The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.
Do you remember the reason you quit your comfortable job and started your own business ?
You must have a very good reason, because nobody gets on the roller coaster of entrepreneurship for pure pleasure. It is difficult, it takes you to the limit and it is definitely not for those who are scared easy.
In my experience (after having created several successful businesses), and after having worked with dozens of other successful entrepreneurs, I have discovered that one of the main factors that people create new businesses for is their need for relevance.
-You have the desire to be relevant to yourself.
-You want to be relevant to those who love you.
-You care what others think and you want to be relevant to them.
Relevance is a double-edged knife.
On the one hand it is something powerful that leads you to innovate and do what no one else would. It's a fundamental part of building something great, and to feel relevant (and feel like you're doing something relevant) you defy all limits and bet everything you have.
However, the need for relevance also has the power to wreak havoc on your life because things don't go as you expect. And it is something that you feel, that gets under your skin and that can lead you to depression because you want to be relevant, but you don't feel that you are.
The truth is that much of what we create as entrepreneurs we do to feel relevant. We create content, build products, and engage in new projects not because they give genuine meaning to others, but because they make us feel relevant to ourselves.
This is your ego, and it is the dark side of the need for relevance that prevents you from going to the next level. The problem is that we cannot escape the importance of this because it is something that all people need.
Recognition is one of the six human needs.
As a human being you need recognition and relevance. Tony Robbins talks about how each of us needs to fill six basic needs to build a life of happiness and abundance:
- Certainty: security that helps you avoid pain and other dangers.
- Uncertainty and variety: the need for new and fresh challenges.
- Relevance: The need to feel unique, special and important.
- Connection / Love: The need to feel loved and to be part of a community.
- Growth: the need to progress and to be more and better.
- Contribution: the need to feel that you are helping others and contributing to society.
Both in life and in business, you need to fill these needs to feel happy and content.
And it doesn't matter if you agree with these 6 needs or not, the point of relevance is important in the human condition.
It has the power to lead you to create something special. However, when you don't have it, you fall into a vacuum into depression and lose control of what you are building. This is why it is a double-edged knife, and the reason why it can build or destroy your business.
The thing is…
It has nothing to do with control … but to let it go
Many entrepreneurs (you may be one of them) quit their job to start a business because they hated the idea of not feeling relevant. Your desire for relevance literally led you to be an entrepreneur because with your own business you feel important and in control.
You end up doing things that 99 percent of people don't want to do, all because you're desperate to feel relevant. Again, this is not a bad thing, in fact, this is where the magic begins. The point is, it's not about being in control or feeling like you have it. In fact, true success and growth happen when you let go.
At some point you have to accept that your business should not feed your need to feel relevant. It is about leaving a mark on the world and making the people you serve relevant.
-You have to delegate and let go of many tasks.
-You have to say goodbye to some parts of your business and hire others to take care of them.
-You have to let go of the idea that you are an entrepreneur and start to get used to the idea that you are now the CEO.
You have to let go of your business and accept that it is no longer about you.
Your business is no longer about you
The need for relevance often results in your initial success because at first this is what motivates you to move, to take risks, to get out of your comfort zone and believe in what you do when everyone else thinks you are crazy.
But there comes a time when your need for relevance gets in the way of achieving what you can. You hold on to control and refuse to let it go not because other people are unwilling or unable but because you are afraid of not feeling important, valuable, or relevant.
The thing is, your business is not about you, it has never been about you.
Your business is about other people and the impact you have on them. Relevance and recognition continue to play a role in this, but it's not about how important you are, but how important your business is. You need to get away from the feeling that it's about you and do it for others, for your audience, your team or your business itself.
This is hard. I see it all the time, successful businesses get stuck because the people behind them are afraid to let go of control. They cling to their old-fashioned mindset instead of giving them the entrepreneurial mindset it takes to take that initial success to the next level.
They cling to what was instead of giving input to what is to come.
So if you are starting a new business, this may not apply to you. But if you are looking to take your business to the next level, you need to let go and upgrade your mentality. Your future success depends on whether you find relevance elsewhere, outside of your business. You need to look in the mirror and feel happy with the person in front of you, and know that it is enough as it is.
You are not your business and your business cannot be you. It is the only way to go from making thousands to making millions and it is the only way that can lead you to a truly successful life.