Good news for you: I’m afraid again.
More importantly, I want you to be afraid.
And then I want you come out braver and stronger than you ever imagined. And more successful than you ever dreamed. There’s a formula for this.
Let me back up a bit.
There has been a lot of research on the power of mindset, especially in the fields of entrepreneurship, education, and self-improvement. (1)
I’ve devoured this research, totally consumed it, and I could easily fart it back out at you and be done. But that’s not why I gave up a secure government job to become a copywriter and a coach. That’s not why I rode a bicycle across Italy, bought a farm sight unseen, and did a lot of other things I probably shouldn’t tell you about.
There’s is one thing I will tell you about, but I’m afraid.
So before I blurt it all out, I’m going to hide behind the research. It backs up everything I learned in the streets of Rome, in the redwoods, and in that roach-infested apartment in L.A. where I made thousands of cold calls just to drum up enough business to pay the rent.
Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version.
Mindset is a key factor in overcoming limitations. It gives you superpowers to do things that previously might have seemed out of reach, or even extraordinary. The right mindset can create miracles when it comes to learning, sports, and entrepreneurial pursuits.
Given the great power of mindset, here’s a mindset for the new year: When working on your biggest, most ambitious goals, think of yourself as a hero on a journey.
A new version of the Hero’s Journey
Now, you may already be familiar with the idea of the Hero’s Journey, which seems to be a universal pattern in storytelling, legends, and our own growth as we go through life.
You become a part of this timeless cycle when you see yourself as a hero on a journey. You are voluntarily choosing a Hero’s Journey, and you immediately take on several qualities that will help you succeed because of this mindset.
For example, seeing yourself as a hero on a journey affirms that what you’re doing is right and correct and involves you in the motion of the world. Unconsciously, you begin to feel and believe that the universe is on your side.
When you adopt this mindset, a part of the brain called the Reticular Activating System, the RAS, helps you spot the opportunities, tools, and people you need in order to succeed at your goals.
Thinking of yourself as a hero on a journey also gives you greater perseverance and courage. You’re more likely to take calculated risks with high upsides, because you believe that you are meant to do this and meant to succeed.
At the same time, when a hero is on a journey in classic mythology, often the entire fate of the entire world is at stake.
This may not be the case for you, but as an entrepreneur, you are a world builder and a world changer. You are bringing new services and new possibilities into existence.
In this way, you’re also doing something that impacts the fate of the world. Your mindset is likely to give you a greater sense of responsibility, and a respect for the impact of your actions. This can lead to better judgment, which creates better outcomes.
Choose your own adventure
So, how do you create this mindset of a hero on a journey?
The first step is to create the journey. You probably have a list of New Year’s resolutions by now. Start by asking yourself, assuming you stick to your resolutions, what kind of outcome you really want to have 12 months from now? Next, crank it up a notch.
What sort of outcomes do you really want to create?
Make sure your New Year’s resolutions are based on bold, ambitious goals. At least one of these should be a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal, or BHAG. (2)
I’ll be talking about these a lot more this year. In fact, I’ve created my own Big, Harry, Audacious Goal, and if you want to follow me, I will be periodically checking in and telling you about my progress and what I am doing to make this goal a reality.
2023 is in the BHAG
Here’s my BHAG for 2023, which is actually a two-year plan. This fall, I’m going to lead a small group of people through an inspiring experience somewhere in the Mediterranean.
Everyone who goes on this trip will return as a hero on an adventure.
Most of the participants are going to be artists, leaders, and entrepreneurs. However, I also want to reserve a few spots for people who are struggling, possibly a single mom with their child, or a teenager living in the inner-city, or someone experiencing homelessness. They could benefit greatly from this experience, and from the people they will meet and begin to see as role models.
In addition to doing something adventurous in the Mediterranean (this will probably involve some kind of volunteer work, a bike tour, or a combination of both–I’m still working out the details), the trip will include group discussions, brainstorms, and other exercises to help participants come up with a new BHAG.
Then, after the trip, there will be some regular follow-up coaching through the end of the year. Participants will spend the last hundred days of 2023 setting up something extraordinary for themselves for 2024.
This may not work. But lately I’ve seen myself doing it several times in dreams and under hypnosis. I’ve also got a seasoned expert coaching me on the logistics.
Join this Hero’s Journey–or just watch
If you’re ready for an adventure, then follow me in the coming months as I begin to manifest this vision. Whether you choose to join me in the Mediterranean or not, I hope that watching my own challenges and struggles and the ways I overcome them will serve as an inspiration and a model while you pursue your own Hero’s Journey.
So let’s work on this together. It’s going to be scary. It’s going to be fun. And it could change you forever.
(1)Here are just a few examples of the effects of mindset:
Wen, Ya, Huaruo Chen, Xindong Wei, Kai Li, Fei Liu, and Xia Liu. 2023. “Examining Predictors and Outcomes of Decent Work among Chinese Female Pre-Service Primary School Teachers” Sustainability15, no. 1: 730. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010730
Mvunabandi, J., Marimuthu, F., & Maama, H. (2022). Longitudinal Analysis of Relationship between Entrepreneurial Mindset Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Knowledge Improvement among Adolescent Girls and Young Women in South Africa. Jurnal Maksipreneur: Manajemen, Koperasi, dan Entrepreneurship, 12(1), 234-258. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.30588/jmp.v12i1.1164
Liu Yanjun, Zhang Hui. “Making things happen: How employees’ paradox mindset influences innovative performance.” Frontiers in Psychology. 2022 vol. 13. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1009209. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1009209
(2)Collins, Jim and Porras, Jerry. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.