Think your small business can’t grow in this economy? You’re wrong. Improving your mindset and minimizing your risk are possible in all economies.

If you pay attention to the media and get sucked into an “economic panic,” you might think that trying to grow a business in today’s economy is a crazy notion. But many of the companies you know and trust were started in economic conditions much like the ones we’re experiencing today. Disney, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft were all started during recessions. The economic conditions in which they were started didn’t doom them to failure.

But let’s face it: Small business is multi-faceted and as such, requires a multi-faceted approach. What you’re thinking and how you’re thinking have as much of an impact on the level of your success as anything else, especially for the small business owner.

That’s why this week I’m focusing on getting your head in the right place for small business success. Next week, I’ll move on to logistics and strategies for minimizing risk and growing your business.

Let’s start off with a conversation about where most small business owners start getting into trouble. It all starts at home, right in the brain, especially in an economy like this.

Lack-Based Thinking

Lack-based thinking is when you think things like: “I can’t afford….” “I don’t know how I’m going to pay for….” It’s all about fear, uncertainty and self-doubt.

Lack-based thinking constantly hammers away at the mindset you need to succeed. You won’t have the drive to succeed or put your dollars in the right places if you have “I can’t afford it” floating around in your head. Focus on making a shift so you can start putting your mind and your money where they can bring you back the most return.

Strategies to Make the Shift

Develop and Use Affirmations:

The first thing that you can do to start making the shift out of lack-based thinking is to use affirmations. This is just good psychology: in essence, you’re re-training your brain. To get started, make a list of affirmations or declarations and say them aloud every day, at least three times a day, for 30 days. If you miss a day, start over at Day 1. It’s absolutely imperative that you do this continuously, without a break, for 30 days. Research shows that’s how long it takes your brain to retrain itself, so if you do something for two weeks, miss a day, and then start up again, even if you do it for another two weeks, your brain won’t be retrained. It has to be 30 consecutive days, without missing a day.

The best way to get into this habit is to decide on Day 1 that you are fully, 100 percent committed to taking this action. Don’t accept any excuses from yourself.

Focus on the Larger Purpose:

Maybe you started a business so you could travel the world or just so you could relax, knowing you have money invested for a long and enjoyable retirement. Create tangible reminders of the reason you started down this path: a vision board, a picture, or a bold statement posted in your workspace. Reaffirm what you’re working toward and you’ll find a continuously renewed will to keep going.

Track Your Successes:

Stay focused on the positive by keeping track of your successes, even the small ones. Make a list and review them every morning and evening. This focuses your attention on what you’re doing right and keeps you concentrated on moving in a positive direction.

Once you get your brain engaged for success, you’ll be in a much better position to take action and achieve your goals and dreams.

Stay tuned: In Part 2, I’ll cover some of the best strategies for growing your business in any economic climate.

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