Reinvention: Copy The Entrepreneur You Want To Be

Posted on 10. Oct, 2010 by Tony Wanless in Uncategorized

Previously posted at

If you want to change your behavior to be a better entrepreneur, you’re going to have to find models. Then you need to employ empathy by acting like them.

There is a unique psychological aspect of the human mind that makes us tend to become like the people we spend the most time with.
For example:
  • If you hang out with a motorcycle gang much of the time, you’ll soon start to think like an outlaw biker
  • If you spend most of your time with new mothers you’ll probably eventually spend a lot of emotional energy worrying about children’s problems
  • If you work in an office with a rigid set of behavioral rules, you’ll soon adopt them
  • You may even become the proverbial “man in the grey flannel suit”, always using the same language as other men and women in gray flannel suits (if they still exist, that is).

This is because those with whom we associate define who we are. The words we hear every day affect our behavior. If everybody around you is cynical, you’ll soon start unconciously using the language of the cynical.

If you find this is happening to you, and it’s not a good thing, you should find a new model to follow.

This doesn’t involve a lot of tricks like walking on fire or stripping down and being part of a giant group hug. In fact there’s only one real way to do it. Find someone who exemplifies what you want to be, and then mimic them.

Sure, you’ve been told your whole life to be your own person, to be independent, to think for yourself. But first you have to understand what that self looks like. And the best way is to find an example.

We have all been taught that we should try to be empathetic, which is putting yourself in the place of people with problems. Many consultants, coaches, agents and other professionals are very good at empathy, because their businesses depend on it.

Empathy has another side. It has techniques and methods that can be applied to personal change.

If you want to be confident and charismatic, then study someone who is confident and charismatic. Study how they walk and talk and act. Understand how they think and feel.

Then endeavour to do the same as often as possible. Go into that meeting with a prospect with a view of yourself as confident and charismatic. Negotiate a price with confidence and charm. Deal with suppliers from a viewpoint of strength.

At first it might seem strange. But eventually you will become confident and charismatic. Maybe not exactly like your model, but confident and charismatic in your own way.

And all because you employed a little empathy.

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