The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. If trained well, it can create enormous wealth - R Kiyosaki
“I’m just not cut out to be an entrepreneur…”
I found myself regurgitating this line over and over in my head, while looking down at my 9 month old daughter. She seemed rather content watching the circulating mobile toy above her, oblivious to the mental turmoil mummy was going through.
I didn’t have a lemonade stand when I was little nor did I trail door-to-door selling newspapers, in fact my childhood was as much entrepreneurial as a rainbow on a hot summers day.
I had taken the decision to leave my job and create more freedom with my lifestyle, I wanted to stay at home and take care of my daughter, so I slashed half our wage packet overnight by handing in my notice at work. What followed was a mental road block, actually to be blunt it was a huge mountain with its peak rising high above, hidden behind some dense clouds, with twisted serpents at its base lashing their tongues out at me…yea THAT is how I felt….IN MY MIND.
I had no clue in hell how I would replace the income that I had so easily kicked to one side to achieve the ideal lifestyle. After all I was from a non business background, had limited techy skill’s and also had a ‘little person’ who demanded my full attention (there go my limiting belief’s again).
I had almost convinced myself that the decision to quit my job was wrong as I wasn’t even remotely an entrepreneurial person. How was I going to do this!?
I realised that my mindset was a pile of shit, and needed to me rebooted if I was to see any success in my business pursuits! It occurred to me that the one thing holding me back from pursuing new ideas and avenues was my mind and nothing else. So I started work on what I believe is the one thing that has bought me so far.
Educating myself and applying the principle’s of a growth mindset as apposed to a fixed one.
Identify Your Mindset
One of the first things that I needed to do to work on my mindset was to identify where I was at and where I wanted to be. I was frustrated, stuck in a rut and having negative thoughts that frankly weren't helping me at all (I still do have these sometimes, all entrepreneurs have moments of self doubt- you just need to learn how to embrace them and still stay positive). Trying to run a business while having such a mindset is nothing short of impossible, because as soon as the shit hit's the fan in your business (which it most likely will) you crumble and fall under the pressure.
Take a look at the diagram below from Carol Dweck's awesome little book Mindset:The new psychology of success. It's a brilliant example of what the two mindset's we can have as individuals entail. Can you identify which side of the diagram you sit currently?
*Why not test to see which mindset you fall into here*
I found myself frustrated, thinking that I was not born an entrepreneur and hence could not create a business. As a result I started educating myself, I devoured books (and still do), read blog posts and implemented a lot of the strategies mentioned.
I now find it much easier to embrace new challenges, I’m always looking for new ways to make money online and try new things out without the fear of failure holding me back. In fact I’m much happier to fail as I know I’ll be learning valuable lessons when/if I do!
I’m constantly learning and instead of giving up when something is hard I embrace the challenge and find a way to fix the problem.
The Aha moment!
The more I read and implemented the more I realised that the skill’s I had picked up as a parent, are some of the best and essential skills required to create a business. In fact you could change the title of any business book, replacing it with a parenting title and it would still make sense.
This helped me get past my mental road block of not having a business background and finally break down that huge mountain, so that I could move forward. I think as parents we have an edge, the skills that we acquire nurturing a child are exactly what are needed to progress a business to success. Once I realised this my mindset become more growth orientated and I could move past my road block.
Keeping your mindset in tact is not just a one off thing tough, as entrepreneurs you may find that at times you need to step back from the chaos, and reaffirm the mindset you want to follow. Hence it’s something that should be nurtured often.
Mindset strategies for success
I was recently listening to Natalie Sisson’s, The Suitcase Entrepreneur Podcast on ‘The 6 simple mind-set strategies for success’. I’m a huge fan of all the valuable content Natalie put’s out but this episode was rather special, reason being because the strategies she mentioned were ones I highly resonated with. In fact they were some of the strategies I used and still do use to get my mindset back on track therefore I would like to expand on them here:
- 1. Take action
- 2. Don't give up
- 3. Fake it till you make it
- 4. Embrace self doubt
- 5. collaborate and create a support network
- 6. stand by your decisions
You can harbour the most elaborate plans and ideas in your head but not taking action on them will get you no where, they will stay as dreams in your mind. Well you know what? For most people THAT is exactly what they do, they spend their whole life dreaming and not actually doing! And then they complain why they are not as successful as other people. I’m going to let you in on a secret here though, I have always been an over analyser, in fact my husband has even said to me that I should have been a detective. I used to over analyse the crap out of everything, the pros the cons ….everything! Hell if you gave me a hair I would over analyse it until it would disappear… But I digress.
I recognised this and changed it, It does rear its ugly head once in a while but on the whole now if I have any new ideas I just go out and do them, try them, tweak them…and deliver.
When you first start an online business I understand it can get rather overwhelming, with all the blogs, advice, guru’s etc out there, trust me I’ve been through it. While you are finding your feet and working out how your skills and qualities can be used to create a business, I would urge that you take at least one action step a day, even if it’s tiny.
Paralysis by analysis is not a myth, it’s a sure fire way to suck all your energy so try your best to stay away from it, it’s a downward spiral after that.
I love these 100 words by Pat Flynn, I couldn’t have put it any better myself. Just take action and learn as you go along! You’ll feel epic.
Creating a lifestyle that can give you the freedom to live as you will doesn’t come easy, in fact setting up a business is probably the second hardest thing that you’ll ever do (the first one being your kids obviously).
There will even be times when the 9-5 may seem like a walk in the park in comparison. But what’s important is that you focus on why you are doing this, what will having an online business allow you to do. The most successful people are very resilient, therefore never give up. And always remember, things are never as bad as they may first seem, so take a break then tackle any problems with fresh eyes.
I’ll be honest, when I first started my e-commerce business I had no clue what I was doing. I was learning as I went along, but I would still speak to my Chinese suppliers as if I knew exactly what I was doing. They knew no better, which resulted in a better relationship and some great discounts on bulk order’s. Why? Because I showed them I was a serious buyer, and hence serious about my business.
Then when I became a freelancer I did the same, I approached my clients in a professional manner and made myself seem much bigger than I was, as a result they took me much seriously.
This is a great NLP technique as it allows you to focus your mindset toward what you are trying to achieve, as you start to develop your mindset this will in effect develop your vision which slowly becomes a part of you. You start to see your vision becoming reality and you get to where you want to be much faster. Act as you mean to go on and you’ll get there quicker.
I love this one as I have struggled with it quite a bit. You may have a great business, and a great lifestyle, everything in your business may be going exactly as you plan. However there will always be times when you wake up feeling like you can’t do this, or maybe you aren’t doing things right etc. These moments of vulnerability, can define who you really are, when you pick yourself up when you are down and still follow through with your goals.
We are all human, so embrace this, there will be times when you doubt your abilities, but just focus on how far you have come and you’ll soon realise that it’s much further than you think.
Creating an online business is not something you can do on your own, it’s important to have a support network you can turn to when the going gets tough.
I myself have joined many courses in the past, not for their content but for the thriving forum or Facebook community. When I first started I had no one around me who understood what I was trying to do ( I doubt that they still do now haha) which was very isolating.
There was no one to bounce ideas off and no one who understood the lifestyle I was trying to create, so I had to turn to the internet.
I now regularly speak with like minded entrepreneurs who are at different parts of the journey, we understand each other and the lifestyles we are looking to achieve. Building strong and genuine relationships in the online world is key, so you should start as early as possible.
When I decided to quit my job and stay at home to take care of my daughter, I had a lot of people thinking I was crazy, to leave such a great job. But as it was a decision I had taken I fully backed it up no matter what anyone said.
I knew I needed more freedom and I knew this was the way to achieve it. The people around you most likely won’t have seen the potential that you have, with an online business and hence will be speaking from their perspective. So make sure you stand by any decision that you do make, because this is your life and only you know how you want to live it.
Creating a mindset that serves you well in your entrepreneurial pursuits, is essential. It must be cultivated properly to allow you to grow, understand and lead your business to success. Remember, always anticipate failure, develop a mindset of lifelong learning and follow your instincts. Soon you shall see yourself reaching your goals and achieving the lifestyle you envisioned.
I would love to know if you have been able to identify your mindset and change it, what techniques did you use? Let me know in the comment’s below.