Recently, I’ve been making an in-depth study of mindset and the importance of mindset in business, as well as in life.
Fixed vs. flexible. Set personality vs. becoming a new person in the future.
Who will you be in 5 years? Read on to explore this!
What is Mindset?
Let’s start with Wikipedia’s definition:
“Mindset is an established set of attitudes, esp. regarded as typical of a particular group's social or cultural values; the outlook, philosophy, or values of a person; frame of mind, attitude, disposition. A mindset may also arise from a person's world view or philosophy of life.”
That pretty well encapsulates it, I think.
For our purposes here, I prefer to look more at one’s individual mindset and separate that from a social group’s values. When one works on a team, that group’s values are, of course, important.
My reason for separating our discussion from a social group’s values is that many of the norms in society don’t serve a person well if that person is looking to make progress in life and business.
Many social norms are designed to get people to think alike, look alike, and not stand out. This is akin to a fixed mindset. As you’ll see further on, fixed mindsets don’t serve us well. Striving to think ever bigger is what moves us forward.
In social circles, one should maintain a certain decorum, but thinking with the crowd will get the crowd's results. That will severely limit personal progress.
Everyone evolves, some more quickly and more positively than others. Who will you be five years from now? You won’t be who you are now. Take charge of your evolution!
How to Cultivate Mindset
As you can see from the definition, we all have a mindset. Many people don’t think about their mindset. They let their mind wander to whatever “shiny object” captures their attention.
If we leave a garden to its own natural development, or even if we plant seeds of unknown origin in it, the garden will be disorganized and unproductive. If we plant the seeds that will grow what we wish to harvest and take care of the garden’s weeding and cultivation, we’ll reap the results we want.
A human mind can be likened to a garden. If we pay no particular attention to what thoughts it wanders to, or if we consciously think toxic (hate, envy, anger) thoughts, our minds will not be productive. On the other hand, if we carefully consider what thoughts to entertain and “weed out” the toxic or idle thoughts, our minds become productive.
If we want to make progress in business and life, what we must cultivate is a productive mindset rather than a random one.
The Importance of a Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck wrote an excellent book entitled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She examines in depth the differences between fixed and growth mindsets and cites many examples of how each mindset functions in education, sports, business and arts.
Although there probably are more people who naturally have fixed mindsets, there are those who tend naturally to a growth mindset. Carol herself, a teacher, discovered she had a fixed mindset when she started researching the concept. She was able to convert that to a growth mindset, as many others have.
A fixed mindset can be imparted to a person, especially a young person if they are naturally talented and highly praised for their talent. This can cause them to feel they must always shine and not make mistakes. They can also be made to feel like a permanent failure if they’re negatively criticized.
Why It Matters
A key difference for one with a growth mindset is the ability, even eagerness, to learn from mistakes. A fixed mindset regards a mistake as a failure and a negative. A growth mindset regards a mistake as a learning experience and benefits from it.
One of Dweck’s astute observations: “It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.”
From these observations, it’s pretty easy to see the importance of a growth mindset in business.
How Does Mindset Affect Business?
Business changes constantly. That’s why mindset is important in business. One with a fixed mindset might believe that “what got us here will take us forward.” In truth, what worked yesterday often fails today.
A classic example often cited of how a fixed mindset could fail in business is the buggy whip industry. If you were expert at producing buggy whips in 1900, how well would that serve you by 1930?
Another demonstration of the importance of a growth mindset in business is in management and leadership. The authoritarian approach that worked for many business managers through much of the 20th century would now be considered rough and ineffective. It might even be illegal in some cases. Treating people of the millennial generation as many were treated in the 1950s would not work. People wouldn’t tolerate it, and such a “leader” would soon find himself without help.
The importance of growth mindset in business, as in life, is ignored at one’s peril. Fixed mindset people are stuck; those with growth mindsets make great strides forward.
Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern.
A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!
Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day. The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You'll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your schedule.
What’s your mindset – fixed or flexible? What mindset do you promote in others? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you'd like to chat by Zoom or phone.
Do you like The Unity Community?
Do you find value in the articles?
What's good about it?
What would make it even more valuable for you?
Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you'd like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else's. I'll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.
Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you'd like to chat on the phone or Zoom.
Do You Know Someone Who'd Like This?
You’re welcome to forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program.
Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send your email address to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell me you'd like to subscribe.
Want to Do More Business?
Suppose you go to a networking event. You're amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.
Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!
We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here.
When you join Smart Money Network's Business Accelerator Platform, we:
- Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.
(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients' lives better, it's rare! Most describe the merchant's qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients' pain.)
- LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.
(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)
- Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
- Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.
(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)
- Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
- Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!
All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We're always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.
See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!
Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!
Would You Like to Publish a Blog Like This One?