3 Essential Ideas for Starting a Successful Online Business Part 1: Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
So you want to start a business…
If you’re anything like me, you’re fed up with “normal jobs” you can barely stand, with no hopes of living a life you truly love.
You’ve heard about people who have travelled the world by starting successful online businesses and it sounds like something you could really see yourself doing.
So you’ve searched the internet, trying to learn everything you can about how to start an online business so you can make as much money as you want, work when you want, and do something you really love.
Maybe you even have a few ideas you’re thinking of trying, like an Etsy store, doing freelance work, or starting your own blog.
Whether you’ve found an idea or not, it’s important you start your journey into the freedom of owning an online business with the right mindset to increase your chances of making it.
In this three-part series, I’m going to share with you three essential principles I’ve used to successfully create my online empire and travel the world to hopefully help you avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way.
The first principle is the Growth Mindset.
Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets
“Fixed vs. Growth Mindset” was a term first coined by Stanford University professor Carol Dweck in her book Mindset to describe beliefs regarding personal qualities likeability, talent, and attitude.
She describes the idea like this:
In a fixed mindset, students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset, students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.
People with a fixed mindset believe that no matter how hard they try, they won’t be able to get better at the things they aren’t already good at.
To them, they have a certain level of talent that’s fixed from birth and can’t be changed; they just are the way they are.
People with a growth mindset believe that with enough effort, they can get better at things they don’t know how to do well.
To them “talent” is something that comes with practice; they can do anything they want if they try hard enough.
The attitudes we have, stories we tell, and things we believe about ourselves affect what we choose to do, and can either prevent change from happening or allow new skills to grow.
If you want to start your own successful online business, it’s super important that you practice thinking with a growth mindset, as you’ll constantly face challenges that you won’t know how to overcome until you try.
The habits of consistency and perseverance you’ll develop by adopting a growth mindset will help you overcome all the obstacles on the way to becoming the person you want to be.
The Fixed Mindset
It might seem obvious that the growth mindset is better, especially when we know we don’t like how we’re living and want to change.
But for so many reasons, most of us have developed a habit of thinking with the fixed mindset.
It helps us feel a little bit better about living in an unhappy situation.
And it helps us avoid the stress of doing the work required to make our lives better.
If you live with the fixed mindset, you’ll approach life’s difficulties with an attitude of “That’s just the way it is. I can’t change the way I am. I just have to live with this.”
People with a fixed mindset:
- Believe their abilities, attitudes, and talents are fixed.
- Stay in their comfort zone and only try things they know they can do so they don’t fail in front of others.
- Give up easily when facing obstacles.
- Avoid opportunities that they believe they won’t succeed in.
- Treat mistakes as failures.
- Ignore useful critical feedback.
- Think putting in effort is useless.
- Need to prove their talent and intelligence in everything they do.
- Feel threatened by the success of others.
As a result of thinking this way, people with a fixed mindset never reach their full potential.
They don’t put in the effort because they think if you have talent, you should succeed without trying; and if you don’t have talent, you shouldn’t try because at best it’s nearly impossible to change.
They also see mistakes as failures, signs that they should give up before they get hurt or look stupid.
You might be stuck in a fixed mindset if you find yourself thinking things like:
- “It’s hard for me to lose weight.”
- “I’m not good with numbers.”
- “I’m not creative.”
- “I’m a procrastinator.”
- “She’s a natural born singer.”
- “You’re either naturally great or will never be great.”
- When trouble arises: “See, You’ll never be great at this, give up now and save yourself the pain and embarrassment.”
- “If I fail, all that effort was wasted.”
And if you:
- Want to hide your flaws so you’re not judged or labelled a failure.
- Stick with what you know to keep up your confidence.
- Look inside yourself to find your true purpose and passion, as if it’s a hidden, inherent thing.
- Let failures define you.
- Think everything is about the destination, not the journey.
The Growth Mindset
People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that with enough effort, they can improve their abilities and change their attitudes.
While this seems like the obvious approach to take in life, it’s actually hard to start thinking this way if you’re not in the habit of it.
Living with the growth mindset means taking responsibility for your mistakes so you can learn from them and get better at everything you do.
And it means taking on challenges because doing so means you’ll get closer to living your dream life.
If you live with a growth mindset, you’ll approach life’s difficulties with an attitude of “I can change this. I can change the way I am. If I try hard enough, I can get good at anything.”
People with a growth mindset:
- Believe their abilities, attitudes, and talents can be developed with dedicated effort.
- Pick tasks that challenge them rather than stay in their comfort zone.
- Persists in the face of setbacks.
- Embrace new opportunities to learn.
- See mistakes as important feedback in learning.
- Learn from constructive criticism.
- See effort as the path to mastery.
- Find lessons and inspiration from the success of others.
As a result, people with a growth mindset reach higher and higher levels of achievement as they constantly grow their potential.
They put in the effort because they believe talent comes from practice, success comes from hard work, and change is always possible.
And they see the mistakes they make along the way as lessons they’ve learned on the way to mastery.
With a growth mindset, you’ll think things like:
- “If I eat healthy foods and exercise every day, I’ll lose weight.”
- “I can figure out how to do this accounting.”
- “Creativity comes from practice and consistency.”
- “I’m going to start working on my goals a little bit every day instead of putting them off.”
- “She’s a good singer, I wonder how long she’s been practising?”
- “I’m going to become great at what I do by working at it every day.”
- When trouble arises: “Looks like I’ve still got some practising to do, I’m going to keep working so one day I’ll be really good at this.”
- “If I make a mistake, I’ll learn something from the effort I put in.”
And if you:
- See flaws as a To-Do list of things to improve.
- Keep up your confidence by always pushing into the unfamiliar to make sure you’re always learning.
- Commit to mastering valuable skills regardless of mood, knowing passion and purpose come from doing great work, which comes from developing expertise and experience.
- Treat failures as temporary setbacks.
- Think it’s all about the process, the outcome hardly matters.
Growing a successful online business
So do you live with a growth or fixed mindset?
Hopefully, you can see now why it’s so important to adopt a growth mindset in order to start a successful online business.
There’s a lot of work to be done to get from the life you’re living now to the one you dream about.
With a growth mindset, you’ll be able to see yourself getting there despite all the challenges, mistakes, and setbacks.
You’ll be able to apply the consistency and perseverance it takes to do something as crazy as starting a successful online business and travelling the world.
And with a growth mindset, be able to maximise your potential – in business and in life.
Whichever matters most to you!
3 Essential Ideas for Starting a Successful Online Business Part 2: Goals and Habits
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