Are Entrepreneurs Like Fighter Pilots?

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I have recently been observing some folks that are resisting change... and isn't it funny how the thing that we most WANT in life can elude us, until we give up the WANTING altogether?

I am sure many people have done the same thing. As soon as they give up the NEED to have something a certain way, then life all of a sudden gets easier and they get the thing they were looking for. In fact, it usually just falls into their lap without having to try. It's the ol' "A watched pot doesn't boil!"

You can also say that it's, HOLDING on TOO TIGHT! And when I was discussing this exact resistance to change over lunch with my husband, immediately my very favorite movie came to mind, Top Gun. The reason why the protagonist, Maverick ever got the opportunity to train as a fighter pilot was because his predecessor, Cougar, resigned as a fighter pilot after an intense exchange with a Russian Mig Fighter.

The resignation went like this, "I'm holding on too tight Maverick, I've lost the Edge!" He turned in his wings and resigned as a pilot.

What really happened to Cougar is that became attached to the outcome. He wanted to control the outcome, which for him meant, he didn't want to die in a combat exchange (well, most people wouldn't, but fighter pilots train to eliminate that fear altogether!!) That very fear and desire to control the outcome changed his ability to be an effective Top Gun pilot. For any effective fighter pilot, you must fly on instinct and be able to TRUST yourself, there is no time for thought or control. You cannot even fathom the outcome, once you do, you have lost the edge, you no longer fly on split second instinct and you can't FEEL your intuition.

The same is true for entrepreneurs. You are skillful at what you are doing. You decided to become an entrepreneur for some reason, and that reason is that you are GOOD, no, you are GREAT at what you do. Becoming a skillful entrepreneur is similar to how fighter pilots train. They train, and make mistakes....correct their mistakes, and train more. And Repeat.

Effective entrepreneurs do the same thing! Try, mistake, correct, repeat!

No fighter pilot on their first run will ever be perfect, it's IMPOSSIBLE! As will being an effective entrepreneur, you will not be perfect your first week, IMPOSSIBLE (or ever for that matter, so stop trying!) Trust me, I fell on my face so many times as a new entrepreneur, its amazing that I didn't need plastic surgery to put my nose back in place! It takes training, trying and mistaking to refine your skill.

Let me must make mistakes! Every normal and effective entrepreneur does! (Phew, so glad I am normal!)

And when it comes to the holding on too tight, we see that a lot with entrepreneurs and their fear around money. They now all of a sudden disconnect from their intuition and instinct and start wanting to control the outcome! They must not be trying hard enough, they must do more, they must be failing...and on and on... Such a common story!!

And like a fighter pilot, you, as an entrepreneur have certain intrinsic abilities to go with the flow. When you set your intentions, follow your intuition, and TRUST that your actions will be guided without too much thought, there is the magic flow. It is the same flow that the pilots feel when they are at the top of their game. Little control is needed, it feels almost effortless.

Malcom Gladwell wrote a whole book on this subject of trusting your intuition called "Blink". He writes, "...I hope that by the end of this book, you will believe it as well - that the task of making sense of ourselves and our behavior requires that we acknowledge there can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis."

So, my question to you, whether you're an entrepreneur, a "non-preneur", or a fighter pilot: What are you holding on to so tightly that causes you to lose your edge?

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Makenzie Kelly is a professional Success and Personal Life Coach. She recently retired from a Multi-Million dollar business that she started in her mid twenties. She has taken her zest for building wealth, which is really another form of wellness, health and prosperity and shares it with her clients! She currently runs two business and her blog: Adventurous Mom dot Com. She also generously shares free Personal Coaching Tips at Personal Life Coaching Tips! Makenzie believes that everyone wants to be successful, the only question is: What's keeping you from getting there?

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Are Entrepreneurs Like Fighter Pilots?

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This article was published on 2010/04/14