Q: As an entrepreneur, what questions should I be asking myself?

An entrepreneur wears many hats that change during various stages of the venture but these three questions that are always relevant:

1) Where are your energy drains?
2) What does the environment need now?
3) What are you inspired to do next?

Now I get that these questions may seem strange at first so let me explain why they’re actually really sound questions that lead you to focus on the right things, at the right time, and create breakthroughs.

1) Where are your energy drains?
Energy drains are a symptom of entropy, dissolution, decay in the system. By paying attention to the drains, and eliminating them, it frees up additional energy for you to kick-ass out in the world. If you don’t eliminiate the drains, they will steal from your top-line performance.

For example, notice that if you’re back is hurting that you’re less effective at work. Or, notice that if you and you’re co-founder no longer trust and respect one another that top-line business growth suffers. Why is this? It’s because energy flows from inside-out. At any given point in time, a system has a finite amount of energy. It must use this available energy to maintain itself, make decisions, and get work done. Only after those internal needs are met, and if energy is left over, can the system go forward into the marketplace and find, sell and service customers.

When you ask the question, “where are your energy drains?” begin with you and go from the inside out. How’s your physical health? Your mental and emotional state? Are you waking up thinking about something that’s troubling? If so, you better address it. How’s your primary love relationship? Any friction or drains there? What about your relationship with your management team? Board? Key accounts? Etc. Scan and look for drains in order to free up lost energy to be put towards execution and expansion. Ignore the drains at your peril. They steal from overall success.

2) What does the environment need now?
Charles Darwin laid out the key to business success 250 years ago. (No, it’s not “survival of the fittest”). It’s adapt or perish. By forcing yourself to get out of your own head, desires, and the way you want things to be, and looking objectively at what’s really happening around you now, it allows you to focus on the most important things: producing positive and desired results for your customers now and over time.

For example, how well are you meeting customer needs now? Are you well prepared to meet them tomorrow? What changes are happening in the marketplace that will change the environment? Are you piloting, nailing, and scaling in accord with market demand and your ability to execute? (If not, you’re in a strategic folly).

Many entrepreneurs get so caught up in their own vision that they fail to meet the world where it really is today. So make it a daily practice to get out of your own head and focus on what’s happening out there. Stay adaptable.

3) What am I inspired to do next?
There are two ways to go through life. Doing something because you have to do it or doing it because you want to do it. By following your inspiration, you’ll find that you actually get much more accomplished, but more than that, you’re timing is right.

For example, let’s say you have a list of 200 prospects to call. Should you start at 1 and stop at 200? I say no. Instead, first pay attention to when you’re inspired to make sales calls and go make the calls then. But when you sit down to call, first scan you’re list of 200 and pick out the names that you’re most inspired to reach out to now. You’ll be surprised by the results.

Why does this work? Fuck, I can’t explain it. It just works. But it has something to do with this. A successful entrepreneur doesn’t just have his head down executing on the infinite task list. He or she needs to follow the rhythm of events. There are times when it’s time to just call that list of 200 people with brute force. There are other times when it’s best to go for a swim. Following your inspiration allows you to connect with that larger rhythm and nail your timing. It also gives your more energy and capability to do the taks itself.

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About Lex Sisney

Lex Sisney is an expert at creating breakthroughs in individuals and organizations. He's grown from co-founder and CEO of the world's largest affiliate marketing company to follow his passion as CEO Coach to the world's next generation of expansion-stage companies.