Dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of entrepreneurship can be a difficult challenge, to say the least. So, to help you create the right mindset for success in your business endeavors and stay mentally strong, I have sought the expert advice from the CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.
You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Disregard Your Detractors
Should someone doubt your business, or belittle it, take stock of where the criticism is coming from. Jealousy is born from an ineptness to imitate; others desire what you possess, but cannot attain it. Therefore, envy takes root and is manifested in insults. Always understand the nature of your position---you are an entrepreneur, an original, a pioneer. Shine on in your brilliance and remember, "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb
2. You Need to Have a Big Dream
I have achieved a lot of dreams in my life. I started a business to serve global companies with just a laptop and a cell phone - 13 years later I am still going with clients in Tokyo, New York, Paris, Mumbai, and all over the US. You need to have a big dream, believe in your heart that you can do it, and take action every single day to make it come true.
3. Prep Your Muscles
Be armed and prepared. If you know the topic, product, customer, situation or whatever, you will feel more confident and will be better equipped to stand your ground or prove your point. This means that you must do one or more of the following: research, practice, read about, ask questions and, especially, listen.
4. Seek Inspiration & Correction
The "right" mindset for success is a combination of time-tested wisdom AND a delivery method that works for YOU. Seek out those who have done what you want to do, whose business is where you want yours to go, and who have worked in your specific field.
Next, ensure that you're getting the information via a method that works best for you - whether that is audio, video, printed, online or live interaction. This helps to ensure adoption of the information and that you'll apply what you learn.
5. Enforce Happy Hour
Literally or figuratively, you need to stop working at a certain point in the day and shift gears to non-working mode. If you allow work and home life to bleed into one interconnected mass, you're much more likely to be stressed. Stress makes it more difficult to think rationally. Rational thought is required in order to stay tough and deflect the inevitable slings and arrows of business life. Create a soft place to land at the end of the day, with or without olives.
6. Do You Love It or Not?
Whenever I feel stuck or slightly defeated, I ask myself this:
What else would I do if I didn't own my business?
The answer is: There's NOTHING else I'd rather do. I feel confident that I have the skills, passion, and drive to be successful in this and all of life. Sometimes, we just have to stop and remind ourselves of the benefits of owning a small business. For me, it's the ability to create the business the way I want it to be, and my passion for what I do.
7. The Illusion Blocking Success
Some people excel where most fail. The steps to success are freely available. Your mindset determines if you'll succeed or not.
I've dedicated years to studying the success mindset. Here's the 3 step formula.
1. Discover. What purpose drives you to succeed?
2. Decide. Shift from interested to committed.
3. Determined. Focus on the vision. Take uncomfortable risks, seek to excel and learn from the mistakes.
Success is a growth process. Get charged, get support and go for it.
8. Creating the Right Mindset!
Reading other books on successful entrepreneurs or listening to entrepreneur podcasts online that interview other successful entrepreneurs are a great way to get yourself into the correct mindset to succeed within your business.
This is also great to help you avoid pitfalls that other entrepreneurs have already gone through that will help you save time and heartache down the road.
These have helped to inspire me and my business ventures succeed exponentially.
9. Right Thinking for Success
One of the easiest things to do is to "Stand on the shoulders of giants". 3 X a day, look up people who have changed the world for the better, Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, M.C. Escher. Reading about their lives gets me in the right state of mind and keeps me there.
10. A Mental Fight Every Day
A major key to success in life is mentally getting through all of the challenges you will face. You have to go into life and business understanding that problems are a fact of life and you will face them every single day. Every day, you need to keep yourself positive and motivated and see problems as just a part of doing business and a part of life. It is the people who can stay positive and understand that problems are just the speed bumps of life who achieve and retain success.
11. Learn Selective Listening
Be careful what you wish for? Be careful who you listen to. Surround yourself with advisers who will "give it to you straight"--and learn how to block out the naysayers. There are no "can'ts"...only "won'ts".
12. Don't Lose Your Sense of Humor
Being an entrepreneur is humbling. No matter how much expertise you have in your field, there are things about running a business that will not be in your playbook. I learned long ago to be able to laugh at myself. Learn from my foibles. Bring in an expert in the field. I just fumbled and move forward. If you set the expectation that you are perfect in all aspects of running the business, you will likely have many opportunities to learn otherwise. Laugh and Learn!
13. Keeping the End in Sight!
The end in sight sounds like a limit is being put on your goal or dream. IF you don't know what your objective is, you will wind up being "somewhere else"--and it may be "where" you don't want to be. I propose having a list of goals and refer to that list often. Then, plan backwards to reach it. This advice came from the writings of the late Dr. Stephen Covey. He was regarded as one of the 50 most influential Americans at one point in the 1990s.
14. Stranger Things Have Happened
If you are convinced that you are on the right track and things look glum, tell yourself that 'stranger things have happened.'
If a naysayer tries to put you down, say this to the naysayer.
There are so many tales of success and perseverance. Many of them are much more bizarre or difficult to believe than your story.
15. Fortune 5 with the Right Drive
Ahoy fellow entrepreneurs, it's quite a big sea out there of obstacles you must navigate to success. So, how do you stay focused and get through the bad storms? Have some go-to phrases and mantras that you can repeat to yourself.
Whether I'm working with Fortune 500 clients or International governments, I always repeat these to myself: "Squeaky wheel gets the oil. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Get more no's to get to a yes. The Harder you work, the luckier you get." Those are a few. -JMB
16. The Alphabet Has 26 Letters
To keep going as an entrepreneur, you need to remember that when "Plan A" doesn't work, there are still 25 more letters in the alphabet. Stay in the mindset that you WILL figure it out. As Thomas Edison said, there are no failures. You've just discovered another way that will not work. Keep narrowing down that list and move on!
17. Vision and Goals Set You Free
Deep down you have a dream, but question whether it’s possible to achieve. The fact is, anything is possible with a vision brought to daylight and a flexible plan put into place. Due to socioeconomic change, flexibility is required.
Hurdles and nasty remarks discourage many. Instead, keep a folder with a smiley face. Collect all of those horrible remarks and challenges. Set the record straight on your terms. Prove the nay-sayers wrong and feel the motivation to keep on moving forward!
18. Mental Toughness = Love
You would think that to be mentally tough in this very difficult economic climate would mean bearing down, gritting your teeth, and persevering through it. Actually, that will only exhaust you more. The heart of any great entrepreneur who succeeded in difficult times was finding ways to never let the fire of their passion and love of what they were creating ever diminish. In the end, being emotionally tough is all about being emotionally strong in your love. That's where you find the strength.
19. Success Isn't a Destination
The best way to create the mindset required for success is to re-frame success from a destination to the perfection of an ongoing process to achieve validated learning. Too many business owners fear failure. The only failure is not learning from your experiments. Set goals, run tests, and reflect. Lots of tests will not go as you had hoped. If you learn, you win--period. The journey IS the thing. As Ben Horowitz says in his new book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: embrace the struggle.
20. Business is Like Boxing
Business is like boxing. It is not shameful to get knocked down; it is shameful not to try to get up. In business, you always have ups and downs, but if you really want to succeed, you can never give up. So, every time I am down, this just motivates me to work even harder. And every time I start getting up, little by little, I know I already won. This is my business mindset.
21. Have Versus Get
My secret for creating the right mindset is focusing on a "get to" versus a "have to” mentality. When feel we have to do something, we remove the choice which blinds us to opportunities and creativity in business. When we think of things we "get to" do, we take ownership and build fun and excitement into our activities. Looking at what we "get to" do adds excitement to business and transitions a mindset of victim-hood to a mindset of choice and leadership where we make the most of every day.
22. Focus on Relevancy
Constantly, exclusively focus on what makes you relevant, credible and differentiated to your customers. What frustrating pain point are you uniquely positioned to solve in a serious way?
23. Leave Your Emotions Home
Focus, focus, and focus on the result you are going for. Don't allow yourself to be sidetracked or distracted by well meaning people. Stay with the facts, leaving the emotions out. Ultimately, this helps your focus and eliminates you doubting yourself or worse, buying into someone else's belief system. Go for the gold and do not stop before the miracle.
RECOMMIT. Each new day brings new possibilities. A continual and ongoing recommitment at the beginning of each day fosters a positive mindful approach and encourages the persistence and tenacity that are required characteristics in all facets of business.
25. Kids Have the Right Mindset
How do I create the right mindset for success? I watch my kids. They're 2 and 4. They embrace play with a level of determination and creativity that I try to mirror in growing my start-up. They also won't take no for an answer and they're highly competitive. When's the last time you held onto something with all your might while tears streamed down your face because you want it so much? I try to bring that same passion to my business.
26. Chasing the Last Data Point?
The way to stay focused and maintain direction is to map your future with a five year Strategic Business Plan. The plan sets your company's mission, vision of the future, and includes activities that will provide a sustainable competitive advantage. Make wise business decisions during turbulent times by always referencing the plans guidelines.
27. Set Some MONSTER SIZED Goals
Get a legal pad and keep it by your bed. Write your goals down. Do this every day. This will allow you to dream HUGE. Want to go to Hawaii on a private jet? Write it down. Want to own a billion dollars in real estate? Write it down. When you write and read your goals, you will be more motivated and inspired. Then, apply 10Xs the level of effort you initially think it would take to accomplish any goal. The 10X Rule is one I live by in all aspects of life. Set your targets high and get obsessed.
28. Embrace Your Failures
Embrace failure! Rarely do entrepreneurs “get it right” the first time around. Accepting and embracing failure allows business owners to think more creatively about their product or service. It forces entrepreneurs to develop more innovative ways to penetrate their competitive landscape and encourages them to think outside the box. If you find that customers aren’t paying for your product or service, maybe you need to revisit your value proposition or tweak your business model.
29. Pushups and Positive Thoughts
Every day, before I go to my three stores with my 35 employees, write my daily blog, prepare for my 30 minute weekly radio show or grade papers (I am also an associate Professor) I spend at least 45 minutes doing some form of work out. During which time I think about all the issues I have going on, the positive and the negative. I keep a notebook with me at all times during my workout and between sets or during rest periods, I write down nothing but positive ways to address each issue I am facing.
30. Ethical Standards, First!
Success is built on setting high, ethical standards and making all decisions on the merits, nothing else. This is particularly key when hiring people to work with you.
31. Entrepreneur's Disease
Most entrepreneurs suffer from what I call Entrepreneur's Disease (ED).
ED is basically an obsession with bright, shiny objects. We see opportunity in everything. We're creative people, overflowing with ideas. The need to act on these ideas is like crack to the entrepreneurial personality. We get a high off of taking risks and making ideas come to life. This is a gift and a curse. My ONE best piece of advice is to simply focus on ONE thing at a time. FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful.
32. Work Hard. Have Fun.
The right mindset for business is one that involves hard work with commitment to having fun & smiling often. Hard work does not mean it has to be arduous. You have to be committed, you have to give it 150% almost all the time, but you also need to have a great attitude. A positive, can-do spirit can turn hard work into success. Success is a mindset. If you believe in yourself and you enjoy your business endeavors, your employees, family & friends will also. You will be successful.
33. Start Your Day With Energy
Everyone knows that exercise can give you more energy to last throughout a busy day. I also add mind exercise - guided meditations first thing in the morning - to make my day unstoppable. There are many guided meditations online. You can find them with a quick search. By listening to an energy-filled meditation every morning, it helps me focus in on what I need to do and put all doubts I may have been harboring inside down to give me the energy I need to start the day out right.
34. Get Everyone on the Same Page
If someone doesn’t support something, let’s hear their concerns. Let’s address them. Let’s see if they have a point of view that I haven’t thought of. If we can find ways to collaborate on a solution, employees will be more committed to it and it will have a higher likelihood of succeeding.
Steve McIntosh of Fanhub
35. Flip the Bird to the Naysayers
Okay, you don't need to actually flip anyone the bird, but you have to have the attitude, belief and confidence in yourself to do so, even figuratively, when the naysayers, bumps in the road, and inner demons wreak havoc on you.
To minimize it: 'write down' your WHY... why are you working so hard, risking so much, and willing to do anything you need to? Understand that WHY: your ultimate goal and paste it everywhere, even create a mental mantra, and refer to it often!
36. Keep the Me-Time
It's hard for entrepreneurs to deal with the ups and downs of business because their company is their baby and can become an extension of themselves and their self worth. I've certainly felt that many times first hand; the highs are higher and the lows are lower. My advice: keep the me-time and have a hobby that's completely unrelated to your company to help keep some distance and clear your mind. For me, that's drawing. For others, that might be running marathons or transcendental meditation.
37. Have I Done Everything I Can?
Keep asking yourself, 'Have I done everything I can possibly do to encourage the growth of my business?' At the end of the day or the end of the year, I want to be able to honestly tell myself, my children, and my employees that I did. A lot of people depend on me; I can't get lazy.
38. Success is a Puzzle
Picture a kaleidoscope. Its myriad pieces look vastly different depending on how they’re arranged. Turn the lens and everything shifts. Sometimes, the view is pretty; other times, it’s less appealing.
Success is a puzzle, so approach business challenges the same way. If you don’t like what you see, step back for a better perspective. Take in the view and then, be persistent in changing it. Turn the possibilities over and around until you find the mix that works best for you and your customers.
39. A Positive Attitude
An entrepreneur's attitude is the life force from which all success flows. Entrepreneurs would do well to recognize that a command of attitude is the wellspring of management, performance and goal achievement. A positive attitude allows a person to be more objective, command others to perform more effectively, and retain focus during difficult times. The Ancient Greek aphorism "know thyself" is wise advice to a person seeking to master their attitude and facilitate a tough business mindset.
40. Who You Are Not
Entrepreneurs must have the mindset that they are completing something new, despite their experience. This requires humility and openness.
Next, there should be a vision linked to a cause/values. Mine is to give other consultants the same great opportunities I have had.
Once you have the vision and the cause, list everything that you are not. Ask yourself, if we are going to be this, we will have to let go of X.
I.e. because I value excellence, I often sacrifice expedience.
41. Mirroring Your Success
All of us start businesses to make money. For me, that’s the goal. So, what I did, and suggest others do the same, is take your ultimate financial goal: a bigger house, a vacation to Disney, paying off your credit cards, whatever it is and put it on your bathroom mirror. Every day, multiple times a day, you’ll see the financial reason you’re starting your business. It’ll constantly remind you why you’re doing this and help motivate you to keep going. Be sure to include an ending date!
42. Push Your Passion!
Face your fears, challenges and obstacles, and then push your passion! The right mindset begins with facing your personal issues, channel or solve them, and then put on your blinders and focus on your business.
43. It's Not About You.. Get Going
You "birthed" your business, but you are not your business. Your business is an entity -- it has no emotions, it does not breathe. Speak at an event, create a website, write an article and some will love it and others hate it. Take all criticism knowing that it is just someone else's opinion -- it's what they would do. Ya, we're human. Get annoyed, vent, cry if you need to. And then, see if you can find a sliver of truth in it and take an action to make things better -- your way.
44. The Heart and Mind of a Champ
You have to go out there with the mind of a champion, knowing that the road to where you want to go is not always easy and you cannot give up after ups and downs. You need to realize that once you get to the top of the mountain that the view is worth it. You will thank yourself, your family will thank you, and your colleagues will thank you as well.
45. Focus on What You Do Well!
When I get asked for advice from those I mentor, the first thing I tell them is to focus on what you do well and find partners who are good at the rest. We all cannot be good at everything and therefore, all our work cannot be profitable. By focusing on what you do well, you can quickly determine if a client is best served by you or one of your associates. By quickly and efficiently doing this, you can concentrate on what is revenue generating and what will best serve your clients.
46. Leave Your Ego in the Driveway
Our ego sometimes gets in the way of our progress and accomplishments. When I tell clients to leave their ego in the driveway, people assume that I was talking about their impressive car. Cars are only as good as the person at the controls.
Assume that you are the best in the business, but keep this to yourself. Shoot for the stars, but if you only lasso the moon, you are doing fine.
Keep working at your business. There may be no short-term wins but eventually, you will be discovered!
47. Slay the Gremlin!
When working with clients to overcome the nagging negative voices/feelings that are holding them back, we first separate the fact from the fiction. Then, we personify their "gremlin" and decide how to slay it. The next time those voices and feelings come up, they can physically or mentally slay their gremlin and shut them up! Some clients like to scud missile launch them, put them in quick sand, drop them down the shredder or put duct tape over their mouth!
48. Find the Right Balance
One thing that I think that so many small business owners get wrong is buying into the fact that it is SUPER important to immediately find a life/work balance. While important, this leads to laziness and gives you the reason to not work harder. Of course you need a break, but you also need to work hard, plan hard and then, work hard some more to be a success.
49. Focus on Survival
As an entrepreneur, my number one goal is to make sure that my company survives. Think about it; you can build the most amazing website, app, fashion line, restaurant, etc. but if you run out of money, you're finished.
This concept has helped my team and I to focus on profitability and building a revenue generating company from day one. The longer you survive, the more time you have to get it right.
Carly Chamberlain of CaterCow
50. Stop Faking Busyness
How many times in a day are you busy doing "nothing", but you seem to find a way to make an excuse that is "something"? In the business world, it is very easy to get caught up in doing all this "busy" work. If your efforts and actions are not going to lead to any tangible result, start doing something that will. Find others to take on the unimportant and trivial, so you can focus on what will truly make a difference every day and add to your bottom line.
51. Have a Little Patience
Realize that patience is not about waiting. It's about the ability to keep a positive attitude while working hard for what you believe in.
Dane Short of Zymbol
52. Centering Entrepreneur Focus
We often advise clients not to focus on what they provide, but in how what they provide offers distinct and measurable advantage to those who are clients, customers, or stakeholders. Business owners and entrepreneurs often get wrapped up in their own importance; they sometimes need a critical refocus that the process is not just about them, but in how well their offering satisfies client needs. This refocus often re-centers the entrepreneur on key critical business direction.
53. Turn Losses into Lessons
I keep my mindset on point for business by refusing failure. Turning losses into lessons and using that learning to pivot my approach, rather than wallowing, KEEPS ME MOVING FORWARD. Taking action breeds more action, and when you keep moving despite setbacks, you will eventually get the flywheel spinning. So, when you experience “failure,” analyze what worked and what didn't, keeping an accurate score board. By eliminating what doesn't work, you are then left with a clear roadmap to success.
54. Visualize Success
Breathe deeply and visualize your success. During a short moment of calm, picture yourself in that celebratory moment after you've achieved your goal. Baseball players will envision the perfect swing on a fastball and watch the ball travel out of the park from a home run. In business, this might be the perfect delivery of a talk or a deep connection formed with a client. The more detailed the visualization, the better. Once you've seen your destination in your mind's eye, you can get there!
55. Stuff Happens
Decide that no matter what happens in life, you are going to build and grow a successful business doing something you love. You may endure illness, an accident, the death of a loved one, loss of a job or a divorce or break up. Life happens. Therefore, prepare yourself to hold fast to this truth - no matter what happens, your business will succeed.
56. Stop Judging
If you think you are having a rough time, it’s because you are choosing not to learn the lessons in it.
How many times did things not go your way, only to reveal later that if things worked the way you wanted them to, you would have been in a mess?
A successful person is one who learns lessons from their experiences & remembers to apply them.
When things are not going "right", step back & take an objective look. You may see things you were never aware of before.
57. Let It Go!
Forgiveness is a mindset practice that will skyrocket your success. It's the path less traveled, but far superior than holding on to the past wrongs we have all suffered in business and life. How one season or business relationship ends will determine how the next engagement begins. It is important to let go of the past so that we can start each endeavor fresh. This is true concerning customer relationships, peer relationships and business partner relationships.
58. Remind of Past Success
Many of us instinctively fixate on failures and setbacks since they are immediate and painful. However, this mental habit blinds us from everything that is going right and can spawn a self-sustaining spiral of despair.
Reliving past success breaks this cycle of negative thinking. Reminding ourselves of the challenges that we have overcome and the goals that we have achieved bolsters our confidence and validates our self-worth.
59. Journal on Your Journey
Keep a personal journal. Not only will this provide a release, but keep things in perspective on your journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. You will maintain a positive outlook & take each step as a small victory. I find that a positive mindset can be the key to success, especially with so many ups/downs. I journal to reflect on the past, stay positive about where I am today, and to write down my goals for the future. Just remember, as with building any good habit, consistency is key!
60. What You Think You Create
Being a business owner is like living in a battle field and mindset is the most critical element to survival and success. The mindset tip I apply every day and teach my staff is “What you think you create.”
The thing with this is you need to keep a positive attitude ALWAYS, because you can create good and bad with thought, so always search for the silver lining, and each mine field you step on will be easier to take.
61. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
The best advice that I got was to start thinking like a CEO and delegate early. Run your business; don't work for your business. If you build a business from scratch, it's easy to nitpick on the little details and do everything yourself. And that just adds a lot of unnecessary stress. You can avoid that by hiring qualified people early on to lighten your load. The less you have to worry about the little things, the more you can focus on the bigger picture.
62. You’d Better Believe It!
Believing in yourself is paramount if you want to succeed. It’s about self-motivation & overcoming your fears. Accept the idea that you are capable of doing amazing things when you believe in you. We all have unlimited potential to do something great, but ONLY when we are willing to take risks & work on a plan of action. Your mind is owned & operated by YOU; don’t allow the trolls & “naysayers” to get in your head. Surround yourself with people who believe in YOU.
63. Passion, Your Business CEO
But passion can´t be found outside of yourself. You have to train yourself to bring passion to everything you do. If you are taking a shower, don´t allow yourself to think about the day ahead. Just enjoy how good the warm water feels on your body and the smell of your favorite soap. The secret to passion is presence and focus. The same goes for your business. If you are writing an email, put all your attention on it. If you´re pitching to investors, be passionate about selling your product.
64. British Comedies for Relaxing
I am an experiential and direct consumer marketing consultant, and since starting in 2013, have experienced my share of ups and downs. My favorite way to cope is to watch British television- some of my top shows include Cold Feet, Teachers, and The IT Crowd!
The dry, sometimes dark, humor and brilliant writing styles completely distract me. This truly allows me the chance to clear my mind, recharge and even refresh my creative flow. It's a great solution to my daily work stress.
65. Startup NOW!
Whenever I speak at events, seminars, or forums, one advice I always give is – if you are thinking of starting up a business, the right time is NOW! If you are stuck in a job and think that you will start your business on the side, and continue working for a steady income, it will be very difficult for your business to take off. Most start-ups require 100% of your time and effort, and unless you take the plunge, and become dependent upon it in whole and in soul, you won't be driven to do that.
66. Humpty Dumpty Strategy
The English nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty, gives some insight into maintaining the right mindset. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again.
Whether at the top of your game or just getting through the day, if you falter, there is no thing or person, however great or small, that can "fix" you. You alone, have the ability to attain and maintain a successful composure and demeanor.
67. Picture It!
Picture it! Envision the long term goal, don't just talk about it or think it--SEE it. See yourself leading the $10 million business. Picture your office, your employees, your facilities. Picture your board room and the people in it. Picture the end of the year meeting when you're sharing bonuses. See the success you want. Your visions will enable you to make the right long term choices and keep you on track. And even more, sharing your vision will do the same for all of the people you touch.
68. The Right Stuff!!!
You must first develop the right attitude to succeed in business. Be prepared for snags and obstacles, and realize they are common occurrences for every new business entrepreneur. Taking the plunge and launching out into the deep waters of business ownership is an indication that you’re made of the right stuff.
Remember the following ingredients in your recipe for success: have a plan, be confident, but not arrogant, don't procrastinate, and have a thorough knowledge of your industry.
69. Happiness at Work
Have good workplace policies in place. Policies provide the parameters needed to be creative, successful and happy at work. A good work environment should not be a “luxury”, it should be the norm!
70. Be a Pitbull
When I speak to entrepreneurs, I often talk about the importance of persistence, perseverance and tenacity– three things that have served me well. Why? Because at the end of the day, what all three share is a pit bull doggedness and refusal to give up, and that’s never more important than when it comes to being yourself. Never cease to be you. There’s a million “others” out there, and they all work for someone else.
71. Soft Skills 4 Solid Success
Most education training imparts measurable and content driven Hard Skills, yet falls short of Soft Skills: Language Processing, Communication, Emotion Regulation, Cognitive Flexibility, Executive & Social Skills. Becoming proficient in a career requires intangibles like Co-operation, Creativity, Intrinsic Motivation, Personal Inventiveness, Interactive Learning, Interdisciplinary Thinking, Quality Character; Apprenticing, Out-of-the-Box Mindset, Questioning Authority & Beliefs- all Soft Skills.
72. Attitude Makes the Glass Full
Two salespeople sail to a remote island to see if there is an opportunity to sell shoes on this island.
When they arrive, they see that the inhabitants do not wear shoes.
One salesperson calls his office and says, “Get me out of here, no one wears shoes!!!”
The second sales person calls his office and says “Send me as many pairs of shoes as you can. NO ONE HERE HAS ANY SHOES!!!”
Business owners must go into their day with a glass half-full attitude. Attitude is 50% of the game.
73. Punching Your Default Button
I create the right mindset by hitting things! After 7 years of taking Krav Maga, I’m now Level 4. Three times a week I attack/defend in Krav, take boxing & bag classes and TRX. If I don’t concentrate during Krav, I’ll get a black eye, so I have to stop thinking about work during class. My biggest tip is to train with at least one partner versus isolated exercise, to help you commit to the class and excel on alternative team work.
74. Train in a Martial Art
If you want to develop a strong mindset, take up a martial art, preferably one that involves sparring. Training will develop your humility, discipline and your ability to persevere through failure after failure, all skills that you will need in business.
75. Pity Party Table for One
I have worked in places where I had to have the mind set of being upbeat and positive, even when I had to fake it. This is where I am today, as I grow a business. Many times I have had my pity parties because I felt that I was not on the right path. Then, from the universe, I will get a message from someone who tells me that I am on the right path. To maintain my positive mind set is the realization that this idea of a business is not going to happen "overnight" but in small steps and that's OK.
76. Creating the Right Mindset
Never ask anyone to do something you haven't or wouldn't do. You can judge the quality of work so much better when it's a task that you've done. Only hire people who do the job close to the same level as you or better.
Know that to have a successful business, you have to be willing to sacrifice. The business comes before your personal preferences.
77. Give Me a NO!
I have various ways of having the right mindset. One that comes to mind most recently that I tell myself when I wake up is, ”Let’s go get those ‘NOs’ so I can start getting the 'YES’” — I am not always going to get a yes when closing a deal or pitching something. If I have the mindset that I can get the negative people out of the way first, I can have a productive day and work towards something positive and look forward to talking to the people that will say, "Yes!"
78. Mastermind Groups Essential
Form a Mastermind group of 5-8 like-minded entrepreneurs. Commit to meeting 2-3 times per month to discuss the successes & challenges of being a business owner. Mastermind groups provide mutual support, perspective, accountability and encouragement. The best groups have a clear purpose and consist of business owners with varied backgrounds and businesses. Members should be driven to excellence, be readers and thinkers, be involved in the community and have a growth/abundance mentality.
79. Be Nice
Being in business is about relationships -- with clients, with vendors, or even just within your own office. The one thing to remember is to be nice. That's not to say that you need to be a push over. Smile. Send a thank you card. Be appreciative of the people that make your business run every day. Relationships matter from day one, so never stop being nice because it will get you the business you never knew you had.
80. Seek Out Mentors
Owning a business today requires patience, integrity, and grit. Surround your team with mentors that have been in your line of work and call upon them for wisdom. Most people want to be a part of your success.
Some will, some won't, so what, next.
That has been one of the most encouraging and easy to remember slogans I have ever learned when it comes to sales and marketing. When growing your business, you are going to talk to a LOT of people about your product/service, and the majority of them are going to say "no." It is critical to remember that this is part of the selling process, and that some people will buy, some won't, so what? Move on to the next one (and repeat).
82. Authenticity is Enjoyment
Be authentic to your purpose so that you may fully enjoy your success. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a member of corporate America, you must fully comprehend and be sincere in your intentions if you wish to truly enjoy your accomplishments. Otherwise, you are just chasing the almighty dollar, prioritizing material goals above your physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. If you want to have complete success and fulfillment, you must be truthful about what is most important to you.
83. Accountability Partner is a +
The ONE thing that has kept me sane and full of gumption to keep moving forward with my business is my accountability partner. In a nut shell, an accountability partner is someone who you trust that you share your plans and ideas, big and small, and they do the same. The two of us have been meeting on a regular basis since 2007 to talk shop. We share each other's progress, get suggestions to challenges we are facing, practice our presentations and express our feelings.
84. Success Begins In Your Mind
Starting a new business is daunting. Cultivating the right perspective is critical for success in all aspects of work and for life in general. I believe that just because an idea has not been done before, does not mean it cannot be accomplished at all. I have often met with resistance to my ideas when they did not fit in with the norm, but I persevered because I believed in them. I started my wildlife art business when I was 19, financed it myself, and I'm still enjoying success after 30 years.
85. Making $ is Killing Your Biz
To break through from Stage Four (Stability) to Stage Five (Success) or higher, we need a Business Maturity Date - BMD. Every business can get to a BMD in 3 to 5 Years.
Just working towards a BMD will revolutionize everything you understood about success as a business owner. It will get you off the treadmill, help you make more money is less time and will show you how to use your business to live your Ideal Lifestyle (you can regularly go on vacation and your biz makes $ without you).
86. Make 50 Mistakes Every Year
Plan to make at least 50 mistakes every year - if you don't, you aren't trying hard enough to succeed. Perfectionists often try to avoid mistakes, and compound this with slow decisions. Both of these things will take you to failure faster than any of the mistakes you are trying to avoid would. Instead, list your mistakes as a metric of success. Write them down. If the list is short, you aren't trying hard enough. If the list is long, you're doing great - learn from them, then go make some more.
87. Turn on With Testimonials
On days when everything seems to be going wrong, or when I just don't feel motivated to make cold calls, I get myself amped up by reading our customer testimonials. It's a beautiful way to remind yourself why you started your business and how you're changing lives. Then, I think about the people out there who would be grateful knowing about us because of how we can help them. It reminds me that it’s my duty (yep, duty) to get out there every day so they can find us.
88. Create a Positive Mindset
In working in the public relations industry, it is very overwhelming with not getting the proper rest for several weeks at a time. In addition, you are dealing with many personalities among the clientele. How I keep a good mindset is to always have the priority means to put myself first. To create a positive mindset, I start the day with prayer and meditation. Also, each day I speak something positive. The more I speak positive, I create a positive mindset.
89. Collaborative Mindset
Appreciate the importance of cultivating a collaborative mindset, which involves seeking out and developing relationships with people wherever you can. Often, you can do things yourself, but rarely will the results be as good. Have the ability to listen and learn from as many people as possible, trust others to do their best and accept that it won't always work out as planned. Collaboration means giving up control; you won't always have things your way, but the positive results will be exponential.
90. Embrace Learning
Look at your journey through business as your learning experience. When I decided to launch my own company, I didn't know much about running a business. I was reluctant to pick up the phone and talk to people because I did not want them to think I was a lightweight who didn't know about how to run things. Now, I consider them as a resource. I pick their brain. I consider everything, even mistakes, investments in my unorthodox business education.
91. Hypnotize Yourself for Success
Self hypnosis is great for increasing your drive for success. I teach people to regularly visualize the success they want in terms of life style. It might be owning a yacht or a beach house for example.
This tells their subconscious mind what they want. This influences their decisions and actions to make it a reality.
Because their mind is focused on the end result, it helps them make tougher and braver business decisions. Their mind is driven to claim their reward.
92. Sleeping, Eating and Selling
Enough sleep and a good breakfast are key to making things happen.
93. Create Right Mindset 4 Success
"The Client is Always Right" isn't true. Sometimes, clients are painfully wrong. What's true is their undeniable power, because they control the purse strings. Your power resides in creating "win-wins", particularly in acrimonious situations. If your need to be right becomes central, you'll invariably lose this business. The benefits to you: clients retain their illusion of control; you retain the business relationship, plus smiling while going to the bank.
94. Living Your Dream
Visualize your goals every night for 30 minutes before sleeping. Avoid all distractions - just focus on imagining your goals while listening to music or anything that makes you relax. Research has showed that your brain replays the thoughts right before you go to sleep 17 times more than the thoughts you have throughout the rest of the day. Thinking about your goals in this way will allow you to live your dreams before they happen.
95. Just Keep Doing What You Love
You must absolutely enjoy and believe in what you’re doing, and do it the right way. Things will go wrong, competitors and others may criticize (sometimes very publicly and viciously), but just remember that you’re creating something awesome, something that people love, and you’re having a blast doing it. Focus on that, keep your replies above board, and just keep rolling. People that love what you're doing -that includes you- have better things to do than engage in social media spats anyway.
96. Keep Your Feet Moving
I advise my entrepreneurship students that simply "keeping your feet moving" everyday even when you are tired and discouraged will significantly improve your output. The second piece of advice is "bury your customers with service" and "have a human answering the phone". All things being equal, in an age of automated customer service and poorly-speaking call center attendants, simply talking to your customers directly and solving simple problems fast will go miles.
97. True Grit
How do you pair a growth mindset with a true grit (e.g., courageous) approach? For growth, work on “you” by continually learning. To gain “grit” insight, review Ashton Kutcher’s advice: As founder of venture capital fund A-Grade, Kutcher said that each of the 50+ investments he has made have hinged upon a person rather than an idea. Typically, if it’s a good idea, there are at least five other people trying to do the same thing. What sets a leader apart, he said, is “grit.”
98. Clean House
As someone who manages multiple businesses, the mindset for success is "to clean house when your company is growing." This simply means to restructure and reevaluate who and what will help your company grow positively and what won't.
99. No One Has All the Answers
Realize you don't have all the answers and you can't manage everything; there isn't even close to the amount of time needed. Find people who are smarter than you and complement your strengths and fill in all of your many weaknesses. Pay them well and your business will succeed.
100. Best Piece of Advice
Best piece of advice: Lose the feelings. Literally. You can't worry when other businesses lose and you can't accept excuses when customers can't pay. You're running a business and the bottom line is just as important as oxygen.
101. Find a Friend Who Gets It!
The best advice for creating the right mindset for success is to surround yourself with others who get it. Find another entrepreneur who can hold you accountable and provide support as you go through the journey. The right person can celebrate with you during the highs and encourage you when it gets rough. (And it doesn't have to be just one friend!)
102. Mindset, Then Action!
Anyone who has the desire to be successful can attain success by simply taking one small step and then, the next step. As you are building your business, focus only on your successes. Focus only on what is going right with your business. If you do this, your brain will help you to see even more successes and you will gain momentum, which makes building a business fun and it makes it happen quicker.
103. IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!
AND, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY! Look at it this way: say you're talking with the stereotypical used car salesman. He's looking for sales to make his quota for the month. You can tell, can't you? It comes through in his voice. It comes through in his body language. It comes through in his urgency. Does it make you want to do business with him? Probably not! Therefore, when you are busily networking, make sure it's about THEM and THEIR needs, not about You and not about the Money. Good luck!
104. Sell Solutions, Not Products
“No” is the dreadful word every business owner inevitably hears. But with the right mindset for success, hearing “no” can be viewed differently. “No” can be viewed as a rejection to your sales approach, but your product is still in need. While a business owner with mediocre sales skills will move on, a business owner with the right mindset is able to tweak the sales pitch from an item for sale to a needed solution.
Mike Salem of Vorex
105. Massage Your Mindset
Need to get tough in business? Nurture a possibility mindset, no matter what. Sometimes, you have to massage your mindset into one that will serve you. When you find yourself blocked by obstacles or negativity in yourself or others, just remind yourself that YOU are in charge of your reactions. Choose to learn from and surmount whatever challenge is facing you. Massage your mindset like an Olympic athlete massages a sore muscle. Train yourself to find positivity/possibility and you will succeed!
106. Surround Yourself with Success
The best way to create and maintain the right mindset for success, in my opinion, is to surround yourself with people who share common goals with you. People who share your goals and have the same motivation will help keep you focused and support you up when you face challenges in business. Additionally, if possible, try to surround yourself with people who are living the life you desire or have the type of business you strive for. They will inspire and motivate you in down times!
107. Play Tennis!
Literally or metaphorically, play tennis. Something fun for you that challenges you to be in the moment, to learn from losing, to enjoy your winning. It will help you in your day to day business life.
108. Be Passion Driven
True passion flows from our deepest source, our essence. It’s a calling, an ache inside that’s summoning you to be the person you were meant to be, so you can make the contribution to this world only you can make. Motivated by passion and purpose, you generate the inspiration needed to pursue your personal and professional goals, no matter the obstacles. You’re led to approach all facets of business more consciously and are inspired to serve and make a positive difference in the world.
109. Success is Inevitable
The best thing I ever did was cement in my mind that eventual success is a certainty. Just because a particular marketing campaign fails or even an entire business fails doesn’t mean I’m doomed never to succeed. The book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill helped me understand the difference between temporary defeat and permanent failure. Almost every failure is a temporary setback.
110. Exercise Your Mind
Use positive affirmations to build resistance to negativity and self-doubt. Using this technique, you will come to realize that you do have the skills, abilities, and talents to overcome any situation a business owner might encounter.
Also, let your mind rest and regenerate between work. Schedule specific blocks of time to not think about business throughout the day.
111. Learn to Swim
Life as a business owner is filled with new opportunities and frustrations. The key is to just keep swimming as Dori from Finding Nemo would say. You have no choice but to stay focused, make wise decisions and grow. You literally can't afford to stop and pout, because there is work to do. You simply have to keep thinking positive thoughts and center yourself around solid people. Business Owner, you have made it this far - so just keep swimming.
112. Do You Have Money to Burn?
I began my career in promotion as the PA to a successful concert promoter. The owner told me, "If you're wondering whether you've got what it takes to last in this biz, try lighting a big pile of your money on fire and watch it burn without putting it out."
He wasn't encouraging fiscal irresponsibility, rather saying you must have adequate funding and be prepared to absorb financial hits while honoring your obligations. That stuck with me and I learned he was right when I opened my own biz.
113. Prioritizing is key
My number one piece of advice for creating the right mindset for success in business is prioritization. When you're starting a business, there are a million things that need to get done and if you don't prioritize, you'll get overwhelmed and lost in the pile that is your "to-do" list.
114. Think Like an Athlete
Anyone who has competed in a sport knows the importance of mindset. Believing you can win is 50% of the battle.
To succeed in business, you must adopt the same mindset as an athlete. You have to believe you can accomplish your goals. It may not be easy. It will take hard work and commitment. It may even mean you need help from others. But it all starts with the mindset you can do it!
115. Put Your Fear in the Attic
Let us first address one of the biggest factors that hinder success: fear. In order to overcome this paralyzing emotion, here is a technique I've used since I was 19 years old:
Pretend your brain is a house. If fear is knocking on the front door with an overnight suitcase in hand, let it in, but make sure the guest suite is in the attic. That's right! It'll be welcome in the house but stored away until you're done with the situation, meeting, decision, and/or presentation.
116. Mystery Shop Your Business
Get as many people* as you can to "mystery shop" your business. Even online businesses, have them go on your site and try to buy something or get to a goal. How hard is it to contact your business? Set an appointment? Make a purchase?
*The people CAN NOT be people who care about you. Strangers will give it to you straight. Some answers will hurt and some will be obvious, but you'll get priceless instructions on how to improve your customer experience.
117. The Mental Rehearsal
I live by this one actionable item for maintaining the right mindset for success in my business.
The Mental Rehearsal...
I literally spend 20 minutes first thing in the morning and last thing at night mentally and visually rehearsing (in silence with my eyes closed) my goals & visions as my reality for my business.
Doing this keeps me focused on the bigger picture, even when things shift gears or possibly fall apart all together. It has served me and my company well over the years.
118. Talk to Yourself!
I urge you to practice your unique value proposition in the mirror. Go into the bathroom, shut the door, and talk to the person staring back at you in the mirror. You may be talking to your harshest critic, and if you can talk to that person, you can talk to anyone! Look that person straight in the eye and tell them what you do and why they should choose to work with you. Your statement needs to be clear, concise, compelling, and fluid so your listener will follow up. Practice makes perfect!
119. Develop Thick Skin in Biz
1. Condition your subconscious mind daily relentlessly.
2. Make it a MUST to change your environment if it is negative or toxic.
3. Only have people around you who are willing to play the game at the highest level.
4. Turn your SHOULD to MUST by taking action NOW!
5. Say your incantations aggressively until you shift your mind, feeling and emotions in a positive way.
6. Own your mind. Create statements such as "I make money easily and effortlessly."
7. Read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
120. Create New Paradigms
Education is much more than just teaching people what they do not know. It is about teaching them to behave as they do not behave. An enormous difference (the knowing-doing gap) exists between what most business owners know and what they do. You do what you do because of your subconscious paradigms which are a collection of habits. Your paradigms drive your behaviors and your behaviors create your results. To create the business results you truly desire, change your paradigms not your behaviors!
121. Align Conscious & Subconscious
As a business owner, you will never go beyond where you believe you can go. You can do anything but without total belief, it just won’t happen. Thing is, you have business beliefs on two levels, the ones in your educated, logic-driven conscious mind and the others in your emotional, subconscious mind. When you align your conscious mind’s beliefs with your subconscious mind’s beliefs, you enter a powerful, phenomenal results creating state, called praxis.
122. Create Mindset for Success
The right mindset to have success in business is to have a sense of adventure. Risk and success go hand in hand when it comes to business; and one doesn't come without the other. Sometimes, there's a dead end, but those dead ends are bends in the road that help you prepare for the adventure ahead. Keep your head up, and watch the road, but remember that a map is useless if you don't know where you are.
123. Know Who You Are
Some of the most important things an entrepreneur has going for them is their expertise, knowledge and experience. In order to have the right mindset for business, one must be able to combine their expertise, knowledge and experience and know who they are. Knowing who you are positions you to be an excellent leader and you won't be swayed by any wind of doctrine leading your business and providing products and services to your customers. You have the mental toughness to lead effectively.
124. Create Inspirational Unity
The one piece of advice that I would share with anyone who is looking to succeed is: Ensure that every member of your team buys into the mindset, goal and mission of your company. The inspiration created by a unified vision is what drives our company and team members forward.
125. Know Your Hot Buttons
Know your hot buttons - things that set you off in both good and bad ways. By knowing your triggers, you can start to predict and handle your own reactions to the constant ups and downs of business. You can also better prioritize your time so that you can work in your strength when you need to. I’ve been able to step back from the brink of anger or better predict why I might be frustrated in a situation where everyone else seems to be fine. Knowing this about myself makes me a better leader.
126. Fertilize Your Mind for Life
The one best piece of advice for creating the right mindset for success in business is to remember that this is life. You get one shot and it will be over before you know it. Cut ties with people who don’t support you. If someone criticizes you, listen and move forward. Don’t analyze the information to death, especially if it’s not useful. Tune out the naysayers. Remember, most people are unhappy. It’s not you, it’s them. Become LASER FOCUSED on your business. Stay the course.
127. Stay Focused
Don’t compare yourself to others. You may feel at times like other businesses are more successful because they have more resources. Get those thoughts out of your mind. Instead, focus your energy on giving your best. Visualize success.
128. The Not Yet That Already is
I heard the concept of "not yet that already is" addressed by a clergyman a number of years ago. He discussed it in a slightly different context, but fundamentally, the message is the same: our destiny is already set. Whether we reach it or not depends on us.
We can choose to believe we have a powerful, secure destiny that allows us to impact others in a big way. Then, we just have to catch up to it. Challenges do not change our destiny. They just prepare us for it.
Remember the word “NEXT!” One has to learn that they will not get every sale, nor should they expect to for a variety of reasons. Don’t think about the sale you don't get, but be ready for the next prospect and focus on their needs and wants and the percentage of closings go up dramatically. Put your client/customer first, not your own pocket, and not only today’s business, but the repeat and referral business from that client/customer will bring residual income for years and years.
130. Success Through Vision
Success comes from a commitment to plan for and persevere during INEVITABLE crises and failures that come with entrepreneurship. To get tough in business, have a vision, mission and goals to which you are committed to fulfill. They give strength and inspiration when you fall. A vision helps organizations see and communicate what their success is, a mission is the fuel driving everyone to the end result, and goals set the benchmark for accomplishing that vision, thus fostering a strong mindset.
131. Visualize Your Way to Success
Create the right mindset for success in business by practicing what winning Olympic athletes do: visualization. Go in your mind to that point where you are already successful – notice every detail: what you see, how you feel. Are you in your office? Are you going to client’s offices? See your calendar full with ideal clients, your bank account full! Memorize it; create a physical anchor by touching your thumb and finger together while taking a deep breath. Repeat this every day.
132. Tomorrow To-Do List
Most entrepreneurs can't get out of their own way because they are always reacting to requests. A quick solution is to plan your day the night before and create a tomorrow to-do list. Wake up the next day and stick to the plan. If an urgent item comes up, WRITE IT DOWN on the list and compare its urgency and importance to the next item on your list. If it's more urgent and important, do it. If not, defer.
133. Reframe Your Expectations
Creating a mindset for success is about staying in the present moment. For instance, you may be averse to cold calling out of fear the person you call will reject you or be rude. What shifted my attitude towards making cold calls was re-framing them. I realized it wasn’t about convincing the person on the other end of the line to work with us. It was about having a conversation to see if we should be working together. By changing my mindset, the context of the call was completely transformed.
134. Mindset for Success!!!
Mindset for success is the outcome of what you do. When I started my company 10 years ago, I didn't acquire mindset for success. I decided what kind of company I would like to have long term and started doing things that will eventually get me there. For example, I identified what I need to do in order to gain more clients and I started executing my plan; the same applied for everything else. The outcome of me executing that plan is a mindset for success.
135. Boxing Analogy to Business
Entrepreneurs should think like a Boxer. Many opponents will give you a courteous Boxer's Handshake and then, throw you a Sucker Punch, an Upper Cut or a flat out Sunday Punch. As an entrepreneur, you have to learn to Stick and Move, use skills like Rope a Dope and never Lead With Your Chin if you want to be the best Pound for Pound opponent and win the Purse.
136. Be Who Everyone Isn't: YOU
Decide who you are, who it should matter to and then, go after that market accordingly. I can't concern myself with what everyone within my industry is doing. I'd never get anything done and would ultimately fail.
I trust my voice and tweak it according to the needs of my audience. Of course, being thankful for said audience ALWAYS helps.
137. You Gotta Be “ALL-IN”
The success mindset begins and ends with commitment. Or to borrow from poker, the entrepreneur must be all-in. It's empowering seeing the path as leading only forward without possible retreat or failure. Problems will be overcome; there is never potential defeat. Every possible resource will be invested to its fullest potential. Frequent, candid self assessment is mandated, with deliberate steps to remedy perceived weaknesses. Need plenty of balance and free time? Best not to start a business.
Do you have another tip for helping entrepreneurs create the right mindset for success that wasn’t included? If you do, please share it below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!