I will never forget this story of when I was a manager at Lady Footlocker.

Nikki, a part-time sales associate was about 16 years old and was working with me that day. We were standing on the sales floor beside each other when a woman walked into the store. This woman proceeded to look around, and as she walked up to one of the displays, Nikki turned to me and said with a smirk on her face “What are you waiting for, a green light?”

Yep, that is what she said to her Manager! But, she was right! A customer had walked into our store. She had demonstrated an interest in shopping by the way she walked around the store and stopped to look at the displays yet neither of us had made an effort to see if we could help her.

As a leader, you need to walk the talk that you expect from your team, which in this situation, I was not doing. Someone needed to step up and help this customer and Nikki’s banter helped me realize that I needed to step up. This happened over twenty years ago, but it got me thinking…

Are you waiting for a green light?

Are you waiting for a sign that it’s okay to start, change, be, do or have what you want in life?

It is time to step up to the plate and do things differently than you’ve done up until now. Now is not the time to give up, now is the time to try again.

There are five strategies that I shared with my Profit Pod members a while ago that may resonate with you if you’re feeling like you could use a dose of confidence, inspiration or some friendly goading to get you to take action.

1. You don’t need permission.

You can wait for someone else to give you permission to act. If you’re feeling unsure about making a decision, break it down, weigh the pros and cons, discuss it with someone who has done what you are considering. Don’t expect someone who has zero experience running a business to give you permission to make bold moves. It’s not going to happen.

Most people who have jobs are risk adverse and anyone who is self-employed needs to find the courage to make bold decisions and that means giving yourself permission to do so.

2. Stop looking for approval.

If you seek someone else’s approval, you’re insecure and you’re not really that driven by this business you have. This is YOUR life and business. Being a successful business owner isn’t about how many Facebook likes you have or LinkedIn recommendations. Don’t buy into vanity metrics that are all about approval, instead focus on building your own skills and self-esteem so you’re not so reliant on others to make you feel good about yourself.

One of the ways I consistently build my own self-confidence is by reading and paying attention to the achievements I have had in my life. Keep track of your wins. Your past performance is indicative of your future potential. Too often, we get stuck focusing on something that is hard, and we fail to remind ourselves that we’ve done hard things before and got through them okay.

3. Push through, even when it’s hard.

Work is called work for a reason. If it was easy, everyone would be running successful businesses and living the million dollar lifestyle. It’s not easy to build a profitable and successful business. It isn’t easy to overcome every single problem you encounter. It’s hard and it requires serious commitment. If you give up the moment things don’t go exactly the way you want, chances are you may not be cut out for self-employment.

I KNOW what it’s like to want to crawl back under the covers and not face a challenge in your business that feels insurmountable, but true entrepreneurs don’t do that. They get up when they fall down, and they figure out how to move past the obstacles that show up along the way.

4. Don’t buy into gimmicks.

Whatever you do, don’t buy into the gimmicks in an effort to chase money. The more saturated the online market gets, the more gimmicky you’re going to see marketing become. Copycats, attention seekers, risky behaviour, all to garner attention.

The more high tech things become, the more valuable high touch and personalized relationships and communication become. Your ability to establish and cultivate great relationships, and expand your network with quality people will always outperform gimmicks.

5. Find a community.

Find a community of like-minded people and when you find that community, instead of looking for what that community can do for you, see how you can be of service and add value to that community. Everyone is looking for the easy button and hoping someone else will step up and make things easier for them. Don’t be that person.

Instead – look at how you can be of service to your community, that’s how you stand out from the crowd.

These five things can make a huge difference if you get honest and really look at how often you are waiting for someone else to make things happen for you, and how serious and committed you’ve been at doing what is necessary to create the business you want.

Leave a comment and let me know how you’re planning to give yourself the green light.

Stay in contact with Lisa Larter.