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Mistaken Identity - Part 3

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As I wrote in Mistaken Identity - Part 1, there is a very good reason why we're called human “beings” and not human “doings”. It's because “being” precedes “doing”. What you do as an entrepreneur or occupation should be an extension or representation of who you are. Unfortunately, many people are running businesses or performing jobs that they were never meant to do. That's one of the key reasons why so many people are dissatisfied with their lives. In effect, they are misappropriating too much of their talent, time, experience, and resources to a profession or occupation that does not align with their core identity.

So, how do you ensure that you know who you are – the person at the core of your being – outside of what you do? First, you have to be honest about whether or not you have a case of mistaken identity. Next, as I mentioned in Mistaken Identity – Part 2, you must perform a self-inventory to begin to truly understand who you are versus what you do. Once you have developed that list of personal traits and characteristics, you then can ask yourself the following questions:

1) Are you able to define yourself beyond the work that you do? When performing your self-inventory, was it challenging for you to think about yourself outside of your work environment? Of all your answers, what was the ratio of work related items versus the ones that were non-work related?

2) Are you working in your profession or running a business for the wrong reasons? Chasing only after money or fame is tiring and frustrating. If you're in a business or job doing work that you wouldn't do for free, then you're probably doing the wrong thing. Also consider that when you're working in something that you love to do, then it's not really work.

3) Are you wearing a mask? Do you project an image to other people that is not the real you? This often is easy for businesspeople, because of the pressure to always present a professional image. Nevertheless, your professional image should be an extension of your core identity. If a person doesn't know or like his/her core identity, then it's easy to project a false image to other people to make them think that is the real you even though it’s not.

4) Are you caught up in “comparison-itis”? Do you spend too much time comparing what you have done to what others have accomplished? You can’t measure your success by what other people have accomplished. Stop spending more time focusing on the progress that others have made versus the time you spend charting your own course.

5) Are you living or working to please other people? You can't live someone else's life and you can't be overly concerned with living up to someone else's expectations. Other people's expectations, especially when they're unrealistic, add an unneeded burden on you that can be difficult to overcome. You don't need to deal with that kind of stress.

6) Are you afraid of being different? Who you are is special and unique. Just because you think or do things differently doesn't mean that you're wrong. It just means that you're different. Do what works for you, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else.

7) Finally, do you know what your life purpose is? What are you going to do with all the things that you uncovered in your self-inventory? In order to answer this question most effectively, you need to connect with God. It just makes sense that the inventor of something would know the most about the thing that he invented. He knows why He created you and He still has your instruction manual!

When a person is cured of the effects of a mistaken identity, they will have a much more fulfilling work/life experience. That's because fulfillment happens when a person discovers who they are and then begins doing the things that align with their core identity. Pressure is relieved and potential is unleashed as people recognize and understand that what they are doing is an accurate representation of who they are.

If you want to thrive in business or in life, take the time to discover your core identity and then realign your work/life activities. You will be more than glad that you did.

Empowering Champions,

Paul Wilson, Jr.


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Rise Above It

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I have a feeling a few of you entrepreneurs need a little pep talk today. All of us have those days where we look in the mirror and wonder "what in the world are we doing!?!?..." Trust me, it happens to the best of us. I just want to encourage you to fight the "good fight."

What do you think qualifies as a "good fight"? If I were in one, the only kind of fight that I would deem to be good would be the one that I win.

Well, all of us are in a battle everyday, but we often consider other people or the situations around us to be our enemies. However, our biggest enemy is "in-a-me" - that person inside of us who doesn't always go along with our intentions or expectations. Often times we are the biggest obstacle to our own success. How does this play out?

Many people are hoping that difficult business conditions or life situations will simply change or go away, and they can sit back and wait for that to happen. The reality is that most things in business and life are not going to change dramatically, or at least not overnight. We need to settle this in our hearts and minds, and realize that we are going to have to rise above our difficulties and challenges to achieve our goals and dreams. Nobody else can do that for you. This is your battle to win.

One of the keys to continually rising above your situations is spending more time focusing on solutions rather than problems. It is easy for people to detail problems (some of them don’t even do that very well, because all they see are symptoms and not the root cause). What seems to be in short supply in business and in our society are people who have developed well thought through solutions for the problems they see. If you can do this effectively, you will be viewed as an asset, not an irritant.

Another important key is planning and preparation. You can be assured that as long as you’re in business you will have problems. Although, you may not be able to control all the problems that come to you, you don’t have to be controlled by them either. Take what you have learned from your past wins and mistakes, as well as what you hopefully have learned from others, and develop contingency plans for different aspects of your business and life. That way, when challenges arise, you might already have a potential solution just waiting to be implemented. You can avoid the panic attacks and knee-jerk reactions that ruin many businesses and lives.

You can defeat the enemy "in-a-me" if you spend more time and mental energy focusing on 1) finding solutions rather than rehashing problems, and 2) contingency planning. The results you will see are your business being more successful and your life being more fulfilling. Keep fighting the "good fight," and from now on fight to win!

Empowering Champions,

Paul Wilson, Jr.


Tags: business, entrepreneur, champion, empowerment, leadership,

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Mistaken Identity - Part 2

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Entrepreneurs are often told that in order to grow their businesses, they need to spend more time working “on” their business versus working “in” their business. I agree with this, but a more important piece of advice is often overlooked or undervalued. That advice would be that entrepreneurs need to spend more time working “on” themselves. If an entrepreneur spends quality time working on themselves, they will be that much more effective working on and in their business.

The first step to working on oneself is discovering who you really are, so that you can determine what you need to work on and develop. Learning who you are is crucial, because your internal identity is more important than your external image. Whether you like it or not, over the long-term your internal identity will have a greater influence on your ability to accomplish your goals and dreams than your external image will.

How do you figure out who that person is at the core of your being? Some people think that just taking a personality test will tell them all they need to know about themselves. While there are lots of tests out there that can identify your personality type or best work style, they are nothing more than tools that only provide you with some of the pieces of your identity puzzle. One of the caveats with many of these tests is that they attempt to slot people into narrow categories. Unfortunately, there is no single test that can give you the whole picture of your unique internal identity. Something more significant is needed to give you a broader and deeper understanding of who you truly are.

I mentioned in my previous posting – Mistaken Identity Part 1 – that many business owners haven't performed a self-inventory, although they do so in their businesses. A self-inventory is an assessment of the combination of your:

  • Goals and dreams,
  • Temperament in professional and non-professional settings,
  • Beliefs and values,
  • Natural talents and learned skills,
  • Strengths and weaknesses,
  • Passions and interests that you drive you, and
  • Lessons learned from your significant life experiences.

The concept of a self-inventory is simple, but the execution can be very difficult for those who don’t spend a lot of time thinking in-depth about some of these areas. Ask yourself when did you last schedule time to write this kind of list about yourself? Have you thought about how these attributes impact your thinking and decision making as an entrepreneur? How have you incorporated these attributes into your business vision, strategy, and operations, so that it's easy to see how your business is an extension or expression of your core identity? If you can’t answer these questions affirmatively, then you may be bordering on the brink of a mistaken identity.

My challenge to you is to perform a self-inventory over the next few weeks. Write down 4 to 5 items for each of the personal characteristics listed above.

So how do you ensure that you don't become a victim of mistaken identity? Check out the final posting in this series, Mistaken Identity – Part 3, coming soon.

Empowering Champions,

Paul Wilson, Jr.

Tags: business, entrepreneur, leadership, personal development, empowerment


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Mistaken Identity - Part 1

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"Who are you?" That is not a question that we often hear asked of ourselves or that we ask others. Usually, the question that's asked when we meet other people is, “What do you do?” Some people would look at those questions and provide the same answer to each. Others, while readily willing to give an answer to the second question, would just stare at you blankly when asked the first one. The blank stare or confused look is the most common response that I receive when I ask people that question.

There is a very good reason why we're called human "beings" and not human "doings". It's because "being" precedes "doing". Unfortunately, many of us don't approach life from this perspective. That's why the question, “who are you?” is so difficult to answer.

Too many people don't think about who they really are outside of their vocation. They have aligned their personal identity so closely with their professional image that their profession becomes the totality of their existence. I have determined that many people suffer from a bad case of “mistaken identity.”

When an entrepreneur has this syndrome, they spend most of their time focusing outside-in versus inside-out. This means that they are more concerned by what they do than who they truly are as a person. Many entrepreneurs often don't take the time to do a self-inventory. They spend more time inventorying their businesses then they do inventorying their personal lives. It's sad to say, but they don't have a strong sense of who they are outside of their daily business activities.

One of the dangers for those who have placed their entire identity solely in their business or profession is that if something causes a sudden or dramatic change in their professional status or job situation, a severe emotional upheaval often follows. We have all heard of those individuals who have done radical and even violent things to themselves or others as a result of a job loss.

Change can be traumatic for anyone. However, it's even worse for those whose identity is so closely tied to things that are changing. The reality is that you don’t stop “being” just because your situation changes. Who you are stays constant. The key is knowing who you are prior to change coming. And since you can't predict when the change is coming, you must commit to a continual process of discovering and reaffirming who you are.

The truth is your value to your family, community, and society is worth so much more than what you do in your 9 to 5. Your real value is in who you were created to be. What you do as an entrepreneur should flow out of your understanding and appreciation of your life purpose and mission.

So, even when your business or profession experiences challenges that force change on you, your clear understanding of why you are alive will help to guide you confidently to your next opportunity. You may not like changing and changing may be inconvenient for you; however, you will be able to quickly adjust and prepare for the next opportunity that's coming to you. Your business or job may change, but your identity stays the same.

How do you begin the process of shifting more of your focus from “doing” to “being”? I will discuss this in my next posting (Part 2).

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Tags: business, entrepreneur, identity theft, ,

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Social Entrepreneurship Resources

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The concept of entrepreneurship used to only be confined to for-profit organizations; however, in the past few years, the principles and practices associated with it have been applied in the social sector with some powerful results. Those who approach entrepreneurship with the intent of having a social impact are called social entrepreneurs. According to Wikipedia.org:
A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas business entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, social entrepreneurs assess their success in terms of the impact they have on society. While social entrepreneurs often work through nonprofits and citizen groups, many work in the private and governmental sectors.


Successful social entrepreneurs possess similar characteristics to their profit-seeking counterparts, such as leadership and interpersonal skills, communication abilities, problem-solving acumen, and the ability to acquire and utilize scarce resources. Nevertheless, their vision is directed toward something which will add value for the underprivileged sections of their communities or society as a whole.

Here are a few of the more well-known organizations in terms of promoting, supporting, and providing resources for social entrepreneurs:
If you have a heart for your community and you possess the necessary entrepreneurial skills, then you should consider the feasibility of starting or becoming a socially-driven venture, whether it be for-profit or non-profit. That's one of Biznovations.net's top goals - equipping more skilled, effective social entrepreneurs.

Contact us at info@biznovations.net if you would like us to help you create a strategy for your transition into social entrepreneurship. I look forward to hearing your decision.

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.


Tags: business, entrepreneur, social entrepreneur, innovation

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Virtual Business Reality

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Small organizations that want to create a national or global presence have many technology tools at their disposal. The internet and "do-it-yourself" software applications have given even the smallest organizations with few employees the ability to appear larger and offer their products and services to people all over the world. Furthermore, these tools, which used to only be available to large corporations, have been made relatively affordable and easy to use.

Here are a few online tools that you can use to improve your efficiency and expand your virtual presence in the marketplace:
  • Eroom.net - online project collaboration.
  • GotVmail - virtual phone system for small biz.
  • GoToMeeting - give sales presentations and product demos; meet and collaborate across the globe; provide online training.
  • Groove Networks - online file sharing, projects, data and process management.
  • Hot Office - online project collaboration.
  • WebEx - online meetings, video conferencing, online training.
  • Yahoo!Groups - online group email, file, calendar and contact management.
A few of these resources are free or have free trials, so you can try them out without having to make a long-term commitment. Check them out to see which ones are most applicable to your needs. You might be able to acquire new customers on the other side of the world that you never considered or thought was possible before.

To learn more about how some small companies are using technology to expand their capacity, capabilities, and customer base, check out this article at cnnmoney.com, Small Companies that Play Big.

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

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