‘There’s a great guy, Ken Wilber who talks about the frothy edge of evolution. Imagine you’re at the sea and the waves are frolicking here at your feet, that frothy edge of each and every wave is one step ahead of the wave. You want to learn to live at that frothy edge.’
We’ve started our podcast and looking forward to highlighting startup success stories, speaking truthfully about entrepreneurship, the good, the bad, the ugly.
Today we interview Heleniq Argyrou, a peak performance trainer, international speaker and an expert at actualising human potential. Here is a summarised version of our talk on how to find your leading edge in business. We discuss personality, self-actualisation, the struggles of entrepreneurship, finding help and collaboration amongst other things.
To hear the full episode, listen in here.
Q: Thanks for joining us again Heleniq for the 2nd episode of a 5 part series. Today we are talking about how to have a leading edge in business. Tell us why you wanted to address this topic and what having a leading edge means for you:
A: Hi and thank you for having me. I’m interested in the level of self-actualisation, when we become who we were meant to be. We come into the world with a specific purpose, whether you find it or are conscious of it or not, what matters is that you live into your fullest capacity. As a clinician and peak performance expert and trainer, I’m always interested in who they really are and how they can challenge themselves, how can they really allow themselves to go out of their comfort zone and into the areas that are unknown to them. Your life needs to have the deepest meaning possible and you attribute that meaning. Others don’t have an impact on that. We’re talking about the leading edge in business and from my perspective as being able to come to a place in yourself where you are on a revolutionary / evolutionary edge for your own life. When you learn to live at the edge of your capacity and learn the art of being, you tap into parts of who you are that are really unique and really powerful that gives you and edge that no one else can have. It is a natural extension of my work to begin to talk about that in business because that is where it can actually become monetized. Stretching yourself beyond what you thought was possible and developing yourself businesswise out into the world is a great place to discover more of who you are.
Q: That’s an interesting perspective as I was going to address it from a business like mind and it’s nice to see that you’re bringing in who someone is as a person, why they do what they do, what fulfills them because in business these days, I think people enter the world of entrepreneurship without realising the challenge that it is and without knowing why they’re doing what they’re doing, creates even more of a challenge. Last week, we spoke about purpose and it ties in quite nicely with the concept of why you should be starting any sort of project, be it a side hustle or scalable business.
A question most people ask when starting a business that is not new to market is: what makes you different, what is your USP? In your opinion, should one even think to start if they don’t know what theirs is?
A: It’s a really lovely topic as we could take it totally from the business side but for me as a clinical psychologist, I would totally need to look at it from the personality side and that’s where I ended up going into the area of the psychology of business and personality in business. The Carnegie Institute did an interesting research years ago and they decided to look at success and particularly financial success and they found that there are 4 things that define your financial success in life, more than your technical skill. The first one that is most significant out of the 4 is personality, the 3 others are: communication, negotiation and leadership (learned behaviours). They had their finger on the pulse to bring back to us the relevance of who you are as a person and why is this important. Everybody can develop their personality and this is what people don’t realise. A lot of people choose to get stuck in the idea that this is who I am and this is all I have, but actually who we think we are is just our ego. Our true essence is underneath the ego. Personality development is a huge field of possibility and is very important to define and decipher before going into business. What makes a Startup succeed? It always comes back to stamina, resilience and this ability to dust yourself up every time you fall and keep on going. It’s important to know yourself and work on yourself as well as your business.
Q: From vision to strategies to development and implementation, the process is challenging and can be stressful. Would you recommend people just starting out to join a mentorship program or hire a business coach?
A: Work with a professional, ask for help. Find a mentor, supervisor or therapist, or business coach that helps you to guide your business further. But be wary, do not do the training outside without doing the training inside. I got mentored by my parents, who were business owners, in what it takes to really commit and press on forward into the unknown and build something you’ve never seen. I myself have had so many amazing influences in my life, from having a therapist in an analytical process for 10 years and then to finding someone you admire and someone who is doing something you’d love to do one day. It’s important as a woman to have both male AND female mentors. Part of our challenge as women nowadays is to have a women’s perspective behind what we’re doing and help us catch ourselves and empower us to feel worthy. There are platforms that you can go to get free mentorship. Added to that, we need to look at the area of creativity and innovation, a state of being and a part of us we can develop. Einstein said: ‘logic takes you from A to B but imagination helps you encircle the world. Logic is a certain kind of intelligence that people give a lot of value to but in fact imagination and the power of innovation is an intelligence that goes beyond logic.’ Some of us are more driven to feeling safe and secure with what we know but we also have to know how to step outside of our comfort zone.
Q: In an ever changing world, where growth is necessary to keep pace with your competitors, how can you stay one step ahead of the rest? What measures can we take to stand out?
A: Nowadays everything exists in the market. Unless you can solve a problem that has never been solved before or unless you can solve a problem in a new way, you don’t have a fighting chance. It doesn’t matter how brilliant you think you are, is everyone else going to be convinced? They need to see what is creative about you. How unique are you? Most coaches train you to find your why and I don’t agree so much. I think your why is very important but I think your why comes from your ‘who’. Who are you? Why is it important for you to start this project? If I know who you are in your marketing and your branding, your edge, I might support you. Find out what is unique about you. To be on the leading edge in business you have to be one step ahead what is happening in the market and there’s a great word for this: perspicacious: having a ready insight into and understanding of things. It’s where you are thinking in a solution type way.
There’s a great guy, Ken Wilber who talks about the frothy edge of evolution. Imagine you’re at the sea and the waves are frolicking here at your feet, that frothy edge of each and every wave is one step ahead of the wave. You want to learn to live at that frothy edge. What does this mean? You need to be able to study the market, see what people are doing, see the competition, where are they going and then find your own unique place to go yourself.
Q: I’m a personal believer in collaboration over competition, albeit a small level of competition is healthy to keep you relevant. What’s your take on it?
You have to do the work, you have to find a way to build a communication system, check your results, build on them etc. It’s a challenge so you need a mentor, incubators, a support system, a platform and community like yours, networking systems that get you to connect with other people and collaborate. I suggest a lot of networking. You then find out what makes you different from others. Don’t feel threatened, don’t compete. Look at the ones who are unique and then find your own uniqueness. Focus on your ability to do what you need to do better, don’t try to do what everyone else is doing, I discourage people to copy paste or jump on the bandwagon.
Whatever your path is, it’s beautifully designed to go where you need to go so trust that. Trust that you are here to find your own inner voice, your own inner truth and that will guide you but be committed to it because it’s not something accidental, you need to be purposeful and devoted to that.
You can follow Heleniq and her work here: