What is a business mindset and how can it help you with a start-up?

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If you’re a budding entrepreneur, your head’s probably been swimming with thoughts of expenses, branding, and advertising. And, most exciting of all, you’ll have likely been dreaming of what you’re going to do with your profits. But before you dive into your plans, you’ll want to make sure you have a business mindset in place. By putting yourself in an entrepreneurial mind frame, you’ll give yourself the best chances of success with your new venture.

Here are some tips on how to cultivate a business mindset:

Get goal oriented

undefinedWhen you’re a business owner, you have to be strategic about everything you do. Not only will your time be tight, but the responsibility for the growth of the business lays firmly on your shoulder. To put it simply, the buck stops with you. This means everything you do in your business should be related to your entrepreneurial growth.

Looking at a networking event? Great! But make sure you’re clear about what you want to achieve, for example meeting new potential clients, getting closer to influencers in your industry, or increasing invisibility for your brand. Think similarly before taking on new clients or projects – how will this affect my business in the long term? When you keep your long-term goals in mind, both in terms of your vision and your profits, your business activities will become more streamlined, allowing you to advance and grow more quickly.

Take charge

Without strong leaders, businesses flounder. When you’re first starting out in business, it’s easy to let the advice and opinions of other people – especially experts – overwhelm you. But it’s important to remember this is your business. Certainly, the opinions of people experienced in business, and particularly in your industry, can be valuable. But keep in mind that you’ll receive conflicting advice, and there’s not only one path to success.

By all means, get all the information, mentoring and advice you can. Ultimately, though, you remain the highest authority in your business.

Beat ‘imposter syndrome’

undefinedMany new business owners struggle with something called ‘imposter syndrome’, which causes thoughts such as, ‘Who did I think I was to start this business?’, or, ‘I can’t possibly compete successfully in this industry.’ It’s important to note that these are normal thoughts, that will often intensify just after the business has started and the original excitement has worn off. They can cause you to lose confidence in yourself, which will have a knock-on effect on your staff, clients, and business overall.

You can work through these thoughts in a few ways, including:

  • Listening to motivational speeches, talks, and other material
  • Using techniques to keep your mind on track, such as CBT or affirmations
    Ensuring you take enough downtime
  • Talking difficult thoughts and feelings through with a mentor
  • Understand your emotional triggers

Most, if not all, entrepreneurs have emotional ties to their businesses. One of the most productive of these is passion – if you’re enthusiastic and passionate about your new venture, that energy will help to get the business off the ground. But there are other emotions involved in business that might not be so helpful, and they may be very subtle.

undefinedFor example, some people may decide to become a boss because they want to dominate others on a psychological level. Others may want to prove to their doubting or dismissive parents that they can achieve something in life by succeeding in business. As humans, we are complex emotional creatures, and we can have many motivations, both conscious and subconscious, for our actions.

These emotional ties we have to business can be helpful sometimes and harmful in others. For example, a person who subconsciously wants to prove their ability and worth to their parents may put in long hours and plenty of passionate work to get their business off the ground. However, they may not be able to take setbacks in their stride because of the emotional implications – much more is at stake than a small business mistake. In fact, their entire sense of self could be tied up in the success of the business. This could cause them to become emotional, lose their temper, or make rash decisions.

To discover your emotional triggers, note every time you feel strong when you’re in a business setting or thinking about your venture. You can journal any anger, sadness, insecurity, worry, shame, or elation, along with the thoughts you were having, and the situation you were in.

Over time you may notice patterns, which will show you how you respond emotionally to your business. By getting to know yourself in more depth, you can ensure you keep a level head and keep making good business decisions.

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