Would you be surprised to learn that a gold-medal winning Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz didn’t like the pool? It’s true! So how then did he put in thousands of hours of practice and beat out all his competitors? I’ll let him tell you: “The pool is terrible, but that doesn't have much to do with my record swims. That's all mental attitude.”
Mind over matter, positive thinking, growth mindset, mental attitude -- these are all phrases we hear about as students, athletes and as business owners looking for a leg-up on the competition. What does having the right “mindset” truly mean for entrepreneurs and what does it actually look like in the real world? These 12 entrepreneurs tell us about the mindset that keeps them motivated and helps them muscle through the ups and downs of being self-employed.
Angela Smith of Purl and Loop, a yarn shop says: “Until I ran a business, I never realized how powerful a positive mindset could be. It amazes me that I can say I’m going to do something and make it happen. A blogger once told me that I shouldn’t let perfection stand in the way of progress. Whenever I feel like I’m over-analyzing something, I repeat this to myself and just get it done.”
Pascal DePuhl, a photographer says: “A business owner knows that it will take hard work, sleepless nights to start his business. It will mean going against the flow, ignoring the many people, who will tell him that what he is dreaming of is impossible and should not be tried. A business owner will try one more time, do one more thing, call one more person, give it one more shot, look at one more resource until he succeeds. An average person will clock out and go home at 5.”
Adam Fenner, an accountant says: “[Business owners] don't want to have their hand held, and be guided through to the next opportunity. And as independent as most people are, they are independently minded along a set path. Business owners create their [paths].”
Erica Taylor Haskins of Tinsel Experiential Design says: “We take great pride in saying we are business owners. We frequently revisit that statistics that only about half of all businesses survive the first five years and that only a small fraction of women-owned businesses make it to the ten-year mark. Knowing we have built a successful business against such oddskeeps us going and propels us to pursue even bigger goals, year over year.”
Lee Weinstein of Weinstein PR says: “I don’t think you want 17 years to fly by and then you’re wishing you’d done something. So, let’s make sure we’re being intentional, let’s make sure we get these big things done. I personally believe that we’re supposed to leave this world a better place, and we want to make sure we realize some of our dreams, too.”
Kerrin Piche Serna of Eternal Flame, a candle company says: “It comes down to motivation. If I'm doing well and still enjoying it, I can push myself to work hard. If I didn't enjoy doing this, I would be miserable. But, fortunately, it's pretty fun and the success keeps me going!”
Taughnee Golubović of Endeavor Creative, a branding firm says: “It's important to take the time to do the soul-searching work of getting clear about the business and brand you want to build, then let that vision guide you. When I went through hard times, 99% of the battle was mental. Now I know that when you have a clear vision to inspire you, it becomes easier to break down the steps you need to take to get there and keeps you motivated on the tough days.”
quickbooks.intuit.comJimmy Gallagher of ASAP Construction says: “Thanks to my mother and father, I learned from a young age that a strong work ethic is crucial to success. It’s really necessary – I love my job, but when things are bad, they’re pretty bad. You’ve got to be willing to do a lot of hard work. Fortunately, I’ve been in this business for a long time now, and I still love to build things. I love every aspect of what I do. I can still stand back and look at a building we put up and say, ‘Look what we’ve done today.’”
Dawnet Beverly, small business consultant says: “I have always believed in being informed, educated and likeable. It was never enough for me to be ‘good enough’ – my goal has always been to be the best at executing all of my responsibilities. I believe by excelling, I can make a difference.”
Leane Realfs of Helming’s Auto Repairsays: “I’ve made tons of mistakes over the years, like paying $900 every month to advertise in the Yellow Pages before I realized they were phasing out! I used to say I wish I hadn’t made any mistakes, but the truth is, I’ve learned from every single one.”
Christina DiEdoardo of Law Offices of Christina DiEdoardo says: “I’ve learned it’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you’re too ignorant to understand what’s impossible. Even if I don’t win every case, at least the record shows someone objected. It helps move things forward, and it’s a lot better than doing nothing at all.”
Maxie McCoy, author/speaker/coach says: “Fear doesn’t ever go away. But you build a repertoire of experiences where you have fear and then you go past it, so you know you’ll get past it again. What really helps me is to reset fear as friction. I remind myself what I’m feeling is the ‘friction’ of creating, moving forward, expanding. Friction is energy. Sometimes it sparks, and great things come from tiny sparks. That mindset shift helps me to keep going.”
QB Community members, what mindset do you fix upon to keep you going?
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I've worked in print, broadcast and digital media for 20 years and managed to start a couple small businesses along the way. I love collaborating with and supporting creative folks who have great ideas. As Content Creator for the QB Community team, I’m excited to help other small-business owners be the best they can be!