Start-Up Positive Psychology Business Blog Series – Part 2: Your Start-Up Journey (Jackie Wade)

Hope / Positive Psychology in Practice / Professional Practice / Resilience / Strengths / Wellbeing

This guest entry is from Jackie Wade, a Positive Psychologist, Leadership Coach, Transition Coach, Business Start-up mentor and coach, Midlife Catalyst Curator, author, and speaker. Jackie is a member of the Positive Psychology Guild (PPG) and is passionate about people and their journeys.

Your Start-Up Journey:

As you ponder the next stage of your journey and consider embarking on your own business venture post MAPP, my advice – follow the wisdom of the great man Shakespeare (Polonius)

“This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

(Hamlet, Act-1, Scene-III, 78–82) 

What is your why? Why are you considering this entrepreneurial path? Why is this important to you?

Or consider “What is the world calling you to be?”

Getting clear on your passion, mission / purpose and values lies at the heart of everything that will follow. Clarity on this will both excite you and propel you forward, as well as ground you when you might be veering off track. This is the start of your two-page simple business plan (more to follow in blog 3 and webinar).

Next consider your strengths – how can you play to them in the business going forward? What sets you apart – your USP (unique selling point). If you are entering a cluttered marketplace, you need to be clear, why YOU? What makes you special, why might people choose to work with you – this is your personal brand and will define you and your marketing (and price point) in the future.

I particularly like the Japanese Ikigai model to help gain clarity on this, as well as working out how to turn you passion into an income stream, aka “what can you get paid for”! Sometimes in our line of work, talking about money and getting paid can be a bit of a dirty word – yet this can be existential to survival of both self and the business, so fear not asking to be paid well for your work and value yourself.

You might not consider yourself an entrepreneur (yet!), but you are indeed embarking on one of the most exciting journeys that I feel exists in one’s working life – a rollercoaster of a ride, exciting, challenging, demanding and great fun, full of personal risks and personal rewards

I like this definition: “An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The process of setting up a business is known as entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures”, Adam Hayes (2022)

Can you see yourself in this definition?

Can you be a source of new ideas or simply a new way of bringing existing ideas to new markets, sectors, people in your own unique way? YOU are the INNOVATOR because you, your strengths and talents and experiences are UNIQUE! There is only one you. You and your business matter!

And what about an entrepreneur’s mindset, maybe as a Positive Psychologist you question whether you have one and worry whether you can make it work. I like to think it’s very closely linked to Dweck’s “Growth Mindset” versus fixed mindset (2006):

The biggest entrepreneurial asset you bring to the start-up journey is YOU and all the wisdom you have learned over the years. Your lens on the problem you are seeking to solve! If you have recently graduated from the MAPP or are mid-way, you also be bringing some really special gifts and wisdom you have been nurturing during this exciting phase of our lives

  • Resilience
  • Grit
  • Hope
  • Courage
  • (Self) Compassion
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Strengths

Your start-up venture does not have to be about scale or magnitude, but rather about autonomy, self-efficacy and crafting the life YOU want. It is about optimising your Psychological Capital, in my view wonderfully brought to life by Luthans (2007) HERO Model – Hope, efficacy (self), resilience, optimism.  It is about taking the risk to step away from a life that might not be allowing you truly flourish, in order to pursue a dream you’ve always had.  You are pursuing your “Hero’s Journey” and that is your personal quest for authenticity, purpose and meaning which is independent of other’s views, perspectives, values.

Enjoy the journey, build your support network and check into our final blog for some practical tips and hints.

Jackie Wade is passionate about people and their journeys. How can we live our best possible life, especially the second act!?!

Positive Psychologist, Leadership Coach, Transition Coach, Business Start-up mentor and coach, Midlife Catalyst Curator, author, and speaker. Curious to explore and impact on how we can follow our hearts, pursue our dreams and impact positively on those we love, our communities, our world.

Subjects of interest: Entrepreneurship, Positive Psychology, Purpose, Meaning and Mattering, living authentically based on values and strengths alignment, courage, choice and mid-life transition, living our one best life.

Currently living between France & UK.

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