Guest post by Rebecca Tervo (learn more about Rebecca at the end of this post)
I fell in love with a vampire and have become intrigued by vampire stories…No, this is not another book review or blog entry about vampires.
I became a fan of author Stephenie Meyer after being “forced” to read the wildly popular “Twilight” series because my 10 year old daughter wanted to read it. I had to read it before she did (because of my own policy). Turns out, I absolutely fell head over heels for Edward and the whole vampire love story….as weird as that may be.
I eagerly awaited her next book once I had finished the series. Would it be another vampire love story? Turns out, it’s not. “The Host” is Meyer’s latest read. It’s based on the story of two minds/souls living in one body. A very interesting concept, since only one can be in control of the body at a time. As you can imagine, these minds are in a conundrum. How does one dominate? How long can they actually live in the same body and agree on goals and how to achieve them? I haven’t finished reading it yet, so I can’t give you the answer.
I have two minds fighting for dominance…
However, as I’m reading, I’m reminded about the two sides that live inside of me. I call these the ‘achiever’ and the ‘conformist’. I bet you’ve experienced this to some degree. Especially if you are trying to enter the unknown, trying to start a business, or taking a leap of faith to do something new with your life.
When I started my business, the achiever was extremely dominant. My achiever side had huge plans, ideas, and motivation to start a business where I could do the work I love, work with the clients I like, and have time flexibility for my family.
Now that I’ve been in business for about 2 years, I’ve realized that once in a while the conformist rears its head and tries to hold the achiever back. Just like in “The Host”, the achiever and conformist are jockeying for dominance.
See if any of these typical conversations happen in your head:
I can’t do that!
Conformist: I don’t have any actual people I can talk to in my community that are doing what I’m attempting to do. There’s no logical proof that it can be done!
Achiever: Anything is possible! I bet no one had ever flown an airplane before the Wright brothers came along….just start doing something.
What’s so special about me?
Conformist: No-one will buy that. I have no great knowledge to offer, and even if I did, I can’t package it in a way that my target market wants.
Achiever: There are entrepreneurs opening businesses every day. I have a lot of great things to offer…how to setup their recordkeeping and bookkeeping systems, and what they actually need to do to be in business legally…and much more. My workshops are becoming more and more popular! People want what I have to offer.
I don’t know everything I need to know!
Conformist: I don’t have time to learn all that. I love learning, and want to spend hours in front of the computer reading so that I absolutely know everything I need to know before creating that project, or writing that ebook or offering that coaching program.
Achiever: I don’t need to know everything before I start! I can start from where I am, offer what I know now, to people who need to know it. When I learn more, I can expand my offerings! Everyone who has been successful in their business started somewhere. I’m sure none were born with the knowledge.
What if no one likes me?
Conformist: I’ve always been sensitive. I was very shy all through high school. My Mom always told me to be aware of what other people think. So, what if no one likes my book, blog, or workshops? I don’t want to look like a fool!
Achiever: I will start somewhere. I shouldn’t care who likes me and who doesn’t. I can’t please everyone anyway! I can only get started if I put something out and get feedback on it. This is working great with my workshops already. I revise my teaching method based on what the surveys are telling me.
What if my colleagues think I’m dumb?
Conformist: My idea is to simplify financial and accounting terms down. I want to offer courses that teach bookkeeping and Quickbooks in the simplest, easiest to understand language. In fact, I feel like attending these continuing education classes with my colleagues that are titled “Income Taxes: Applying SFAS 109/FIN 48” and “Audits of 401(b) Plans” really don’t help my clients in any way. I guess I won’t be “as smart” as those other CPAs who are working with all those complicated tax returns and audits.
Achiever: My idea is already a great business model, and has been used by people like Dave Ramsey (My Total Money Makeover) and Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad). The training materials these men have developed have helped thousands of people understand their financial life better. I can use the same model to help people understand their business finances as well.
My friends and family are still waiting to give a verdict.
Conformist: What if all my friends and family say “see I told you so…that stuff never works”? Even though I’ve been in business for 2 years now, I still feel like I have friends and family that are quietly waiting for me to fail.
Achiever: I actually feel sorry for people who have this close minded view of the world, and what’s possible in it. I am so grateful to be given this brain that’s able to see that there are opportunities just waiting for me, and for anyone else willing to go out there and grab them! I will show them that anything is possible, and maybe it’ll inspire a few to follow their dreams.
What if I never make any “real”, significant money?
Conformist: What if I don’t make any money this year? So far, the money has gone to start and build my business….I haven’t been able to take any amount that is making a significant difference in our family’s life.
Achiever: Don’t “they” say that the average business takes 3-5 years before it’s showing a profit? I’m still a newbie business! And, I haven’t gone gung-ho, all out as a “typical” CPA firm that does taxes, audits and reviews in my local market. I choose to be the “non typical” CPA and follow my passion. My business model is moving online…which I believe is where I will find much greater success and contentment. And, in the future, I’ll be able to show other CPA firms how they can move out of their comfort zone and get with the new economy online.
What if I never prove to my husband that I can do this?
Conformist: What if I never prove that my ideas will pay off…that all my money and time invested is worth it? My husband has a dream of leaving his job and doing what inspires him. I can’t let him down.
Achiever: This time is different than those other times. This time, I am doing what I’m passionate about. This time, I know I have information that needs to be shared. This time, I AM DOING IT NO MATTER WHAT!
What if I’m looked at as being greedy?
Conformist: What if everyone thinks I’m greedy because I’m pursuing big goals? This is the old feeling that “the wealthy are greedy and just want to take everything from everyone else for themselves” and “Big business is bad”. I don’t want to be thought of as “greedy” and “rich” and “she must’ve done something illegal to make that much money!”…
Achiever: I’ve read enough biographies about successful business people to know that they are some of the biggest givers and philanthropists that live. My pursuit of big goals and dreams isn’t all about the money. It’s about the journey, about who I am, about what I can do for my family, and about what I can do to help others. Money isn’t everything to me. But, it is a way to accomplish other goals that round out who I am, and how we live, and what we are able to experience as a family.
Are you living with a conformist inside that keeps attempting to hold you back? It’s always smart to have some point of reference for being realistic, but if you let this conformist dominate, you will probably never reach your goals and dreams.
My achiever side is dominating more and more every day. I know this because of the opportunities that I am seizing on a daily basis! I am now guest posting on other people’s blogs, meeting new clients online, and am currently coauthoring a book with a favorite NY Times bestselling business author. I have no doubt that I would not be doing these things if I let my conformist take over and keep me “safe” from the big, bad, business world!
What words are you going to say to yourself to let your achiever shine through?
About the Author:
Rebecca Tervo is a CPA and Certified Quickbooks Proadvisor whose passion is helping small biz owners and solopreneurs organize and understand their finances. You can check out her blog at http://www.tervofinancial.com/blog where she writes about small business tips, Quickbooks tips, and her entrepreneurial experience.