How to Navigate the Unknown in Business | Blog

How to Navigate the Unknown in Business | Blog

“When we create a business, whether we are solopreneurs or entrepreneurs, there's no way forward but to step into the unknown. This can feel scary and even paralyzing. We've been taught to believe that we should have this plan and know what's next and find comfort in being able to define our future. Now I feel so much more ease with the unknown, the potential of the unknown and I find myself so much more resilient when a door shuts unexpectedly.”

This was sent to me by a recent student in a mastermind program. She is creating a new product in the world and has never done it before. Being in the unknown is a daily occurrence. Yet, like many of us who are creating a business, she thought it was important to define her future, to have a plan and know what's next. Yet knowing how it's all going to play out, work out, take shape is impossible.

I work with many solopreneurs and entrepreneurs and when they let go of having to know, the illusion of being able to predict or somehow control the future, they find freedom. And this freedom becomes a new source of energy, aliveness, creativity and resilience.

Trying to think through all the potential what-if scenarios takes up a lot of mental bandwidth. It also keeps us from being present to what currently is happening in our businesses or lives.

We mistakenly think that if we think through something enough it will guarantee a certain outcome or an easier path. That if we “get it right” we're guaranteed a smoother journey.

We get insecure or worried about the future or if something will work out and our minds are off to the races. We try to settle our insecurity or worry by circumventing any surprises. However, life and business are unpredictable. We do not control all the variables. Surprises are part of the game.

Having the opportunity to work with entrepreneurs and solopreneurs from around the world, I've seen a few common understandings that have helped the really successful ones continue to thrive, have more reach, more impact and navigate the ups and downs of business.

Here are the common understandings…

  • At their core, they know they are ok no matter what happens in their business. They do not tie their wellbeing to the results in their business. Their wellbeing is not at risk.
  • They trust their ability to figure things out, to rise the occasion regardless of being in uncharted territory. They know the mind is designed to give them ideas and help them out. This applies to building something brand new, winning a bid, getting investors or dealing with setbacks and challenges.
  • They get less attached to particular outcomes and see the value of being responsive in the moment. To listening to what is coming forward, what is emerging versus being tied to a particular way or result. They let their innate intelligence, their deeper nature, play a bigger role than their ideas of what it should be.
  • Their worth, their value, is not tied to their business. They see they are whole and complete AS IS. At the same time, they also see business as an opportunity for self-actualization, to evolve and grow.

These understandings allow successful solopreneurs and entrepreneurs to play the game of business with more resilience. They bounce back and find their way. They follow the natural momentum.

When we understand there is a distinction between the game of business and the truth of who we are, immense freedom emerges.

When we know our wellbeing is not tied to outcome, we are more willing to take chances, to be in the unknown and just start. We no longer get paralyzed by insecure thinking. We see it for what it is and keep moving forward.

Seeing the truth of who we are means we know we are designed to do well in the unknown. We have what it takes to find our way.

We have this incredible, innate, powerful resource that gives us fresh insight, new perspective and creative ideas. When it becomes our compass, we move forward with more confidence.

The freedom of being in the unknown allows us to tap into new potential and new capabilities. Our business unfolds in unpredictable and surprising ways.

“When we understand there is a distinction between the game of business and the truth of who we are, immense freedom emerges.”

When we embrace the unknown we discover new capabilities, new potential and new freedom in our lives and in our work.

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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at 



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