Second only to fear… chaos is the ultimate sabotage of many entrepreneurs.
I have seen many people fall victim to their chaos, both internal and external, and I have also seen many people learn to release their chaos to become victors in the entrepreneurial arena.
Chaos is quite simply a lack of order.
Are you a neat freak?
If so, you probably do not have much external chaos in your life. Your desk is organized… there is a place for everything.
AND everything in its place.
Your drawers and closets look as great on the inside as they do on the outside. The neatness is not for show… you are truly pleased with the order and systems for organization that you create, and you continue this habit for the sheer pleasure you derive from being neat.
However, if you are a chaos addict, your desk is piled with papers and notes. Seeing the top of it is challenging.
I have clients who actually cannot remember the color of their office carpet because the floor is covered in miscellaneous papers, magazines, faxes, and notes.
When you open your desk drawers, you never quite know what you may find in them on any given day. And your closets are just as likely to have clothes piled in heaps.
Even if you are able to organize your office on the surface, if you were to look beyond your desktop and drawer fronts, you would find a jumble of disorganized information and materials.
A neat freak and a chaos addict are polar opposites on the sliding scale of disorganization.
Most of us lie somewhere between these two extremes. I have used the example of external chaos that almost everyone can envision to illustrate my point. What I have found in the many thousands of hours I have spent coaching my clients is that external chaos typically reflects internal and emotional chaos.
A key component to success as an entrepreneur is developing a crystal clear vision of where your enterprise is headed. If you are just realizing that you are surrounded by chaos, here are a few questions that will assist you:
What is your purpose?
What is your reason for being psychologically unemployable?
What changes do you seek to create in the world through your endeavor?
What people would you like to meet?
What charities or organizations would you like to donate your time and money to? What destinations would you like to travel to?
Questions like these will provoke you to create mental images of your entrepreneurial future.
Your Entrepreneurial Present
Now take a look at your office, your entrepreneurial present.
Is it as precise and clear as your visions? Does it in any way reflect your emotional state at this point in time?
If the answer is yes and you do not like what you see… the good news is that when you are your own boss, you can choose to hire and fire yourself every day!
If you are in emotional turmoil in your enterprise, welcome to the big leagues!…
…So is just about every other new entrepreneur stepping into this game.
Begin by taking a few deep breaths and letting go of some of your anxiety. Take a look around you and commit to eliminating anything that no longer serves you. You will be amazed at the change you can create in your office in ten minutes when you allow yourself to release the chaos!
If you are at the opposite end of the spectrum and your office is as neat as a pin… I ask you to consider if you are spending an inordinate amount of time each day maintaining this order.
If the answer is yes, then you may actually be procrastinating instead of taking the action that will produce results in your enterprise. Having a perfect office may be your way of convincing yourself that you put in a full day’s effort when really you took little action.
If this is the case, ask yourself what it is that you are resisting in your enterprise. Then take a deep breath and begin letting go of this fear.
Perhaps, like me, you are extremely organized and spend little time or energy staying organized because this is in your nature and it is just how you are. If this is the case, you are in a very small percent of society, and this skill will be one of your greatest assets in free enterprise.
Regardless of where you stand on the chaos scale, there is always room for improvement… whether you seek to become more organized or to let go of your obsessive behavior to achieve more results.
The key here is to find a balance that you can maintain with a minimum amount of effort and to have an office or production space that you are proud of and feels good to be in.