Updated: Oct 27, 2020
They say it's all in the head - and they are right. But what sets some people apart and gives them the drive to set out on their own?
What sets someone free from the corporate rat race could be another person's idea of a living hell - full of worry and anxiety.
Being an entrepreneur is so much more than owning a business and making your own money - it's a way of life and a mindset. And if you don't have the right mindset - you'd best get back to earning money for someone else.
You see, some people don't understand me - and I never really understood why. Friends would look baffled when I told them what I was up to. Some would say that I was a risk-taker and they couldn't stand the uncertainty. I only started to realise why I thought the way I did when I stumbled across the concept of Growth Mindset.
Let me tell you a bit about my story. My Co-Founder and husband, Robin, and I moved back to our hometown with our three kids in the summer 2016. We had been away for seven years and really wanted to move back and be closer to our extended family - because you need all the help you can get with three kids - it's tough! We were worried about the effect on the children and wanted them to really look forward to the move and not dread leaving their friends and everything they knew. We knew the school was a really important factor in the moving process - so we wanted to get it right. After looking at many schools, we found the one! And it had nothing to do with exam results or Ofsted reports - it was all to do with teaching the children to have a Growth Mindset. It was a lightbulb moment for Robin and me because we suddenly realised that we have always had this approach and it would be beyond valuable to have this taught to our children every day.
LET THEM MAKE MISTAKES The Headmaster told us that they wanted the children to have the confidence to fail. Now that sounds quite strange at first, but if a child has the ability to put their hand up in class and get the answer wrong - they are participating in the lesson and they understand that just because they don't know something today - they can learn it tomorrow. Mistakes are normal when you are trying something new. After being back in our hometown for a few months, Robin handed in his notice and we started on our adventure together shaping our business Data Hive. Some of our old friends say we are risk-takers - but we don't see it like that. We like to embrace challenges and feel like we are learning every single day. If something doesn't work out, we take all that learning and make a change.
WHAT IS GROWTH MINDSET?
Developed by Carol Dweck, Growth Mindset is a belief that intelligence can be developed and effort leads to success. Performance in life can be changed by our attitude and how we deal with setbacks. If you believe you are only capable of so much - then that's all you will be capable of. A fixed mindset manifests itself to become a reality.
Carol Dweck believes that embracing Growth Mindset "creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities."
As Richard Branson said: "Every successful person has at least one thing in common: they've got things wrong over and over again before finding the right solution. As Edison himself said: ‘I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.’"
If you have a fixed mindset, failure can become a very traumatic experience. If you believe that your failure was caused by incompetence or intelligence, then there is no way of overcoming it - you will be a failure.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE THE SAME
Moving home has really meant feeling at home. We are surrounded by people who embrace the growth mindset and are achieving great things. The children aren't stunted by their current ability, because they know that they can put in the hard work and get better.
We are the captains of our own ship - nothing is fixed and we are capable of shaping our futures - both financially and emotionally. We try not to label failures or successes - but a way of learning where to go next and asking questions.
As most entrepreneurs know - the thing we strive for is progress. By asking for customer feedback we can find out where we are going wrong and where we can improve. Criticism can feel hard at times, but it's necessary to keep us moving forward and ultimately, providing a better service. Failure is not the end - it's the start of progress.
Also, I don't think you ever have that bitterness or jealously about others doing really well - because you are following your own path to success (they did exactly the same) and this can be a great inspiration.
Identifying Growth Mindset has definitely pushed me further. If something is out of my comfort zone, I will put myself there until it is my comfort zone. If I would have previously said: "I'm just not very good at ABC... it's not my strong point", I will now try to think: "I will do it more until I am good at ABC".
Having a Growth Mindset allows you to remove barriers and grow. You will find that there are no longer any excuses - you were the only one standing in your way.
Are you limiting yourself in any way? What is the one thing you could change about your thinking that is stopping you from progressing?
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