7 Mindsets at the Foundation of Entrepreneurial Success
Do you ever wonder why some entrepreneurs have the ability to bounce from success to success, without falter? To be clear, no one has that ability, but from afar it can seem like that.
There are many, many skills and attributes required for success as an entrepreneur. Fortunately, most of them can be learned, strengthened and nourished through diligence and a willingness to grow. Having the proper mindset as an entrepreneur will allow you to deal more effectively with the day-to-day of your business because you will be thinking like a successful entrepreneur.
Having interviewed 200+ brilliant entrepreneurs, I have noticed over-arching themes and mindsets held by entrepreneurs who bounce from success to success. These are the seven mindsets that will dramatically improve your business.
1. Believe in yourself and your business.
"You have to be resilient and able to continue building what you believe is the next best thing. Things you build will often not succeed, but ultimately, those losses will add up to a win, based on what you’ve learned," said Todd Garland, founder of BuySellAds.
Todd didn’t just put out BuySellAds and start earning $10 million a year. The process took seven years and was full of struggles, hardship and things not working the way they were supposed to. Those struggles are necessary to achieve success.
Related: 15 Habits of Mentally Tough People
2. Think three steps ahead.
“I follow my gut. I don’t play chess, but I imagine that if I did, I would think of every opportunity three steps ahead in every possible direction. Even if it seems like something would benefit me in the now, it might not benefit me in the long run. ” – Jessie Shternshus, founder of The ImprovEffect and co-author of the book CTRL Shift: The Book for Any Day.
I love the comparison between entrepreneurship and playing chess. You always have to think three steps ahead. Don’t just ask yourself, “What is happening right now?” but “What will happen three steps from the action I’m going to take today?” You don’t succeed expecting one thing to be your winning ticket in the big entrepreneurial lottery. You have to think longer term and have a vision of where you want to be.
3. Do the hardest thing.
“The hardest thing is usually the thing you should be going after. Chances are nobody else is, or at least very few people are. Personally, I feel comfortable and even thrive when I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.” – Josh Pigford, founder of Baremetrics.
It is essential that you get used to the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what you’re doing. Whether it's getting on stage to speak, launching your product or writing a book, we tend to see others doing it and (falsely) assume they've always been good at it. We all have to do everything for the first time, and none of us does anything very well the first time.
4. Think big and small.
“You have to learn to think big and small. You have to go in the same direction with small day-to-day decisions, as well as big actions. Once you are on your way, you will mostly have to occupy yourself with little things, which can be tedious. Nevertheless, you are the one who has to do them right.” Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo.
This ability is what makes us entrepreneurs: at times, we have to do the work that has to be done (the small things), even if we’re not great at it and don’t like doing it. Yet, we also have to be able to step back, look at the big picture and give direction to the overall vision. This is the duality we need to harness for business success.
5. Create your own luck.
“So-called lucky people aren’t necessarily getting more advantages than other people. The universe doesn’t favor them, but they’re putting themselves out there more. They’re creating more connections that could lead to other stuff. That is really how I interpret luck – creating more of a mathematical probability that you’re going to get what you want.” – Russ Perry, founder of Design Pickle.
Luck’s a funny thing, isn’t it? As Russ says, it is about creating a mathematical probability by putting ourselves out there and trying more things. When you start a business, it might fail. You might have to create 10 businesses before one will be successful. We make our luck with the decisions we make and the actions we take. Plain and simple.
6. Give. Give. Give.
“I have tips and resources that I want to share, and I don’t want to wait for a publishing platform to give me permission. Nobody told us we had to wait to do anything – we could just put our ideas out there, which was really a huge game changer. I have always found that over sharing pays off in readership. Hence, I don’t save my best tips for myself, but I share them on all our social media platforms.” – Nicole Feliciano, founder and CEO of MomTrends.
Helping and sharing is content marketing, which is how you build a business nowadays. Build an audience, then determine what they need from you. Create content, find your audience, build your business. Please do not fall into the trap of building a product or service, and then trying to find customers – that is a recipe for disaster.
7. The growth mindset.
“If you believe somehow you’re set to a certain capability and level of accomplishment, then you’ll never achieve anything more. However, if you believe you can get better and do other things, that growth mindset will enable you to accomplish more.” – Guy Kawasaki, entrepreneur and The New York Times bestselling author of 13 books.
The growth mindset is essential to you succeeding as an entrepreneur doing what you want to do. You need to have the mentality that you can teach yourself to do anything, as long as you push yourself hard enough and try enough things. This idea has been further explored and validated by Carol Dweck in her classic book simply titled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Your mindset will affect your success or failure in business. Luckily, your mindset is also the thing you have the most control over. choose one of these seven mindset shifts to adopt and begin working on its development. As become more confident and comfortable with this new mindset, move onto the next. Push yourself to be 1 percent better than you were yesterday, and start with changing your mindset.
Developing these mindsets will give you the resilience and direction you need to push through the ups and downs that come with running a business.
Jon Nastor is the author of Hack the Entrepreneur: How to Stop Procrastinating, Build a Business, and Do Work That Matters.