Let’s chat about mindset. Oftentimes when starting a business, we think about all the tasks we need to do - our website, branding, packages, how we’re going to advertise and sell, etc. Yet, we miss one of the most important things - mindset.
Your mindset is the structure and quality of your beliefs shaping every decision you make and determining how you show up in your business each day! It’s your operating software that allows you to solve problems, spot opportunities, take smart risks, and move forward with confidence.
So, if you’re looking to make an investment of time and effort that will pay off in your business (and your life) for years to come… your mindset is the way to go.
And to save you some time, I’m sharing 7 of the most important mindset shifts you can make if you’re ready to reach the next level as an entrepreneur!
7 Mindset Shifts to Reach the Next Level
1. “The obstacle is the way.” – Ryan Holiday
Every challenging thing that happens in life is neither good nor bad — you get to decide what lens to view it through and if you’re going to treat it as a dead-end or a chance to grow in a whole new way.
By seeing obstacles not as roadblocks, but as opportunities — the kind of opportunities that lead to your biggest breakthroughs — you’ll prioritize your own growth and expansion at every step. For example...
Your fear of public speaking may someday be the very reason audiences seek you out and want to hear your story, to see what is possible for them if they believe in themselves.
The fact that you don’t look or sound like other influencers in your space, may be the exact reason independent-minded brands seek out partnerships with you.
Your struggle with insecurity and imposter syndrome may make you the perfect coach or mentor for others who experience similar challenges.
I can promise you that the biggest, most game-changing opportunities in your business will arrive disguised as impossible obstacles and dead ends… ones that most people will give up on and turn back.
So ask yourself, “How might this be a gift? How will solving this problem help me grow, learn new skills, have a unique perspective, or stand out from the crowd?”... and you’ll become a pro at seeing through the disguise and right to the heart of the opportunity!
Before: This problem is impossible to solve. I’ll never get past it, and I’ll be stuck here forever! I’d better just give up before I waste any more time, or risk any more disappointment.
After: This looks like a difficult problem, and I bet most people see it that way, but I’m someone who looks for opportunities. Maybe it’s not obvious right now, but if I get creative I can make this work to my advantage!
2. More work ≠ more results
In the first couple years of your business, there’s so much to do! And when you’re in that early phase, you’re trying a lot of different things, so it’s easy to get caught up in trying to be everywhere and do everything all the time.
Eventually, you might wind up hustling just to keep the balls in the air!
It’s time to simplify, streamline, and restructure your business to work for you and to feel energizing and easy.
Because building a business does take work, and a significant investment of time, energy, and creativity. But working to the point of exhaustion DOES NOT equal better results.
At a certain point; doing more, working extra hours, and trying to be all things to all people, only serves to wear you out and drain your energy. Also, it subtly signals to your community that you’ve chosen a road that leads to exhaustion (Who wants to come? Probably no one.).
What gets results is always bringing your very best self to your community!
Prioritizing your wellness, your joy, and the sustainability of your business... so you can show up fully energized and aligned, and treat your business and your client relationships as the icing on the cake of your life — not something you’re depending on for your happiness.
Before: I have so much to do, how will I ever get through it all? I just need to buckle down and get it done, or I’ll never make any real progress. If I want results, I need to put in the time – once it’s all done, I can finally rest.
After: There are a lot of things I could do, but I’m going to trust myself to focus on the one or two things that get me closest to my goal. I’ll use the extra time to do something that fuels and energizes me, so I can show up as my best self for my business.
3. Good for her, not for you
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt
So there you are, minding your own business and doing your own thing when… You see someone celebrating a major milestone you haven’t reached yet, and it knocks you off your feet. Oof!
Most of us can relate; it’s human nature to compare our position to others, because slipping down in the pecking order feels like a threat to our survival.
But unless you’re part of a family of gazelles running away from a cheetah, you’re not actually in a race with anyone.
You are on your own path, heading to your own destination, going at your own pace, and stopping as many times as you like to rest, enjoy the view, or camp overnight. And along the way, you do things you enjoy and that fill you up.
Building your business isn’t a race to escape an apex predator. It’s a journey that is yours and yours alone. There’s no need to compare your journey with anyone else’s!
Everyone has their own set of circumstances, priorities, and ideal destinations in mind. The best thing we can do is cheer each other on and enjoy each other’s company when we happen to stop at the same watering hole.
Before: They’re so great, they clearly have something I don’t have. They must know something I don’t know. I’m too old/young/shy/etc. for anyone to take me seriously or see me as the expert — what makes me even think I could succeed?
After: They’re doing awesome in their own way, and I’m doing awesome in mine! There’s no competition between us, we’re each just on our own path. I love seeing others thrive, and I love thriving in my own way, on my own terms.
4. Fear is your friend
There’s a popular myth that in order to become unstoppable and reach your goals, you need to ditch your fears altogether and become “fearless”!
In reality, all you need to do is allow fear to be part of your equation. Don’t let it stop you, but don’t wait for it to go away before you take any action either.
Let fear come along for the ride. Let it be part of your journey and a companion on your path forward. Listen to its worries, and allow it to feel how it needs to feel.
Because fear actually has a lot to offer you!
Fear is a sign you’re moving in the direction of what you really want. What if I mess up? What if they say no? What if I’m disappointed? None of these thoughts would occur to you if you didn’t care about the outcome.
“When you dare to identify your greatest desire, the possibility of falling short sneaks in beside it. “ — Meera Lee Patel, My Friend Fear
Think of your fear like a game of Hot and Cold. When your fear runs cold, you’re pretty far away from anything that feels exciting, interesting, and like a new frontier for you.
But when your fear gets warmer… warmer… hot, then you know you’re really onto something.
Over time, as you go along your business journey, you’ll start to recognize fear not as a roadblock telling you to turn back, but a sign you’re on the right path.
Before: I’m scared to take action — what if I mess up? What if someone doesn’t like what I say? What if I’m disappointed? What if the worst case scenario happens? I don’t think I can risk it.
After: I’m scared right now, which means I must be onto something big! I wouldn’t be afraid if I didn’t care about this deep down. Fear is always there, but it doesn’t call the shots in my world anymore. Come along for the ride, fear – there’s a spot for you in the backseat!
5. Failing is learning
Failing can be scary and overwhelming, but the truth is that failure is a necessary part of learning and growing!
When you start a business, the idea of failure may feel different from how it’s felt in the past. It feels more public, more vulnerable, and more reflective of your worth as a person, but it’s actually none of these things.
“If I launch this offer and it doesn’t sell, everyone will judge me!”
“If I share this content and it doesn’t get engagement, everyone will think I’m struggling!”
“If I host this event and no one shows up, everyone will think…” – you get the idea!
The truth is, no one is paying close enough attention to notice when you fail. And if they do happen to notice, they won’t think anything of it because they see ALL their own failures up close and personal.
As you grow in your business, you’ll get better and better at “failing well” — allowing yourself to feel disappointed, but also recognizing that it’s not a life sentence.
Your failures do not define you. They are a necessary part of your learning and growing process, and they’re not the end of the story. They’re just the beginning!
As long as you’re learning from failures, mistakes, and missteps, you’re still moving forward. In the end, you’ll be hard-pressed to even remember your failures, or what anyone else thought about them.
But you will remember and value (and maybe even teach others) the lessons you learned by getting back up and moving forward!
Before: I really messed up back there. I can’t believe I said that/did that/tried that/etc. What must people think of me now? I totally botched that. I’ll never get past this!
After: That went well in some ways, and in other ways it could have gone better. There’s definitely room for improvement. If I did it all over, I would do a few things differently. I’m proud of myself for trying, and next time I’ll remember what I learned from this experience so I can do better!
6. Experiencing your offer is a privilege
Early in your business, it’s tempting to say “yes” to anyone who asks to work with you. Because booking new clients and customers is the best feeling in the world, right? It’s living proof that your offer is worthwhile, and that someone trusts you enough to hand over their hard-earned cash to work with you!
But beneath those warm and fuzzy feelings is a lingering uncertainty…
When you’re eager to work with anyone who asks, and you’re waiting for someone else to validate you and your services… you’re just one “no” away from feeling discouraged and second-guessing yourself.
Instead, remember that working with you is a privilege, not a right, and a sales conversation is as much your opportunity to decide if it’s a fit as it is your client’s.
Your expertise and insight are immensely valuable, and those who get to work with you are fortunate to have your guidance and support, on a journey that would otherwise be much harder.
So celebrate every booking and every sale… not just for you, but for your clients, for their journey ahead, and for all the benefits they’ll get from working with you! And remind yourself that a “no” is a gift, saving you from working with a client who’s not a fit, so you can hold space for the ones who are.
Before: Does anyone want what I’m offering? What if no one signs up? Maybe I’ve just been lucky to sign the clients I’ve had so far. What if my luck has run out?
After: I have experience, insight, and wisdom to share that helps my clients get further faster, and my approach is unique in my industry. I’m a pro at what I do, and my clients are fortunate to have me in their corner.
7. Selling can be easy
Ever since starting my business, I’ve handled sales conversations pretty much the same way:
Ask questions to understand the client and their situation.
Assess whether and how I can help, and which offer would be the best fit.
Support them in deciding whether the offer is right for them, right now.
I’ve never taken a sales course or program. While I have tried techniques my mentors and coaches suggested, I’ve settled into a flow that feels natural for me and my potential clients which leads to a “yes” in most cases.
Here’s the thing: You don’t need to take the responsibility of making any one else’s decision for them or of persuading them to work with you. You don’t need to corner people into a “yes” or outsmart your clients.
You can one-hundred percent trust your clients and potential clients to make their own best decision. And you can focus your energy on creating a space where they feel free to make their own choice and trust their intuition.
Think about who you want to support, and how much responsibility you want for their choices…
Do you want a client who relies on other people for all their answers and expects you to make the tough calls for them?
Or do you want the client who values your support and insight, but ultimately trusts themselves to make their own decisions?
Decide which one is right for you, and lead your sales calls to serve those clients best -- holding the space, being honest about how you can help, and allowing your clients to reach their own conclusions.
Yes, there are ways to improve your sales game, and increase your conversion rate with integrity, but unless it feels aligned for you and in the highest service of your clients (i.e., easy for you to execute), it won’t hold water. Let sales be easy for you, and your business will grow!
Before: Selling is so hard for me – how can I convince people they need what I have to offer? It feels like an uphill battle just preparing and showing up for a sales conversation, much less converting prospects into clients.
After: Selling is easy and simple. It’s just about listening to understand my prospect, deciding whether I think my offer is a good fit, and if it is, helping them assess and decide their next steps. I trust myself to be honest about my offer... and I trust my client to make the right choice for them!
Your mind has to go or you won't grow. Focus now on improving your mindset with these tips and you will see ripple effects in your business.