Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. On top of all of your responsibilities, you’re also in charge of your own education. You can’t stop learning, or you’re going to fall behind your competition, no matter your industry. All of the pressure on you might make that feel impossible. How do you handle it? By embracing a growth mindset.
What is a growth mindset?
A growth mindset is a term coined by researcher Carol Dweck, that encourages individuals to view failure as a teacher. We’ve shared before that “By developing and altering our mindsets to develop, we are enabling ourselves to make positive changes in our lives, allowing us as individuals to aim high, achieve our goals, and live our dreams.”
A growth mindset is a different approach than a fixed mindset, which dictates that skills, capabilities, and comprehension are all set in stone. A fixed mindset means you take failure personally, don’t try to broaden your horizons, and let your pre-existing skills determine your future success. When it’s laid out like that, it feels like a no brainer for entrepreneurs. Obviously, you want a growth mindset.
Here are a few ways to embrace that mindset for your future success:
1. View weaknesses as opportunities
This is the number one key to developing a growth mindset. If you allow yourself to view failure as a final destination, you’re never going to succeed long term. “Fail fast, fail often” is definitely something you’ve heard before as an entrepreneur. It’s a common mantra for a reason! You need to be able to pick yourself up from failures.
Identify your weaknesses, and be honest with yourself about them. This way, you can start self-educating to make progress, and can avoid pitfalls at the same time. Do you have a tendency to be overly self-critical? Consult with a mentor to get a reality check. Are you a perfectionist to the point of self-destruction? Talk with your community to get a more balanced perspective.
You know yourself better than anyone. Admitting to mistakes and owning your failures is the best thing you can do for your long term success as an entrepreneur. Every failure is a chance to improve. Your next venture won’t make the same mistakes, and your awareness of your faults will only make you stronger.
2. Become more independent
Another benefit of cultivating a growth mindset is it increases your independence. Having a fixed mindset means that you rely on others for your confidence. If you’re afraid to take risks, you’re going to be reliant on the option of your peers to develop your opinion of yourself.
This isn’t sustainable for an entrepreneur. Overall, you need to rely on yourself, first and foremost.
Entrepreneurs need a thick skin to survive in the startup world! A growth mindset means you know your own value, and you take the time to invest in your success. As mentioned above, you certainly need a community to support you. However, your first and strongest sense of support needs to come from within.
3. Keep communication open
Balance is key when you’re running a startup. You need a solid work/life balance, you need a balance of input and output, and you need a balance of feedback and the independence we just talked about.
“Communication rules so many aspects of your business,” says Nexa. “It needs to move to the top of your priority list as a small business owner. Rather than settling for the status quo, continue to think about the point of view of others.”
Embracing a growth mindset means you need to learn to thrive on feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask your team for their thoughts and possible solutions! Learning from everything means learning from everyone you possibly can.
Move towards success by embracing a growth mindset
Pursuing a growth mindset is an admirable goal for any business professional, but especially for entrepreneurs. While you don’t have to get there overnight, you can greatly improve your chances of business success by being honest about weakness and balancing independence with communication.