This Month’s Topic: Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset
The beginning of a new month brings a new topic to explore. This month’s topic – Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset – is essential to building a sustainable business and your life. We will explore various aspects of cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset throughout the month.
“You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.”
~ Jessica Herrin, founder and CEO of Stella & Dot
Nurturing Your Entrepreneurial Mindset: Letting Go of Limiting Beliefs
Before you can let go of a limiting belief, you need to be aware of what those limiting beliefs are and how they may be impacting you and your business.
Because most entrepreneurs and small business owners started out their careers working for someone else, the “employee” mindset can impact your ability to fully embrace the entrepreneurial mindset. Perhaps you had a career for 5 years or 35 years before you decided to start your own business. Or you may be working for someone while you are working to launch your own business in your spare time.
It is important to understand that working for someone as their employee is fundamentally different from working for yourself. The employee mindset and the entrepreneur mindset are markedly different. The longer you’ve worked as an employee, the harder it may be to change this mindset and start thinking like an entrepreneur.
Employee vs Entrepreneur Mindset
Let’s look at the key differences between the employer and entrepreneur mindsets:
Small Business Owner vs Entrepreneur Mindset
Now let’s look at the differences between the small business owner mindset and the entrepreneur mindset. Although a small business owner is not an employee, many small businesses operate under an employee mindset. If your goal as a small business owner is to grow, you need to think like an entrepreneur.
What Are Your Limiting Beliefs?
Now that you have a basic awareness of the difference in mindsets between an employee, small business owner, and an entrepreneur, do you have any limiting beliefs that are impacting your efforts and your success?
Entrepreneurs often fail because they cling to limiting beliefs they’ve been conditioned to hold.
Limiting beliefs come from experience, and they can often come from very early life experiences. They can even come from early childhood education. Society doesn’t raise children to become adults who think like entrepreneurs. To fit into society as adults, we are conditioned to think in more fixed mindset terms, especially as they relate to intelligence, money, and authority.
Three Limiting Beliefs Categories
Limiting beliefs can fall into three categories:
- Intelligence – This is often expressed as, “I’m not as good as….” or “I can’t learn that” or any number of other statements that we tell ourselves or have been told by others.
- Money – These thoughts can be ingrained in us early in life by well-meaning family members or others who influence us. Thoughts such as, “There is never enough money,” or “You have to sacrifice if you want to buy something,” or “We’ll never be able to retire” are just a few that create feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or scarcity.
- Work – The traditional model of education of learning what is needed to pass an exam doesn’t train us to be entrepreneurial thinkers. It trains us to learn a theory and apply it rather than learn by doing. Assessment and performance reviews can reinforce the “I’m not good enough” limiting belief by comparing us to others for promotions, raises, and more. This can lead to even more negative thinking that then holds you back.
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
Here are three tips to help you overcome limiting beliefs:
Tip #1: Be AWARE of your inner critic and question its “authority.”
To help you develop the courage, strength, and wisdom to overcome your inner critic try this activity:
When your inner critic is “vocal,” ask it questions such as “Why would you say that when I just did (insert a positive example.) Keep asking it questions and offering a positive example until the inner voice is quiet or agrees with your positive example. Remember, your thoughts are powerful. You can manage and quiet your inner critic.
Tip #2: Ask yourself what advice you would give a friend.
When your inner critic surfaces, ask yourself what advice you would give a friend who expressed feelings of self-doubt, lack of confidence, or whatever your inner critic is saying. Treat yourself with the same kindness and empathy that you would treat a friend.
Tip #3: Choose to ignore it.
When your inner critic decides to be vocal, simply tell it, “Not now.” “I don’t have time to listen to you now.” “Go away, Busy.” Or whatever words you find quiet your inner critic.
Realize your thoughts are powerful. Choose the mindset that keeps moving you forward. Quiet your inner critic to overcome limiting beliefs. Transform limiting beliefs into an entrepreneurial mindset. Use awareness, reframing, and action to change limiting beliefs and nurture your mindset for growth and success.
Your mindset plays a crucial role in your ability to live a fulfilling life. Recent worldwide events have made it even more challenging to keep a positive outlook. Scientific studies have proven a positive mindset can promote success in work, relationships, and in your health. Check out this ebook today!