10 tips to help you develop a growth mindset
Continuing our new year foray into helping you make 2023 a much better year, today we look at what you can do to develop a growth mindset in your small business.
If you’re a small business owner you’re no stranger to challenges, ranging from managing what might seem to be an ever tightening budget, finding and keeping employees, winning new customers and maintaining your business’ reputation. In order to not feel beset and besieged by these challenges, and better yet, succeed at them, it’s critical you adopt a growth mindset.
What is a growth mindset?
A growth mindset is characterised by a continuous improvement focus; one where perseverance, learning and personal development are key. You believe your efforts will ultimately lead you to success. But it’s also about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, in terms of both your learning and practiced ability in a little, yet, often way.
Adopting a growth mindset has been shown to have numerous benefits, including increased motivation, greater success, and improved well-being – all helpful for building a business. It can also help you recover from any problems/challenges quicker and develop greater resilience, both key as we all navigate the uncertain economic times ahead
The opposite is a fixed mindset. This is where you actively resist challenges, believe your abilities are largely set in stone and failure is seen as having occurred due to lack of ability, capacity or intelligence on your part. And those with a fixed mindset often avoid trying new things for fear of looking incompetent or ‘failing’. Needless to say, a fixed mindset is linked to a lack of progress, low motivation, poor self-esteem (which also has knock on effects on mental health and well-being).
How do I tell which mindset I have?
Below are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to highlight your preference.
- How do you react when things get difficult in your life or business? Do you view your challenges as an opportunity or as insurmountable barrier?
- How do you respond to negative feedback? Do you see it as an opportunity that will allow you to do things better, or do you think of it as a personal attack?
- Do you believe that your skills and capacity are largely set in stone, or do you believe self development, repeated practice or just plain having a go are almost always worth the effort?
- How do you view failure? Is it a reflection of your ability or smarts? Or is it merely a way to figure out what doesn’t work so you can move your and your business forward? Do you embrace new challenges and opportunities, or avoid them for fear of either failing or appearing inadequate?
Don’t worry, if you’re tending toward a fixed mindset, you’re certainly not alone. We all have varying amounts of fixedness in our mindsets depending on the circumstances. According to Carole Dweck, best selling author of the book Mindset: The new Psychology of Success, no-one is one or the other all of the time. And even better, a growth mindset can be cultivated and developed over time. You just need to decide to adopt one and practice.
10 tips to develop a growth mindset
In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins looked for what distinguished the great companies from those that were merely good. He found that great companies had a passion for learning (there was no failing, just learning) and a desire to continuously improve.
So with that being said, below are tips for how you can adopt a growth mindset of your own.
- Try new things and set yourself learning goals. These can be daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly, depending on your learning curve. You might consider becoming better at financial statements, transitioning to and then learning a new bookkeeping program like Xero, learning how to promote yourself better on social media, practicing your sales skills. Pick something related to business improvement you feel will get you ahead, save you time or win new clients.
- Put your learning tasks on your calendar or to-do list to ensure they get done.
- Find books, seminars, workshops, webinars or a mentor to help move you forward. There are so many options, it can be tempting to keep looking for the ‘right’ one. Don’t do that. Pick one and go. If you find it’s not what you hoped, pick another.
- Put what you learn into practice as soon as you can.
- Reward yourself for making progress and activity. You don’t have to win a new client to reward new business activity. Reaching out to a couple of people on any given morning, qualifies for a ‘leave the office for a walk or a chapter of a good book at lunchtime instead of your usual ploughing through. Or you can always go for whatever your favourite treat is.
- When you encounter a challenge, ask yourself what opportunities this might bring
- Anticipate challenges ahead of time and think through how you would best deal with them. Even things we consider unforeseen crises often have a warning period. Take a moment to think about what might possibly be headed your way and how you can tackle it if it does.
- Join a group that has you step outside your comfort zone frequently. Try something like public speaking, painting, rock climbing, acting class, stand up comedy, or even teaching what you do at the local TAFE or Uni. These are all spaces where feedback (negative and positive) is frequently given. Over time, you’ll realise feedback is neither good nor bad, it’s just information you can use to get better.
- When failure does come (you might lose a client, a new product/service doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, a project hits a wall, a staff member doesn’t work out, etc), which is inevitable for all of us, don’t view it as the end of the world, or even ‘your fault’. Merely reflect on what you might have changed if you had a do-over. How could you improve for next time?
- Realise your learning is never done.
And an extra one just for good measure;
11. Act as a growth mindset role-model for your team.
If this blog resonated, you might consider reading the following books;
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
- Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
- The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
- The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
Of course, if we can help you move your business forward by transitioning you to cloud accounting with Xero, or looking after your business tax affairs, you can call us on 6023 1700 or connect with us via Facebook or LinkedIn.
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