Why mindset matters for business owners (and how to develop the right one)

motivating your team

Developing a positive mindset is one of the most powerful things you can do to grow as an entrepreneur while improving all of your interactions and relationships throughout your life.

While business and marketing tactics do play a role in entrepreneurial growth, mindset tends to be the number one contributing factor in achieving success. Those who can approach entrepreneurship with a positive mindset are able to quickly develop new capabilities, build momentum, and achieve exponential results.

With 2021 under way, business owners need to be in the right mindset to capitalise on all of the opportunities that will be available to them in this new year. So here is my advice on how to get yourself into the right mindset to reach your full potential in 2021

Abundance mindset vs. scarcity mindset

Entrepreneurs typically have two predominant mindsets competing for their attention: scarcity and abundance. To put it simply, a scarcity mindset leaves you feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and paralysed. An abundance mindset leaves you feeling excited, motivated, and ready for action.

Those who hold a scarcity mindset are of the belief that everything necessary for future progress is becoming scarce or running out. This mindset is filled with envy, guilt, and anger—it suggests that life is a zero-sum game. If someone else does well, it must be at the expense of everyone else who’s doing poorly. It implies that once resources are depleted, they cannot be replaced—therefore, you must compete to get as many resources as possible while restricting them from others.

Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of a scarcity mindset when they first start out, feeling as if there’s only “so much to go around” and that they need to grab whatever they can to get ahead. It can even mean preventing others from getting what they want or need. But the reality is that our world does not operate that way, and a scarcity mindset does nothing but hold us back from achieving the growth we desire.

Abundance mindsets, on the other hand, take all of the negative aspects of a scarcity mindset and flip them on their heads, turning them into positive opportunities. Abundance mindsets are grateful, creative, and cooperative.

Instead of seeing life as a zero-sum game, those with an abundance mindset see all of the opportunities life has to offer. Instead of seeing the depletion of resources, they see how human ingenuity can create new, practical solutions and breakthroughs. They see endless opportunity.

With a scarcity mindset, everything is getting smaller. But with an abundance mindset, everything is getting exponentially bigger. Tools, systems, and networks create new areas of personal and general expansion in which the factors of growth continually multiply one another.

For entrepreneurs, an abundance mindset means there is endless room for growth in their business and their lives.

Change your language, change your mindset

When we look at abundance mindsets vs. scarcity mindsets, there is a clear distinction in the language used for each—and understanding this distinction will help you make the switch from one mindset to the other.

The “language of scarcity” is found in virtually every industry and profession in the world economy. It includes words like costs, transactions, profession, clients, products/services, employees, status, security, and lifestyle.

Many of us default to this language without ever realising there’s an alternative. But whether you realise it or not, this type of language can have a tremendous impact on your mindset, preventing you from recognising the abundance around you.

We’ve identified 12 contrasting distinctions between the language of abundance mindsets vs. scarcity mindsets. Just by substituting the following 12 abundance terms for their corresponding scarcity terms, you’ll see an immediate acceleration of entrepreneurial clarity, confidence, and capability in every area of your business life:

  • Costs become Investments
  • Incremental becomes Exponential
  • Transactions become Transformations
  • Industry/Profession becomes Market/Network
  • Clients/Customers become Multipliers
  • Products/Services become your Value Creation Process
  • Employees become a Unique Ability® Team
  • Security becomes Opportunity
  • Status becomes Contribution
  • Lifestyle becomes Freedom
  • Management becomes Leadership
  • Retirement becomes Purpose
  • Scarcity becomes Abundance!

As you move into 2021, try substituting some of these scarcity terms with their abundance counterparts. You’ll be surprised at how it affects your overall mindset and the mindsets of your team members.

Progress, not perfection

Most entrepreneurs spent a majority of 2020 thinking about all the things that weren’t working in their businesses. But for everything that went wrong in 2020, there were also plenty of things that went right. Business owners around the world were able to transform their businesses, develop new revenue streams, and find new ways to bring added value to their audiences at a time when they needed it most.

One of my core values is “progress, not perfection.” Too often, we hyperfocus on problems without ever taking the time to reflect on all the progress we’ve made. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, good things are happening and progress is being made every day.

It’s important that we get in the mindset of recognising this progress in 2021, both in our businesses and in every other area of our lives. So, what can you do to start embracing this positive mindset of progress? Like anything, it takes practice—you need to train your brain to find progress.

Here’s a simple exercise to start, which we call The Positive Focus. This can help anyone develop a positive mindset by focusing on their past progress and using that to clarify the steps they need to take to continue to progress forward in their life and business.

To complete the exercise for yourself, just follow these four simple steps:

  1. Write down your five most important achievements from the past day, week, quarter, or year.
  2. Write down the reason each one is important to you.
  3. What is the next step you want to take for each?
  4. Finally, what is a specific first action that will move you forward right away?

Doing this exercise will help you quickly develop the mindset of “progress, not perfection.” When you start to focus on progress, your mindset shifts—and you start to see the positive aspects of everything you do. Once you develop this mindset, it becomes much easier to stay calm and figure out the next steps in whatever you’re doing. Instead of being reactive and trying to solve problems or put out fires, you’ll be able to plan ahead while becoming strong, capable, and resilient.

If you can approach 2021 with this mindset, I’m confident that you’ll be able to find new capabilities, create exponential results, and reach your full potential as an entrepreneur.