The Right Mindset for Small Business Success

Having the right mindset for success

As a self-employed small business owner, you constantly pursue ways to grow your business.

You do this by outsourcing as much as possible such as accounting or bookkeeping, or by automating routine tasks so your focus can be on areas of importance such as new marketing strategies or sales tactics.

Unfortunately, we often overlook internal factors, such as attitudes, opinions, beliefs, and thinking. These internal factors have an enormous effect on the success of your business and are determined by your mindset.

I am sure you can think of someone very talented who failed to achieve their potential because something was holding them back. However, it was not their ability stopping them; it was something else.

What is ‘Mindset’?

Your mindset is a collection of beliefs about essential qualities like intelligence, talents, and personality. For example, you may not have performed well in school, which can cause you to think you are not wise.

This is a widespread issue that leads to negative thinking. You fail to give yourself credit and are overwhelmed into thinking that you do not have the “smarts” to do anything.

This is so wrong because school performance does not equate to success.

The world is filled with stories of people whose school performances were a flop but their businesses are thriving.

You might have a negative mindset about your abilities which causes you to underestimate yourself and miss out on opportunities that could otherwise have catapulted you into success if you had a positive attitude.

A negative mindset can be disastrous to your business, while a positive attitude can assist you in achieving your potential and skyrocket you to success.

Your Inner Critic

Your mindset can be a conscious belief, but it is often an unconscious conviction.

We often call a negative mindset the “inner critic” that shows up inside our brains. This “inner critic” becomes that voice that incessantly occurs behind your conscious thoughts.

It rags on you every chance it can, telling you that you are:

  • Worthless
  • Inadequate
  • Not talented enough
  • Not smart enough

It acts as a judge and jury, condemning you and your actions at every turn.

The inner critic is cunning and powerful as it sometimes makes itself apparent to some and not to others.

It can convince you that it is the real you, which can be very disturbing as it takes you down a road where it sabotages your life and destroys any chance for success.

This sounds terrifying, and it is just that.

The inner critic is in all of us. Therefore, it is mandatory to try and identify the negative thoughts that are part of your “inner critic” so you can take the necessary steps to release its hold on you.

The good news is that you can change your mindset. The hostile “inner critic” (also known as a negative mindset) was born in you through past experiences and learned thinking habits.

Once you recognize this as a negative mindset, you can turn it around by applying small changes in awareness and thinking attitudes. After that, you can start to see monumental changes in how you think and then begin to take control and guide your mindset toward positivity and success.

Action Steps

Here are four exercises that will assist you in controlling your Inner Critic.

Take 15 – 20 minutes out of your busy day and try to do this without distractions. Shut your eyes and imagine what type of life you would have if all your dreams come true.

  1. Does this dream life include more vacations, income, and improved relationships? Write down the characteristics of this dream life in a dedicated journal.
  2. Take a close look at each characteristic and determine what that looks like for you. For example, if one of those characteristics is “financial freedom,” figure out just what that means for you. Does that mean becoming debt-free by the time you are 50 or maybe having your house paid off by then? Does that include having all your kids’ schooling paid for? What about the profitability of your business? Or the amount in your 401K or other retirement savings?
    Document all of these and any more you can think of.
  3. As you go through these exercises, take a close look at any new thoughts, and see if they are all positive. These could be thoughts like: “My new marketing plan is kicking goals, and I have a steady pipeline of new business. So, it’s realistic that I could double turnover this year.” Or are there other invasive thoughts like, “Yeah, right – a six-figure profit! Who do you think you are?”
  4. Document all your thoughts, both positive and negative.

The key to this exercise is to become aware of your inner voice because many people have difficulty discerning between their actual thoughts and their inner critic.

There is a famous quote from entrepreneur Henry Ford that goes like this:

Henry Ford quote


“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right!”

That is “mindset” in a nutshell!

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