The Power of Brain Training
Terri Clark, Sept. 2012
Robert Schwartz defined an entrepreneur as a “visualizer” and an “actualizer.” They can visualize something and, when visualized, they see exactly how to make it happen. As a 25-year veteran teacher, I never really considered myself an entrepreneur. But as I look back over my career with the knowledge of current research, I realize that is exactly what I did day in and day out. I looked at my class, visualized how it should be and made it happen. I owe my success as a teacher to that entrepreneurial mindset I wasn’t even aware I possessed.
As a business owner, in the relatively new field of brain training, I find myself thrust into a typical entrepreneurial role. Looming over me is the statistic that 50 percent of new businesses close within five years, and my business is approaching its fifth anniversary. In light of my expertise, I set out to determine if brain training could strengthen the entrepreneurial mind.
The current research defines the attributes and characteristics of entrepreneurs, as well as the extensive list of model behaviors that can overwhelm the small business owner – visualize the invisible; be open-minded, innovative, confident, perceptive, and competitive; be a risk-taker, an effective communicator, and a self-starter, have people skills, a strong work ethic, and passion; pay attention to details; and learn from past mistakes.
I began to wonder, if I needed all these skills would I make it through my fifth year? But, I have been successful, in an economically challenging time, so what was I doing right, and why was my business still standing while other similar endeavors had fallen? What was it about brain training that made me a better business owner?
Research shows that successful entrepreneurs come in varied packages. These differences are in respect to cognitive abilities. Brain research has skyrocketed in the past few decades and is considered in a “cognitive revolution.” Researchers are set to understand the changes that can occur due to training basic cognitive processes.
Cognitive skills are those brain processes that are necessary to quickly and easily read, think, prioritize, understand, plan, remember, and solve problems. The current catchword is “executive functioning.” The great news is that we can rewire the brain, making ineffective areas become effective; we can even change IQ by 15-20 points! By strengthening deficient cognitive skills, one-on-one brain training can optimize executive functioning.
Entrepreneurial Skills that can be Strengthened
The ability to stay on task for extended time periods, even when distractions are present and/or the task is mundane.
The ability to handle multiple sets of incoming information at one time.
The ability to link a series of input over time.
The ability to decide how you are going to solve a problem, make sure it gets done, check it for mistakes, and modify it if needed.
The ability to perform cognitive tasks quickly, which is an important skill for complex tasks or tasks that have many steps.
The ability to store and recall small amounts of information about the current situation.
The ability to recall information when needed that was stored in the past.
The ability to perceive, analyze and conceptualize what is heard.
The ability to perceive, analyze and think in mental images.
Recent research states that stimulating the mind with mental exercise can cause brain cells – called neurons – to branch widely. This branching causes millions of additional connections, or synapses, between brain cells. Arnold Scheibel, the former director of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, said that we can think of it as upgrading a computer with a bigger memory board that allows you “to do more things more quickly.”
Smarter begins in the brain. Einstein didn’t have a bigger brain than the rest of us, but he did have a significantly greater number of active synaptic connections, which were the network that produced his amazing intellect. These connections form pathways in our brain that process and retrieve information, analyze variables, and apply logic and reasoning – and they can be developed. We can transform our entrepreneurial minds through the power of brain training.
To learn more about how brain training can develop your entrepreneurial skills, stop by your local LearningRx office and pick up a free copy of Boost Your Brain Power, or Vital Connections.
Terri Clark is the owner/director of Melbourne LearningRx. She can be reached at (321) 727-3996 or firstname.lastname@example.org