to see secret, super local entrepreneurs in one really fast graphical colorful snapshot to get a sense of the entrepreneur energy in the part of our world you are traveling? Visit a Farmer’s Market in a town or city you are visiting. From the amazing one in Lancaster, PA to Halifax, NS to Auckland, NZ, to Sacramento, CA, to Flagstaff, AZ, to Cheyenne, WY some are sophisticated, some are crunchy, some are restaurant-like, all are entertaining.

This past week I had the fun of sampling the energy at the Saturday market in Santa Barbara, and the Sunday market in Ojai, CA. In Santa Barbara you could get just about anything you could ever want (except a parking space). The consistently perfect weather frames the experience, and the “livin is easy” lifestyle permeated. But it was not in conflict with the serious-minded proprietors selling farm grown fresh fresh fruits, nuts, veggies, meats, flowers, honey, crafts, whatever. Ojai—even more laid back than Santa Barbara—proved it by their inventory of the above, plus a wider range of musical performers, and best of all, (see the sign in the picture) hugs.

It’s a reminder of the haves and have nots: that some of the world lives outside in Nature year round, as opposed to hibernating through the Winter and re-opening the market only in the Spring. As we increasingly perceive the variation within our entrepreneurial world, I find these mini EOM petri-dishes to be energizing and enlightening.

Farmer's Market
Farmer's Market