If you believe you can, you will, if you believe you can’t, you won’t.
There are so many business owners who do not appreciate the gravity of this statement. Yet it may truly be one of the major keys to business success. For countless business owners, access to finance, securing top talent, consistent sales and so many other areas are prioritised as key business success factors. Mindset is normally not even entered into the conversation. However, the right mindset has the power to help unlock all of the other elements of business success and so much more.
Before I begin working with clients, I ask them a set of very specific questions. These questions help me to decipher the type of mindset which they have. This helps to determine the level of mindset work I will have to do with them alongside the main business specific interventions. I know that those who have a fixed, defeatist mindset will be my greatest challenge. This is irrespective of industry, business stage or sales figures. However, I also recognise that a mindset can be shifted and with the right mindset, success will occur.
As much as I would love to say that every business owner or entrepreneur that I work with becomes a raving success. It isn’t true. There are a variety of factors that mean that even with the best level of support, some businesses simply don’t make it. Over the past few years I have been keeping track of the clients that I work with that seem to gain the most from my interventions, compared to those who have received the same level of support (sometimes more) and don’t seem to benefit in the same way. Mindset is almost always the primary differentiating factor.
Mindset dictates your attitude. If you have a negative mindset, you will have a negative attitude towards business growth. This will impact your behaviour. If your mindset is defeatist and your attitude is defeatist, you will approach your actions and tasks defeated. This will lead to poor results. Conversely, if your mindset states that you can achieve, your attitude will be positive. When you approach business growth tasks you will take positive action. This will lead to positive results.
The clients whose businesses don’t make much progress, almost always are those with a fixed, defeatist, negative mindset. When I tell these individuals what they are capable of achieving, they refuse to accept it. They regularly complain that the recommendations won’t work. They continually make excuses for inaction and procrastination. They are persistent in referring to things that may have gone wrong in the past and use these examples to explain why they will never go right for them in the future. They want the answers handed to them on a plate with limited involvement or effort expended on their part. They communicate openly that they wish everything could be done for them. They blame others and external factors for their misfortunes, challenges or errors. They never take responsibility for their role in a situation. Did I say they constantly make excuses?
As previously mentioned, these clients are usually my greatest challenge. Because to get them to implement the advice and guidance I want to impart relating to business growth, I have to first attempt to change their entire way of thinking. I have to first get them to believe that they possess the ability to grow their businesses and solve their own problems. This can be incredibly time consuming and somewhat draining. However, when it clicks and they have the mindset shift, it is the most rewarding work that I do. When a client shifts their mindset from defeat to success, from fixed to growth, I consider it a great win. Because once the mindset has shifted, the business then begins to make progress. Sometimes it’s slow and steady progress, but often it is fast and exciting.
When someone finally believes in themselves and their abilities, something quite remarkable happens. They approach their business very differently. Rather than blaming others, they take responsibility when things go wrong and seek the lesson. In seeking the lesson, they learn and the more they learn, the more they implement. The more they implement the greater positive impact on the business. Instead of sitting and waiting for opportunities to come and moaning when they don’t, they build the confidence to seek out opportunities and to pursue them relentlessly. Rather than being inactive and expecting change, they get excited into action by the possibilities of what could be and diligently try to bring their vision to reality. All of these changes almost always lead to business growth.
With a positive, success mindset, they approach business growth activity with a positive and confident attitude. They chase sales consistently, build networks confidently and pursue growth strategically.
This does not mean that it is all smooth sailing. External factors still occur which may impact them. However, the client isn’t defeated. They don’t give up. They don’t tell themselves that they are not worthy and therefore should stop. They understand that obstacles and failure are opportunities to improve and are not a negative reflection on them or their capabilities.
So if you truly want to achieve business success, it is my opinion that you need to begin with understanding and if necessary, changing your mindset. Recognising that failure is not getting it wrong, but instead failing to learn how and where you went wrong. Failure is crumbling at every obstacle and not believing that you have the power to make your business a success. Because if you believe you can, you will. If you believe you can’t, you won’t.