What’s Holding You Back From Stepping Into Leadership?

News flash Indies! You are leaders! I have to shout it because some of you don't know it. You think you are just small business owners. Well, of course your are, but whether you know it or not, you are also a leader. You may not have a million Facebook Fans, but if you have sold a single product, then you have nurtured and led that sale from start to finish. That makes you a leader. Now, let's go with that, shall we?

woman leader

In order to move your business forward, you must take turn that single act of leadership into a series of leadership experiences that, over time, remarkably transforms your life and your business. But that can happen, you'll need to know what barriers you will face, and how to cover come them. There are three that that can sink your ship faster than any others. Here they are, along with strategies to overcome them.

  1. Lack of clarity. You cannot lead a business if you don't know where you want it to go. You must know where you want to take the business, and where you want the business to take you. Yes, it starts with planning, but before that, it starts with knowing what you want; not for the business, but for yourself.

    To overcome this one, get crystal clear on what you want first, and nearly every step you need to take after that will become crystal clear as well.

    (You also need to actually take the steps, but that's another blog post.)

  2. Fear. Once you know what you want, fear can set in to sabotage everything. I've seen it a million times. I'll start working with a client, and she'll tell me precisely what she wants. We'll set up a basic plan of attack, and what happens? Fear sets in. Fear of spending too much money. Fear of not succeeding. Fear of the time it will take. Fear of not being able to execute the plan. Fear of adding more overwhelm to an already full plate. Fear that she won't be able to handle the life changes that success will ultimately bring her.

    To overcome this, identify the source of the fear. Call it what it is, and recognize that it's probably due to some past experience that's holding you back from the future you want. Either allow that fear to define your future, or refuse to allow that fear to define your future. The choice is yours.

  3. Lack of support. No entrepreneur is an island, yet time after time, I see women going it alone. Oh, they're active on Facebook and other online tools that facilitate supportive interaction. But that's all surface stuff.

    The kind of support I'm talking about is the deep, penetrable kind. The kind that gets under your skin and invades your tissues. The kind that opens wounds and then puts salve on them so they can heal and you can move forward. As a woman entrepreneur, that's the kind of support you need to lead yourself and your business forward. But many people don't seek that kind of support, and I'm here to tell you that, without it, you will go nowhere fast.

    To overcome this, explore MasterMinding. Find a coach. (I offer services here.)

    If you're not ready for MasterMinding and coaching right now, then start making yourself ready — because you will eventually need both. Start by joining our private Facebook group (if you are an IBN member), or checking out our free Maker Mastermind Facebook group if you are not yet a member. Or you can join me for the next Maker Mastermind Live, in a city near you! Just don't make the mistake of doing nothing to get the support your need to develop, sharpen and leverage your leadership skills.

So there you have it. Lack of clarity, fear, and lack of support — and what you can do about each.

Don't end 2011 without a plan of attack for 2012. Begin to approach life and business on purpose, and as an integrated whole. Know what you want, and then, step-by-step, move toward it. The time to lay the groundwork for 2012 is now.

Prepare yourself to step into leadership in 2012, and if I can help in any way, I'm here to serve.

Question: How can I help you step into leadership in 2012?

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.