A lot of side hustle queens are not taught the right growth mindset to start their own business and grow their side hustle dreams to a successful business. This blog attempts to look at some of these mindset shifts and why they are essential to your success.
Starting your own business can be intimidating. You’re now responsible for your own income, your own money, and your own success. If you’re used to working for someone else, you might be excited about the opportunity but anxious as hell too. The issue for most minority women in business is the road can seem lonely with few mentors, families who don’t understand your work (or look at you with a side-eye), and a closed-lipped community of colleagues when it comes to the how to’s of growing a successful empire. This is one of the reasons that I started my journey as a coach. I wanted to give women a place to know their feelings are valid and to feel free to share what they were going through.
Before you even started your business, you probably experienced a lot of self-defeating thoughts. And, if you are like most business owners, these thoughts trigger strong emotions and reactions like procrastination, overthinking, and overwhelm that threaten your success.
HERE ARE 10 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MINDSET SHIFTS TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
Old Mindset: I don’t know enough to do this. I’m not sure I can be as good as the next entrepreneur.
Growth Mindset: I am unique in my approach, talents, and viewpoints. My education and expertise give me an excellent viewpoint to serve and help others.
We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated by purpose. – Bob Goff
Something in you brought you to the conclusion that you have something to give or the ability to solve a problem in the first place- don’t forget that queen. As humans, we are prone to find the negative in situations, leading to self-doubt and avoidance. Is this a good idea? People won’t like it. Can I do this?
Yes, sis, you can. You’ve been doing many things in life that have gotten you to this point. You’ve been grooming yourself this whole time for this moment, and you didn’t realize it (you are the expert in the room). We are always learning, with areas to improve on, and as you put yourself out there, you will know exactly what you need to develop to fine-tune your approach.
Avoid comparing yourself (or your business) with other entrepreneurs and overthinking because it can work against you and create resistance instead of action. It’s ok to use others in your industry as inspiration. Explore what is working for them, how they get over their challenges, and what methods you can incorporate into your approach, but limit the time spent doing that. The amount of time you spend working on your business should be greater than the time spent learning about it or looking at what other people are doing.
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Better use of your time would be to reach out to those other bosses, and who knows, end up collaborating instead of emotionally competing with them. To expand your knowledge base, you can also enroll in continuing education classes, read business books and blogs, or join the local chamber of commerce (I just learned about them this year and a tip is to look for the more active groups in your area).
“Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.” – Denis Waitley, motivational speaker.
Old Mindset: This is going to be great, and success will happen like right now.
Growth Mindset: My race. My pace.
All that pretty stuff you see out there took time: the massive followers, beautiful websites and pages, organized systems, hefty contracts, and increased income. Social media tends to make it seem like it happens quickly and right away, but this is a marathon. That means there will be days it sucks, the doubts will come, there will be days you need to walk away, but understand that greatness takes time, grind, and commitment. Even more motivating is that you’ll constantly be pushing your limits as you supersede them.
The key here is to start from a realistic standpoint and acknowledge that your efforts will reflect your success. It’s what you want to do, how you want to do it, and the pace that works best for you.
“…you must always be yourself and do things at your own pace. Someday, you’ll catch up.” ― Natsuki Takaya
That said, come up with great short-term goals. I want you to have the more significant milestones for your business, but it’s equally important to set short-term, attainable goals. Otherwise, you will get discouraged when your big dreams aren’t realized quickly and may give up to soon.
Old Mindset: What If I fail?
“I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” – Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.
Growth Mindset: What If I succeed?
I don’t think I ever had the direct thought of what if I fail at the businesses. However, that fear of failure shows up with aspects of the industry like, will this launch be successful? Will I make enough to sustain my family now that I’ve left my career job, etc.? Failure may sound different for each woman in business, and it’s ok to have that experience. The next time you notice those failure-related thoughts, challenge them or get curious about them.
Here is an exercise I do with clients. Once they notice the fear, I have them explore why they feel afraid. See, our feelings have a lot of information for us, like a friend coming over with the latest tea, we have to get curious about why they showed up. So lean into the fear, figure out what the fear is trying to tell you- determine if it is a want or a wish, and ask yourself how can I move closer to that instead of allowing the fear to trigger any avoidance. You can download the complete Fear Reflection worksheet here.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb.
Take this potential fear of failure as a learning opportunity. It’s a chance to succeed at many other things like trusting yourself, exercising courage, learning a new trade, and making additional income.
Old Mindset: I don’t know what I’m doing.
Growth Mindset: I am doing the best that I can. I am capable of figuring things out.
Girl, who knows what they are doing? Many of us know how to play it off really well or figure it out. As women, we sometimes have this false narrative that we need to know everything, but is that realistic?
When we faced audits at my prior position, we were trained to say, “I’ll get back to you” when asked something we didn’t know, and that was ok once you took time to find that answer and came back with a response. It’s OK to give yourself grace and space in that way and be clear on your limits. While people may expect a certain level of ability, you should never lie to anyone about your experience. Still, you don’t have to minimize your value either or be critical of yourself for not having an answer. Just like you’ve done your entire life, your confidence is in your ability to figure things out.
“Women have the power to choose which path they wish to take. We have to believe great things are going to happen in our lives, and we have to do everything we can to make them happen.” – Gabriela at w4.org
To develop your confidence, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes every day or at least reflect once a month on your achievements so far. Remind yourself of what has gone well for your side hustle and your role in that.
Old Mindset: I have to do this by myself. It’s all on me. No one gets it.
Growth Mindset: I need a tribe.
While the responsibility of your business is yours (and no one will love that baby as you do), you can’t grow without the proper nourishment. It sounds super cheesy, but your business / the boss behind it will be as good as the company she keeps. Find a tribe that understands the world of entrepreneurship and who can pour into you and celebrate you. You can even join a mastermind group to exchange ideas or hire a business coach whom you trust.
“The best bosses do more than charge up people and recruit and breed energizers. They eliminate the negative because even a few bad apples and destructive acts can undermine many good people and constructive acts.”
― Robert I. Sutton
Old Mindset: I have no idea how to start this business.
Growth Mindset: Well, somebody does, and I am open to guidance and coaching to create a profitable business I enjoy.
As a black woman in business, I’ve struggled to find people who were open to sharing tips and strategies about their success to support mines. There is an intense competition factor (or intimidation) within minority communities. Outside of that, in larger (more white based) coaching circles, the information may be there, but not the level of connection to the psychology behind success and the skill to move someone through that process. Maybe my expectation is different with a background as a psychotherapist, but that’s how I coach and mentor- from this place of your success is my success and incorporating proven strategies to engage your Mindset to get you there. If that’s what you need, you should be working with me, and here is how.
Suppose you are worried about the legalities of a business, like how to form an LLC. In that case, I think the easiest way is to use Incfile to take the overwhelm out of the process and get all that support in one area.
So now we’ve covered a few essential mindset shifts to dismantle the doubts and build a successful business. Which Mindset shifts do you need to make? Let me know in the comments below.
Changing your mindset and embracing a growth mindset is not easy, but they are necessary to take your business to the next level. When I started my business, I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know logistically and how much of my skills as a therapist would be needed to thrive as an entrepreneur. That’s why I coach now and want to help my fellow sisterpreneurs move past the fears and achieve their goals.
Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R is a Licensed therapist and Mindset Coach for high-achieving coaches and online entrepreneurs. Her joy is helping them move past their fears to practical business goals.
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