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My Journey from Police Leader to a Business Owner

A few weeks ago I was interviewed about how I found the transition from having spent all of my working life in the police service, to becoming an entrepreneur and businessman.

As I always say, "ask the right questions and you get the best answers".

This interview certainly asked some powerful questions that got me thinking much deeper about my journey and the drive behind my new life.

Having spent a third of my adult life in senior leadership positions, I recognise the unique pressures that leaders undergo; how the job or the position can consume you.

Whilst the outside world only see your position, status, relative wealth, and label you as 'successful' very few remember that you are also human, with all the imperfections and pressures of being a human being.

In fact, many senior leaders and business owners feel lonely and disconnected; states that affect their health and relationships., as they certainly did in my life.

I wanted to help others in the same position to reconnect with themselves, to master the art of Inner Leadership to become outstanding in all areas of their lives.

At another level, I also knew I wanted to do something even bigger than my role in the police service. As proud as I was of having served in what I still regard as the best policing service in the world, I wanted to impact upon the wider world and not just my local community.

For my legacy I wanted to leave a footprint of positive change internationally

This drove my speaking and training services to include a much wider audience outside of business owners and senior leaders.

The transition of moving from a disciplined, secure environment (with all the restrictions on private life as you can imagine for police officers) to a self-employed business person was not an easy one.

I no longer had the support structure of a team behind me, analysts to gauge, PAs to manage my very busy calendar and keep me on track. (Oh how I missed my PA!)

I also had no colleagues with whom I could 'board-storm' new ideas and concepts. I soon realised that this was going be a very lonely journey.

However, the benefits of being an entrepreneur were endless.

The three main benefits (although the list is endless) as I experienced them were:

  1. The only constraints I now work with are the ones I set mysel
  2. There is opportunity to mix with a much wider community of people globally than I did/could before
  3. My work is in complete alignment with my personal values

However. I soon learned that the most important thing I needed to develop to become successful in my own right was the relationship I had with myself, the inner conversations I held on a daily basis.

Challenging the fears that were holding me back, which were largely around a lack of self-belief in my own abilities, I had to master my own mindset before I could offer quality coaching and guidance to others.

Mindset is what I teach. It is my speciality.

I am fascinated by the way we think; how we form our belief systems, how authentically we operate in a world that tries to condition us to think and behave in a certain way.  The real challenge for entrepreneurs is to break those constraints and truly think in a unique, individualistic kind of way. ??

Many who work as entrepreneurs still maintain the employee outlook on life: they take certain actions and expect results and thus are disappointed when the results are not quite as they hoped for. ??

They become frustrated, disenchanted, angry, perhaps even depressed.

I know of many entrepreneurs who gave up purely because of this. They have not invested in their own inner growth in parallel to growing their business.??

?A growth mindset teaches us that every failure is an opportunity to learn.

Perseverance, continuity and passion are the things that will bring you the eventual results that you seek.

It is important to have a strong mental constitution to become a successful entrepreneur: to learn to "manage" your inner language, to reframe outer experiences and to remain consistently aligned to your goal.

Too many, jump from one idea to another, not giving enough time for anything to really succeed and then become disillusioned with the results (or lack of them).

This is where the use of a good coach or mentor (ideally both) comes in.

To have someone who can support you, guide you and hold you to account will help to keep the mind focused on the destination and is more likely to result in the desired outcomes.

I have found the support of my own coaches and mentors invaluable in my own journey.

Nearly 3 years into my journey in my new life, I am beginning to realise benefits that I had not expected:

  • I have a new focus
  • My personal relationships are much more healthy
  • I have more freedom
  • I have more time to do things that I enjoy
  • I am healthier
  • I am told that I look younger
  • I sleep better
?Whilst my mindset has always been positive, it has grown so much more so whilst I have been in business.

I have a phenomenal new global network of successful and positive people

I am now at a stage where I am beginning to realise the impact that I wanted to have, through my coaching clients, speaking opportunities and the courses that I run (much of this at an international level).

My key advice to anyone thinking of moving from a 'J.O.B.' to becoming their own boss is to:

  • Practice thinking wider than the restricted thinking that we very often get accustomed to in any organisation
  • Shed any notion that you may have that your current organisation is the world (we can easily live in a bubble within an organisational culture)
  • Watch who you are hanging around with. Your inner circle has to be supportive, creative and encouraging. You become the company that you keep.
  • Allow yourself to dream to some depth about what you can truly achieve in life.
  • Recognise that fears are very often the lies that we tell ourselves because of the conditioning we go through in life. With every single fear, look for the evidence that justifies that fear, More often than not you will struggle to find real evidence.
  • Conversely, look for evidence to support the opposite of the fear. You may surprise yourself as to how much you have achieved in the past without realising it.
  • Find yourself a coach and/or mentor to help guide and support you in the creation and growth of your business.
  • Break your goals down to manageable actions and milestones to stop yourself becoming overwhelmed.
  • Remember to celebrate each success
  • Remain consistent and constant in your actions; success might be just around the corner
  • Enjoy the journey

Kul Mahay

Kul Mahay

Mentor, Speaker, Behaviour Profiler and Author of the popular book, ‘Smash the Habit’

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