A Positive Mindset

positive-thinking-3One of the most overlooked aspects of business success is mindset.   Mindset can be defined as ‘the habitual or typical mental attitude that determines how one interprets and responds to life situations.’

A Stanford Research Institute study shows that success is 88 per cent attitude and 12 per cent education. The right mindset will outperform education, skills or even having a better product or service.

The attributes of the right business mindset include resilience, flexibility, persistence, emotional stability, positivity, vision and high self esteem.

It is a very rare business owner that naturally possesses all these qualities, but the good news is that they can be learned and improved on.

Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, says that there are two main types of mindset, the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Those with a fixed mindset believe their talents and abilities are a given and that they can’t be improved or extended in any way. Those with this fixed mindset do not welcome challenges and often guard themselves against situations which might make failure a possibility. This inevitably limits growth, both in a personal and business sense.

People who possess a growth mindset believe that intelligence, talents and abilities can be developed through learning, practice and persistence. When faced with an obstacle, those with a growth mindset tend to rise to the challenge. These people do not let fear of failure control them; but see challenges as a chance to further grow and develop personally.

In small business, the ability to be resilient is a crucial factor in long term survival. Many smaller start-ups are underfunded and business owners often underestimate the length of time required to get a business up and running. Business owners without a bank of emotional resilience to draw upon are fated to become business failures and the statistics bear this out.

The ability to weather disappointment and discouragement in the face of a possible uncertain future is also crucial to small business success and all business owners are certain to have to deal with these issues at some stage in the life of their business.

A successful mindset generally, enables us to face the challenges that business can often throw at us. Without that, we can easily be swamped and overwhelmed and end up feeling frustrated and blocked.

Business owners also need to develop the ability to be flexible and be able to change direction if necessary. It may be necessary to ‘reinvent’ the business, refine or narrow the niche or to provide new products or services to adapt to the ever changing needs of the customers or clients.

One of the factors least considered and never dealt with in any business training, certainly none that I am aware of, is the absolute need for a well developed sense of self, which includes high self esteem, self belief and confidence in one’s abilities. This is particularly relevant for very obvious historical reasons to women in business.

Self development should be a core curriculum in every business training model.

It is the number one reason for small business failure, because it is the underlying, unrecognised factor in all of the issues faced by small business. Fail to take this crucial factor into consideration and the small business owner risks failure.

A well developed sense of self is the breeding ground for the other qualities necessary for a successful mindset, like emotional stability, persistence and a positive outlook. Without a belief in one’s ability, it is not possible to remain positive or be persistent for long because with the slightest setback, doubt and fear come creeping in. These negative mindsets destroy our ability to make balanced decisions, find solutions or sustain the necessary interpersonal relationships.

Developing and maintaining a positive mindset is the panacea for all these business ills. It is virtually impossible to fail if failure is not an option a business owner entertains, because that individual will look for and find solutions to every problem.

How does one maintain a positive attitude or a successful mindset? For some people comes naturally, for others it is a learned experience.



This is a sample of a chapter taken from the business book, Business, Business, Business! Available from Amazon.


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