So much of our success and failure as entrepreneur architects is determined by our mindsets. It’s all in your head! What’s keeping you from growing? How do you properly set boundaries around your firms and families? What about the importance of visions and planning your life? How about the seasons of our lives determining the timeline for our success?
This week at EntreArchitect Podcast, The Psychology of Success with Entrepreneur Psychotherapist Joyce Marter.
Joyce Marter is a licensed psychotherapist and the founder of Urban Balance, a multisite counseling practice that she started and grew to over 100 therapists working in 9 locations in Chicago and St. Louis during her 13 years as CEO. She has a passion for applying psychology to business. She’s a public speaker, a corporate trainer, and she has been featured as an expert on media outlets like Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, CNN, MTV and more.
Joyce went to school at Ohio State, and when she started she had no idea what she wanted to do. She chose psychology, sociology and humanities since she was interested in learning more about it. She quickly learned that she was interested in learning about people’s thinking, emotions, experiences, and how we’re shaped by our experiences in life. She attended Northwestern for her graduate degree in counseling psychology.
After that, she feel accidentally into entrepreneurship. She saw a need for an insurance-friendly counseling practice. Though she went through ups and downs, her practice grew quickly.
Did you plan to grow into such a large business?
As Joyce worked on her business, she worked on herself personally. Sine they’re two sides of the same coin, the business organically grew as she grew herself.
There was a need for insurance-friendly therapy and for jobs for therapists. One person at a time, her business grew leaps and bounds.
Was there fear in launching your own business?
Many people told her she was too young, that the market was too saturated, and that there was too much competition. She set strict boundaries for herself and people laughed at her. There was a lot of fear in it. She took the feedback with a grain of thought and forged ahead anyway.
How did you find the balance between your family and your business?
Joyce planned her career in the context of her life, not the other way around. She visualized the life she wanted to have with her family, and planned around that. As a mom and provider, she puts great value on her time and puts parameters around her day. Taking care of our selves allows us to think more clearly and be more productive and joyous in our work. Because Joyce prioritizes her family, it has helped her delegate and find great people to partner with instead of trying to control and do everything herself.
What was the first step to create your plan and vision?
How many weeks a year do you want to take off? What do you want your work week to look like? What’s your prime target of hours? What of those are from home? When do you need to be home for your family? Build boundaries around those and make them non negotiable.
Next, imagine financially what you want to make. Aim high and visualize that. Focus on what’s being supported. Let it take shape organically based on what’s going on at work and at home.
How did you plan for future seasons?
From a psychology perspective, there are different phases of development that impact where our energy and time go. For Joyce, career growth happen in stages and steps. There may be a push to grow, and then a pause to maintain there.
How do you combat the fear in your head that gets in your way of taking the next step forward?
Eckert Tolle, author of The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, says, “Whenever you feel inferior or superior to someone else, that’s your ego.” All the negative, neurotic mind chatter comes from our ego. Instead, be present in the moment by practicing mindfulness. Develop the skill to observe your thoughts rather than believing everything your inner critic is saying. Start practicing meditation to reboot and become aware of your thoughts.
Believe in yourself in order to sell yourself to someone else. Be your own most compassionate coach and advocate as you move through building and running your business.
If you’re interested in getting started with meditation, check out Headspace or Calm. Whether it’s balance, an integrated life, or success at a high level, start to understand who you are to get out of your head and achieve all that you’re planning.
What’s getting in my way of doing the things I know I should do?
We all have self sabotaging behaviors, and we all create patterns that are familiar unless we choose something different. We need an accountability partner – whether it be a coach, therapist, another architect or business partner – that you get together with periodically about staying on track.
For Joyce, each Monday her and a friend email each other with 5 things that they want to do in the coming week for their business growth but they fear they won’t get to. At the end of the week, if they don’t get to those 5 things, they need to explain to one another why that is.
When you have stress in your life, another really important skill is learning how to manage that. Learning how to detach and move through it without being reactive will help. Challenges are always opportunities for growth.
You cannot do these things alone, accountability is crucial. It helps us grow to the best version of ourselves and live a greater version of our lives.
What is the one thing that small firm architects can do today to build a better business tomorrow?
“Practice gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal and, every day, write down three things you’re thankful for. This will teach you to focus on the positive. When you’re positive, you’ll attract more positivity and success into your life.” – Joyce Marter, Urban Balance
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