The Twelve Steps, Adapted for Entrepreneurs

Photo Credit: Randy Heinitz

I couldn’t help myself.

This week, I’m speaking to an outstanding group of entrepreneurs in Dublin, Ireland, about three power principles of my Courage to Confidence Model© for repeatable, sustainable success.

The group, which has almost 6,000 members in the Dublin Chapter alone, is called “Entrepreneurs Anonymous”. That – you have to admit – is quite a catchy name, isn’t it?

I asked the organizers about that name. They explained that a few years ago, a group of entrepreneurs got together after completing a course in business training. They continued meeting after class for mutual support and accountability, and – perhaps with a little tongue in cheek – called themselves Entrepreneurs Anonymous.

Over time, their group became a safe place to learn, seek support, and ask for help as their businesses grew. In a sense, they’d created a mastermind. But I also thought the name fit in other ways, since running a business can be a little addictive.

There’s a reason why we entrepreneurial types work so much – even when we’re the boss. :)

With a background in mental health, I’ve worked a lot with addictions. The 12 Steps framework, first established in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), is an old familiar friend. In fact, I’ve always thought there was wisdom in those Steps we could all use.

So, knowing that any proper “Anonymous” group would have it’s own version of the 12 Steps, I couldn’t resist the thought of creating one for all of us who are on this crazy journey together.

So with a nod of appreciation and gratitude to the inspiring men and women of the world’s 12 Step Fellowships, here’s my version of the 12 Steps, created especially for “Entrepreneurs Anonymous”.

I hope it makes you smile.

Twelve Steps for Entrepreneurs©

Step One

We admitted we were powerless over entrepreneurship and our constant stream of blog posts, launch plans and new business ideas – and that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step Two

We came to believe that only a coach, accountability partner or mastermind group of fellow entrepreneurs could restore us to sanity.

Step Three

We made a decision to turn our short term goals and long term strategic plans over to the guidance of our team of coaches, mentors, accountability partners and peers as we understood them.

Step Four

We made a searching and fearless mindset inventory of all the ideas we’ve yet to implement, all the fears that hold us back, and all the ways we’ve sabotaged our own success.

Step Five

We admitted to our coaches, our support team, and ourselves, the true nature of our doubts, as well as the power and possibility of our dreams. 

Step Six

We were entirely ready to release our limiting beliefs, to recognize our worth and own our value.

Step Seven

We humbly asked the soul of our business to help us release old fears, erase our doubts, and embrace our power.

Step Eight

We made a list of prospects, contacts and opportunities we may have missed or ignored, and became willing to reach out and follow up wherever we could.

Step Nine

We made direct contact with our list wherever possible, exploring partnerships, inviting collaborations and making offers, except when to do so would not be strategic for our business.

Step Ten

We continued to take our mindset inventory, and when we were becoming unfocused, losing faith, holding ourselves back or needing support, we promptly admitted it.

Step Eleven

We sought through meditation, journaling or other daily practices to improve our conscious contact with the soul of our business, seeking only for the courage and confidence to grow a profitable and successful business, and to bring our best to the world.

Step Twelve

Having had a powerful awakening, reaching results and developing resilience as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other entrepreneurs, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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And there you have it: Twelve Steps for Entrepreneurs

And I have a little gift for you. If you’d like a copy of these that you can print out and keep at your desk, click here. :)  

If you can relate to these, I hope you’ll implement them in your daily life as an entrepreneur.

Just as those in recovery will tell you, this isn’t a process that you work through one time and complete. Entrepreneurship is how we live, and these are signposts that will keep you moving forward with clarity, joy and success along the way.

One day at a time. :-)

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