Personal Anchors

A rock can be a powerful anchor.
In business and life, we can face many storms and waves that threaten to wash us away. Photo Credit

Our modern society is built on personal choice and freedom. The conventions and strictures that restricted and guided previous generations have fallen away. Social rules on everything from attire to dating to entrepreneurship have dissolved, leaving us with unprecedented opportunity, but also leaving us without guardrails and direction.

It can be exhausting to have to blaze every trail. This is why it is important to have an anchor.

I went to the pool with my daughter today, and she would sometimes hold onto me. While I am not a great swimmer, to her, I am like a mighty mountain rooted in the base of the Earth. It got me thinking that a person on the beach can be knocked over by the uncompromising surf, but an outcropping of rock can force the sea to split around it.

As entrepreneurs, we may find ourselves like that person facing the waves. Issues of cash flow, team management, taxes, sales, production, developing a network, and more can be like overwhelming waves. But there are firmly placed rocks for us.

For some, that person may simply be a good friend, a business partner, or an investor. Someone who is personally invested in you, but not as emotionally tied up in the business. They can provide guidance and direction. Often their advice is something that you intellectually already knew, but you needed the reminder from a calm and reassuring voice.


Sometimes you just need to believe that someone is infallible. You know you can count on advice from someone so confident she strokes a cat while working.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Lovelace

In our modern culture, we have this drive to tear everyone down to our level. This has a terrible consequence. If everyone is fallible and just as lost and wandering as we are, then to whom can we turn for guidance.

This is why there exist certain relationships in which a virtual infallibility is created. These are people whom we need to be infallible, so we allow them to be. A therapist. A business coach. A minister. There is a reason why therapists don’t share their lives and their own problems with their clients. You don’t want to know that they are human and flawed like you. You want them to have the answers for you. Answers that allow you to make a decision and move forward.

Often times, the best decision is the one you actually make. Too often we are paralyzed by indecision, and make the only wrong decision: no decision.

My friend Nancy Mello Miller is an intuitive. She has a connection with the Universe that allows her to receive inspiration to answer questions that people may have. For an entrepreneur, even this can be valuable. I’m inclined to believe that she does have a unique insight, but the important thing is that faith in her answer can give you the permission to move forward with a decision, any decision.

Everyone Has Doubts

This article is a bit off topic from the rest of the articles in this blog, more personal and less technical, but I felt it was important to write. Too many entrepreneurs look at the social media representation of entrepreneurship and see boldness and courage and fearlessness. They see the fronts that other put up to mask their own insecurity. But there’s a secret they all need to recognize.

Everyone is scared.

Everyone is insecure.

Everyone is unsure.

At least sometimes.

The person who started their business yesterday wonders if they are on the right track. The person who runs the 10 year old business wonders if the market is changing and if they can adapt. The person who inherits a business wonders if they can keep it growing.

Everyone needs an anchor, a solid rock to hold to in a storm. There is no shame in it. It could be a mentor, a therapist, a relative, a friend, an investor, a spouse, or someone else. Who is your anchor?

To contact Michael Whitehouse, click here.

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