The “Eliminator” Entrepreneur

What do you think of when you hear the word “elimination?” Does it have a positive or negative connotation? What could “elimination” possibly have to do with entrepreneurship? Is it a sinister plot to get rid of the competition? Happily, “elimination” is a very positive concept for entrepreneurs. Let me explain.

Nature has installed a regular elimination process within our bodies. We eat and drink foods and liquids which provide nourishment. But not all of what we consume is useful and our system eliminates this as waste. If this elimination process did not exist, we would eventually become so bloated we would explode – or at least that’s my speculation!

I read a staggering statistic recently. Apparently, the National Science Foundation published a paper in 2005 stating that the average person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day! The paper went on to say that 80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% of them are repetitive. If true, this is astounding. It’s no wonder that the older we get, the harder it seems to remember things – it’s probably because our minds are so cluttered with the cumulative effect of our thoughts.

So, what does this mean for us as entrepreneurs? Having a fresh mind that can think clearly is paramount to our success. And of course, mental clutter and negative thoughts impede our creativity. If 80% of our thoughts are truly negative, we are living in a danger zone when it comes to flourishing entrepreneurship. It’s one thing to acknowledge that we need to change our mindset. But that is easier said than done. After years of “practice,” negative thoughts may come naturally to us.

The answer is to embrace a process of elimination. The first step is to realize when negative thoughts have crept into our consciousness. Keeping a “thought journal” for a few days might be helpful in this regard. Every time we have a negative thought, we write it down in our journal. In a short period of time, we will become very mindful of our thought patterns and identify the triggers for negative thinking. The second step is to eliminate negative thoughts. This might be accomplished in a symbolic way by taking the negative thoughts we’ve transferred into our journal, then tearing out the page at the end of the day and burning or destroying it in some manner.

Because nature abhors a vacuum, the elimination of negative thoughts will create a void into which we can pour positive thoughts. A few that come to mind are gratitude, enthusiasm, optimism, exhilaration, confidence, and fulfillment. It’s these positive nuggets that will provide us with the “entrepreneurial energy” to reach the pinnacle of success. Just remember that the elimination process is just as important as the positive thoughts we think. Without elimination, the negative thoughts of fear, lack, limitation, envy, jealousy, hurt and unworthiness, continue to hang around and fester. They make it that much harder to usher in the positive energy that allows us to thrive. The bottom line is that we must be very intentional about the process of elimination.

There’s one more thing we can do that will physically reinforce the notion of elimination to make way for greater good in our lives. If you are like me, we have all sorts of “stuff” that has accumulated over the years – material things in our garages, attics, basements, storage sheds – you name it and it’s probably there. While cleaning out these areas may not be our idea of a fun Saturday project, it certainly can be therapeutic when we see it working in tandem with eliminating negative mindsets. And it never ceases to amaze me that I save some of the darnedest things. For example, I received a monthly financial publication for decades and saved every one of them. I guess I figured that I might go back and look at them at some point in the future. Except that I never have – not one single time. And now all that information and more is easily available on the Internet. So, I found it somewhat liberating to get rid of all these magazines (and my house is less of a firetrap to boot). The point is that eliminating unneeded physical possessions is an act that supports the elimination of unneeded and unwanted thoughts of the mind.

Entrepreneurial energy can be gained when we intentionally practice the process of eliminating negative thinking. Then the creativity and positivity that flows into the void will help propel our success like rocket fuel. 

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

The In-the-Zone Entrepreneur

“I need to stop and get milk on the way home from the office. I wonder how that new employee we just hired is going to work out. Wow, it is hot in here! I’m hungry. This paragraph I am reading makes no sense. Boy it is sure hard to concentrate right now. The stock market is way down today. Man, I am really hungry. Note to self – pick up wife’s birthday present. Must also remember to follow-up with Smith on the Franklin contract. Blah, blah, blah, buzz, buzz, buzz . . .”

Does this sound like what is going on in an entrepreneur’s mind ALL THE TIME?! Do you recognize the pattern? If you are like me, you have a million thoughts crossing your mind at warp speed and on a continual basis throughout the day. There are all kinds of statistics to be found, but the National Science Foundation provides a range of 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day for each of us. Even on the low end, that is a lot of thoughts. As a result, it is easy to become overwhelmed by our own minds. We are constantly bombarded with massive amounts of stimuli – much more so than ever before. I believe that the Internet and technology in general has enabled us to connect with a multitude of people and things that contribute to this trend. Think about a farmer in the 1800s. He might have read a newspaper every once in a while. Beyond that, he was not really in touch with the world outside his own small community. He worked hard physically. His mental challenges were pretty much limited to providing for and taking care of his family.

How hard would it be to just sit quietly for 30 minutes and think of absolutely nothing? I do not know many people who can actually do this. And yet, we need to be able to clear our minds of the clutter that accumulates throughout the day. A friend of mine has some wonderful advice. He says, “Listen deeply into the silence behind the noise.” Yes, much of what we think is just noise. Have you ever tried to talk on the phone with someone while a very loud conversation is occurring within earshot? Have you ever tried to focus and concentrate when there is a loud television blaring in the background? This is exactly what is happening in our minds with all the thoughts competing for attention. So, what to do?

To listen deeply into the silence behind the noise means that we must clear and quiet our minds. There is probably nothing harder for us entrepreneurs than to slow down and turn off our thoughts. But I think you will agree that when this is accomplished the flow of creative energy becomes even greater than before. And of course, creativity leads to better products and services; a more acute awareness for solving problems, and stronger interpersonal relationships. Whether you meditate, practice yoga, take long walks, or engage in some other daily mind-clearing activity the important thing to remember is to be present. Most of us are either thinking thoughts about the past or the future. When I take a walk, I try and focus on where I am and what I am experiencing in the moment. I observe the color of the sky, the shape of the clouds, the birds I am seeing in the trees and the sounds that are cascading around me. Above all, I am able to push all of the thoughts about past and future out of my head and live for the moment during the time I’m talking my walk.

We must be intentional about clearing our minds of the clutter that accumulates. Only then will our creative energy be heightened in positive and rewarding ways.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

Blah, Blah, Blah, Bzzzzzzzz

“I need to stop and get milk on the way home from the office. I wonder how that new employee we just hired is going to work out. Wow, it’s hot in here! I’m hungry. This paragraph I’m reading makes no sense. Boy it’s sure hard to concentrate right now. The stock market is way down today. Man I’m really hungry. Note to self – pick up wife’s birthday present. Must also remember to follow-up with Smith on the Franklin contract. Blah, blah, blah, buzz, buzz, buzz . . .”

Does this sound like what is going on in an entrepreneur’s mind ALL THE TIME?! Do you recognize the pattern? If you are like me, you have a million thoughts crossing your mind at warp speed and on a continual basis throughout the day. There are all kinds of statistics to be found, but the National Science Foundation provides a range of 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day for each of us. Even on the low end, that’s a lot of thoughts. As a result it’s easy to become overwhelmed by our own minds. We are constantly bombarded with massive amounts of stimuli – much more so than ever before. I believe that the Internet and technology in general has enabled us to be connected with a multitude of people and things that contribute to this trend. Think about a farmer in the 1800s. He might read a newspaper every once in a while. Beyond that, he wasn’t really in touch with the world outside his own small community. He worked hard physically. His mental challenges were pretty much limited to providing for and taking care of his family.

How hard would it be to just to sit quietly for 30 minutes and think of absolutely nothing? I don’t know many people who can actually do this. And yet, we need to be able to clear our minds of the clutter that accumulates throughout the day. A friend of mine has some wonderful advice. He says, “Listen deeply into the silence behind the noise.” Yes, much of what we think is just noise. Have you ever tried to talk on the phone with someone while a very loud conversation is occurring within earshot? Have you ever tried to focus and concentrate when there’s a loud television blaring in the background? This is exactly what is happening in our minds with all the thoughts competing for attention. So what to do?

To listen deeply into the silence behind the noise means that we must clear and quiet our minds. There’s probably nothing harder for us entrepreneurs than to slow down and turn off our thoughts. But I think you’ll agree that when this is accomplished the flow of creative energy becomes even greater than before. And of course creativity leads to better products and services; a more acute awareness for solving problems, and stronger interpersonal relationships. Whether you meditate, practice yoga, take long walks, or engage in some other daily mind-clearing activity the important thing to remember is to be present. Most of us are either thinking thoughts about the past or the future. When I take a walk I try and focus on where I am and what I’m experiencing in the moment. I observe the color of the sky, the shape of the clouds, the birds I’m seeing in the trees and the sounds that are cascading around me. Above all, I’m able to push all of the thoughts about past and future out of my head and live for the moment during the time I’m taking my walk.

We must be intentional about clearing our minds of the clutter that accumulates. Only then will our creative energy be heightened in positive and rewarding ways.

 This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

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