17 March 2021|Business Growth, Latest Posts
By Laurence Stephan. History is inundated with examples of how chaos is the catalyst for change, and that’s because when the current order no longer serves as a viable solution for the throes of chaos, change is the tool that allows us to bring about a new order.
As someone who has always enjoyed problem-solving, games, puzzles, and pondering, entrepreneurship felt like something I couldn’t live without. In the past, I found it incredibly frustrating to be restricted by metaphorical red tape, hierarchy based on age over competence, and social norms, designed to keep the status quo. I always wanted to innovate, improve, or redesign processes and methods to optimise outcomes.
However, taking a concept of mind that works in theory, compared to taking the steps that bring the concept to life in practice, are very different things. I remember seeing previous ideas I’d thought of coming to fruition through some other individual’s practical application, and for years my inner speech would rationalise myself into further inaction.
One day, my procrastination caught up with me and I went through an extremely difficult period of existential woe, lack of direction and absence of purpose, which left me with a dichotomy: Remain in a state of extreme discomfort, or be brave, transcend my behaviour, face my self-limiting beliefs, take the necessary steps to be more constructive, and lead a life in harmony with my being.
I now recognise and repeat a pattern of behaviour that I believe serves me very well; if I have an idea, gut feeling or clairvoyance about something, I’ll take some form of action. I’ll face the initial conflict and fear of the unknown, and act on an instinctive faith, because experience has taught me that this is the only way to practically achieve anything, and live with minimal regret. By taking action, you’ll get a very quick answer whether something’s working or not, and you reduce any ambiguity. If it’s not working, then go through the process of change again, face more conflict, and try a different method. The more you do this, the easier it becomes, and after enough practice, the ability to adapt to new situations becomes second nature. The pandemic is the perfect environment to practice these kinds of behavioural changes because there are so many situations that can benefit from innovative ideas and change.
Be honest, be focused, set goals and go where the energy is
If you’re lacking direction or feeling uninspired, then I’d start with being honest. We don’t know where intuition comes from. It could simply be the result of complicated bio-mechanical evolutionary processes, it could be evidence for the existence of God, or perhaps we’re all in a simulation and an inter-dimensional teenaged being is filling our head with gobbledygook. Regardless of the answer, you should try this exercise… Consciously ask yourself a question and see what your subconscious responds. You may not like the answer, but this is at the core of being honest with yourself. Perhaps you’re not confronting deep-seated conflict, because it’s the easy thing to do, but that’s not a constructive long-term solution, and the result of this kind of behaviour can be catastrophic over time. Being honest with yourself is the foundation of attainable goal-setting. You’re never going to be intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal that isn’t self-determined. You must discover what is meaningful to you. When you figure it out, set your goal. This kind of goal-setting will provide you with drive and motivation under any circumstances… Even a pandemic. If your business hasn’t adapted to the pandemic, ask yourself why, see what comes up, and apply what’s important to you to your business. Take the elements that resonate from the core of your being and introduce them into the infrastructure of your business. If your deeper layers are in alignment with your business’s trajectory, then you can adapt to any situation.
Workout how ‘you’ as an individual contribute
If you’ve established your goals and you’re ready to take action, but you’re unsure of how to translate your ideas into a new product or service, then it’s time to figure out how you can contribute. Fundamentally we’re all somewhat interlaced with one another. Sometimes the connections are obvious and sometimes more nuanced, but they’re always there. As an individual within a wider network, you must work out how you can contribute to a broader spectrum in a constructive and purposeful way. Your greatest asset is you, there is no one quite like you and that in itself is a commodity. If you’re able to express your individuality through your business while being honest, brave and purposeful, you will inevitably create a niche way to contribute, and people are drawn to that. During the pandemic, there’s a huge amount of opportunity, so find where your individuality sits.
Work hard and perfect your craft
This almost comes as a by-product of the above, but it’s worth highlighting, nonetheless. Hard work pays off. But you shouldn’t be forcing yourself to work hard, you should feel so motivated that it’s something you want to do. If all the other aspects of your relationship with work are in tune, then working hard and putting in the hours comes naturally. And if you’re able to turn your own, personal expression into a business and make that into a rehearsed, polished and professional service or product, people will really be able to relate to your brand and find value in what you do.
I’ve spoken a lot about the underpinnings of my beliefs around successful entrepreneurship, which can be applied to the pandemic, but may not be particularly pandemic specific. Therefore, I’d like to list a few suggestions that are:
-Educate yourself: you don’t need to be a programmer to be successful online. There are 1000’s of user-friendly free tools, which can allow you to adapt or improve your products and services for the virtual world. Use search engines to research keywords, take action and experiment.
-Pay for support: don’t debate with yourself around paying for a subscription if it comes with support. Trust me it’s worth it.
-Adapt your services for the virtual world: think outside the box on this one. All of the virtual offerings I’ve created have specifically been with video conferencing in mind. I didn’t try to create a band-aid service to tie my business over. I committed to new products and services, specifically built for the virtual world.
-Virtual is here to stay: self-evidently, people want to get back to a world without restrictions, and although this may not happen in the imminent future, it will happen eventually. That being said, all the skills people have been obligated to learn aren’t going anywhere, and a new virtual foundation has been paved for the way we interact. Create your virtual offerings with the mindset that they can prove useful over the long term.
-Ask for feedback and reviews; everything is online. It’s never been easier to gain social proof that you have a service that people are using. So, ask for feedback and ask for reviews.
– Build for scale – Currently, 4.66 billion people use the internet. Build for scale.
About the Author
Laurence Stephan is a creative entrepreneur, who has an eclectic background of accolades and qualifications across multiple disciplines, such as music, graphics, psychology, nutrition, event management, exercise, broadcasting, videography, and entrepreneurship. He is currently focusing his time and efforts on his business BucketRace, which has the simple goal of making life ‘play’. BucketRace was a concept that came to fruition during Laurence’s days at university, with sports teams travelling for 48 hours around Europe, while competing head-to-head, checking items off their Bucket List.
BucketRace is now an established multinational virtual and in-person games and entertainment company, which delivers a broad spectrum of points-based games, products, and services, for a wide array of audiences and demographics. Examples include seasonal public games, and bespoke team building, B2B networking, product launch, birthday celebration, and corporate entertainment games, as well as gamified corporate parties, bachelorette parties, road trips, and children’s parties. Due to the pandemic, Laurence had to completely reshape BucketRace’s products and services, in a short period to meet the new ‘virtual’ needs of its clients, and now BucketRace is busier than ever, reaching new audiences across the globe and delivering entertainment for its largest audience to date.