The 4 Roadblocks for Right Brain Entrepreneurs and Executives

Michael O. "Coop" CooperChange, Coaching, Right BrainLeave a Comment

If you're a right brain entrepreneur or executive, the odds are stacked against you. In most Western cultures, business is structured as a left-brain activity.  But that doesn't mean you can't stand out and be wildly successful. In fact, it means it's easier for you to stand out...and hence be wildly successful. In fact, what business desperately needs right now are the unique gifts you bring to the table as a right brain entrepreneur.

BUT, it means you have to overcome these 4 roadblocks to stand out, be valued, and contribute effectively.

Roadblock #1: Assuming Too Much Responsibility

Rather than being a jack of all trades, spreading yourself too thin and taking on too much responsibility, you must recognize and monetize your gifts - the things that are easy, natural, effortless for you...the things that you are good at and love doing.

Most right brainers I work with have no idea what their gifts are, so they spend most of their time doing things that are more difficult, take more effort, and are dramatically less rewarding, not to mention depleting and exhausting.

Here's my rule of thumb: If you spend a lot of time worn out, stressed, and frustrated, you aren't monetizing your gifts.

Here's what it looks like when you do monetize your gifts:

  • You're focused.
  • You're energized.
  • You're excited and really enjoy your work.
  • Your work is extremely high quality.
  • And others are impressed by and appreciate your work.

Roadblock #2: Starting Too Many Things...and Finishing Few

Right brainers are full of ideas. We can make connections between concepts that others cannot, use our imaginations to create possibilities, paint the picture for others to follow,  and think extraordinarily fast on our feet.

People love us for that.

But most right brainers also have a very long list of unfinished projects because we usually have way too many things going at one time. Many of us have what's called "the shiny object syndrome" where we get seduced by new ideas or possibilities, and we get bored with the details and the amount of effort and time it takes to complete things. If we're leading other people, it's often confusing and disheartening when we don't follow through and complete the things we start.

What we have to realize is we are GREAT at starting things, but we are not so good at finishing them ourselves.

Most right brainers I work with think they are good at almost everything, but when pressed to finish projects or ideas, they try harder and harder, get frustrated, their to do lists grow longer and longer, they get stressed out, and they think there's something wrong with them but they have no idea what.

The key to finishing lots of things? Partner with finishers. Here's what it looks like when you partner with finishers:

  • Your list of unfinished projects becomes complete.
  • Your to do list shrinks (over time).
  • The world gets to finally see and appreciate your ideas, which can generate significantly more revenue and satisfaction for you.

The added bonus is that you begin to trust yourself more, your self esteem improves, and you have proof your ideas are actually valid.

To overcome this roadblock we must partner with people who are great at finishing things, and empower them to do so.  What's important to realize is that the part of our brain that  is good at starting things (one of our gifts) is not good at finishing things. So don't spend a lot of time, money, effort, and resources trying to become good at finishing things because our brains and our habits will rarely allow us to do so proficiently.

Roadblock #3: Hiring for Potential vs. Hiring for Proof of Competence

As right brainers, we crave respect. Since that's our perspective, we assume others also crave respect - and we want to give it to them way too early. Because of this we often don't make people earn our respect. In hiring, this can become a big problem because we sense people's potential (it's also one of our gifts) and we automatically respect people for that potential.

Many businesses, particularly small businesses or startups, need people who can work independently, take on the role completely on Day 1, and do what is required immediately with little orientation or training. If you hire people based on their potential, it requires that you spend a lot of time training and mentoring them, supervising their work, giving lots of feedback, and explaining your expectations in great detail. Most of us don't have the luxury of taking the time and effort required to do that.

Most right brainers I work with pride themselves on giving people opportunities, in part because many of them got where they are because they were given opportunities. However, this practice often creates a tremendous amount of overwhelm, missed expectations, stress, and additional work for the person who hired them (that would be you). So while you might feel great about giving someone a chance - an opportunity to learn and grow - you could be sabotaging your business.

Here's what it looks like when you hire based on proof of competence:

  • People start their roles being able to anticipate our expectations because they've already done it.
  • They can make an immediate impact on the outcomes you need.
  • They know the job better than you do.

Roadblock #4: Helping Everyone Else vs. Helping Yourself

Right brainers love to help people. Most run businesses that serve others well, while leaving the owner worn out, stressed, financially strapped, and chaotic.

Most right brain executives focus on what the clients need vs. what their employees (or they, themselves) need. This usually results in high staff turnover because expectations are unclear. When the sole focus is on helping the clients, vs. valuing the needs of the employees and owner as well, people will search for somewhere else to work where they are valued and appreciated.

Most right brain entrepreneurs and executives call me for help when they are in a crisis. Either they are completely worn out and they want their lives back, their businesses are at risk of going under, or their staff is ready to mutiny. Usually  they've played with a million strategies, but haven't completely followed through with any of them.

Here's what it looks like when you help yourself, as a right brain entrepreneur or executive:

  • You're really clear on what your needs, your employees' needs, the business's needs and your customer's needs are. I often ask my clients, "Did you start your business to focus on everybody else, or to create the freedom and life you wanted?"
  • Then you create the systems, processes and procedures that get those needs met. You literally design your business with this in mind.
  • You're able to run a profitable business with happy employees, happy customers, and you finally have the time and energy to have a life you really enjoy.

If you're facing any of these road blocks, use my 15 years of expertise of helping hundreds of people just like you take the steps and make the changes required to overcome them. 

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