Posted: Fri 14th Aug 2020
A growth mindset is about your approach to the skills you need to build a business - and the limits you put on your potential. It means knowing you can learn new things through practice and perseverance, rather than giving up at the first hurdle.
In simple terms, it's about saying "I can't do that yet" rather than "I can't do that".
This article looks at five ways you can develop your mindset and the way you work to give your business the potential to thrive.
If you're keen to learn more, Enterprise Nation has created a free, five-part online learning course on developing a growth mindset. Sign up here or use your dashboard if you're already an Enterprise Nation member.
1. Develop a system for planning your time
Good time management ensures you're prioritising effectively. It's about giving yourself the best chance of being successful with the resources you have.
You need a system to track tasks and plan your time. There are lots of different platforms and approaches. Base your choice on the outcome you need rather than picking a shiny new toy.
There are a number of things to keep in mind:
Try to avoid decision fatigue: Book time for decision making activities like forecasting. Try to reduce your mental load by writing tasks down rather than trying to remember them. Create simple systems that mean you don't have to worry about everyday tasks.
Work in blocks of time: People are more productive when they're focusing on one thing. Block out time in your dairy for creative tasks and planning, and make sure you're free from distractions.
Prioritise relentlessly: Rationalise your to-do list regularly. What's not important? What can you drop or delegate?
Learn to say "no": Being a business owner creates endless opportunities. You have a limited amount of time, so you need to start saying "no" to things.
"Work with your energy levels, not against them," added Mindsetup director Emma Mills-Sheffield. "If you're most creative in the evenings, that's great. Most people have their energy in the mornings. Work with your energy."
Emma's hosting our free e-learning modules on developing a growth mindset.
2. Produce a plan for growth
Planning provides a roadmap for your goals. That clarity is essential to making intentional and consistent decisions; it provides a structure for your growth mindset.
Creating a plan will help you understand what you want from your business. It includes your long-term aspirations and the company vision, which is often encoded in a "why" statement and values.
The goals you create from that vision lead to the actions you take in a given year, month, week and day.
Focus is essential. Looking at your long-term goal and key targets regularly provides inspiration and helps you stay on track:
Mention them in team updates
Talk about how employees can contribute in one-to-ones
Put your goals or "why" statement somewhere visible in your workspace
Write your goal at the top of your to-do list
Business owners will always be constrained by time and money. It's essential to make sure you're sense checking what you're spending your time on; does it contribute to your goals? Will it move the company forwards?
"Give yourself a strategic task a day; what's the one thing you can do that's really going to move your business forwards?" Emma said.
Be prepared to ditch projects, products or clients that don't contribute towards your goals. It's always tough to turn down potential revenue, but it frees up time and energy to invest elsewhere.
3. Commit to your personal growth
Your role as a business owner is constantly evolving - you need to grow for your business to be able to grow.
Think about the gaps you have in your own expertise. What do you need to learn to lead your business through the next stage in its growth?
Build a routine for learning that includes the following elements:
Talking to your peers about business challenges and opportunities
Working with a business coach and/or mentor
Getting feedback from your employees
Learning and getting inspired by books, articles, podcasts or videos
4. Look after your mental and physical health
Growth is challenging. It's easy to convince yourself you need to work longer hours, miss breaks or make sacrifices. But that comes with a cost. If you're tired or stressed the quality of your work and decision making will fall dramatically.
Establish routines that help you stay healthy. Everyone's different, so experiment on what combination of exercise and sleep pattern work for you. When you find something that works, be relentless about sticking to it.
Know when to take breaks. Your business isn't going to grow if you're burnt out, so be proactive and take time off when you need to.
Be conscious that you're not going to perform at 100% or even 80% all the time.
5. Building self-confidence
It's common for business owners to doubt their abilities or experience imposter syndrome.
It's easy to look at successful entrepreneurs and think they've conquered their fears. To some degree this is true, they will have grown and built coping mechanisms. But it's important to remember that almost everyone suffers from self doubt.
What can you do about it? How can you become more confident?
Here are a few things to think about:
Celebrate success and take a moment to reflect on how far you've come
Work with a business coach to get a different perspective
Push yourself to do activities you find challenging, like public speaking
Talk to your peers about their challenges
Having a growth mindset is about realising your limitations and committing to learning and growing, so that you can break through them.
Hopefully, this article has given you a few ideas on what you can do to improve the way you work.
If you want to learn more, Enterprise Nation's offering a free five-part online learning course on developing a growth mindset as part of the Amazon Small Business Accelerator.