If you’re the owner of a business, the path to profitability starts with you.
Because every element of your company—whether you’re flying solo or leading a team—is influenced by your beliefs, attitudes and actions.
Think negatively and you create self-imposed limitations.
Think positively and you create opportunities.
So, what practical steps can you take to change the way you think and drive more profitability in your business?
It’s time to develop a growth mindset.
In this article, we cover:
- What is a growth mindset?
- Why mindset matters
- How to start developing a growth mindset
- What to do next
- Final thoughts
What is a growth mindset?
A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence are things that can be developed rather than fixed, innate gifts.
Those with a growth mindset achieve more by pursuing continuous learning, collaborating with others, and being willing to take risks.
With a growth mindset, you understand that failures are necessary, hardship and setbacks are inevitable, and persistence will keep you moving forward.
Why mindset matters
The people in your business look to you for leadership, direction and decision making.
What you think and the resulting actions you take ripple throughout your teams and drives how profitable your business can become.
Think of it this way:
In challenging times, many businesses go on the defensive. They scale back ambitions for growth and prioritise short-term revenue over long-term profitability.
An owner with this mindset rationalises their decisions as ‘playing it safe’. But really, they’re operating on fear.
Those with a positive mindset defiantly stay on the offensive, doubling down their efforts and investments into growth.
Inevitably, these businesses come out of tough times in a much stronger position.
James Ashford, VP of GoProposal, illustrated this on our Sound Advice podcast:
“Have you seen Forrest Gump? You know when they’re on the boat and the storm comes? And they choose to go into the storm? That boat was built for a storm.
“And your business has got to be built for a storm.
“If you’re retracting, recessing and cutting costs, you’re essentially tying yourself to the rocks. And all those boats that tied themselves to the rocks got smashed.
“The only one that survived was the one that took the storm head on. That’s what we need to do—strengthen our boats and go for it.”
To acknowledge the impact of your mindset is to accept personal responsibility for any outcome your business encounters.
If your business folds in a recession, you played a role in that. Same goes if it doubles in size.
So, it’s clear that having a growth mindset really matters.
Without it, there are endless reasons your otherwise-bullet-proof strategy might fail.
With it, you will:
- View challenges as markers for improvement and will be motivated to push boundaries, uncover innovative solutions, and adapt more quickly to market shifts.
- Be more resilient to sudden and unexpected adversity, be able to bounce back from setbacks, learn from every failure, and stay motivated to keep making progress.
- Develop a thirst for knowledge and improvement for you and your teams, always looking out for new information, developing skills, and staying at the forefront of innovation.
- Be open to embracing new technologies, innovative strategies, and unique business models that will help you compete with much larger businesses.
How to start developing a growth mindset
The advantages of having a growth mindset are clear, and the opportunities your business could unlock are limitless.
But, as with most matters related to your mind, making a change is easier said than done.
You won’t develop this mindset overnight. But you can take practical steps that will put you on course to a new, bolder, and more resilient way of thinking.
Here are three ways to start evolving:
1. Put your health first
Your health isn’t optional. It should be your biggest priority.
Without it, you can’t perform at your best and support others that need you. And you certainly can’t do what it takes to grow profitability.
You have to put yourself first, and you don’t need to feel guilty about doing so. James points out why so many of us tend to neglect this.
He says: “The reason you don’t find time to focus on your health is because it hasn’t been prioritised. It needs to be number one.
“You need to be spending 30 minutes to an hour a day getting your body moving. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. It can be as simple as going for a walk.”
Prioritising your health doesn’t just mean your body either. Your mental health is equally important.
A few ways to protect your mental health:
- Stop watching the news.
- Add blocks of free time in your calendar to ensure you take regular breaks and aren’t in meetings all the time.
- Focus on improving productivity so that you have more time for yourself.
- Reduce the time you spend with negative people.
- Protect your work-life balance by setting immovable boundaries.
- Develop gratitude and help others in need when you can.
- Use tools such as therapy, meditation, and breathing exercises to manage stress.
2. Take control of your growth
Growth doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen.
Whether it’s via audiobooks, YouTube videos, podcasts, or courses, there are limitless ways you can become better, more positive, and smarter.
It doesn’t just have to be learning, either.
You could spend time reflecting on your business, work on developing your processes, or meet regularly with your team to discuss what they need to do their best work.
Dedicate as little as 30 minutes a day to this and you’ll make consistent progress towards making your business more profitable.
3. Aim high—it’s OK to fail
In tough times, many businesses lower their targets. They think that the additional challenges mean their usual level simply can’t be hit.
Instead, you should aim even higher than you usually would. Once you realise that it’s OK to aim high and fail, you’ll achieve great things—even if you don’t reach your targets.
In an extreme example, you can set a goal that seems ridiculous.
Let’s say, double your fees over the next 12 months.
Even if you only managed a 20% increase, you’d still have created more profitability than if you’d set a negative goal, such as reducing prices to retain clients.
Put these actions into practice and you’ll start to think differently over time. You’ll see a noticeable difference in yourself, and the way people respond and interact with you.
What to do next
Developing a growth mindset can be the catalyst to making your business more productive, profitable, and resilient.
Once you’ve made some progress in this area, you can start to build on your mindset with more outwardly focused actions.
In our e-book, Mind over minutes, we have two more stages to keeping profitability on track:
- Building a productive growth culture: How to embed growth and productivity into your culture, and empower your people to achieve more, perform better, and get more work satisfaction.
- Activate your growth strategy with tech: How to collaborate with your team to devise the right plans and implement the tools that will bring your growth ambitions to life.
Tough weeks, months, and years are guaranteed for every business. What matters most is how you choose to think.
This will ultimately drive your actions, influence those around you, and lead to real-world outcomes for your business.
To keep profitability on track, start with a growth mindset. Then watch new opportunities rise to the surface.
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