Jamil Damji is an investor, wholesaler and mentor within the real estate space. He is a cofounder of KeyGlee and runs AstroFlipping.
Entrepreneurship. When you think of that word, you’re probably imagining ambitious innovators, groundbreaking ideas and the freedom of running your own business. This is the most common trait that we attribute to entrepreneurs and what we, as entrepreneurs, see in ourselves. Isn’t that the mindset every entrepreneur should have?
My response may shock you, because I’m going to answer with a resounding, “No.”
Typically, everyone who is and wants to be an entrepreneur follows the same script when it comes to starting their own business:
• Discover what your interests and skills are.
• Identify a problem in your chosen industry that needs solving.
• Do market research.
• Create your business plan.
• Secure some type of funding.
• Register your business.
• Develop your product or service.
• Launch said product or service.
Fairly straightforward process, right? But here’s a startling fact: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Approximately 20% of small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of the second year, 30% of businesses will have failed. By the end of the fifth year, about half will have failed. And by the end of the decade, only 30% of businesses will remain—a 70% failure rate.” Causes as to why include unfeasible business models, fierce competition, ineffective hiring and more. But there is an underlying factor that these statistics rarely talk about: the entrepreneur’s mindset.
The Power Of The Mind
What is a mindset? More importantly, what does it mean to have a good mindset?
In a general sense, mindset refers to the way a person thinks and approaches a situation or task. Mindset is often overlooked in business, but it’s a significant influence on your life—an invisible force that can either propel you toward success or hold you back.
I know your skepticism is probably going off right now: “My mind is already set on success!” or, “This is weird, New Age talk—how does any of this have an impact on my business?” To which I ask, how does it not?
Negative thinking can subtly shift your mindset, which can foster animosity for the success of others (envy), greed, laziness, etc. For example, do you become envious when you see someone drive by in a fancy car? Was becoming an entrepreneur based on a desire to make a ton of money? As an entrepreneur, your thinking process is intertwined with every aspect of your journey.
What They Don’t Teach You
While I have success right now, I had to go through a lot of work to reach it. The first thing I started with was my mindset.
As previously mentioned, having a good mindset can go a very long way when it comes to your success. Put frankly, if you believe you will be successful, you are dramatically more likely to be successful. One of the most common barriers I see from entrepreneurs is limiting beliefs. It’s like the phrase “you are what you eat”—people are just as much a culmination of their views toward their success and potential as anything else. These beliefs are what stop many entrepreneurs from realizing their full potential. Limiting beliefs can be as subtle as your inner voice saying you can’t achieve something you want to—or as big as crushing your entrepreneurial dreams.
In my experience, this isn’t something most business owners speak out about. There’s already pressure and stress when it comes to running a business, and owners may not even be aware that their own thought processes might be preventing their success.
How To Start Thinking About Your Mindset
So, how can new and current entrepreneurs prepare themselves or start to think about their mindset?
1. Consider your limiting beliefs. By this, I mean identifying what limits you’re putting on yourself. Ask yourself about money, such as how much is too much, how much you would need to be financially free, how much you need to just live your best life, what you need to do in order to gain that amount, and, more importantly, whether you believe you can achieve these things.
2. Repeat the first step. It’s incredibly easy to just gloss over those questions, but it’s important to sit down and look at the beliefs you currently hold, especially when related to money, business, and how people acquire it.
3. Put mindset within your business plan. Within your executive summary, if you have a section for growth, your mindset should be here. It should outline how much time you will devote to checking on your mindset and what you will do when you encounter those negative thoughts.
When you encounter these negative thoughts, acknowledge them. Be aware of what you’re feeling—it’s perfectly normal to have these thoughts! Once you’ve acknowledged them, do a few things daily to counteract them, such as appreciating the people in your life, making a contribution to the people you meet and, above all, choosing to keep a positive outlook.
4. Rinse and repeat. The thing with having a healthy and good mindset is that this isn’t a one-time deal; just as your business is growing, so are you. That growth will intertwine both your own experiences and your business.
How do I know so much about this? Because I’ve been there. Initially, I equated being an entrepreneurial success with financial success. I had everything they tell you to have as an entrepreneur; however, my own limiting beliefs kept me from fulfilling the potential I’ve now come to see and explore.
I’ve found that meditating works to instill positive thoughts, and I try to practice at least 23 moments every day, from waking up being happy to appreciating the people I have in my life. These 23 daily practices are from a fabulous book called Quiet Mind Epic Life by Matthew Ferry, who is a spiritual teacher and happiness coach. This book was another resource to help me get out of the negative thought patterns I held.
This is the dichotomy of internal action and external projection: By finding a way to fix the inside (your thought life), you can use that to improve your outside world. The best part about improving your mindset as an entrepreneur is that it’s free—and in my experience, it’s one of the best things you can do for your business.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?
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