Don't Believe Your Lazy Brain

Jan 25, 2023

I was coaching a client the other day, who expressed some interest in starting her own business. She works in the medical field, and had a specific area of medicine where she saw patients really struggle, and she wants to figure out how to help those patients, a pain point with a great solution - the goal in entrepreneurship.

Now this client is brilliant, she is super smart, super well educated, two Ivy league degrees to be exact, and yet she said to me “I don’t have a brain for business”.  

News flash friends, there is no data in neuroscience that suggests some folks have a brain for business and some do not!

When you have two Ivy League degrees and an MD behind your name chances are your brain is not half bad… except for … sometimes too much education can create some bad brain patterns. It can give you the falsehood that you have to have a particular degree to start a business…

See this client has been educated at some of the best institutions in the world, which is a wonderful thing, but along the way she also internalized that for her to be able to run her own business, she has to have had the “right education. But the truth is that running your own business sometimes just requires figuring it out. She has all the credentials and education for the work she wants to do with clients, but she just now has to learn how to run a business, and she can do that.  She was convinced that the only way she could do it, is by having a fancy degree, which of course is not true.  So we worked together to push back on her brain and make it work for her. Here is a snippet of our conversation below…

Client:  I don’t even know where I would start.

Me: Well let’s just pretend you did know, or your life depended on you knowing, where would you start?

Client: I guess I would google other folks doing this work, and reach out to them.

Me: Okay and if they weren’t responsive?

Client: I know there are some physician groups on Facebook where people talk about this work, and I actually think there might be a digital course similar to what I want to do run by a doc in one of those groups.



The point of this is that when your brain first gives you thoughts like, “You won’t be able to figure that out” or “I don’t even know where to start” you have to push back a little bit. We have to learn to not take that first shitty thought and go a layer deeper, and train our brain to work for us.

The truth about all brains is that they are controlled by the motivational triad: 

  • Avoid Pain
  • Seek Pleasure
  • Seek efficiency - AKA avoid change

 The motivation triad makes our brains lazy (note this is not you being lazy it’s the functionality of your brain which you can override).  The motivational triad is designed to keep life the same or safe.  When we are doing new things and taking on challenges out of our own volition or desire our brain will always resist.

Seeking efficiency for the brain means sticking to what it know, and resisting change, the idea of “well we have always done it this way”. So when you challenge your brain to do something completely new and different, like start a business, of course it is going to resists and it will spit out a thought like “your brain is not good for business” hoping that maybe you will ditch the effort all together. 

It’s our job to push back on the brain and keep it accountable to do the work. So when you get that thought of  “I don’t know how to figure that out” Then talk back to your brain, ask it “Well if you did know what would you do?” and then watch your brain be pushed into doing the work.  This is especially true for those of us who are highly educated, we are used to having ideas, strategy and knowledge fed to us by dedicated teachers, mentors and professors, and so when we push our brain to look for how to figure out something on our own it can be a bit overwhelming.  We have to practice training our brain to work for us.  Serial entrepreneurs do that work by teaching their brains to take pleasure in the process of growing a business idea. We can all train our brains to love growth.  

So don’t settle for “I don’t even know how to start”. When your lazy brain offers it ... Don’t believe it and push back on your brain and make it work!


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