Starting and building a business is not an intuitive process. Many business truths and best practices are actually counterintuitive.
I have a theory about that.
Your intuition is deeply intertwined with your emotions, and part of its job is to protect you. But in order to grow your business, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Discomfort = pain and there is always a part of yourself that will do ANYTHING to prevent that.
For example, a huge part of marketing, especially at the beginning of your business journey, is learning to be vulnerable. It’s not easy to share yourself and your gifts with the whole world. Going through that process of learning to be vulnerable can be incredibly uncomfortable. It can be downright terrifying.
So when you need to take the bold step of being vulnerable with your marketing and sales, your intuition will try to protect you. “Stop! Don’t do that! It feels unsafe.” And suddenly, you may find that you’re putting off putting yourself out there. Sound familiar?
This is one of those times when you need to feel the fear and do it anyway. And in order to do that, you will need to politely ask your intuition to step aside and make way.
Here’s another common example. You know (or someone like me told you) that you need to niche down so you can have a clear, consistent marketing message.
Let’s unpack this emotionally for a second. Niching doesn’t sound like a big deal. Until you realize it’s deeply, intimately connected to your ability to attract and enroll clients. In other words, creating a niche is directly connected to your ability to make money.
For many new business owners, this can trigger the equivalent of a five-alarm emotional fire. Money angst. Self-worth doubts. Fear of rejection. Those are just a few of the emotional mines going off here. And your intuition will work overtime to help you avoid them.
Don’t let your intuition lead the way in this moment. I guarantee you it will play the fear card. “Wait! Stop! We won’t make any money unless we create a business that does everything for anyone!” It will muster the forces of resistance. It will cast doubt. It will kill your confidence.
Ok, so letting my emotions drive the bus isn’t always the best course of action. What should I do instead?
First, not all inner guidance come from our intuition.
Learn to distinguish between your real intuition, that deep sense of internal knowing, and your internal panic button. Real intuition comes from a place of calm wisdom, and usually makes you feel more grounded. In contrast, your internal panic button will make you feel stressed and freaked out. That sense of panic is most often our natural resistance to change and growth – and something all entrepreneurs need to learn to manage so we can get beyond it.
Second, invest in quality business guidance.
You wouldn’t climb Mount Everest without a sherpa, or open a restaurant without going to culinary school. So don’t build your business without a qualified coach or mentor to help you safely navigate the terrain.
Starting and building a business is not an intuitive process. But there IS a process. A good business coach or mentor will help you understand which parts of growing your business are counterintuitive, and why. They will help you stay the course through those counterintuitive legs of the journey so you can keep moving toward your vision, step by step, instead of getting stuck at base camp with an intuition hangover, or getting lost in an intuition detour.
How to avoid having an intuition hangover:
When your inner voice starts talking to you, listen to see if it’s coming from that place of calm, grounding wisdom (real intuition) or if it’s your internal resistance hitting the panic button. Listen to the first. Ignore the latter.
- Know when to anticipate your internal resistance so you can recognize it. Are you “putting yourself out there” for the first time, or in a new way? Are you in the process of learning how to enroll clients? Where are you tipping a toe outside of your comfort zone? Expect resistance to show up there.
- When you encounter resistance, acknowledge it. I recommend journaling and spending some time understanding what it is, and where it’s coming from. And then, after you’ve learned from it, just let it go and move on.
Remember – your intuition can be a powerful asset in your business. Just make sure you’re listening to the right voice, using it in the right way, and not confusing it with the natural resistance that we all experience on our business adventures.