David Robinson brings his extensive executive coaching and story telling experience to his first full length business story book THE SEER: Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mind.
Register and download your free sample chapter of THE SEER.
From the introduction to the book, David shares:
Effectual entrepreneurs operate from a different mindset than most people; they see through different eyes. This book is intended to shift your mindset so you might see through entrepreneurial eyes.
Shifting a mindset is a process, not an intellectual exercise. A dynamic process requires an engagement with the day-to-day experiences of life and, therefore, requires two universal and necessary tools:
1. A Reflective Practice. Processes of self-knowledge are tricky because you are both the subject of the study and the studier. You are attempting to raise your conscious awareness of patterns of thinking and acting. You are sitting on the mountain so you can’t see it. A reflective practice is necessary to see the mountain upon which you sit. In The Artist’s Way this practice was called morning pages. In some processes it is called journaling. In others it goes by the name of reflective writing or free writing. Whatever you wish to call it or however you want to do it, it is an essential tool in opening your eyes to existing patterns and entrenched beliefs. Reflective writing is the best way for you to talk to yourself, to get beyond the moat of what you think you know and discover the deeper story structure driving your actions.
2. Pattern Breaking. In order to release your grip on what you think you know, to shake up your comfort and control, you need to break habits and patterns and break them intentionally. And, it is better if you have fun doing it. This is the equivalent of the artist’s date. Sometimes this is called stirring the pot, breaking habits, or giving your self a gift. Regardless of the name it is necessary to challenge your assumptions if you want to open your mind and your eyes to new ways of seeing. Breaking patterns will help surface essential bits to write about in your reflective practice. It’s a feedback loop.
The form of your reflective practice and pattern breaking is less important than the consistency of doing it. Give yourself time to reflect every day so that you may uncover your daily patterns of thinking and seeing. Use the tools, devices, and practices introduced in the book to consciously break your patterns. See what happens. Write about it.
Through the story you will move through 9 Recognitions. Each Recognition is followed by 3 tasks:
1) A Study
2) An Action
3) An Exercise
The tasks will help you develop new patterns of thinking and seeing. To that end, you will also find within the narrative a few related practices. The practices are useful in preparing your mind for the flip to a new way of thinking. This process is like riding a bike: you can read about it and think that you know or you can get on, start pedaling and learn to ride. The practices and tasks will only help if you do them; they can’t help if you don’t engage with them. To reiterate: perspective shifts are not an intellectual exercise; they are dynamic processes. Shifts in perspective are intuitive, experiential engagements made conscious through action and reflection. Effectual entrepreneurs are like artists: engaged in dynamic, fluid creative practices. Get on the bike and ride. Challenge what you think you know. Open your eyes to possibilities. Allow yourself to make meaning of your experiences after you have them. It is, after all, how your brain works so you might as well begin by dropping the illusion that you know something before you encounter it – it’s an important skill for an entrepreneur.
Finally, although this may seem counterintuitive, at the core, effectual entrepreneurs must master two skills:
1) Pattern Recognition
Serial entrepreneur, Ash Bhoopathy said it best: “The more you see, the more you see patterns.” Mastering pattern recognition is about mastering seeing and vice versa. After you begin to see, the essential skill to grasp is to help others see differently. This is the province of metaphor. “Mastering metaphor,” according to Ash, is this: “making the familiar strange and/or making the strange familiar.” Can you imagine a more important capacity in the development, marketing, and sales of a product or service?
To support your progress toward mastery of metaphor and pattern recognition, an ancient tale is braided through this narrative.
To recap: the path to an entrepreneurial mindset is through the mastery of pattern recognition and metaphor. Mastery is made possible through two simple actions: intentional pattern breaking and a reflective practice. It’s a feedback loop.
Join David as he shares the Socratic style story of a failed entrepreneur who is introduced to the mysterious Virgil to help “flip” his mindset to what it takes to build a successful venture.