I am fascinated by the power of the mind. Are you achieving your dreams of entrepreneurial success? The reaction to the suggestion that it could be your mindset that is preventing you from being the person you want to be is very interesting sometimes. They range from denial, to consideration to enlightenment.
Have you heard stories of people performing incredible feats of physical strength, or marvelled at the genius behind STEM and its impact on technology and our future – all coming from great minds. For me it all boils down to this – if you set your mind to something, nobody can stop you. From weight loss, to learning something new, to creating, to money – when we really want to, we can find a way.
I am a UFC fan. If you take away the brutality, the blood and carnage, you see people with immense discipline, respect and mindset. You don’t step into the octagon thinking you will “give it a bit of a go” or “I am gonna get my butt kicked”. You can’t do that. In every fight I look for that moment when you see in the person’s eyes that they know they are done. I admire that it is fleeting, because they get up, show respect for their opponent, and consider how to do better next time. It is never over, it is just a delay to the success they work so hard for and an experience to learn from.
Starting a business
If you have ventured into the world of business you may have heard the term barrier to entry. If not then let me explain what that means. A barrier to entry is an obstacle that can prevent people from doing something (like starting a business in a particular industry or market) or something that slows them down.
If you have a business mindset you will realise that barriers to entry are your friend in the business. Anything that stops your industry from being flooded with competition for whatever reason is, in my book, a good thing. The reason I believe this is because you don’t want your business to be in the same pool as a fly by nighters who are jumping in for quick money.
It if is too easy then you are at risk of being subject to price wars, poor quality and essentially having to fight really hard to position yourself as the real deal, offering real value amongst many other business owners that are not genuine. Barriers to entry force you to be more considered and do your research before setting up a shop.
When business gets hard
Any business owner will tell you that being in business is hard work – and it is. Emotionally, physically and mentally – business can challenge you on at least one of these three fronts at some point or another. If you have done a SWOT analysis you will have identified the threats to your business that are external – and out of your control to some extent.
When your business becomes vulnerable because of factors outside of your control, that is when business owners either rise to the challenge or sink into oblivion. Steven Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” discusses the concept of having an abundant mindset (rising to the challenge) and the law of attraction.
In my article Mindset: How to Grow Your Brilliant Business, I wrote about having a fixed or growth mindset and how it is possible to change from a fixed to a growth mindset. You also have the capability to use the law of attraction and an abundant mindset to change your focus from viewing these external factors as negative or having a positive outlook.
The seven most expensive words in business. “We have always done it that way” – Janine Ellis
There is always a solution to a problem. When anyone says to me that they don’t know what to do, or that there is no choice, my response is this – there is always a way, there is always a choice, you just don’t happen to like the alternative. And sometimes you do just have to pick from a list of things you don’t like.
How do you change your mind?
It sounds so simple doesn’t it – to just change your mind. Let’s face it, as women we are tainted with the brush of changing our minds more than we change – anything else. But the mindset is a little different because that is what we really need to change.
It isn’t the conscious mind but the unconscious. It is about taming that negative voice in your head. The one that spreads fear through your mind and into your body until you experience it physically. It is that instantaneous gut reaction you have to everything that happens.
Do you find yourself saying things like “I knew that would happen” when something doesn’t go your way? Or “Should have known I wouldn’t have any luck” when you miss out on something.
Work on your inner voice.
Marisa Peer – who I introduced you to in my article Top 10 Ted Talks to Inspire Women in Business, is the specialist in this area. Here is her advice.
“Your words and thoughts are powerful and your mind is always listening. Every word you say and thought you think becomes a blueprint that your mind and bodywork to turn into reality. The strongest force in you is that you must act in a way that consistently matches your thinking.
Your mind does not know, and indeed it does not care if what you tell it is right or wrong, good or bad, true or false, helpful or very unhelpful – it just lets it in. Your mind’s job is to act on the words you tell it. If you want to learn how to control your thoughts and create the life you want, your job is to give your mind much more powerful, descriptive, and positive words.”
Another great master of mindset is Tony Robbins. Tony’s work includes matching your physical approach to things as well as your mental approach.
“The difference between peak performance and poor performance is not intelligence or ability; most often it’s the state that your mind and body is in.” —Tony Robbins
However, you may already have a great mindset that just needs to adapt to being a business owner. That means that you need to develop the ability to somewhat remove yourself from taking things personally and be a little more analytical in your approach to decision making. Your personal beliefs about things cannot stand in the way of your business success. I am not talking about compromising your values, but your negative beliefs around success. You need to remain optimistic and see risks and challenges as opportunities.
As entrepreneurs, we need to take some actions to move into the right headspace. My top five tips to get you started are:
Getting out of your comfort zone
Stop seeing your comfort zone and the place to sit and put your feet up. In fact, this is the place that you should want to be in the least. Nothing happens there. Pushing yourself, even in small ways, each and every day will accumulate a wealth of satisfaction. What makes you uncomfortable today is tomorrow’s comfortable – so remember that stepping out of your comfort zone is a never-ending process. Don’t ever stop setting yourself little milestones of discomfort to keep growing as a person and an entrepreneur.
Work with a Business Coach
Nothing makes business owners more uncomfortable than having someone else come in and critique your business. But with this perspective, your blind spots will be illuminated and your business will benefit in so many ways – and so will you. A Business Coach will ask you the questions you shy away from but ultimately need to answer.
Get in touch with your intuition
Over time, working in male-dominated industries, I learned to hush my intuition. There was no place for it – or so I thought. Intuition will serve you well if you tune in and pay attention to it.
Use your strengths
Are you doing everything really well? I actually don’t know any business owners that do. As much as it pains us to admit we can’t do it all and that we aren’t an expert at everything, learning to focus on what we are good at and that brings us joy and let someone else – who is good at those things – do them. Let go of the pride and the pain.
Set Realistic Goals
If you set goals the right way they can be one of your biggest assets. They will have you making all the right moves and see your business dreams come to life. Setting unrealistic goals that are not in alignment with your values, vision, and mission will lead to systemic failure – and that is not good for anyone’s mindset.
So here is what I want you to do. Do a mindset health check on yourself. Be honest about what you are telling yourself and be honest about the changes you need to make. If you need help then talk to me – that is what I am here for.
I will leave you with this thought from Roopleen –
“Quitting is never an option on the road to success. Find the way forward. If you have a positive mindset and are willing to persevere, there is little that is beyond your reach. The attitude of being ready to work even in the face of challenges and despite odds is what will make all the difference in your life.”