Why Mindset will Make or Break your Business
Why Having A Business Growth Mindset Is the First Step in Your Success
Like most entrepreneurs, you want to grow your business.
If you’re just starting out, you at least want to set yourself up for success. But whether you’re new or have been trying to build your business for some time now, one thing is for sure: you want growth.
And you want it soon.
It’s every entrepreneur’s dream to be the next Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. Or whoever their equivalent is in your industry. You might have ventured into entrepreneurship with an idea that you thought would be the next biggest thing.
But as you’ve probably known by now, great ideas alone don’t work. So you’re stuck, still trying to get your business off the ground. You keep your business afloat with the thought that your perseverance will get you somewhere, somehow.
Now, perseverance pays off, but not always.
It might sound cliche, but business success starts with the right mindset: the growth mindset.
I bet you didn’t even consider the possibility that you could be the one holding your business back.
Because without a business growth mindset, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
What is a Business Growth Mindset?
Do you remember how, when you were younger, you were imbued with natural curiosity?
And it was this sense of wonder and exploration that actually fueled your growth and development into an adult. But if you look back, you might notice how you gradually changed from a bold and curious child into one who’s always wary of your environment.
Most of us are brought up and schooled into conformity with social values and expectations. Unfortunately, this also when we start developing self-limiting biases and habits about ourselves and the people around us. We learn to go with the herd to gain social acceptance. We become risk-averse because it is key to our physical and social survival.
Put simply, we develop the fixed mindset.
Majority of people have this mindset. They have a low tolerance for risk and are skeptical of change. As entrepreneurs, they’re often:
- Unwilling to leave their comfort zone
- Afraid to fix something that’s not broken
- Prefer to leave things the way they are rather than be confronted by failure
But this also means missing out on new opportunities that could expand or even open new doors for business.
In contrast, the growth mindset is all about embracing change as an opportunity for growth and learning. People with a growth mindset see potential even in every moment. In business, this means:
- An openness to new ways of working
- Taking risks in the unknown
- Building a culture of experimentation
- Putting more emphasis on learning from failure rather than fearing it
If you know Elon Musk’s story, you’d know that it hasn’t always been a winning streak for him. It’s a story of failing and rising from multiple failures.
Do you have a growth mindset?
It’s easy to be trapped in the fixed mindset when you’re an entrepreneur.
Afterall, you want assurance that you’re always making the right decisions. That’s understandable, but it can also prevent you from achieving growth.
Acknowledging that there’s a problem is the first step to finding a solution. It’s time to ask yourself the hard questions to learn if you’re practicing a fixed or growth mindset in your business.
1. Is your business serving the lifestyle that you want?
You started your business because you wanted to achieve a certain lifestyle. Maybe you wanted more freedom to earn or work.
But being in business can be really challenging. If you’re feeling miserable and stressed out all the time instead of living the lifestyle you envisioned, then why do you stay?
2. What’s your Big Why?
Knowing the answer to this can spell the difference between you feeling excited or demotivated with your business.
Why did you get into this business? Did you just get into it for the check?
As a consultant, for instance, I’ve found that inspiration comes not only from the earning potential but also from the prospect of actually being able to help other entrepreneurs.
Yes, we all need to pay bills. But as psychologists would tell you, intrinsic motivation is more powerful than external sources of motivation. It’s great to have the money to pay bills and provide for my family, but it also helps a lot that I actually enjoy helping my clients and welcome their problems as new learning opportunities.
3. Are you in the right business?
Sometimes people are in the right part of the industry, but they’re not in the right part of the business. Or they’re in the wrong business altogether.
That’s perfectly fine. However, you should also be able to recognize when you’re in the wrong place and admit your mistake.
This is where the importance of accepting your errors and being open to new ideas comes in. If you’re unwilling to explore the possibility that you could be wrong about your products, customers, or business model, then you won’t be able to pivot when necessary.
4. Are you in love with what you do or just your idea?
Most ideas look good when they’re still in your head or on paper.
It’s another story when you start implementing them. That’s when the disconnect between your expectations and reality kicks in.
Oftentimes, having a good idea doesn’t guarantee a good business. Even Apple has its share of failed products.
Great ideas with business potential don’t instantly click either. Ideas go through multiple iterations so it’s in line with market needs.
5. Are you doing something you’re passionate about?
Let’s face it: business isn’t always exciting. In fact, it can be routine and boring.
So you need genuine interest in what you’re doing. A passion that makes you love getting up everyday to do what you do. That will make you appreciate the complexities of running your own business rather than be frustrated by it.
It’s this same passion that will make you persist in the face of difficulties.
6. Is money your only driver?
Money is important but it shouldn’t be your only reason for wanting to get into business.
Which brings us back to your “Big Why,” your driving purpose in whatever you do.
Because your “Big Why” will influence both small and big decisions as an entrepreneur. It will determine the fate of your business.
This is not to say that you should neglect the financial aspects of your business. It’s a reminder that money isn’t the only benchmark for success.
7. Are you committed to do whatever it takes?
A lot of people are wantopreneurs. They want to become entrepreneurs but are unwilling to put in the work to actually do it.
Granted, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Entrepreneurs have to There are no shortcuts to success. It takes commitment and a lot of sacrifice to get a business off the ground. The Bezos and Musks of the world put in a lot of sweat and tears before they got to where they are today.
So, do you have a fixed or a growth mindset? If you can honestly answer yes, then well and good for you. If not, the next section is for you.
Cultivating the Right Mindset for Business Growth
As we’ve noted earlier, all humans are born with the growth mindset.
It’s what fuels our growth and development when we’re young. However, this growth mindset may be nurtured or stifled depending on our experiences as we go through various life stages.
Getting that growth mindset back – or improving on it – is all about peeling the layers of self-limiting beliefs and biases that have become our default mode of thinking. To be able to do this, we have to first develop self-consciousness about our thought processes. Only then can we work on our behaviors.
Clear the slate for new possibilities
To develop a growth mindset, you need a fresh start.
You need to get rid of the baggage of the past so you can move forward as an entrepreneur. This means taking the lessons from your experiences and then opening yourself up to new ones.
By looking at the entrepreneur journey as a new beginning, you can write your success story from scratch. You can start believing in your own abilities again.
Give yourself permission to fail
Failure is the biggest fear for many entrepreneurs.
This fear paralyzes them and prevents them from making bold, high-impact decisions. But if you want to have a shot at success, you have to embrace failure as a part of the journey.
Most successful entrepreneurs you know went through more failures than you’ll know. It was through the things they learned from failing so many times that they ultimately got better at what they do.
Stop perfection paralysis
It’s normal to want everything to be perfect. We don’t want to settle for mediocre results in our work.
But there are times when perfectionism can actually backfire. Some people, for instance, are paralyzed by waiting for the “perfect moment” to arrive. In business, this translates to waiting until you have the “perfect product” to launch, not realizing until it’s too late that the chance to seize a great opportunity has already passed.
Sometimes, you have to learn to settle with what’s good enough so you can move your life and business forward.
Define your Big Why
The growth mindset is anchored on self-awareness and self-discovery.
In order to grow, you need to have a sense of purpose. This purpose is ultimately tied to your sense of identity as a person and as an entrepreneur.
Your Big Why clarifies what you want out of your business and your life serves as your rudder for steering closer to your entrepreneurial goals and aspirations.
Identify Your Profitable Zone of Genius
People not only have unique strengths, they also have a Zone of Genius. These are the talents and skills that come naturally to you.
When you’re doing something that’s aligned to your Zone of Genius, you’re able to effortlessly execute even the most challenging tasks.
Knowing your Zone of Genius is key to finding the line of business where you’ll get the most fulfillment. That is, the business where you can excel and satisfy your emotional needs at the same time.
Align Your Personal and Business Value Systems
Similar to your Big Why, your core values – the principles and ideals that you deem non-negotiable – are rudders that help you determine whether you’re getting closer to or are going farther from your life goals.
That’s why consistency between your personal and business value systems is important. Your business values need to reflect what you value as a person. Otherwise, you will unwittingly sow the seeds of self-doubt. The last thing you want is for your business values coming into conflict with what you hold dear as a person.
Be the Change that Your Business Needs
Anyone can be an entrepreneur, there’s no license required to be one. But not everyone will be a successful entrepreneur. And now you know what sets the former apart from the latter: It’s about the growth mindset.
The first key to your success as an entrepreneur is yourself. Your mindset boils down to: what do you want your business to do? Cultivating a growth mindset takes time and patience, but the rewards of doing so are well worth it.