Entrepreneurial Intuition

Entrepreneurial Intuition

**This article originally appeared on www.womenentrepreneur.com in 2010

Richard Branson swears by it. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both confess to depending on it. Oprah Winfrey credits the majority of her success to it. Countless other gifted, successful, leaders in entertainment, finance, medicine and enterprise have used this enigmatic, largely misunderstood and often ridiculed tool. This tool possesses the ability to change the world of business and improve a persons’ health. It aids in reducing stress and increasing creativity, efficiency and profitability and is finally ‘coming out of the closet’ to be validated by science AND commerce to be a tangible, practical and applicable skill that everyone can use.

What is it this magical tool and where can you get it

The tool is INTUITION… and you’ve already got it, you just haven’t been taught how to use it properly.

BEYOND ‘THE GUT’

We have all heard about ‘gut instinct’ and as Entrepreneurs we have made decisions based on just having a ‘knowing or feeling’ about something that others didn’t get or have. Sometimes those gut impulses have worked in our favor and sometimes they haven’t, but we all recall moments in our lives when ‘we just got a feeling’ about something and we made a decision based on that impression.

But gut instinct isn’t the same as Intuition… gut instinct is a survival skill. It is a remnant of our days as cavemen whose only concerns were finding a mate, putting another meal on the table and avoiding the Saber-toothed tiger at the door.

While sometimes life in the Entrepreneurial trenches may still feel that way and often times our gut is a good indicator of what we should or shouldn’t do in a particular moment, it is not nearly sophisticated enough to guide us through the new and rapidly changing environment that is Entrepreneurship.

Intuition is the more evolved, refined and sophisticated cousin of gut instinct. Intuition is Champagne to gut instinct’s Malt Liquor‘, it is Mozart to ‘Mary had Little Lamb’. It goes far beyond the temperamental ideas of ‘Feminine Intuition’ or the supernatural ideas of a ‘sixth sense’ and can be fine tuned to operate specifically and at will as a beneficial tool of the mind and partner on the road to success.

YOUR PERSONAL GPS FOR SUCCESS

Imagine that your Intuition operates like a personal GPS system; if you know how to use it properly you can count on it to get you from point A to point B with relative ease and peace of mind. You can expect that it will steer you clear of road blocks, keep you free from traffic jams and direct you to the quickest and most direct route to your desired destination. All the while helping you maintain good fuel efficiency and giving you a pleasant view along the way.

These are the Six Steps to activating your Intuition.

Step #1 – Clearing the ‘Stress Static’

The number ONE obstacle to being able to unleash the power of your Intuition is Stress! Stress is like static on a phone line, when you are worried about a deadline, concerned about finances or overwhelmed by too much to do, you cannot access the parts of your mind that are integral to creative problem solving or higher intelligence.

Working harder is NOT working smarter. Stress makes you LESS efficient, less effective and in the long run costs you a lot more than time and money. Getting stuck in your head and analyzing, asking others for advice or thinking, pondering or processing things will never bring up creative or innovative ideas or solutions.

Take a tip from Albert Einstein who claimed all of his groundbreaking solutions came to him while he was out walking in nature or outside of the laboratory and who said “You cannot solve a problem on the same level of thinking that created it.” You have to go out of your mind; that is break the patterns of stressful thought that have been the source of the problem in the first place, relax the mind, clear the static and allow Intuition to speak instead.

Action Step: Take a break, get outdoors and breathe.

 

Step #2 – The Power of the ‘Ask’

The power of a properly worded question is crucial when accessing your Intuition and just like the GPS in your car, in order to get where you want to go, you need to know precisely where you are starting. In simple language you need to know what questions to ask your Intuition in order for it to respond in a beneficial manner. Where most people trip up, especially in the beginning, is by looking for solutions or answers by using ineffective questions.

Giving your Intuition a strong starting point depends on a strong ‘direction request.’ Questions should be worded ‘in the present moment’, be positively oriented and results based. For example – ‘How can I most effectively improve cash flow?” is a far more empowered question than, “How am I going to make payroll?”  “Is this new partnership beneficial to my business mission?” will give you a far more Intuitively potent result than, “Is this guy going to screw me over?”

Action Step: Get clear about what you DO want and the ultimate goal, NOT what you are afraid of or are trying to avoid.

 

Step #3 – Forget what you ‘Know’

People who think they ‘know everything there is to know’ about their field of expertise, have a very difficult time accessing their Intuition. Intuition is housed in the non-linear and non-rational, right side of the brain and finds solutions that do not follow ‘traditional or schooled avenues’ of thinking. If you are convinced that there is only one way to solve your problem or create a certain outcome, then you limit the pathways through which your Intuition can communicate with you.

This is why ‘Beginners Luck’ is such a potent phenomenon, because those who know little or nothing about a situation are not limited by what they DO know, so their minds are open and accessible to any and all possibilities that may present themselves. Give yourself permission to forget everything you have ever been taught, or what you THINK you might know and be willing to be surprised by what information comes your way.

Action Step: Adopt a bit of Humility

 

Step #4 – Go to your Heart

Science has recently discovered that there is a level of intelligence carried in the heart that out powers the brain by 10 to 1. The heart being the first organ in the body to develop has more lines of information going from the heart TO the brain, than the other way around. This is why when we are stressed and our heart is racing due to fear, anxiety or any of the countless other pressures that being an Entrepreneur can present, access to problem solving Intuition is impossible, because our brain literally SHUTS DOWN.

Intuition thrives on the level of mind that I call ‘Integrated Intelligence’, that is bringing ALL levels of intelligence together to function as a cohesive whole. Balancing the powers of the head (left brain, analytical thought and right brain, creative thought) with the intelligence of the heart brings us to the powerful middle ground of agile creativity and opens the channels of higher mind and wisdom needed to solve problems and come up with new and innovative ideas.

Action Step: Practice Gratitude

 

Step #5 – Pay Attention

Intuition doesn’t always speak the language we understand, often times it will speak to us in the language of the right brain – the language of symbols, images, art or music and it may use any or all of our five senses to guide, direct and influence us.

Once you have asked your Intuition for direction, pay attention to what begins to catch your attention throughout the course of your day, or even at night through the messages in your dreams.

You may hear a song on the radio or hear a line in a movie, or a statement from a friend that contains a tag line with the perfect solution to your problem. This is your Personal GPS in action, saying ‘Turn here’, ‘Look here’, ‘Watch this’. It’s up to you to notice it and take action.

Action Step: Become a great Observer – Watch more, speak less.

 

Step #6 – Have FUN

I believe the reason most of us became Entrepreneurs was so that we could design our own lives, so we could have a sense of creating our own destiny, so we could do some good and have some fun along the way. Sometimes though the pressures of being ‘self made’ make finding joy almost impossible.

Intuition thrives in an environment of ease, peace and grace. It speaks most clearly through a mind that is not overwhelmed or burdened with the pressure of having to get it right or needing to prove anything to anyone. Intuition gives direction through a system that is flexible, agile and open to anything. Intuition is the language spoken to athletes when they are in the zone, to musicians who are in the flow and entrepreneurs who are on the leading edge. It speaks to us through our Natural state – being Intuitive IS our Natural state.

Take a moment to rediscover the joy that being an Entrepreneur was meant to bring you, it might take you a bit of time, but if you can get back to that feeling and do your best to make it your ‘starting point’ for everything moving forward, you will find that your Intuition begins to speak as clearly and directly as any solid, tangible or real personal coach or advisor ever did. The difference here is your Intuition is concerned only about your needs, it is available whenever you need it and never charges for its services.

 

Action Step: Lighten up and remember to laugh (especially at yourself)

 

THE NEW MAP MAKERS

As many of the most successful people in history have proven, it is those who have trusted that small inner voice, to break free of the pack, and carve their own pathways that leave the greatest footprint for others to follow.

If we are going to survive and thrive in rapidly changing business climates, escalating economic shifting and rampant old world extinction, our navigation and direction tools have to evolve. It isn’t enough to count on the ‘experts’ to guide us through these changing times, because no one has been on this journey yet, the maps have not been drawn.

Maneuvering through this new economy and new global business will require each of us as individuals to chart our own course and in the process bring direction and inspiration to the whole. The old ways of doing business can’t help us do that… but our Higher Intelligence, our Inner Guidance, our Intuition can; and it does it with ease, grace and a sense of joy and purpose.

Intuition is a skill we all NATURALLY possess. Everyone can use it. It isn’t a gift given to a chosen few. When developed and used appropriately, it can guide us to improve our careers, our relationships, our health and our world. There is no greater power and it is waiting quietly beneath the surface to serve us, whenever we need it…. All we need to do is ask.

To learn more ways to develop your Entrepreneurial Intuition, please visit www.simonewrightconsulting.com

 

 

 

 

Beyond Limits

Beyond Limits

In the new movie “Limitless”, a somewhat talented yet lazy writer Eddie Mora played by (Bradley Cooper) discovers  a performance enhancing drug called NZT, that allows him to activate and access 100% of his brain – 80% more brain than the majority of us ‘regular’ human beings use. With the ingestion of the small ‘clear pill’ Eddie is catapulted into a world of unfathomable wealth, success, and sex as he conquers Wall Street, learns new languages and becomes an instant genius.

The price to pay for this level of ‘Enlightenment’ … and it seems there always is one … is that his new brilliance is highlighted by a twitchy dark arrogance and an adrenaline fixation; and even more worrisome … the side effects include paranoia, psychosis, brain damage and … well, um … death.

Call me crazy, but death sounds pretty limiting.

I am always intrigued by movies like this (which is by the way, the first release by Sir Richard Branson’s – Virgin Produced) – that open the door ever so slightly to allow us a sneak peek at what might be possible for human potential, only to slam it shut by painting that potential with the grimy ooze of ‘the dark side’ … as if to say … ‘Yes, this level of intelligence is possible … but once you achieve it … all hell will break loose and you will long for your old days of mundane ordinariness.’ Sort of like the ‘red pill/ blue pill’ conundrum of The Matrix. Or the ‘brain tumor’ explanation for John Travolta’s brilliance in the movie Phenomenon. It tells us … if you are going to be this gifted, this advanced, this Enlightened … well, you gotta die at the end.

I don’t buy it.

It is my belief that elevating and evolving human potential to an advanced level IS possible and to some degree is happening already. And like it or not – it is going to take an elevation of human potential to lift us all out of the rather rampant mess that we have gotten ourselves into. It is going to take a grand leap of the ‘development of Human Intelligence’ to change the status quo and turn our global, local and personal situations around.

Regardless of the intentions of Government, Education and Health Care (these intentions may be good or bad, depending on what side of the aisle you sit on) relying on these OLD systems is not going to help us, so we need to STOP looking there for the answers. Why? Because every one of these systems is committed to the ‘OLD’ intelligence, the OLD patterns and the OLD outdated ideas that clearly do not work. The Intelligence, Innovation and Imaginings that are required to turn things around will come from the individual, from the entrepreneur, from the visionary who is not tied to old ideas … it will come from you and me. But we will need to be willing to drop all of our fears about embracing our brilliance and be willing to adopt a new, grander idea of ourselves first.

If a new and limitless idea of human potential is to come to fruition, then maybe Hollywood is right … something WILL need to pass away … but it isn’t us as human beings or individuals. It is the old ‘imaginings or ideas’ that need to be sacrificed. As in all Evolutionary practices, in order for the new dream to be born, the old dream has to go.

So perhaps the deeper message of ‘Limitless’ is that the possibilities of advanced human potential DO exist, but we cannot expect them to come in an easily digestible tablet. In order for humanity as a species to be capable of that type of advanced intelligence, a whole lot of ground work would need to be done first.

It may be that operating on that level of heightened potential is like driving a Ferrari when you have only just gotten your learners permit … perhaps it is a bit too much muscle for a beginner, but with the right amount of practice – mastery of that type of power IS possible. But we need to be brave enough to be willing to truly let go of all of the things that so obviously don’t work in our lives any more, or more bravely question if they ever worked for us in the first place.

I like the idea of being Limitless and I believe that we all have our ideas of how that would look to each one of us. I also have a certainty that it is possible, we don’t need to take a pill to achieve it though … and we don’t need to self destruct in the process. We need only to get out of our own way and allow the Intelligence that is waiting to be revealed … to have its way with us.

 

Innovation. Standing Life on its Head.

Innovation. Standing Life on its Head.

The most successful businesses in the world today, thrive on one thing … INNOVATION!” ~ Simone Wright

It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a multi-national company, an entrepreneur running a one man operation, or a recent college graduate just tumbling into your first ‘real job’ – the fact of the matter is … if INNOVATION is not your number one priority, you will be left in the dust.

One of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time, Richard Branson, said of the innovative spirit, “I’ve had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their head and making sure those industries will never be the same again.” So the secret, at least according to Sir Richard is simply to turn everything upside down.

Okay. So how do we do that? And what exactly IS IT that will be getting the old upsy-daisy?

Suffice it to say, if something is standing on it’s head – the perspective will certainly be different. So if we are to heed Branson’s advice, in order to turn an industry upside down, WE are going to need to ‘alter our perception’ first. The greatest innovators have the ability to ‘see things differently’ which gives them the ability to perceive solutions or ideas that no one else does. So in order to innovate, we need to be able to do the same thing … And yes … I guarantee it is 100% legal.

Perception is a function of our Intelligence system, and is uniquely formed in each individual by the repeated patterns of both internal and external influences from our environment. To put it more succinctly, our perceptions are formed by what we see, think, hear, feel or experience physically, mentally, emotionally and even chemically. All of these influences hard wire our nervous system and our nervous system becomes our mechanism of perception.

The simple way to begin to alter our perception is to begin to change our informational influences so we can activate new ways of thinking. To put it simply, in order to activate innovation we need to begin to ask different questions – questions that will push our nervous system and creative thought processes into new and more dynamic directions.

Altering perception begins when you start asking yourself or your team a new set of questions. Empowered questions. Evolved questions. When an empowered question is asked, an Integrated Intelligence will go to work immediately to find the most effective and efficient solution to answer it.

Often times developing an empowered question will offer you 90% of the solution.

Instead of asking ‘unempowered questions’ that begin with WHY … like WHY won’t my boss give me that promotion? or WHY is our product not selling? or WHY can’t I save any money? Consider asking questions that begin with HOW or WHAT.

Questions like … HOW can my company, product, brand be different in the marketplace? Or WHAT details can we add/remove from our product that would make it more user friendly? HOW can this project be completed on time? WHAT does my boss need to help make his job easier? HOW can I bring more value to my job? WHAT resources are we overlooking that can make us more profitable? … you get the picture.

WHY questions do not activate the creative processes in the brain to find SOLUTIONS. WHY questions are often times subjective with no solid answer. So stop asking them.

HOW or WHAT questions beg the brain for ACTION steps, and ignite the innovation connections that offer new ideas. When these new connections are stimulated, the brain begins to alter its wiring, so new PERCEPTIONS become activated. It is when these systems are switched on that the solutions appear before us as though they were sitting there the whole time. Which of course they were … we just weren’t setting ourselves up to recognize them.