Is Your Brain Limiting Your Entrepreneurial Success?
Entrepreneur and CultureIQ are searching for the top high-performing cultures to be featured on our annual list. Think your company has what it takes? Click here to get started.
Are your entrepreneurial prospects inhibited by your own thinking? That may be the case if you don’t regularly give your brain exercise.
According to scientific research, some of the benefits of brain games and teasers include the following: boosting brain activity, providing emotional satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, enhancing memory and processing speed, helping to slow decline and reduce the risk of dementia, improving, concentration and reducing boredom.
For example, what’s the first word that comes to mind when you read this brain teaser? Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?
Most people immediately think of “June” because they quickly spot a familiar pattern: the sequence "April, May and June." But if a person rereads the question and carefully analyzes the data, the answer Johnny becomes obvious.
Thanks to the way the human brain works, people have a built-in tendency to see what they want to see as well as what they expect to see.
Consider the huge implications of this for entrepreneurial pursuits.
Human brains are great at recognizing patterns (April, May, June). That’s why people tend to look for information that supports what they already believe to be true. But in doing so, they can miss information that exposes alternative viewpoints, creative solutions or competitive threats.
Earlier this month, Entrepreneur.com contributor Neil Parmar described how Lori Cheek has sunk upward of $120,000 of her own money into her fledging startup dating service Cheek’d. She has recouped just $56,000.
Cheek landed a coveted spot on Shark Tank, but none of the Sharks took a bite. Instead Barbara Corcoran gave her some sage advice: “You’ve gotta move on!” But Cheek said, “There’s nothing that’s going to make me stop.”
Indeed people tend to see things the way they always have. They miss opportunities in the workplace, marketplace and in life. That’s why some companies fade away. Their executives never saw the huge challenges before them because they saw only what their brains allowed them to see -- what worked in the past -- and ignored or avoided new information.
Might that be the case with you? Are you stuck on a path that's not working because your brain won't allow you to see anything differently? Or are you afraid to start a venture because your brain won't let you anticipate eventual success?
“Humans are the least likely creatures to want to change," says author Holly Green in her book Using Your Brain to Win In Today’s Hyper-Paced World. "We’re much more likely to continue wanting to do the same things over and over, even when all the data around us says that everything else has changed.”
Businesspeople today live in a hypersensitive, fast-paced world. What catapulted an entrepreneur to success a week, a month or even a year ago will not be the same in the future.
Relying solely on what you already know is like working for 30 years but having just one year’s worth of experience repeated 30 times.
Use that 2.98 pounds of brilliance, also known as the brain, to lead you where you actually want to be. Actively seek new ways of seeing things. A great way to do that is by exercising the mind with brain teasers. Deliberately expose your brain to new and different ways of thinking.
Some believe that when a person is truly ready for something, it appears. If your entrepreneurial endeavor has not yet been realized, ask yourself, Am I truly ready for its appearance?