Remember, inside you can always be a ’10.’
Picture yourself on a tropical island: sun is shining, sand in your toes, palm-tree shade, turquoise blue water, cool beverage in hand and not a single person in sight.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s just you, alone in your thoughts, with nothing pressing. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate how you feel about yourself? If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you likely assign a very high number to yourself in that situation—maybe an eight, nine or 10.
That’s because most entrepreneurs possess a common characteristic of having a very healthy self-esteem or identity. Identity, defined simply, is how you feel about yourself. It’s your self-worth, your value system, and it is usually the thing that tips people toward having an optimistic outlook on life. And most successful entrepreneurs are optimistic, aren’t they?
Now slowly begin introducing distractions to the above picture-perfect scenario. Maybe there’s a payroll to meet, a difficult employee situation to address, a sales pitch to deliver or even an argument to resolve with your spouse. Stresses of the day tend to erode away that perfect day above. Why? Because reality dictates that we all have roles to play in our lives and our businesses. Roles are things like being a boss, parent, coach, spouse, volunteer, parishioner, etc. Roles are fraught with day-to-day head trash and pressures that tend to muddy the feel-good nature of your pure identity. But here’s where it gets interesting. Learn to recognize the differences between identity vs. role, and you begin to unlock one of the secrets to being happy and successful.
What I Learned from the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program
My mentor, Dick Brooks, took me through this exact mental exercise above on Day One of our three-year mentoring relationship in the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP). The lessons he taught me around the differences between identity and role have stuck with me and paid dividends, not only in my professional life, but also in my personal life.
For entrepreneurs, it can be a key to creating a successful path for your life and your business. Those that understand the subtleties of identity vs. role can use this to their advantage by compartmentalizing and rationalizing the bad stuff that is bound to occur in our day-to-day grind.
Whenever I have a difficult circumstance to confront in my business, I hear Dick’s voice in my head saying, “Remember to stay in your role. Don’t let it affect your identity. Inside you are a 10. You will always be a 10.” These are simple, yet powerful words that can make a difference in your mindset.
As entrepreneurs we all have a slew of issues and problems that can drain our energy if we let them. Don’t let them. Learn to stay in your role, deal with the circumstance at hand, and then remind yourself that inside, at your core, your identity is a perfect 10. Master this technique, and you can live life happier, more optimistic and hopefully with more success.