Success is a mindset. If you believe you’re successful and you put your mind to what you want to accomplish, you will be ‘successful.’
This is one of those statements that’s true and not true at the same time. Quite a paradox for business owners.
I recently spoke at the Universal Womens Network Success Summit. The two-day event highlighted COVID-19 and its impact on female entrepreneurs, strategic recovery for further supporting women-owned businesses, and continued conversations and actions to end gender disparity in the economy.
Psychologist Carol Dweck’s concept of growth mindset was highlighted as a differentiator between companies that shift more easily than those that don’t.
The basic concept is that growth-mindset individuals believe IQ/skills/qualities/talents are cultivated through effort, practise and support from outside. A fixed-mindset individual believes their skills, talents, even IQ are limited by a pre-determined genetic component. To learn more, read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dweck.
The bigger epiphany came when billionaire Fred Fishback, president of Javelin Learning Solutions, offered a “yes … but” about mindset and succeeding in business. Ultimately, success is about aligning your growth mindset with the right habits for success.
Mindset alone isn’t enough. Mindset with action is key.
What is your business success?
Start with defining what success for your business looked like in the first place.
Not all businesses start with the goal of becoming a global conglomerate. Many colleagues I’ve spoken with start so they can provide for their families on their terms and contribute to their communities. That’s it.
Ask how success is defined for you as a business owner and for your business. Then identify what habits can support you based on your definition.
For example, is ‘success’ being able to make your daughter’s piano recitals or is it travelling the world 325 days a year in a personal jet?
Neither is wrong but they have very different habits that require different mindsets.
Where are you in your definition?
When you gain clarity on both your and your business’s definitions of success, you can identify where your habits are or aren’t supporting you.
Say you indicate that few to no safety incidents is an important indicator of your business success. Do you know what habits you and your team have in place to meet this success target (e.g. safety meetings, proper gear, a culture that challenges unsafe actions, etc.)?
Key to your business success: consistency and congruency by David Fuller
This comes down to being very honest about where you may be misaligned in your words and your actions.
To learn more about habits, success and your business, I highly recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and Atomic Habits by James Clear.
What are your intentional actions?
Once you have your success defined – and remember, it will change as you, your business and the world change – begin implementing or realigning key actions you’re taking to meet your definition.
Be intentional and cognizant of how a habit moves you towards or away from your definition of success.
Ensure that you’re leading by example, committing to the habits and growth mindset needed from all team members for your business success. Growth mindset opens a business owner’s mind to possibilities. Success habits support them in achieving the possibilities.
Being intentional and leading by example brings awareness to who you and your business are becoming in relation to your success definition. It also shows who you want to be for your team and your clients.
Your habits, when aligned with your mindset and success definition, are crucial, indisputable pieces to achieving your goals.
With the reset button recently hit on the world, take this time to get super clear on what your success is and what habits support this.
How has your definition of success changed over the course of your business? What habits supported this? Share your insights and questions with Lindsay. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Harle-Kadatz is a brand and content strategist supporting small businesses in the mental wellness of their business brand. Follow Lindsay on LinkedIn & Instagram.
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