The prevailing wisdom among new business owners and people interested in going out on their own is that a successful business is built atop a strong foundation of planning. Business plans, marketing plans, communications plans – all of which is intended to provide a very important fundamental aspect of business development: strategy.
While strategy is important, it can only provide guidance to someone who has the right mindset to be able to focus, persist, and recover from setbacks.
Mental health applies to developing your successful business mindset every bit as much as it does your personal happiness and behaviors. Here are a few mindsets that entrepreneurs and small business owners can adopt to be their best selves.
Understand Yourself and What Drives You
Learn who you are and what motivates you. Knowing what your true passions and motivations are will help in determining how you conduct business, and which opportunities you choose to pursue. People who aren’t aware of this are more likely to go after any and all opportunities which might yield short-term gain to the detriment of long-term growth and success.
Make Clearly Defined Goals
Goal setting is another tool that will help you focus on your core business, and hopefully steer you away from immediate distractions that seem like enticing quick-gains. Goals should be something that is measurable – for example: Establish a fully functional online retail component to my business by the end of 3rd quarter. Set reasonable goals and hold yourself accountable to completing them. Any opportunity that takes you away from your goals is a distraction and should be avoided.
Learn to Make Yourself Over
We’re not the same people we were when we were children. As we engage with new people and encounter new experiences, we grow and adapt – this analogy of growing up and how we change as individuals also applies to business. Successful business owners are often very different people compared to how they were when they first began. They have learned and adapted from mistakes and challenges – and like them, you should also learn to become comfortable with getting things wrong, adapting, and trying something new.
Take Personal Responsibility
Sometimes things don’t go our way which can lead to outcomes that are difficult to accept. We don’t have to like the circumstance that we find ourselves in, but we do have to accept it – and better yet, we should take responsibility for it. That doesn’t mean that we blame ourselves, it means that we empower ourselves to take the reins of whatever situation we find ourselves in and turn in into one that will work for us. Placing blame is a pointless exercise that might ‘feel good’ in the moment, but it is destructive and counter-productive. It doesn’t matter who is to blame for an outcome – take upon yourself the personal responsibility to make it better.
This can be a tough one. It’s easier to be grateful in good times, but when things get challenging it can feel downright impossible. Learning to maintain a strong sense of gratitude helps you to stay focused and persistent when confronted by difficult circumstances, and the loss of gratitude will eventually lead to feelings of despair and depression which then results in a self-induced cycle of failure. Instead of allowing yourself to be angry over situations that you may not have complete control over, learn to be grateful that you have these opportunities to learn from, grow, and become stronger for it.