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Every day there are new small and micro businesses starting all over the world and every single one of them has an owner that is doing their best to achieve their version of success.
If you’re one of them, this post is for you.
I was talking with Caz and Craig recently in Margaret River and they said that their recent post on their business game changers had received a lot of attention, particularly the subject of having a business mindset from the outset of their blogging business.
Because it’s not going to grow itself. If you don’t develop the way you think about your business, it’s going nowhere.
I started (and 1.5 years later ruined) my first business when I was 21. I’ve regrouped and started over five times since then. I’ve learned loads (mostly from my screw ups). I hope you can benefit from my mistakes even more than I did.
1. Be clear with your intention
Is it your intention to be in business and to grow a business? Or are you just doing this for fun?
Caz talked about this in tip #1 on their blog post about the game changers I mentioned above.
Just because you love what you do doesn’t mean you should do it for free – the key to a successful business is to do what you love, serve others, and charge appropriately for the value you deliver.
Value yourself and have a clear intention to generate a profit. You wouldn’t work 40 hours a week for free, nor for a discounted price, so don’t do it in your own business.
Set your intentions clearly from the start and allow those intentions to guide your decision making.
2. Use your awareness
What’s happening in your industry, who are your competitors, who can you team up with for mutual benefit? What does the market want? What is the value you can offer?
The secret to starting a business is to find out what your market wants, and deliver that.
Is there room for two businesses delivering the same product or service in your market? Can you see a way to do it better than what is currently on offer?
If you’re not aware of your differentiating factors, it will be tough to sell it.
3. Be intentional with your attention
Attention is a limited resource. Where you place your attention is going to have a major impact on the growth of your business. So use it intentionally.
At the start of your business, this might mean not watching TV or going out to the game on the weekend. You choose where you place your attention every second of every day.
Create a business plan (even if it is just written on the back of a napkin or a coaster from the pub). Place your attention on what is necessary to grow your business.
I find it’s best to place my attention on three major things per day. No more. That’s three things per day that I want to get done. And I make and keep a commitment to myself to get them done.
4. Set objective goals
An objective goal is one that if you explained it to a complete stranger in one sentence, they would understand it, and also be able to measure your progress and achievement.
It would have a very clearly defined end objective.
Set objective goals for profit, turnover, target market, product creation, and everything else in the 9 divisions of your business.
And make sure the objective goal you set is going to challenge you.
See this blog post for more about setting objective goals.
5. Be clear on who you serve
Caz talked about this in her post titled 15 steps to a successful blog when she wrote about understanding your audience.
Who are your customers (who do you deliver value to?)
There might be more than one group or classification. For example, in my last business (a direct sales company) I had three customer groups – the customers my team sold to, the team that did the selling for me, and the client who allowed me to sell their product.
All three of those ‘customers’ required attention, intention, and awareness – and different forms of all of them.
6. Make decisions with an awareness that you always have choice
Nothing suppresses your leadership abilities more than you. And one of the ways you do that is by using words (both thoughts and spoken words) that take away your perception of choice.
You are the King or Queen of your world – you always have choice and you are the only one who can make any choice for you.
Every time you use the words and phrases listed below you take away your perception of choice. Therefore, you restrict your own ability to lead and make decisions.
- Have to
- Need to
Be aware of your use of these words – they have very low levels of intention and are a very low order of create.
A business after all, is a creation of you and your mind. It’s best to be creating with intention and with a perception of choice.
I’ve written a blog post with a lot of detail about this subject. Click here if you’re interested to read it.
7. Develop a combination of attention to detail and organisation
Business is really all about numbers. Being organised helps you measure those numbers, and then improve systems in order to improve the numbers. Without this, your business will fail.
It’s important to understand what numbers are worth monitoring (the ones that have a direct impact on your ability to serve and charge for that service is a good start).
It’s also about the attention to detail you pay to the little things that make a big difference. Sometimes this is the only thing that sets you apart from your competition – and it can mean that you own the space you’re in.
Caz talked about this in her blog post about overcoming your biggest business worry. She talked about analysing your income streams (paying attention to detail) and what’s your plan when the flourishing months come (organisation).
8. Measure service and have an awareness of income (not the other way around)
The more you serve, the more you’ll earn. It’s a matter of the Laws of Exchange. The more you place your attention on the quality of the delivery of your service (your outflow), the more your customer is going to have a perception of value, and therefore a willingness to pay your reward.
There’s another benefit of placing your attention on your outflow of service – it builds your self esteem.
That means you’ll be more willing to ask for a reward (your inflow). And that is very important – you’ll never hit a shot you don’t take. You’ll never get paid more than what you ask for. And reward is always to be asked for.
If you have your attention on your inflow instead (you’re focused on how much you get paid, or what someone else is going to do for you), then you do not have your attention on the quality of the delivery of your service or product as much as you could.
Your customer will know. They will feel it.
It will affect their perception of value and their willingness to pay your reward. All of that will affect your self esteem. You’ll start doubting yourself and you’ll earn less money. You’ll then be even more concerned about money, and the whole process escalates (in an unsupportive direction).
A way you can use the Laws of Exchange to your advantage is to measure service statistics instead of revenue statistics.
I’m not saying don’t measure your money at all. That wouldn’t work. However, by measuring your service stats, you’ll keep your attention on your outflow, which means that as long as you are asking for an appropriate reward, your inflow will look after itself.
These are all things that I’ve struggled with over the years. Some of them I’m still not great at all the time. And I’m getting better by working on me.
CLICK PLAY on this video to listen to Mike:
Learn more about building confidence and control in your life with the Confidence Igniter Program.
I’d love to hear about what you’re working on in terms of your business mindset. I’d love to help
14 thoughts on “8 Key Ingredients for a Winning Business Mindset”
This is a great post! I just started my blog and I’m trying to absorb every useful tip! Thank you.
Thanks Laura. Glad you found it helpful!
“DO SOMETHING Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You FOR!”
-Another good quote…
Great article! Sometimes I need a little business motivation/advice and this post definitely helped.
Thanks Mike. Love the quote and totally agree. So glad to hear you’ve found it helpful. Love your work by the way – especially about using credit cards to travel for free without racking up debt!
Clean, simple, easy to follow.
Question: How to you then determine what your “Value” is worth? Look into market value, ask around, pick a number?
I do speaking presentations on travel, I was willing to do some for free (and I did) as I needed the practice. Then I got offered payment & gladly took it, then I got thinking this is actually worth more.
I need more practice, thou I’d like to turn it into a career. How do I know how valuable I really am?
Thanks a million!
To start with, I think it’s best to charge a fee that is equal to where two things meet – what are you comfortable asking for, and what are they (your client) willing to invest.
Getting consistency in the ‘Yes’ department is the key. If you’re asking a price that gets you a consistent ‘Yes’ answer then you can always move up. If you’re getting a consistent ‘No’ then there is a problem somewhere.
My reality is that you (everyone) is much more valuable than you know you are. Building your willingness to ask for a higher reward comes down to following the Laws of Exchange and implementing increases in your fees as you feel comfortable doing so, and as you improve your ability to manage the perception of value of your service or product.
I hope that helps and look forward to hearing how you go!
This is great timing for the stage i am at with both my blog and an idea i have in my head for the future 🙂 Be intentional with you attention – this short phase i am writing down, and i can see working to quickly regain my focus and attention on what should be getting down, rather than what i am wasting time on – great post Mike 🙂
Thanks Jasmine. I’m pumped the timing worked out this way for you!
Hope the new idea rocks for you.
“You are the King or Queen of your world – you always have choice and you are the only one who can make any choice for you.” This quote is important for me especially after decades of working for others. I was always struggling to fight for what I thought was the best for the business.
I’m excited to learn more from you in B-School, great post Mike.
Thanks Brenda. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m glad to know your excited. That motivates me!
Those words about choice are really important to me too – it’s a way of life for me. When you live your life intentionally from choice (with a perception that you always have choice), you create an emotional experience that supports you to be more of who you really are.
This is great advice; these mental switches really make a difference. But what do you do when you’re just starting out and you’re not totally sure what your market, which you don’t really have yet, wants to read?
G’day Sarah. Great question. The first thing I would do (and what I did do not long ago) is just start writing. You will start to attract a market that way and more importantly you will get in the habit of writing. This was my biggest hurdle… creating content.
That can feel uncomfortable (it was for me) and that’s ok. Give yourself permission to not be ‘perfect’ because there is no such thing.
I found that by letting go of the idea of writing things that others want to read it helped me to just write. Write what you find valuable. You can be guaranteed that others will find it valuable too.
All of a sudden you will have a following (even just 20 people is awesome!) and you will be writing. Then it can grow.
How good it is to find educational and useful articles like yours, especially so that this is just starting an online business. Thank you very much for the article and always success!