If you’re wondering how mindset development is essential for your newly developing business or practice, read on my friend. By the same token, if you’ve already grown your business to the place you want – never mind – Just go relax in a hammock beside the sea on your favorite tropical island! Most of the best entrepreneurs who have begun the journey of living their dreams are simply being and doing more of who they are. And on this journey all of us must come face to face with a dangerous tiger, an edge, and an obstacle of some sort. Often, we aren’t even aware of the real problem we are facing, let alone how we might begin to move through it. Unfortunately we usually don’t mind staying warm and cozy inside our “fixed mindsets”. It’s so much easier to think the way we’ve always thought and do what we’ve always done. But, the only way to achieve goals is to move into the “growth mindset” zone. So what is a growth mindset, anyway? A very forward-thinking educator, Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, writes about this in her 2006 book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Carol categorizes two very different poles on the mindset spectrum, and characterizes our basic ideas about how we see ourselves:
When operating from a fixed mindset, “your qualities are carved in stone.” In this place your capabilities and possibilities seem finite and are coming from a place of lack. From this point of view you see your qualities and skills as predetermined. You believe that you will continue to lack what you need to go beyond where you already are. While coming from this fixed mindset you also apply this thinking to the qualities others have, and tend to limit your ability to learn from what others have to teach.
Once you adopt a growth mindset, “your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts…everyone can change and grow through application and experience.” Of course one’s basic intelligence is a starting point, but success comes as a result of effort, learning, and persistence. From a growth mindset perspective, we are always in the “beginners mind” zone, eager to learn and grow, confident that we have all we need within ourselves and the world around us to achieve our goals.
As you are becoming more and more “smart” as an entrepreneur you must develop an awareness of which mindset you are coming from. This will allow you to expand your thinking habits to be able to just “be with” whatever arises. What happens when we become more of an observer of our thoughts is that we plant seeds of confidence. As our confidence develops it grows into curiosity. And soon our business project is moving along very rapidly, sometimes going in strange directions we never would have expected. When we gear towards growth and expansion we open what I call the “heart mind” (more about this in another post). This is a place in which we become more and more compassionate towards ourselves and others as we practice curiosity towards everything – the good, bad and indifferent. When we have this “don’t know mindset” amazing possibilities start to emerge. Even the hardships and stresses we meet in the process of being in the moment become graciously accepted as teachers on our path.
In a way, while living inside a growth mindset the goal is not really “where it’s at”! The present moment real-life predicaments we find ourselves in are juicy fodder for our “growth mindset”. And as we simply allow each moment to unfold, being fully present with it, our own inner wise mind will teach us invaluable lessons. Once you see that you are operating from a possibility mindset, you can quickly move way out there on that limb where many new ideas and connections will manifest for you. This occurs when you have entered into the “growth mindset” zone.
Mindset development is essential for smart entrepreneurs who wish to grow their business to greater heights. In other posts I will offer exercises and strategies for building a bridge to a growth mindset. In the meantime, just remember – choosing to stay in the comfortable fixed mindset zone is mighty dangerous for your business. Discovering ways to increase your awareness of being either in a fixed or a growth mindset is crucial – not only to getting more business, but in living your dreams, period. You see, having the proper mindset not only determines what we perceive in “the world out there” but it either limits or expands our ability to see possibilities in the first place! I invite you to begin to look for the unusual and unexpected connections you are making. Perhaps you can become a bit more curious about how these seemingly accidental events relate to the growth of your business and your mindset. And, if you really want to walk the smart entrepreneur’s tightrope, give yourself the challenge of doing, thinking or being in some small way, a little bit different, at least once a week. I’ll let you figure out your own definition of “different” – but make a weekly habit of it. It will work wonders for your business!