The Growth Mindset: The Mindset Of An Entrepreneur
Carol Dweck, the famous Stanford psychologist states that your natural talent, your formal education or your intelligence are not the aspects that separate you from other people, but it is your mindset that determines where you stand.
No matter at what stage of life you are in, having the right mindset is everything. Having the growth mindset can change your life and this is especially true if you are a starting entrepreneur just getting your feet wet in the world of ecommerce.
Your mindset affects how you perceive the world around you, the obstacles you encounter and the problems you need to overcome. It affects your learning, your growth and ultimately your success.
This is why you should adopt the mindset of an entrepreneur, the growth mindset.
Before we can understand the difference of the growth mindset, we first need to learn its counterpart, the fixed mindset.
Definition of Fixed Mindset
A fixed mindset is a belief that success doesn’t come from effort or drive, instead, it stems from your natural abilities and your innate talents. For those who believe in this mindset, people are born with certain abilities and talents, and it is not possible to go beyond them.
Sadly, most people unknowingly follow this mindset even if they don’t want to accept it. As such, most people lose their ability to improve once they find a place in life where they are mildly comfortable.
Definition of Growth Mindset
A growth mindset, coined by Stanford professor Carol Dweck, is the mindset that involves the following belief: with enough effort, self-drive and determination, you can develop your natural abilities beyond their starting point.
Those with the growth mindset hold the belief that success is not based on natural abilities or talents, instead, it is a result of effort, drive and dedication.
While those with a fixed mindset see their successes as a result of their natural talent, their intelligence, or ability that somehow makes them more special than others, those with the growth mindset view their successes as a result of their effort, work and self-driven training or practice.
Having The Growth Mindset Is Vital For Entrepreneurs
The life of an entrepreneur is full of uncertainties and challenges. This is especially true if you are just starting out.
It is possible to reach a certain point of development with a fixed mindset. But in your journey as an entrepreneur, you will certainly encounter an obstacle where your talents and natural abilities are not enough.
This is where having a growth mindset makes all the difference.
When an uncertain situation with a challenge beyond their natural abilities is presented to someone with a fixed mindset, their natural response is to ignore or run away from the challenge.
The belief in natural talents, and their importance makes the encounter with an obstacle that we are not ready for both scary and demeaning. Those with a fixed mindset see their natural abilities as a representation of who they are, as such any challenge that they cannot overcome hurts their motivation and triggers feelings of inadequacy and uselessness.
On the other hand, for someone with a growth mindset, their natural talents or abilities are not a representation of themselves as a person, but instead, it is just a representation of their effort and drives so far.
The risk of a potential failure doesn’t represent any personal danger, and a challenge they are yet to overcome is not a hard limit, but just an opportunity for growth.
Instead of becoming demotivated by encountering a challenge they cannot resolve, those with a growth mindset become even more motivated. Because to them, a hard challenge is a chance to grow and even become better at what they do.
This outlook propels them forward. While believers in a fixed mindset see themselves being slowed down, or even stopped by the challenge, believers of the growth mindset rise to the occasion and move further.
Entrepreneurs with a growth mindset grow, while those with a fixed mindset find a reason why they shouldn’t grow.
How to Adopt The Mindset of an Entrepreneur
Adopting the growth mindset is beneficial for everyone. And it is even more so for entrepreneurs, as the growth mindset should be the mindset of an entrepreneur. Adopting the growth mindset is simple, but needs time and repetition. You can start adopting the growth mindset by following the list below:
- Be mindful of your perspective
- Focus on effort, not talent
- See failures as learning opportunities
- Accept imperfection
1. Be mindful
Before you can change your mindset, you first need to understand it. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions. When adopting the growth mindset, being mindful allows you to see and understand your perspective and mind, which makes it easier for you to change it. You can see this step as the foundation of this process.
The best way to practice mindfulness is meditation. You can simply sit or lay in a calm place, close your eyes and focus on your breath. As you focus on your breath, be aware of the thoughts that come to your mind. Don’t try to change them, or engage them. Just simply be aware of what you are thinking about.
2. Focus on effort, not talent
Once you have an understanding of yourself, you can start to change it.
For this step, the only thing you need to do is to change your perspective of success. When you encounter success in your life or see someone else with success, instead of thinking about how talented they are, think about how much they worked for it. Remind yourself that no great artist is just born with extraordinary abilities, but they also spent countless hours improving it as much as they can.
Try to reframe every thought you have about success itself. In your mind, success should be the result of hard work and dedication, not just talent or abilities.
3. See failures as learning opportunities
Everyone will experience loss and failure in their lives. The difference is how we perceive failure, and how it affects us.
If you see failure as a reflection of your natural abilities you will close yourself to potential growth opportunities. Instead, see failure as an opportunity to assess your situation and find out what you can do to improve yourself. Understand that failing is the first step for growth. If you fear failure, you will avoid potentially rewarding opportunities. So do not look at how you may fail, but how much you can develop yourself even if you fail.
4. Accept imperfection
Most of us are scared of being imperfect. That is why we avoid activities that we are not good at. But the truth is that the state of perfection is unachievable.
The state of perfection is an imaginary state that we will probably never reach. So instead of comparing yourself to an imaginary perfect self, compare yourself to your past self. Strive to be better than you were yesterday and focus on growing. Instead of striving for perfection, enjoy the process of growth.