Alright, so I was asked to write an article about mindset.
Honestly, this is laughable. I am the worst at mindset! But then I realized that this could be an opportunity for you to learn from my mindset fuck ups.
Thinking Like an Employee
I have been cursed/blessed with a fantastic work ethic from my father, which means I always must be working and working hard. The problem is, this isn’t always conducive to a more strategic level approach to what you’re doing in your business.
I focus on production. I am a leather worker and I feel that if I’m not making leather stuff that I’m somehow not doing a “good job”. Of course, this is bull crap. Too often, I’m “busy” focused on making things or getting ready for the next event to stop and consider things like, “is my branding on point?” or “Am I following my vision?” I am too busy working in the trenches that I don’t have that overall approach that an employer and entrepreneur would have. They’re looking at the big picture.
Another one of my fuck ups is negative self-talk. It’s this basic negative speech that creeps its way into my language. Some of the most common examples we’ve often heard of is things like, “I’m no good with names,” or “I’m not good at doing math.” If you have that kind of mindset, you never really will be successful with those things. Because the way you’re phrasing it is creating this sort of foregone conclusion. It’s self-sabotage.
In the business world, you’re going to hear things like, I’m not good at branding or social media is hard for me to do. Or I’m a new entrepreneur, I’m not a big deal. All those negative statements creep in and just become reality because that’s what you’re believing.
Think of negative self-perception as the evil twin to negative self-talk. This is how you perceive yourself. One of the biggest things I often do is be a little bit too humble – ok damnit waaaay too humble. I know that, people oftentimes see humility as a virtue. That may be a valid point, however, it can also be self-limiting. I view myself as just starting out even though I’ve been doing this for three years. I don’t recognize in myself the skills that I have created and put forward. And when I do this, I am making it harder to succeed because I am not putting that confidence and trust in myself. How can I expect other folks to value me if I don’t value myself? This causes issues for things like pricing. If I don’t feel that I am valuable, then how can I expect others to value my work and charge a decent price?
I have been struggling with this for a very long time. It all goes back to the fact that my father lived through the Great Depression. So, he’s well, let’s just say it, he is frugal – and that mindset has translated into my personal life. The problem is, it’s one thing to be frugal in your personal life. It’s another to be to do so in your business. Money is a tool. If you don’t use the tool, it’s not going to help push your business forward. So, you really need to focus on not doing the things that I have done, like not buying services to alleviate my workload, not investing in more materials, not investing in a machine, process or service that can move business forward.
Poverty mindset can also be transferred onto others. This is a really big fuck up – and one I made recently. I found that I was putting that poverty mindset on potential clients. I was adjusting my prices because I didn’t think they could afford it. I didn’t Have any rational basis for this judgment. I was just applying my personal poverty mindset to an individual or a company. And this is a huge mistake. Because I was leaving dollars on the table, and those dollars translate into growth. It also leads to damaging my self-image by assuming that somebody isn’t going to pay a fair price for my work.
Lack of Vision
Okay, this last one is a big one. And it’s one that I just recently am beginning to understanding, and I need to do. And that’s vision.
Pretty much my vision was, “hey, I want to make really cool stuff that makes people happy.” There’s no true vision associated with that. There’s no outcome. There was nothing very specific or focused. Too often, our vision is “I’m going to make money,” or “I’m going to sell a bunch of things.”
In order to be effective a vision must have an outcome. Maybe it’s as simple as how you will be perceived, or what your business will be like. Once I developed that vision and refined it, I could formulate a plan to make that happen. Because then you do define your vision you can determine whether your actions align. Otherwise you are just flailing around and working IN your business, not ON it!
So please take lessons from me and don’t fuck up your mindset.