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Words That Entrepreneurs Need to Reframe

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

By Toby McGlo

We all know words have power. There are words we tend to use to describe ourselves or how certain events unfold in our lives, especially the successes, failures, and desires within our entrepreneurial journey.

It’s not that the typical uses of these words are wrong. They just don’t provide much value when we look at them in the normal sense. This article shows how to get the most out of your internal thoughts and new ways to frame old words.

  • Most people use this word to describe short-term gratification. When we feel joy and delight from instant gratification, we begin to rely on that method of gaining pleasure. It’s super unproductive to think like that.

  • You’re better off thinking of pleasure as feeling joy by the things that get you closer to your long-term goals. Whatever isn't contributing to those goals or helping you become better in your business and your life should be reframed as distractions and not thought of as "pleasure."

  • We typically think of a “loser” as someone who has lost. Obviously.

    • The dictionary definition of loser reads as “a person or thing that loses or has lost something, especially a game or contest.” This sets the bar for being a “winner” too low. If you agree with that definition, then it follows that you only have to win just once to be a winner. It’d be really boring to live like that.

    • There is a difference between a “loser” and someone who has lost. Peter Theil, a billionaire entrepreneur, suggests thinking of a loser as someone who has competition. My understanding of his point is that it is limited to organizations. It's less personal. To me, this definition should extend to individuals as well. This connection can bring tremendous value by allowing us to take a calculated approach to our lives.

    • Now, let's think about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs for a minute. Entrepreneurs should focus on the very top of the hierarchy which is self-actualization. Basically, “self-actualization” is how Maslow refers to one's need for true happiness. Consider this new definition of a loser as a person who simply doesn’t have this need met or isn’t doing anything to reach it. Winning in life has way more to do with being the best you and way less to do with being slow on the track team. As an entrepreneur, comparing yourself to others is one of the most toxic things you can do.

    • To be a loser simply means you haven’t met your needs yet. It’s easy to nitpick at ourselves and think about what we lack or haven't accomplished.

  • What to do about this?

    • Try self-analyzing more constructively, be kinder to yourself, and think about how you can carry out your goals at a more natural pace.

    • Compare yourself to yourself more and to others less.

    • Collect data -- numbers that you won’t argue with. This data has to be based on your goals. Focus on improving those metrics.

      • For example, if you like to work out, then maybe track your weight by stepping on a scale once a week.

      • Additionally, daily habit tracking is a good start.

    • Train yourself to think “loser” only when a person fails to take the necessary steps to meet their own needs. This way when you feel yourself slipping into bad habits, you have a safety net. You’ll say “I don’t want to lose to myself” and quickly get out of bed, get back to work, etc.

  • Depending on how you frame words like “easy,” “difficult,” and “hard,” you may be less or more productive.

  • Physics tests are “hard” with no preparation. With adequate practice, would you still perceive the test as difficult? Likely not.

  • Train your mind to start thinking about ease from the standpoint of preparation. Start thinking like this around the clock.

  • If your head is full of thoughts like, “My upcoming business launch will be easier if I spend two hours preparing every day,” then it will be much easier to get to work and your perception of your launch as "difficult" begins to change.

  • What’s the point?

    • Understand words like “easy,” “difficult,” and “hard” are conditional.

      • Exploit this by playing into it and unlocking extreme courage, confidence, and happiness.

  • Replace can’t with won’t.

  • This has obvious limitations: For instance, “I can’t fly” and “I won’t fly" are very different. “I can’t sprout wings out of my back and fly away like an angel” is probably the only time you need to use the word “can’t” in this context. However, if we resigned ourselves to thinking that humans can never achieve flight, planes would have never been invented.

  • I’d guess that 90% of our modern-day use of “can’t” would be much better replaced with the word “won’t." The reason being is that some actions and objectives are things you say you can't do when you just won't try them because you don't believe you're capable. This word "can't" just conveys disbelief in one's own self. It takes time, work, and effort to achieve our aspirations. We say we can't make that sale or reach that business goal or scale our enterprise or pivot our business and life plans. Recondition your mind to think differently about what you can and can't do. Is it that you can't do it or that the task you want to carry out will take a level of effort to achieve? It's not that you aren't capable. It's that you aren't confident. Have faith in yourself. Do the work, meet the challenge, receive the growth, and you'll be surprised at the heights you can reach. With or without wings.

For New Entrepreneurs

If you're a new entrepreneur, welcome! Learning how to navigate tough times and the ups and downs of your entrepreneurial journey can be a little rough at first. We're here to help! Check out this guide on how to keep your peace in the midst of hard times. Images and a PDF you can download for yourself are below!

Guide on How to Stay for New Entrepreneurs
Download • 42KB

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