Daily Archives: May 27, 2014

Knowing When to Shift Gears

gearsWhat was your first car? Mine was a bright green Datsun B-210. It had a manual transmission, which I had no idea how to drive. This scenario is a lot like stepping into entrepreneurship and how I felt when I started my first business.

Being willing to learn 

People with an entrepreneurial mindset tend to take risks and are open to new things. Since the Datsun was the only car on the dealer’s lot that I could afford, I figured I’d give it a shot and learn as I go. I didn’t need to know everything about the inner workings of the car. I just need to figure out how to get it off the lot and get home.

Sure, I made mistakes and stalled out a few times. However, once I got the hang of it, it was actually pretty fun! Somewhere along the line, I got interested in classic cars, sports cars, and hot rods.

sports car_greenLearning to listen

The first trick to learning how to drive a stick shift vehicle is learning how to listen.  Yes, you need to figure out how to work the clutch but listening to the rev of the engine is pivotal. When you accelerate, the engine revs. This lets you know to shift to the next gear.

As an entrepreneur, you also need to listen to your clients, both potential and existing. You can’t assume that you’ve got it all figured out.  You have to be able to shift gears when necessary.

Going uphill 

Driving a stick shift on flat roads is easy. However, a wave of panic usually sets in for rookies once they’re at a red light at the top of a hill.

When you own your own business, there will be peaks and valleys. You need to be prepared, so that panic doesn’t set in.  Soon, you learn the tricks that prevent you from rolling backwards and crashing into something. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of practice and trial and error.

Enjoying the benefits 

The benefits of a manual transmission include better gas mileage and more control of the vehicle.  Entrepreneurship is all about having more control over your career and your income.  You don’t have to worry about getting laid off or not getting along with your boss.

Since my business is mobile, I can work when and where I want. I can even work with clients across the globe!  This required a shift in mindset and learning some new things, but I’m enjoying the ride!

How about you? Are you ready to shift gears to get your business where you’d like it to be? If you’d like a complimentary consult, click here. You can also sign up for my free E-book and weekly newsletter using the box on the right. Leave a comment and tell us about your first car!

Dori_RockerChick_jacket2013Dori Staehle is the owner and Chief Encouragement Officer at Rock the Next Stage. She specializes in helping Encore Entrepreneurs and empty nesters create a business and brand that rock and a life that they love.  This is her 3rd business. Driving a race car around a track is on her bucket list.  When she’s not coaching or drumming, Dori enjoys going to car shows.