What is the Business Growth Mindset?
The growth mindset refers to a state of mind where you are not limiting yourself with perceived obstacles and it can easily be applied to business growth. One example we all have experienced is telling yourself you are not talented enough at a specific school subject. For some of us, it is music class. For others, it is math class. As a result of our perceptions, we believe we cannot get good grades and therefore may not try as hard as we could, or should. These same obstacles can directly influence your business growth as well.
However, music and mathematics, like any skill, takes time to foster and grow. Without accepting current mistakes in order to facilitate future growth, we cannot grow. In your small business as well, you will find yourself fighting obstacles that threaten to limit your business growth. It may the introduction of a new by-law or industry standard software, for instance. Your industry may experience a “bubble” that negatively threatens the industry as a whole. Regardless of the reason, it can be disheartening to see your competitors go out of business, thinking you will be next.
You may perceive your industry to be dying, think Blockbuster resisting the new eave of digital media. Do not set your business up for failure. Either persevere or find a way to transition into newer, more welcoming industries.
For some, like petroleum manufacturers, this will be hard, as the industry is not exactly related to green technology. For others, like bookstores, this is much easier. For instance, you can start book drives that support charitable causes with the purchase of your inventory or you can digitize your books and offer the app for sale, allowing your customers to purchase subscriptions to all your books. You could even present yourself as an old-fashioned, niche bookstore for customers who do not want to transition over to digital technology. Regardless of what industry you are in, the growth mindset can help you promote viable business growth going forward.
The Present Is Not the Future
Most research in the growth mindset and fixed mindset comes from the field of psychology. Studies have shown that simply perceiving your situation to be fluid and dynamic can help you improve, based on the efforts you put into a task. Dweck and Blackwell found that, regarding a sample of 7th grade students, “training students to adopt a growth mind-set about intelligence had a catalyst effect on motivation and math grades; students in the control group showed no improvement despite all the other interventions.”
While Dweck and Blackwell believe these results are not scalable to society as a whole, it is important to understand this result is due to the costliness of such an initiative. This “limitation” is an artificial one, especially when it concerns individuals who want to improve their situation in life by adopting a growth mindset.
One main issue with following a fixed mindset is that you perceive failure as destructive in all areas of your life. One failure after another can make someone think they are destined to remain a failure forever. However, few understand that failure often leads to success, as long as you perceive failure to be a lesson in disguise.
If you are re-selling others’ products instead of creating your own and personalizing your brand, it is very likely that, sooner or later, your business will be replaced by Walmart, Amazon or some other retailer. You are not in control of the product because you do not own it. As such, you must constantly invest in your brand, differentiating yourself from your competition and strengthening your business, in order to become irreplaceable and to promote reliable business growth.
Steve Jobs, for instance, was fired from Apple in 1985 after the perceived failure of the newly introduced Macintosh computer. He had enough money to retire if he wanted. Jobs could have invested in other industries but instead he established NeXT in 1985 and Pixar in 1986. Jobs was subsequently rehired by the struggling Apple in 1997 in order to put a new plan into place and to help the company achieve business growth.
A crucial aspect of the growth mindset, especially when it comes to business, is that nothing is static. Things change all the time. If something can change for the worse, it can change for the better. Understanding that your current reality is not your future and being willing to put in the effort and time to fix or better your situation is critical to improving your lot in life. Most things in life are achievable.
Explore All Business Growth Options
Consider, for instance, the lofty and seemingly unachievable goal of becoming an Olympic athlete. Your chances are considerably less if you are attempting to enter for a popular sport like Judo or Swimming. However, if you were to train in a lesser-known Olympic sport like trampoline or race walking, your chances become much better. In addition, you do not need to win a medal to be an Olympic athlete. Simply being placed on your national team is enough. Therefore, an American athlete who wants to become an Olympic athlete should focus on a sport that is not popular in America like field hockey, regardless of its popularity around the world. Win or lose, he or she is still technically an Olympic athlete.
Similar, in your business endeavors, simply being present may be enough to increase your professional reputation, which can help drives sales, increase your revenue, and business growth. If you need to promote your professionalism within your industry, joining an association or club may be enough. Let’s assume you want to sell more barbeques next month or year. You could join your local barbeque association, giving your company an air of legitimacy. You might also give a free barbeque to local television hosts in exchange for them using it on air. Then, using this newfound publicity, you can advertise your barbeques to the general public by stating your barbeques are “the preferred choice of (the local television station or news network). Purchase the best from (Your company name).”
It’s not a lie. It’s not the truth. It’s effective advertising and marketing.
Every problem has a solution. Sometimes, solutions do not come overnight, nor is there one path to solving any problem you might face. You will need to explore all your options, even unconventional ones, to see if they can solve your problem. You may not actually manufacture or sell a better or cheaper barbeque than your competition but that does not matter. What matters is that your customers believe you do.
Do not limit yourself to your current reality. There is always room to grow and improve. A growth mindset can help you achieve that.