Learn from the best, why you can never do it alone

Member feature: by Susan Smit of VA Connect

When I started out on this VA journey, I did it to see if I can do something different from the job I was doing for 13 years.  I always knew I wanted to be more, do more and influence more than what my 8-5 job wanted.  Mostly after a day’s work I felt frustrated and irritated that my employee did not trust me enough to “BE MORE” than what they expected of me. Often this left me feeling incompetent and not being able to be what I knew I was…… an entrepreneur with the love for anything logistics.  Then my door opened and I started with all the might and power in me.  I worked crazy hours, kept my phone on the whole time to make sure I never missed an email, message, comment or #Hashtags4Likes.   To this day there is still some of that, but I have learned to manage my time better.

I learned that I love listening to podcasts, reading motivational books and talking to people who are on entrepreneurial journeys.  Not only does this motivate me to keep going but I also try to learn in the process. Being open to different mindset and values (which I think is my strong suit in life) it guides me see people and business in a whole different light. When I decided to write this blog, I delved into research and gained insight more about myself than anyone else. I LEARNED THE FOLLOWING


Why do we/I have this need to feel in control?

As entrepreneur, business owner, parent, employer or adult, we have this need to be in control of our business, children, destiny, future and daily lives.  This sense of control gives us stability and certainty over:

Ultimately this can be worded as self-control.

I believe this sense of control does not come from a point of power over others, but more out of being able to look back and be happy with what we achieved, reached or completed.  Being self-controlled means we have power of our own lives and futures. And ultimately this influences the choices we make and the direction of our lives. This is why terminally ill patients have that original sense of powerlessness and sadness, because they cannot control the outcome.

Self-control is very different from being controlling over others. Being in control is more a daily living choice, where control over others has to do with power.  But this topic is for another day.

As entrepreneur I learned early on that I am on the road of control not self-control (yes the very bad one). Luckily I have this inspirational client that believes in change, even if it starts with one self. And through his influence I learned that there is a big difference in SELF-CONTROL and CONTROL


Can Self-Control be taught?

www.Successtory.com described self-control as “the key factor for Entrepreneurial success. The important thing for an entrepreneur is that one can cultivate the self-control. We need to understand that choices can either be impulsive or rational. Impulsive choices are driven by emotional responses to physical stimuli.”

Wikihow has this interesting read on how to teach self-control to oneself, which I think is a must for adults and children. How does this connect with my entrepreneurial journey? When starting out, I thought I had to do everything, and I mean everything on my own. Because I am the best at what I do, and no one can do it like me……..this leads me to feel tired, burned out and totally out of control. I had a semi burnout and forgot my own words Self-Care vs Burnout.  My family had to put up with my negativity until I started to surround myself with influencers and the best thought leaders in their fields.  I got my spunk back and learned that I needed self-control over my time and life.  And yes, that self-control leads me to realize I can not do it alone. Not even thought leaders and influencers do it on their own. They surround themselves with people who have the same visions and business values, and they never stop learning from others.  Learn to trust in your own instincts, and appoint people in positions that make your life easier.  I listened to an interesting podcast the other day of Dave Duarte.  From a young age, he knew his worth and potential. Even though he did not follow the norm of education, he is today a guru in marketing and digital leadership practices.  He surrounded himself with visionaries and influencers and never stop learning. And he was never afraid of walking his journey with others.  Listen to the podcast here Podcast Seedpod – Lee Rael with Dave Duarte

Can Self-Control affect business success?

Selfcontrol, like a muscle, can be strengthened with training. And according to science, selfcontrol is a key quality in business success. People with high levels of selfcontrol are more effective with their time, thoughtful in their decisions, and productive with their work.  Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that they surrounded themselves with people who believe as they do, and they walked the mile together. 90-hour Workweeks, do not seem so far fetched when your support system believes in you and cheer you on. Most successful entrepreneurs practice self-control over their time by applying the following rules:

  • Deleted Facebook on your mobile if it is not a mean of communication to your target market. Do not waste time over who is saying and showing what if it does not give value to your life.
  • Appoint able people in positions to handle those task that you as a business leader is not good in. Rather spend your time on what you are good at.
  • If you follow influencers, follow the best. And follow who they follow. My influencers on are (remember to follow leaders of different walks of life, to widen your knowledge and perspectives):


  • Cultivate self-control everywhere. It starts when you wake up, not when you step into your office.
  • Your time is precious, spend it on learning and gaining knowledge. When you start out as an entrepreneur, be sure, your vision, partnerships, goals and beliefs will change – EMBRACE change.
  • And never feel alone, use technology to connect you.


Bringing it together:

When on your entrepreneurial journey, be prepared to put in the effort.  Always use self-control over your time, attention to others and what you are surrounding yourself with.  This journey can be influential and financially beneficial if you are prepared to share and gain knowledge. No successful business owner has done it on their own.  Employ people you trust easily and share in your values and vision, and use technology to connect you today. Walk this journey with pride and power of yourself and your future.


For more about Susan and how VA Connect can help your business, please do visit our members page