One of the hardest parts of my life is learning to stop explaining the why behind my “no”. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been good at saying no. I have always been a people pleaser, usually at the expense of my own wellbeing. This may have been seen as a strength when I was younger, but as I grow older I realize that being a people pleaser isn’t healthy for me.
I was afraid to say no. I didn’t want someone to be upset with me. I didn’t like having to explain the reason for my no to others. Often times, my no didn’t come with a reasonable explanation that any other person would understand. For when I say no, it’s typically coming from a place within. That little place where you feel if something’s right for you or not.
That feeling is something I once learned to live by. I would always follow my gut because years ago I didn’t. Probably about 18 plus years ago I was in a situation where I knew the truth, but no matter how many times my gut screamed “you know the truth”, my human ego or brain had to have proof. I couldn’t just up and leave the situation without valid proof for my reason to ‘say no’.
That situation is always my number one example of when I realized that trusting my gut was a “thing”. Up until that point, I lived pretty wild. I was pretty arrogant. I felt I could do anything and was invincible. This thought pattern of course didn’t lead me anywhere productive, but alas, it’s my truth and a part of my younger days.
Now that I’m nearing 40 it seems my mind has taken a shift. I know that part of this shift is from having been treated horribly a few years ago, but most of it is due to age. I’ve gone through enough experiences now and made enough mistakes that I’ve developed a pretty clear vision of the person I want to be and the person I’m the happiest being.
That person is someone who knows how to say no for the right reasons.
That person is someone who knows which people she can be around without feeling drained.
That person is someone who feels confident in what choices she makes for her family.
That person is someone who has empathy and compassion for others.
That person is someone who has realized that she made some horrible mistakes, too, and that she can change to be better for the world, her family, and herself.
How do I bring this subject back into the realm of entrepreneurship?
Well, that’s simple really. My business, Brandy Ellen Enterprises, is a freelance writing business. I provide quality content for bloggers, brands, and app companies who want to increase their rank on search engines by posting regular content on their website or blogs. Brandy Ellen Enterprises is a Sole Proprietorship. This means I am the sole owner and the entrepreneur who founded this virtual business in the state of New Hampshire.
In order to succeed with my freelance writing world, I need to be clear with my mission and vision. I have to keep my head clear and go with my gut whenever I’m considering taking on a new client. I have to pay attention to the personality, the tone, and other details pertaining to my prospects before deciding whether to take on their writing project or not.
This means … I have to use my gut!
I can’t take on a client who doesn’t mesh with my personality, nor would I expect them to hire me. You see, everyone must use their gut in all areas of life. People who work at a job for an employer, such as my husband, can’t just decline work or up and quit without some sort of replacement income. Employees don’t get the luxury of “listening to their gut” right away, but that’s another topic we’ll discuss in the future!
How do you Listen to Your Gut as an Entrepreneur?
Today I want to focus on listening to your gut as an entrepreneur. I’m confident using your gut will help you stay true to your vision and mission with your business while helping you increase revenue. You’ll have to do some personal improvement work to recognize what works and doesn’t work for you. You’ll need to be in tune with your energy, and your body. Once you’re in tune with what you desire most, how you want to handle your business, and what type of clients will work for you, then you start to use your gut as an entrepreneur.
Know Your Worth
I can’t stress this enough! This is one area I still struggle with from time to time, although I had a good negotiation going on the other day that reminded me I’m starting to know my worth. Do not get paid anything less than you’re worth. This means evaluating your experience, what you have to bring to the project, how long or quick the turnaround time is, and what skills you have that are worth paying more for.
Once you’ve determined what your work is worth, write it down! Keep a notepad on your desk to remind you that you’re worth “x” amount. Do not settle. Do not negotiate lower. Do not bend. I’ve learned from experience that if you bend once for one person, either they’ll tell “all their friends” and you’re stuck offering low-rates to everyone or they’ll never value what you bring to the table and give you so much work that you’ll never rise above a certain revenue level.
Know Your “Signs”
I get this little knot in my stomach each time I’m about to do something that doesn’t feel right. My body stopped doing this for a while because I ignored it during an unhealthy relationship, but it’s back and OMG it’s annoying! BUT I’m grateful for this feeling because I now know my “signs”. You need to learn what your body does when something isn’t right for you.
The signs could be something like this belly ache feeling or butterflies in the stomach that don’t feel “good”. Your heart could race a little or your breathing gets heavier. Each of us will have different things our body does when it’s signaling you to say RUN or DO NOT DO THIS. Get in touch with your personal energy and learn what your body does whenever something isn’t right and learn to trust that feeling every time!
Lastly, you’ll want to exhibit a level of confidence that screams you know what you’re worth, you know what you want, and you’re willing to work hard for the right project or client! Something I’ve learned from my younger days is that there’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence. Being arrogant implies that you’re better than everyone else. Being confident implies you know that you’re the best in this industry, without comparing yourself to others or degrading others. We all can be the best at something!
Not only do you need to exhibit confidence in your abilities and your business, but you must be confident about trusting your gut. When those “signs” appear that signal something isn’t quite right with a person, project, or situation please pause for a minute. Take a moment to step back from the scenario to see if you’re just nervous about working for someone new or if your gut is truly telling you to stay away from this revenue option.
Once you realize it’s your gut, stand down and be confident. Give zero excuses and politely decline the opportunity.
You’ll run into a lot of people that want to talk down to you, judge you, and lecture you about following your gut throughout the years, but don’t let them deter you. I once let someone deter me and it’s taken THREE YEARS to get anywhere near where I was before that person was in my life. THREE YEARS before I finally started having my “signs” return to me. Of course, they were there all along, but since I ignored them for years, it took some work getting back in tune with my inner energy.
In conclusion, the number one way to build a business and become a successful entrepreneur is always to listen to your gut and make choices that align with your values, mission, and goals!