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3 Mindset Changes to Master Before Starting Your Business

3 Mindset Changes to Master Before Starting Your Business

When you are thinking about starting your business it can be like a battle inside your head.

You’ll have many positive feelings also mixed with many negative ones.

Are you excited, motivated but also nervous and uncertain? This mindset is normal especially when you’ve worked at your 9-5 for many years. You’ve been told what time to arrive, what to do and when to leave.

But following someone else’s orders causes you to lose your own sense of self-direction.

Tuning into the right mindset doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel uncertain or nervous. But you’ll be able to control these emotions that are keeping you caged from reaching your potential. You’ll still experience negative thoughts and emotions but the successful mindset automatically transforms into positivity.

With such confidence, you’ll be progressing and will rarely be stuck in procrastination.

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So, let’s look at the 3 mindset changes you need to master before starting your business

The Secret Handler

Your subconscious plays a big role in the thoughts you think and the outcomes as a result of these thoughts. At the moment, if you are not conscious of what your subconscious tells you, then it’s likely to be having a negative impact on your success.

Your subconscious takes in and processes everything around you. It then replays this information back to you like a message of confirmation. Whatever is in your subconscious hard drive can expand or decrease your chances of success when starting your business.

The first step to reprogramming is through meditation. Harvard Gazette explains that meditation changes the structure of the brain. 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation increases the areas of the brain that helps to control emotion regulation and self-referential processing. There is also evidence of decreases in this part of the brain too. Cell volume in the Amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety and stress, showed a lower level for people who meditate regularly.

Alongside meditation, simple quiet time is another great tool. You’ll be finding out the reasons behind why you’re holding yourself back.

Sit in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Get a pen and paper and sit as though you are getting ready to meditate. Write down all of your worries and anxieties. Listen and feel what your subconscious is trying to say.

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What are its fears? Why isn’t it helping you work towards your goals? Is it trying to protect you from something? List the broad reasons and then you can start to dig deeper for specific answers. For example, your subconscious fears success which is a broad reason.

Listen to the specific answers about what it fears about success?

Is it scared of letting people down? Is it scared you might grow apart from your partner? Is it scared that business will take over your life?

Your subconscious is trying to prevent you from harm and disappointment so let it have its say. Use the opportunity to find genuine answers without judgement or anger. By tapping into their reasons why this is the priceless information you need to turn things around and reprogram your mindset.

The Luxury of Negative Thought

Business is tough and sometimes life can turn up the pressure. It can feel easier to stay in pajamas, eat cake and feel sorry for yourself. But this attitude never created anything positive.

Once you start becoming aware of your thoughts and committing to a positive attitude your perception of the world changes and so does your mindset.

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Commit 1 day to being a bystander on your own thoughts. Have you ever seen Supernanny? She spends one day monitoring the family and the next day she tells them where they are going wrong. This is what you will be doing with your own thoughts. Spend a day thinking your usual thoughts without interference. But every time you think a negative thought make a mental note of this.

By the end of the day think about how many negative thoughts you have accumulated? Can you even remember?

If you can’t, then it’s time to change. Instead of unconsciously committing to negative thoughts, why not conscious commit to positive ones?

Think about what makes you happy. Think about who you love. Think about it so much until you can’t help but smile. When you are filled with this positive, warm feeling you can begin to write down the things that you are grateful for. Make this process a personal one. It doesn’t have to be obvious. For example “I’m grateful that my family loves me”.

Make this about you, write down things like…

  • “I’m grateful my dad phones to check I’m home from work safely”
  • “I’m so lucky to have an accountability partner who cares enough to support me when I wanted to quit”

Write down 3-5 items. The next time you have a negative thought, take a minute to gather your thoughts and think of 1 item on your list. Take a deep breath in and breathe out slowly. When you do this imagine that you’re expelling the negativity, only being left with the gratitude of your positive thought.

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Success Steps Look Like This

New start-up owners make goals, want to hit targets and grow their business. But when it doesn’t happen within the time frame it can bring on impatience. The feeling of impatience creates negativity, anxiety and frustration which is the mindset that you don’t want.

A mindset that is constantly in a state of ‘chase’ will always be just out of reach from its intended goal.

You have to relax and know that no amount of shortcuts results in success. The reason it never works is because there is no shortcuts, no secrets and no get-it-faster technique.

Be in a state of focusing on growth and laying down strong foundations so your mindset is in the place of careful processes.

Conclusion

When it comes to starting your business a big mistake is to believe that years of a stagnate 9-5 will have no effect on building a mindset geared for success. You can break this mound and it’s not out of your reach. The mindset you seek is one that you already have; you only have to activate it. The seed is already planted and you just have to grow it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on mindsets. Leave me a comment

Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/ via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on October 21, 2019

How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination, is a reminder of why I am so drawn to leadership as a topic. Whenever I think it is impossible for me to be more impressed with her, she proves me wrong.

Earlier this week, a former marine suggested that he had been in a long-term sexual relationship with the Senator. She flipped the narrative and used the term “Cougar,” a term used to describe older women who date younger men, to reference her alma mater.

Rather than calling the young man a liar, or responding to the accusations in kind, she re-focused the conversation back to her message of college affordability and lifted up that “Cougar” was the mascot for her alma mater. She went on to note that tuition at her school was just $50 per semester when she was a student. Class act.

But by the end of the week, news broke that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, another contender for the presidency, had a heart attack. Warren not only wished Sanders a speedy recovery but her campaign sent a meal to his staff. She knew that the hopes of staff, donors and supporters were with the Senator from Vermont and showed genuine compassion and empathy.

To me, she has proven time and time again that she is more than a presidential candidate: she belongs in a leadership hall of fame.

What makes some people excel as leaders is fascinating. You can read about leadership, research it and talk about it, yet the interest in leadership alone will not make you a better leader.

You will have more information than the average person, but becoming a good leader is lifelong work. It requires experience – and lots of it. Most importantly, it requires observation and a commitment to action. Warren observed what was happening with Sen. Sanders, empathized with his team and then took action. Regardless of the outcome of this election, Sanders’ staff will likely never forget her gesture.

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You would have had to work on a political campaign in order to appreciate the stress and anxiety that comes with it. In this moment, staff may not remember everything that Warren said throughout the lengthy campaign, but they will remember what she did during an unforgettable time during the campaign.

If this model of leadership is appealing, and if you are searching for how to up your own leadership game, read on for six characteristics that good leaders share:

1. Good leaders are devoted to the success of the people around them.

Good leaders are not self-interested. Sure, they want to succeed, but they also want others to succeed.

Good leaders see investing in others just as important as they see investing in themselves. They understand that their success is closely tied to the people around them, and they work to ensure that their peers, employees, friends and family have paths for growth and development.

While the leaders may be the people in the spotlight, they are quick to point to the people around them who helped them (the leaders) enter that spotlight. Their willingness to lift others inspires their colleagues’ and friends’ devotion and loyalty.

2. Good leaders are not overly dependent on others’ approval.

It is important for managers to express their support for their teams; good leaders must be independent of the approval of others. I explained in an article for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, that:[1]

“While a desire to be loved is natural, managers who prioritize approval from subordinates will become ineffective supervisors who may do employees harm. For example, a manager driven by a need for approval may shy away from delivering constructive feedback that could help an employee improve. A manager fearful of upsetting someone may tolerate behavior that degrades the work environment and culture.”

In yet another example, a manager who is dependent on the approval of others may not make decisions that could be deemed unpopular in the short run but necessary in the long run.

Think of the coaches who integrated their sporting teams. Their decision to do so, may have seemed odd, and even wrong, in the moment, but time has proven that those leaders were on the right side of history.

3. Good leaders have the capacity to share the spotlight.

Attention is nice, but it is not the prime motivator for good leaders. Doing a good job is.

For this reason, good leaders are willing to share the spotlight. They aren’t threatened by a lack of attention, and they do not need credit for every accomplishment. They are too focused on their goal and too focused on the urgency of their work.

4. Good leaders are students.

In the same way that human beings are constantly evolving, so too are leaders. As long as you are living, you have the potential to learn. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you think you have; you can always learn something new.

I have the experience of thinking I was doing everything right as a manager, only to receive conflicting feedback from my team. Perhaps my approach was not working for my team, and I had to be willing to hear their feedback to improve.

Good leaders understand that their secret sauce is their willingness to keep receiving information and keep learning. They aren’t intimidated by what they do not know: As long as they maintain a willingness to keep growing, they believe they can overcome any obstacle they face.

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As both masters and students, good leaders read, listen and study to grow. They consume content for information, not just entertainment purposes. They aren’t impressed with their knowledge; they are impressed with the learning journey.

5. Good leaders view vulnerability as a superpower.

It means “replacing ‘professional distance and cool,’ with uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure,” said Emma Sappala in a Dec. 11, 2014, article, “What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable” for Harvard Business Journal.[2] She went on to note the importance of human connection, which she asserts is often missing at work.

“As leaders and employees, we are often taught to keep a distance and project a certain image. An image of confidence, competence and authority. We may disclose our vulnerability to a spouse or close friend behind closed doors at night but we would never show it elsewhere during the day, let alone at work.”

This rings so true for me as a woman leader. I was raised believing that any show of emotion in the workplace could be used against me. I was raised believing that it was best for women leaders to be stoic and to “never let ‘em see you sweat.” This may have prevented me from connecting with employees and colleagues on a deeper, more personal level.

6. Good leaders understand themselves.

I am a huge fan of life coach and spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant. In addition to her hit show on the OWN network, Vanzant has authored dozens of books. In her books and teachings, she underscores the importance of knowing ourselves fully. She argues that we must know what makes us tick, what makes us happy and what makes us angry.

Self-awareness enables us to put ourselves in situations where we can thrive, and it also enables us to have compassion when we fall short of the goals and expectations we have for ourselves. Relatedly, understanding ourselves will allow us to know our strength. When we know our strengths, we will be able to put people around us who compliment our strengths and fill the gaps in our leadership.

Final Thoughts

Being a good leader, first and foremost, is an inside job. You must focus on growing as a person regardless of the leadership title that you hold. You cannot take others where you yourself have not been. So focusing on yourself, regardless of your time or where you are in your career will have long term benefits for you and the people around you.

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Further, if you want to become a good leader, you should start by setting the intention to do so. What you focus on grows. If you focus on becoming a better leader, you will research and invest in things that help you to fulfill this intention. You will also view the good and bad leadership experiences as steppingstones that hone your character and help you improve.

After you set the intention, get really clear on what a good leader looks like to you. Each of us has a different understanding of leadership. Is a good leader someone who takes risk? Is a good leader, in your estimation, someone who develops other leaders? Whatever it is, know what you’re shooting for. Once you define what it means to be a good leader, look for people who exemplify your vision. Watch and engage with them if you can.

Finally, understand that becoming a good leader doesn’t happen overnight. You must continually work at improving, investing in yourself and reflecting on what is going well and what you must improve. In this way, every experience is an opportunity to grow and a chance to ask: ‘What is this experience trying to teach me?’ or ‘what action is necessary based on this situation?’

If you are committed to questioning, evaluating and acting, you are that much closer to becoming a better leader.

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Featured photo credit: Sam Power via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Why Good Managers Overcome the Desire to Be Liked
[2] Harvard Business Journal: What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable

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