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I remember a question I was asked at an interview a few years back. Roughly, it went something like, ‘How a businessman can know so much about mindfulness’. It was more the insinuation behind the question that bothered me. I decided to share some of the experiences that led me to where I am.
It was my education in business and the exposure to mindfulness that helped me marry them on a common platform—with Michael’s guidance and leadership, of course. Michael would often share how mindfulness made him a better entrepreneur.
As a young adult, I was navigating many personal challenges. My journey exploring mindfulness humbled me and exposed me to the aspects of my personality that made me a better leader.
Here, it was the simple things that surprised me. Cultivating a sense of mindful entrepreneurship made me value getting enough sleep! I learnt how to separate work from my personal life. I learnt how to focus on the process, rather than the results.
It was not easy to maintain a balance between leading and supporting a startup and my personal responsibilities. Without mindfulness, I am not sure how things would have turned out.
The importance of mindful entrepreneurship
In my (humble) opinion, mindfulness or mindful entrepreneurship is critical for the success of startups.
Startups face many obstacles from limited resources to a limited margin of error. Entrepreneurs who build a company on an idea, take a big risk exploring an untapped market or need. For every entrepreneur, the question, “Will this new venture succeed before the money runs out?” can be crippling.
This is where mindful entrepreneurship comes into effect.
Mindfulness gives you the ability to accept and adapt to changing and often difficult circumstances. It will help you guide your venture with clear and intuitive decision-making.
Mindful entrepreneurship will help you find the time to consider relevant facts and consider your intuition. It will help you avoid knee-jerk reactions that undermine effective leadership. As a mindful entrepreneur, you will not mistake motion for effective action. Most of all, you will address issues with purpose, focus, clarity, and intuition.
Mindful entrepreneurship allows us to become more aware of our thoughts, choices, decisions, and reactions. It encourages introspection and reminds us to step back. So, the practice of mindful entrepreneurship brings situations into sharp focus.
Developing mindful entrepreneurship
Developing mindful entrepreneurship is the process of cultivating mindfulness practices into your everyday life. As Michael says in his book, ‘The Mindful Leader’, the inner transformation that happens is more about removal than addition.
“It’s about removing the masks and pretenses that keep us feeling isolated. It’s about letting go of beliefs and ideas that keep us locked in self-defeating habits. It’s about dissolving the inner judge, surrendering the burden of a busy mind, and rediscovering the innate love and wisdom that has been with us all along. It’s about clearing away the conditioned patterns that congeal us into something narrow and confined...”
Learn to be here now
The first step to developing mindful entrepreneurship is enhancing the ability to remain present. The most effective way to do this is to tune into your senses. This will help you control your wandering mind and experience the present.
In the long run, this will help you overcome absentmindedness, which is the direct opposite of being present.
You can start by practicing a five-minute breathing exercise, every day. Focus your attention on every detail of the breathing process and learn to be present. Make this a practice.
Foster mindful entrepreneurship with the Awakened Mind app
Awakened Mind is the ultimate resource for cultivating mindful entrepreneurship. Our holistic and advanced mindfulness app is created to guide leaders to achieve mindfulness at any place and any time.
You can use the guided meditation tracks in our Learning Center to build your practice.
Develop the strength to lead in stressful and uncertain situations. Take the time to maintain focus and a healthy work-life balance. Become mindful to be successful in whatever venture you pursue with Awakened Mind.