Entrepreneurs are usually highly energetic individuals with tons of self-motivation. However, entrepreneurship is a battle that not many can endure. Maintaining that entrepreneurial spirit is something every CEO struggles with throughout the lifetime of their business.
As the founder of an agency that’s now more than 11 years old, I understand the struggles of being an entrepreneur. In that time, I’ve had lots of ups and downs that could discourage anyone, but I’ve learned how important it is to concentrate on the positives.
Recently, when I attended a Sales 2.0 conference and heard a great talk by Gerhard Gschwandtner, Selling Power magazine’s CEO, on how salespeople need to maintain a positive attitude, it dawned on me that sometimes an entrepreneur’s biggest battle is his own mindset.
As a CEO or an aspiring entrepreneur, mindset is critical to overcoming the challenges that come with entrepreneurship. Consider these two important mindsets that all entrepreneurs should be aware of:
The Positive vs. Negative Mindset
These two mindsets spell out the difference between positive thoughts and negative thoughts. Negative thoughts tend to limit thinking, undervalue achievements and generate a variety of negative feelings. Negative feelings, in turn, can lead to lack of confidence and underperformance. People with a positive mindset, on the other hand, tend to have a better outlook on life and are more energetic, productive and successful.
As an entrepreneur, I have learned that staying positive, even when setbacks arise, is key to moving forward and pushing through. A positive mindset can help you turn a bad situation into a good one in a much shorter period of time, and with better end results. It’s the process of making something good out of something bad.
As a company that relies on online tools and software, we’ve often had disastrous results when adopting a new tool or system. However, that hasn’t discouraged us. Instead, it taught us how to be more efficient and led to us creating our own tool. A negative mindset, on the other hand, would have led us to give up and lose faith — which is certainly not what entrepreneurship is all about.
The Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
The second mindset that concerns entrepreneurs is a growth versus fixed mindset. A growth mindset views the opportunities ahead as limitless. A fixed mindset is limited by the current state of things. Successful entrepreneurs largely focus on the growth mindset, as it allows them to think big and push forward.
An entrepreneur with a fixed mindset will suffer failure and give up. An entrepreneur with a growth mindset will take a failure and use it as a chance to demonstrate the resilience and determination necessary to overcome that failure. A fixed mindset views the market as limited and shrinking, while a growth mindset sees the market as ever-growing and full of opportunities.
As the leader of our company, I know I have to be growth-minded. I tell my salespeople every day that we have thousands of customers we can reach out to. That encourages them to keep trying. That positive reinforcement goes a long way in motivating all of us to push through.
Developing Your Mindset
Having the right mindset is important for succeeding in business and in life. But how can you develop your own mindset and lead it in the right direction? As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that there are some key things you have to keep doing in order to maintain a positive and growth mindset.
The first is to not limit your thinking. Two years ago, I envisioned our internal toolset becoming a self-sustained, fully-integrated marketing platform. Today, it has become the toolset of our customers and even our partners. It all started with a big dream that’s now a reality. Don’t limit your dreams or goals: Limited thinking leads to limited ideas, which stunt growth and performance.
Just as important as limitless thinking is being deliberate about your habits and actions. Imagine having a dream about losing weight but not being deliberate about eating healthy or exercising. How soon would that dream come true? The same thing can be said about any goals you set for your company or business. If you’re not deliberate about taking actions to achieve those goals or dreams, it’s as good as not having any goals or dreams. I’ve learned to set short-term and long-term goals that help me achieve those dreams. Each milestone reached will take you one step closer.
By having limitless thinking and being deliberate about behaviors and habits, you can maintain your entrepreneurial spirit, develop a positive mindset and be open to growth and success in your business.