There's lots of stuff out there showing us what good leadership look like. We might even feel we already know what a great leader looks like.
But there's something else at play, especially for a micro business owner who may well work alone, and that's leading yourself or being your own leader. Instead of just leading others, making great decisions on behalf of, or transforming the lives of others, how about us? How are we taking a lead in our own journeys first, in a way that helps us drive our business and our lives in the direction we really want?
I wanted to share some self leaderships ideas and reminders that may help you focus on some of the key elements of leading yourself through a life and a business you really love.
Have a vision - all leaders create goals and visions to help motivate others, but we also need to be really crystal clear on what that is for ourselves. What do we really want from our lives or our businesses. How do we really want to feel. What are we working towards on a daily basis. Trying a mind map, mood board or drawing out a spider gram can really help us unlock the 'real' vision not just a set of work goals. It can help us connect with ourselves fully to ensure the work we're doing is still helping us towards our vision. Take time to revisit your vision every so often too to check in if it's still right for you.
Know yourself - there's so much help out there to help us understand ourselves, our personalities and our own unique foibles. When leading our own lives or micro businesses, it's important to know all the light and dark of ourselves so that we are acing in our 'zone of impact' (doing what we're good at) and getting help or working on areas that are more unclear. Things to think about is what kind of learner we are, whether we're introverted or an extrovert, what influences from the past will trigger behaviour that impacts today. A life long exploration for sure, but vital as we take a lead in our own work and life journeys.
Practice being resilient - and it does take practice! Resilience is our ability to manage life and work, cope when the unexpected happens and learn as we go so that we don't drown in overwhelm. Elements that will support your own resilience are things like a positive mindset or understanding life is happening for you, not to you. An ability to learn as you go so that you can embrace direction change and also an ability to remain flexible in your approach. Another vital element to resilience is connection and avoiding isolation of yourself or your thinking. Don't forget that resilience will be bolstered too by knowing yourself and working towards a vision (even if the path takes a sudden left turn!).
Stay curious - fostering a principle to stay learning and listening has a huge impact on our ability to be our own leader. In a micro business, it's vital. There are always new perspectives to consider, new skills or ideas to learn and new opportunities if only we're making time to discover them. Curiosity not only keeps us flexible (& resilient) but also keeps us moving forward, even when we feel pretty stuck. Your curiosity may lead to new thinking, new directions or even a whole new micro business. Find time to ensure you're not fixed in your approach to life and work - podcasts, documentaries, conversations, meeting new peoples, reading - it's all in the mix of a good day.
Live in your values & purpose - most of us who start a micro business do so because it fundamentally allows us to work in a way that aligns to our own set of core values or intrinsically allows to work towards our own purpose. You might call this a moral compass or a guiding light, or this might be a written manifesto that guides your decision making and collaborations in business. Leading ourselves in this way helps us stay aligned with those we love and work with and provides an integrity in life that support our mental wellbeing and resilience.
Gratitude - a game changer if you're looking to be a better leader to yourself and find more positivity for life and work. I always find gratitude is a kind of 'presence' or mindfulness that helps me slow down and not be swept up in a whirl of worry or negativity. Gratitude reminds us that we're on a learning journey and that we have resilience. Being grateful for what is already, also allows us space to make better decisions and have clearer thinking or maybe even stay curious.
Seek out support - all leaders need mentors, teachers and supporters and you're no different. Where are you finding connection and community? Who can you turn to for support or to learn from? None of us have the right answers all the time and none of us know everything, so fostering a network of people can help us make positive decisions, take next steps when we're stuck or learning something new to help us towards a vision.
Be the change...you want to see. Not sure who originally said that, but it's so true when being a leader of our own lives. So often, we might assume someone else will make the changes we want to see. We might even blame others or feel helpless when things go wrong but all change comes from within us. Even if we're only changing ourselves and our response to things, we're already more powerful and in the driving seat. In micro business, most of us are seeking to make change in our corner of the world whether that's helping others or creating a new eating experience but the power is in the change itself.
I'd love to hear what you're doing to be your own leader and for you to share your own ideas - pop along to the forum where we can all support each other.