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How do I know what to do next?

Dear Lynn,

I’ve always had a dream to work for myself. However, I’ve put the decision off for many years out of laziness, fear or pure procrastination. Last month, I lost my job of nine years when the company I worked for went out of business. I realize this is the perfect time to go for my entrepreneurial dream. I have two possible directions. Unfortunately, I find myself paralyzed over the thought of making the wrong move. —

Jennie M.

Dear Jennie M.

I’m sure you have a lot of company when it comes to anxiety about the possibility of working for yourself! It’s exciting AND scary! I’d like to suggest you listen to your “Inner CEO.” It’s your intuition. Here are six ideas to get you started.

1) Be curious! — Immerse yourself in your topics. Read about them. Talk to others. Do your research. As you’re doing this, be aware of what intrigues you, what inspires you to learn more, what compels you forward. Follow that thread. That’s your inner CEO leading you in the right direction.

2) Visualize — What would it look like and feel like if your idea, product, or service were to be successful in the marketplace? Think in both mental as well as emotional images. As you practice this, your intuition will drop clues in your mind about how to most easily achieve your goals.

3) Be different — Don’t do something just because others are doing it. You want to lead the pack. That’s what a successful entrepreneur does! Is there an unusual market you hadn’t previously considered?

4) Think different — Pretend a psychic has predicted your company (product, service, idea) will be wildly successful this year. Here’s what to do next…

Grab a notebook and write out a description of exactly how you’ll achieve this success. If you’re someone who is more motivated by imminent failure, imagine the reverse! The prediction is that you’ll fail miserably this year. Write about what got you there. How could you avoid this catastrophe?

5) Focus on your best/worst decisions — Think back to a time when you made a particularly successful decision or idea. What did it feel like emotionally? How did it feel in your body? How did you know it was a good decision? Do the same exercise with the worst decision you’ve made. When you’re coming up with new business ideas, pay attention to how they make you feel. This is your intuitive response system in action.

6) Imagine You’ve won the lottery — Innovative ideas often get stalled because they’re stopped in their tracks by the phrase, “I can’t afford it.” Pretend for now that money is no object. Allow the idea factory of your mind to generate unlimited ideas and solutions. After you’re finished, go back and create a list of ways to accomplish the most innovative ideas based on your current budget.

Jennie, write me back in a few months and let me know how everything unfolds. I look forward to reading about your success!