The Mindset of an Entrepreneur – Alicia Cramer

The Mindset of an Entrepreneur – Alicia Cramer

Lance Tamashiro:
We have a super one lined up for you today and a little bit different than what we normally talk about. Normally, we're talking about specific business models, specific strategies, specific things to get you moving forward technically inside of your business.

Today, I have a guest that you guys are going to absolutely love. Her name is Alicia Cramer, and she is a renowned mindset expert, an author, a speaker, a coach, a consultant, and most importantly to all of us, is a serial entrepreneur. She's worked with hundreds of private clients over the past several years, anywhere from startups to multi-millionaire-dollar companies.

The neat thing about Alicia is that she has this intimate understanding of the mindset pitfalls that we all fall into and that affect our success and also our happiness and well-being. She's had her own struggles with depression, self-esteem issues, and a traumatic event that triggered PTSD, which was actually the catalyst for a profound transformational experience she had utilizing some of the mindset reconditioning techniques we're going to talk about today. Her clients refer to her as their secret weapon for overcoming obstacles and achieving their personal and professional goals.

Alicia, I'm really excited to have you here today and to sort of get me, myself, and also the listeners, past some of our stuff and helping us be our best us for our business. Welcome to the show.

Alicia Cramer:
Thanks, Lance. That's definitely the goal, so I'm hoping I can share a few golden nuggets here that the listeners can actually implement right away and start seeing some positive improvements.

Lance Tamashiro:
Awesome. You know, to get started right off the bat, can you talk a little bit about this story and what happened to you and how you came about getting into the field that you're in? It's rare that you find somebody that focuses mindset and entrepreneurs in order to get them to that next level.

Alicia Cramer:
Well, I'll tell you that I've really always been drawn to being self-employed, being my own boss. I dabbled in network marketing companies when I was 18 years old. I started my first online storefront when I was 22. Actually managed to go into bankruptcy with the first business venture. I tried a lot and failed a lot. It wasn't until I was in my mid-20's, I was 25 years old, and living pretty rough around the edges. I struggled with things like depression and low self-esteem. There was potential within me, but I sure as heck did not see it. That's for certain.

I was out with some girlfriends and I had been basically given a date-rape drug and when I came to, I had been physically and sexually assaulted. That just rocked me to my core. It was probably the most horrifying thing that I've ever experienced. I can say that a little bit more light-heartedly now because of all of the inter-work that I'd done and can look at it in retrospect as one of the best things that ever happened to me because it forced me to make some really profound changes.

My healing journey was transformational. It wasn't always easy, but it was so profound that it really inspired me to help other people using the types of techniques that had helped me so much. That was really kind of the beginning of what I do today, which has evolved considerably since then.

In 2010, I was doing that very part-time and really enjoying it and working with people on all different types of emotional healing type of issues. In 2008, I became pregnant with my son, Eden, who is six years old now, and I was managing a cell phone store, working my business very part-time, really wanted it to be more, but was still in that cycle of really feeling like I just couldn't do it. I didn't know what to do. I didn't have any business skills, really. It never even occurred to me that I could go out and learn those things.

Lance Tamashiro:
You know what? Oh, go ahead.

Alicia Cramer:
Go ahead. There's probably a lot of people that are like, "Damn it, [inaudible 00:05:05]".

Lance Tamashiro:
No, what's really interesting about this is you went through this horrific experience and, you know, the one thing that really stood out to me when you were talking about this is you said it turned out to be one of the best things that have happened to you, this gratefulness of this experience that you've gone through. While a lot of people haven't necessarily gone through something that horrific, we've all had these things that we have struggled with that at the time, and especially for people building businesses and they're failing, you don't even realize until you get to the other side of it how that experience is going to help you out or even why it was meant to help you out moving forward.

Alicia Cramer:
That is so, so true. When we're in the midst of any type of challenge, it feels so consuming. Overwhelming sometimes. It doesn't seem to us that there could possibly be anything good that could come of it. Especially if we perceive ourselves to be a victim of some bad experience. It takes a lot of inner growth to reach that place where we can make peace with what happened to us, forgive ourselves for our role in that experience, forgive the people who did it to us or participated in the negative experience. There's so much growth that comes from that, but really even if you know that adversity can create blessings in your life, there's still a little bit of that waiting to see how it's all going to unfold before you fully embrace it.

Lance Tamashiro:
It doesn't make it easier, right?

Alicia Cramer:
It helps take a little bit of the edge off, but you really do have to start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, before you can feel that shift.

Lance Tamashiro:
Along those lines then, what are some of the things that you see entrepreneurs that are struggling, what are these struggles that they have and how can they sort of move through those or move past those blocks that they're having?

Alicia Cramer:
Well, that's a perfect question to tie into the last part of the story that I was going to share, because that's really the point that I think a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs are at. When you haven't quite made it over the hump. Maybe you know what you want to do, you're passionate about something, you may have taken the initial step. You may still be in the startup phase even though you've been doing your business for years.

That really comes right back to those mindsets issues that are unresolved beliefs. Limiting beliefs, they're oftentimes referred to. We're so used to them that oftentimes, we're thinking these limiting beliefs and we are not even consciously aware that we're doing it. We're having the thought, it's there, but it feels so normal to us that we don't realize that's the cause of our problem. That is the obstacle to the goal, the obstacle to the success that we want.

That's where I was at for a long time. It's a little bit different for everyone. We've all had our own unique life experiences. We've heard different things from parents and people we look up to in our community and society in general, but more often than not, they're kind of those foundational ones that everybody has which are, "I'm not worthy," or, "Who am I to do this? I don't have the right credentials. I don't have enough experience. People are going to think that I'm a fraud," or you feel like a fraud. People are going to think that you're fake. They're going to find out about you.

There's all of those types of stories that we're telling ourselves. Sometimes they're in your mind and you're not even really aware that you're doing this to yourself, but it's stopping you from taking the actions that you need to take and having the energy as you're taking the actions to get the types of results that you want.

Lance Tamashiro:
I agree. I know that even along those lines, I've felt a lot of those things. Like, "Who am I to do this? How can I go out and get above that?" Even more of that, I think that we're brought up with a lot, you mentioned these beliefs that we've had. My wife is totally opposite than me with her relationship with money. Where I'm like really abundant with it and I'm okay letting it go and knowing it's coming back and she was brought up with, "You've got to save. You can't spend anything. You can't do anything."

She's tried over the years to start her own businesses and it's interesting for me to watch because since my relationship and mindset with money is so different than hers. I watch her sabotage herself when she thinks she's being smart and frugal with things. Maybe for her that's the way it's going to work and she hasn't found her thing yet, but it's interesting to watch these things. My question with this is how can people become aware of maybe some of these things that are stopping themselves? Or even if they are, some of them might be good and protective and helpful at the same time.

Alicia Cramer:
All of our beliefs ... and let's use your wife as an example, right, because her beliefs are pretty common. They're probably a lot of people listening that can relate to that on some level or are struggling. They're kind of pulled between both. Maybe they've done a lot of inner work and they do know that there's a lot of abundance and that they can be successful and it is right and good for them to achieve what they want in life. Yet, they're still being pulled by those old beliefs.

I know my parents still have them. I just had a conversation with my mom on the phone yesterday and was listening to a lot of the same types of beliefs come out of her mouth. When you've got that going on, it feels like reality, and that's really the trick because in order to change our beliefs and to change our circumstances in life and alter the way the way that we're living and what we're creating in our lives and our businesses, we really have to dissect what we perceive to be the real reality, the real truth.

Your wife could probably say, "But it is true. That's the way it's always been. Those beliefs are there to protect me so that something bad doesn't happen." It can be really difficult to let that go until you can really get into that place of self-honesty, introspection, and you begin to realize that there's a separation between what you really, really, really, truly want. She wants to be creative. She wants to do something that feels meaningful and has purpose and to feel empowered in her life.

The old money story just doesn't fit in with that new paradigm, with that new way of being. When she can begin to shift that awareness away from what was into what's possible, it's how she wants to feel. She wants to feel abundant with money. She can imagine herself having different financial circumstances and she recognizes that there are different ways that she can have money and bring money and spend money that are more congruent and aligned with who she is becoming. That's when now she becomes more deliberate and conscious with regard to her own beliefs and she can begin to actually create new beliefs that are serving and fit her vision so that when she is moving forward with her business, she now is creating new evidence a new reality. There's evidence of the new story.

Lance Tamashiro:
Right. When that happens, then the perception of the reality then shifts and pushes, almost like building momentum, pushing you in that direction.

Alicia Cramer:
Absolutely. It has to be, but it always starts internal first. This is where people really get mixed up and it reinforces the negative, limiting beliefs. Most people try to change the circumstances hoping that they're going to feel better when they have taken action, created the business, and have made a whole bunch of money.

The problem is if your mindset is not in that place where you can allow yourself to be successful and to make money in your business, you're just going to keep creating failures and that's going to reinforce the old belief that, "I can't do it. There's something wrong with me. See? I knew that I was a failure." Whatever those stories are, you're just going to reinforce them. You have to do the inner work first. You have to change your mindset first and feel that shift. Feel your feelings about the situation begin to shift, so that as you're taking action. You're then getting better, tangible results in the real-world situation, so to speak.

Lance Tamashiro:
One of the things that I love how you put that is that what people think is going to make them feel better or okay or whatever is the end outcome, whatever they see success or whatever, and then they do their same actions that aren't necessarily aligned with that. Then they fail and go, "Well, that wasn't going to make me happy," or, "I don't deserve it."

It reminds me, I had a really good friend that was helping me through some personal growth stuff and one of the things he said to me which sounds almost exactly like what you're saying is, "You're not going to be happy until you start aligning your actions with your values. A lot of the things that you're doing is you're saying I have these values or I want these outcomes, but you're not taking actions that are congruent or consistent with that. What ends up happening is you're stuck and you think it doesn't work and the truth is that until you take actions that are congruent with those outcomes or congruent with these values that you have, you're never going to find peace or happiness or success."

Alicia Cramer:
It's true, it's true. We all have things that we want, the physical things. The certain type of relationship, the certain type of business, the certain type of success, we want the money in the bank, we want the nice car in the garage. There is this physicalness about our lives that we all want to enjoy and experience, but at the basis of everything that all of us crave more than anything is to feel good, to feel empowered, to feel creative, to feel important, to feel love. If we don't cultivate that within ourselves, no amount of external material success is ever going to give that to you.

There's just that gap between what you're creating that's kind of manifesting around you in your life and then there's you. How are you feeling? Who are you being? What are the thoughts that you're thinking? Do you feel good when you wake up in the morning? When your eyes open and you realize, "I'm awake. It's a new day," what are the first things that are going through your mind?

Lance Tamashiro:
Along those lines, I know you've got a book that's specifically for entrepreneurs, people doing this type of thing. If somebody was just like, "Okay, I hear what Alicia's saying. I want to start making a shift." What is something that would make a major impact for somebody or something that they could start doing that would start at least putting them on that path or feeling better? Because I know for me, when I felt bad about myself, it was hard for me. I felt like, "Okay, I'll just convince myself to feel better," and sometimes that worked, but a lot of time it fed into, "I'm still just this fraud for thinking that I can feel better."

Alicia Cramer:
That's a really, really good point. There are a lot of people that say, "Just think positive. Do positive affirmations and just keep focusing on a goal." There's some truth to that, but it's not the whole story and that's why people kind of run into those invisible walls, so to speak.

When you're feeling really out of sorts, when you can tell you're just off, it's really important to acknowledge to yourself the way that you're really feeling. Our emotions are valuable. They're important. Just because you feel bad doesn't mean that you need to try to get away from that bad feeling as quickly as possible. It's trying to show you something, to tell you something important. That type of self-honesty is really the first step.

Now, there is a little bit of a caveat to this and this is an art or a science, depending on what terminology you want to use and what resonates most for you. You can't dwell on it, either. The best advice that I can give someone, and everyone of us goes through this, myself included, there's no escaping life. Challenges are meant for our growth in life. It doesn't matter how successful you are, you are going to encounter these types of things.

When you're feeling that way, if you've been struggling with something for a really long time, you want to first and foremost be loving toward yourself. Acknowledge that, "I don't feel right about something. What is going on?" Have that inner dialogue with yourself, but just like you would not want to be in a conversation with a friend who is just blubbering on and being overly dramatic and dwelling on the negative and being a little victim-y, you know that they're not making any progress on their doing that. It's like, "Oh, I don't even want to be having this conversation." Don't allow yourself to do that, either.

This is about self-honest, but it's also for the purpose of getting in touch with what are those beliefs. What am I feeling? If I've been feeling really negative and I've been in pursuit of a certain goal, I have to acknowledge, "Okay, something is wrong here. Something is off. Maybe I'm taking actions and I'm not really seeing the result or something just feels like a block or an internal obstacle. What is going on within me? Why do I feel this way?" You might uncover, "Well, I don't actually believe that I'm going to be successful," or, "I'm afraid that if I become successful that my family isn't going to relate to me anymore or my friends are going to not want to be around me anymore because I hear how they talk about people who are rich and successful and it's not very good."

It's until you can be honest with yourself that that kind of stuff isn't there nagging at you and having that adverse, kind of subconscious effect in your life. That's really the first thing. Sometimes that in and of itself can actually create the shift.

Lance Tamashiro:
Yeah. I think, too, that's a hard thing to grasp with when you think about, "Well, of course I want to be successful. Of course I want to succeed." What I see a lot of people doing is they actually sabotage themselves and it is a lot of the stuff that you talked about. When you were growing up, if in your household your parents always made fun of the rich people or talked bad about the people they saw on TV or the news, that really does play havoc in your mind and creates this sort of conflict within yourself. I think it's really easy for somebody from the outside to see that happening with somebody, but it's really hard to convince somebody that that's happening with that, "Oh my gosh, I might be sabotaging myself."

Alicia Cramer:
We do not want to face that within ourselves and that's really the tough part because you don't want to raise your hand and say, "Oh, that's my issue. Right there. I have that issue." Especially if it's a really emotionally-charged one that you would rather not have. Not only do you want to hide it from other people, but you're also really good at hiding it from yourself.

A lot of individuals, especially who have done some self-development work, will say, "But I've read all the books about being successful and I'm doing all of this good work to be focused on being successful in my business, so it's not possible that I would have any resistance to being successful," but it's okay. It's okay that you have some resistance to being successful. What's not okay is that you continue to deny it to yourself and you're not actually allowing yourself to release and let it go.

Lance Tamashiro:
I know you have a book specifically for entrepreneurs. Can you talk a little bit about that and sort of what it takes somebody through and what it helps people reveal about themselves or push through?

Alicia Cramer:
Yeah, absolutely. The book is, The Outside the Box Entrepreneur. It is really meant to be a guide. It takes you from the very first step, which is identifying what you really want. It doesn't matter if you are brand new to your business. You're literally just getting your feet wet in this game for the first time ever or you are a well-established business owner and maybe you're just wanting to take things to the next level. Or you're feeling a certain dissatisfaction in your business and you know that it's time to make some changes.

We all need to revisit somewhat regularly what it is that we really want and peel away the BS. That's the stories that we tell ourselves. That's kind of the other side of the things that we've picked up on from parents and society. What are the things that successful people have? Well, I want that. Successful people have a big house, so I want a big house. Successful people have a million-dollar net work, so I want a million-dollar net worth. We really just get rid of all the stories that you're telling yourself and look at what is the real desire underneath and that lays the foundation.

Then from there we go into how do you shift those limiting beliefs and how do you use the power of your mind with visualization to create success in your life. It really takes you on that step by step through this process, shifting mindset, getting yourself into alignment with what it is that you want to create in your life and in your business.

Lance Tamashiro:
I love it and I love the idea of it. I love that whole idea of identifying what you really want. People think that they know these things and the truth is, and I love how you put this, you've got to revisit this over and over, even if you already have a business, if you're just getting started.

The one thing that I notice in my own self and my own life is that what I think I want is constantly shifting and if I'm not reevaluating those things or understanding what it is, I often find myself off in a totally wrong direction and then I can't figure out why I got things I didn't want. The truth is that it's because I didn't know what I wanted to begin with and so identifying those things and then working toward them is just a great, valuable lesson and neat thing that you walk people through.

Alicia Cramer:
You're very, very right. I just wanted to give you a little, virtual high five on that because you said something that is so important and you probably said it on other shows in other contexts, but it's really true and a lot of people don't realize how important it is to understand you're always changing. It's okay if your goals change. In fact, it's good because it means that you're continuing to grow and expand. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off, but that's such a valuable takeaway.

Lance Tamashiro:
Yeah, I think giving yourself the permission to change your goals is okay, too. I can't tell you how many times I've met with business owners and worked with them and they were like, "Well, this is my goal and this is what I set out to do, so I have to do that." I'm thinking, "You're going to end up miserable. If that's changed, make a change in course and figure out how you can go ahead and do that." It's funny how because we wrote down a goal on paper, because we told people this is what we want to do, we feel like, "I can't change. I can't do what I really want to do." That giving yourself that permission to do that and reevaluate, it's such a great gift you can give to yourself and will lead to not only more success, but more happiness.

Alicia Cramer:
Absolutely.

Lance Tamashiro:
Where can people find out more about you, pick up the book, and get started on this journey if it's something that they never even thought about before, or if they have, really identify with the way that you put your message to taking this journey with you?

Alicia Cramer:
Well, everything is going to be available through my website. You can go to aliciacramer.com. There'll be a link to the book on Amazon. There is information about my one-on-one coaching services. There are links to programs that I've created. I got started back in 2010 as a hypnotherapist, so that's where the mindset stuff really kicked into high gear for me. I have the business success course, [inaudible 00:30:12] audio program which is specifically for entrepreneurs that are in anywhere from the startup phase to well-established, but just looking to overcome some of the mindset-related challenges that we bump up against in business.

Lance Tamashiro:
Awesome. Definitely, if you're listening to this, this is for everyone. This is something that is lifelong lessons and lifelong things that you learned, which is what I love about this. Before I let you go, Alicia, I want to put you on the spot here. Would you share with people listening, business people, what is a tool that you absolutely love, that you use on the internet or offline that you use, or a website or service, or something that you're really passionate about and just love that service or tool?

Alicia Cramer:
Well, I have to say that I've been using Canva a lot lately. Not sure, are you familiar with it?

Lance Tamashiro:
No, I'm not. I haven't heard of it.

Alicia Cramer:
Okay, so I have Adobe Photoshop. Most people know what Adobe Photoshop is, so that would be for editing graphics and things like that. There's a new company, or new-ish company, online where you can actually just create your graphics right on their website and they have some stock stuff that you can use. You can purchase certain images for very inexpensive. You don't have as much flexibility as you do with something like Photoshop, but it's so user-friendly. It's so easy. I have to say I love it and I've been using it a lot lately, so I'll give them a quick plug.

Lance Tamashiro:
Awesome. Cool, so check that out, everybody listening. This is a part of your growth and development as an entrepreneur. If you're serious about building your business, some of the things that we talked about today, overcoming these mental challenges, knowing what it is that you really want is super important. What you'll notice is everybody that we talk to on this show, everybody that you know of that's successful believes in these types of things and it really is something that you need to overcome.

I encourage you all to go check out The Outside the Box Entrepreneur at aliciacramer.com. We have the links down in the show notes for you so you can find it really easy. Go check her out. Let her know what you think about her book. Check out her programs. Contact her. Move yourself forward through whatever that blockage that you're having is, or maybe don't even know about yet, and I promise you you're going to find yourself being more successful and, most importantly, more happy and fulfilled. As always, thank you, guys, for being here on The Lance Tamashiro Show. We look forward to talking to you in the next episode. Bye now.

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