“If you do not change, you can become extinct.” – Han, Who Moved My Cheese
With everything going on in the world and the constant reminders of how uncertain life is, it can seem like giving up is the only option.
But the irony is that the world has always been uncertain, we just chose to not acknowledge it as such. We saw the uncertainty as a challenge and our businesses as unique solutions to bring joy and light into the world. So what’s really changed?
Being an entrepreneur requires a special set of skills. Some may call it almost masochistic in nature, but I would say it less about taking pleasure in the pain and more about taking pleasure in the challenge.
What Is A Growth Mindset?
Carol Dweck, Stanford Psychology Professor and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, differentiates between a growth versus a fixed mindset as well as clarifying how everyone has a mix of growth and fixed mindsets that can lead to blind spots preventing growth and new achievements in life.
Sometimes it can seem difficult to determine the difference between repeatedly running into a brick wall (and expecting a different result other than a severe headache) and running in a different “wall-less” direction (though it might not be the right direction for your goals).
Dweck explains that a growth mindset believes talents can be developed and a fixed mindset sees talents as innate with a pre-specified cap. She also characterizes businesses as having these types of mindsets in terms of how they are operated.
Clearly there are various limitations both in our personal and professional lives but when we see the world as opportunities on a learning playground versus a maze of dangers, we can unlock the chains of our self-fulfilling prophesies and learned helplessness. Changing our outlook can allow us to learn and grow in ways not otherwise possible.
What Does That Look Like In Your Business?
Think about something you dread doing in your business. Perhaps it is social media, setting up automation, using Facebook Ads, blogging, email marketing, or networking.
Now, think about why you dread it. Is it because it seems confusing? Because you don’t like it? Because you’ve been able to make it so far without needing to learn or consistently do it?
Will social media, automating your business, blogging or networking drastically change your business? Quite possibly. Especially now that other traditional or past options are no longer options. Are you willing to do what it takes to get to the other side of that success?
For many, it is only the assurance of the outcome that will push them to endure the pain of doing what they dread. But for others, learning and the possibility, not the assurance, of the outcome is enough to motivate them. That is a growth mindset.
It is not unlike valuing the journey over the destination.
Think of how you were as a child. Learning was fun. You couldn’t get enough. You wanted to keep trying to walk despite the number of face-first falls you endured. You wanted to keep trying to use a spoon to feed yourself, to dress yourself, tie your own shoes, the list goes on. And why? You didn’t want to learn these things just to achieve independence. It was the challenge, the process, the novelty of a new skill, new knowledge, and the new application of it that helped fuel your endless energy to learn new things.
So how do we get that back? How do we get excited about our business and the things we dread?
We change our mindset.
How Do We Change Our Mindset?
Remember back to when you started your business, to the point when you were first thinking of turning your hobby into something more – a business. Remember the excitement, the late nights reading and learning, the endless dreaming and scheming.
Generally day to day life, the grind of owning a business, doing all the things you have to do that you might not love to do.
This is the same reason we all love vacations. A break from the same ol’ same ol’.
And while 2020, the year of upsets, most likely won’t be your biggest revenue year, it might be just what the doctor ordered to cure your fixed mindset and help you grow your business for 2021 and beyond.
Take time and take a step back to reimagine your business as a new business. Think of your social media, your email marketing, your website and branding as if it were a brand new venture. Reset your mind.
One of the most common reasons businesses die is because they just keep doing what they always do and pretty soon, their cheese is gone. (If this confuses you, read Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson.) Think about Blockbuster, Palm, Yellow Book, and any big box retail company or mall.
Time is a gift and we have all been given this gift in 2020 especially with lockdowns. Use it to rekindle your love for your business, your love for learning how to make it better and sustain it for many years to come, and your love for learning, growing and changing.
Remember, you always get further faster when you have a plan and work that plan. And a shortcut or two to help you sort through the sea of options can help get you laser-focused and eliminate the overwhelm pivoting can cause you. If you are ready for a business audit and strategy session to give you a plan or are interested in learning about business coaching or online class options, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.