A few years ago, I met a woman who was in the early stages of growing her business. She told me, “When my company grows up, I want it to be like such-and-such company.”
Having a company or individual as a role model is always a great strategy – until it’s not.
Let me explain. There is a downside to this sort of thinking. Sometimes, aspiring to be like something or someone can give you a complex or make you feel inferior. In the darkest moments of entrepreneurship, thoughts like, “I’ll never get there” or “I’ll never be like her” can start to creep in. And that can be dangerous.
But if you understand the secret behind aspiration, you will make a powerful pivot. Aspiration will become inspiration, and those dark, negative thoughts will disappear.
I was lucky enough to see this happen last week to the business owner I mentioned above.
Last week, this same business owner brought her (virtual) team together for an in-person strategic leadership meeting. She laid out her vision for the company and inspired all of them to join her in building what she believes will be an amazing place to work.
In that moment, she no longer cared about the company she had hoped to become when she grew up. She became leader of a company that was based on her own vision of how to be the best at what they do.
She started running her own race and no longer wanted to become someone else. That is a powerful pivot.
Sometimes it takes longer than you might expect to make that pivot. But once you stop aspiring to be like someone else, the faster you will be your own role model – and one for others.