Stay Calm and Carry On: Using 'Extra-Sensory Perception' Amidst Chaos
A successful entrepreneurial venture is not for the faint of heart or for the weak of spirit. The most basic objective for any business is to find a need in the marketplace and fill it. Successful ventures meet that need and then manage the scale, scope and complexity of demand for their product or service as it grows.
But to stay successful and continue building that momentum, you have to continually go one step beyond. The entrepreneur not only has the challenges of scaling her operation to meet current demand, but also must continue to focus on disrupting the market and her own business model. The founder must have the mindset to never settle into the status quo.
How do you stay calm, think strategically and ask yourself all of those questions amidst all the chaos of managing a fast-growth company? The answer is honing your skills as an “extra-sensory entrepreneur.”
Spanning multiple startups and more than 50 years of life experience, I have developed an extra-sensory perception about life and business, allowing my focus to become sharper, my drive stronger and my strategic abilities clearer.
Here are a few thoughts on how you can exercise those three characteristics in yourself so that you can better focus on what you should be seeing in your own business:
Think big picture. Connecting all of the dots makes it easier for me to focus. Visualizing the result makes it possible to overcome the inevitable twists and turns.
For instance, when I brought the first professional-quality natural rodent repellent to market, everyone told me it was an impossible task. Government officials warned of the cost and uncertainty of EPA registration. Retailers said the 90 percent of consumers preferred to kill mice rather than repel them. And, my banker told me I could not get a loan without collateral. Well, they were all wrong.
Focusing on my final vision helped me anticipate each obstacle I would need to overcome to make it a reality. I find that when I can envision the big picture and connect (and often re-connect) the dots, it leads to business success.
Motivate yourself to excel. The drive to excel in business is born out of a passion to innovate and explore. Much like the thrill of exploring something new -- like unchartered territory or a new relationship -- the excitement can shock you, bring you out of your element and change your perception.
I have come to love the unknown and thrive on opportunities where I can proactively perform ahead of the growth curve and confidently guide my employees and customers. Even though I am an introvert with a natural inclination to play it safe, the extra-sensory insights gained through exploration help me see unsustainable patterns and reconnect the dots in practical and relevant ways.
Ability to manage. The human aspect of business is the hardest for me, but it is also the most rewarding. People are always the magic ingredient to success and each one brings a different ability. Seeing this ability in my team and developing or leveraging it (even when they can’t see it for themselves) is a skill also driven by extra-sensory perception.
Leaders in an entrepreneurial company must be committed, hands-on and consistent in paying attention to the details. In addition, they must have the ability to focus, innovate and collaborate, all of which comes from the extra-sensory stuff fueled by focus, drive and ability.
Kari Warberg Block, CEO and founder of earthkind, is hailed as a market disrupter. Her company’s mission is to preserve the good and prevent the rest. In 2013, Block was chosen as one of the top three Small Business People of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is an adviser to the National Women’s Business Council, which advises the president, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Congress. She’s made it her mission to help other inventors and entrepreneurs overcome obstacles and grow their businesses.