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A Life Well-Lived

Written by Dr. Dorothy A. Martin-Neville

Here we are, in the midst of winter, snow, and COVID. Just another day of living in New England…

My virtual assistant reminds me to do the newsletter, several potential new clients need a half-hour introduction session, I need to do my workout routine, and the emails keep piling up.  Just another day in the life of a very blessed woman.

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Take Those Risks and Follow Those Dreams

Written by Dr. Dorothy A. Martin-Neville

Have you ever noticed that whenever you feel the least bit insecure, someone shows up to convince you that you shouldn’t even think about taking that risk or doing that “out of the box” thing? Or, how do you become the leader of your own life when it feels as if so many others have opinions that challenge you every step of the way?

Taking risks, reaching further than ever before, or having the audacity to create a new path, whether for you or your company, can be frightening, exhilarating, and life-giving. It’s a calling.

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A New Season is Upon Us

Written by Dr. Dorothy A. Martin-Neville

Today is trash day. On the way to put out the barrels, I was caught by the vision of falling leaves. Only then did I notice all those that had already landed on the grass and the driveway. I can no longer pretend that it is simply “a cool day”. Fall has arrived and summer has left.

Yet again, I am struck by the realization that life passes by quicker and quicker each year. It’s all perspective, I know, yet it seems so real.

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PIT Stops Win the Race

Written by Machen MacDonald

Successful people know the secret of slowing down to speed up. It's about simplification and elimination. Finding ways to lighten the load, staying focused on the destination, and doing what must get done to complete the journey.

In auto racing, pit stops are a necessity to complete the race. Replenishing fuel, changing tires as they wear down and become unsafe, cleaning windshields, and making minor adjustments or repairs are all part of the successful pit stop. Even though when a car pulls into the pits, the pack of cars it was once ahead of passes on by, the car is doing the best thing for its chance to win. The other cars will need to pit as well, at some point, providing our car the chance to leap ahead. If the other cars don’t pit they run the risk of running out of fuel or worse…crashing and not finishing the race because of a worn tire that blows out or mechanical failure.

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Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Written by:  Alan Goldberg

Most of us are happiest operating within our “comfort zone” -- where everything is routine, familiar & safe. Inside our comfort zone, though, we rarely unlock our fullest potential. We often stay at a job or in a relationship, longer than we should -- because of its familiarity. There's comfort in security. The unknown can seem daunting.

Entrepreneurship is treacherous ground. You may face great risks, from the inception of a company through its growth stage, and even as you stabilize and gain momentum. If you’re going to be successful as a business owner, you need to be prepared for risk and address your fears proactively.

While each entrepreneur and each business is unique, there are five common fears almost every entrepreneur will need to face before starting a business:

Money
A business costs a lot of money to start and run. Capital is one of the biggest concerns most entrepreneurs have, and with good reason. Funding usually comes directly from an entrepreneur's savings or the pockets of independent investors. If you can't secure a reliable revenue stream by the time that initial startup capital runs out, the business -- and all that money -- is in jeopardy of being lost for good. Disappointing investors is one thing but losing your life savings is another!

Skills
Running a business takes specific talents and skills. Whether you're worried that you aren't good enough as an entrepreneur or that your product isn't good enough to be competitive, these fears can be debilitating.

Remember a simple concept that applies to all businesses launching with a minimum viable product. Your product doesn't have to be perfect when it first launches, nor does it have to be the best. It just has to be acceptable. From there, you'll have plenty of room to make improvements over time. No product ever starts out perfect. As an entrepreneur, you too can be a minimum viable product. You don't have to make all the right decisions, and you don't need to be a perfect leader. You just have to be passable until you have the time and experience to improve yourself.

Stress
The entrepreneurial life isn't chosen because it's easy. It's chosen because it's a challenge with many rewards along the way. If you're getting into entrepreneurship because it seems like an easy way to get rich quickly, someone has lied to you.

Entrepreneurship is riddled with obstacles, stress, and hard work. But, the flip side of entrepreneurship is control. Yes, you will inevitably feel overwhelmed at times, but it's all completely within your power to change.

Knowledge
You don't know what you don't know. The unknown is indescribable and impossible to prepare for. When you first get started with a business plan, a bit of money, and maybe a partner or a mentor by your side, you'll have no idea what to expect in your first year. For many, it's a thrilling thought, but it's also terrifying.

Entrepreneurship isn't a job. It becomes a lifestyle. You're choosing to be in this role because you're a risk-taker, you're passionate, you work hard and you believe in your idea.

Failure
The fear of failure gets the better of all of us occasionally. There are small failures -- such as a botched email-marketing campaign or a major bug you discover post-launch, and massive failures -- such as your company's going under. Failure will set you back no matter what. But, you can't let the fear of failure stop you from making a decision. Failure is only the end of the road if you let it be. Otherwise, it's just a temporary stopping point in a long path to a final destination. More important, failures are learning opportunities. Every failure you experience yields a lesson you can incorporate into your business or your life.


The above is more than enough to conquer any obstacle that gets in your way -- even the unknown ones. So put those fears to rest and believe in yourself. Risks shouldn't steer you away from pursuing entrepreneurship. Instead, see them for what they are: necessary obstacles on a greater path. There's no way to avoid the risks you'll face as an entrepreneur, but by recognizing them, you can prepare and mitigate them.

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