How Can You Build a Better Mindset?
I want this blog and podcast to boost you when you’re down, and to push you harder when you’re on a roll.
I want it to be your go-to place for encouragement and strategic advice.
Because I want you to triumph in business.
To celebrate my 150th podcast episode, I invited some followers, listeners and fans of The Disruptive Entrepreneur to grill me and a very special guest, disruptive entrepreneur Joe Valente, who won The Apprentice 2015 and recently took the reins of ImpraGas, the gas boiler replacement company he started in partnership with Lord Sugar and now leads on his own.
In Part 1 of this blog post, we looked at some of the answers that Joe and I gave concerning inspiration in business. In Part 2, I want to delve into our views on business mindset, and how you can build a positive, untouchable state of mind to mould you into the best entrepreneur you can be.
With a great entrepreneurial mindset, you can be prepared for (almost) anything the market throws at you.
Pursue money without guilt
I think that it’s essential to start off by saying that, in order to have a strong business mindset, we all have to admit that we want money. There isn’t an entrepreneur in the world who wants a crap car, a dilapidated home, or an empty bank account, and there should be no shame in admitting it.
Money is the root of all evil, but also the root of all good. Money is simply a manifestation and a reflection of the people who are spending it: philanthropists fund universities and charities that cure diseases, and arms dealers supply countries who are at war with the weapons to kill each other. We all have aspects of good and aspects of evil within us, and this is reflected in the way that humanity spends its money. Money fuels change, and is a method of making things happen. There is nothing wrong with wanting the freedom to create change. Admit this to yourself without guilt or fear, and you are free to pursue more money with a clear head.
Now, if you are alone, I want you to open your mouth and say, “I want more money.”
It’s true, and it’s very liberating to admit it.
Sometimes entrepreneurs need a spark of outside inspiration before they can begin mastering their fears and doubts. Joe Valente talked about how he became determined to overcome his lack of drive and begin his path to self-mastery after reading Lord Alan Sugar’s life story.
Joe said: “I read that one when I was 22. I think that at that point in my life, I was really searching for something to do. I needed to find some motivation.
“When you start to read a journey like Lord Sugar’s, how he came from nothing, from a London council estate, and how he’s been able to achieve billionaire wealth in one lifetime, it’s incredible.
“Literally 2 weeks [after reading it] I took out a 15-grand personal loan from Tesco’s. I had it in the bank 2 days later, and started ImpraGas.”
Mastering your ego is the key to mastering your business, as a great business that complies with your vision and your values is a reflection of the entrepreneur who built it.
If someone mentions the classic “ego”, most people will probably picture a cocky, arrogant narcissist, but the ego you need to master can just as easily be a doubting, fearful being. When I talk about the ego, I don’t just mean one single side of your character – I mean all the feelings and thoughts that we manifest on a regular basis.
The main growth I have had to focus upon since I’ve been in business is the management of my emotions, and the better I’ve become at this, the better I’ve become as an entrepreneur.
Ask the right questions
Joe and I agree that anyone wishing to develop a powerful business mindset should seek advice from entrepreneurs who have already reached a higher level of business success than you. This can include peers, mentors, and coaches of course, but what about when you find yourself with the opportunity to speak to a person whose success you would do anything to emulate?
You don’t want to fluff such a valuable opportunity.
Entrepreneurs will often be happy, and perhaps even humbled, to pass on their advice and strategies to someone who is hungry to learn and progress, but the ultra-successful (and the ultra-rich!) are incredibly busy people. Unless you hook them in with a well-informed, interesting question, you may just miss your chance.
During my 150th podcast interview, Joe and I talked about how to ask penetrating questions when you have the chance to interact with the entrepreneurs you admire most.
Joe commented: “The kind of questions you ask depends on what answers you’re looking for. There are a lot of generic questions and answers [that entrepreneurs are often asked], so instead you should decide, what answer are you looking for?
“If your question is something specific, then ask it. If your question is generic, then you can probably find the answer elsewhere.
“If you have a window of time with somebody that you really want to get something out of, try and ask nothing but good, valuable questions.”
Knowing how to interact with top-level entrepreneurs is a valuable skill to develop, and simply being in their presence is likely to teach you something and contribute to a positive entrepreneurial mindset. Multi-millionaires and billionaires will usually have been asked the same questions countless times on their mindset, on the mistakes they made on the way up, and what they would do differently if they had to start from the bottom again. Instead, find a way to be unique, memorable, and to ask something new, refreshing, and interesting.
If you have already read their books and blogs, if you are well-informed, if you are confident and if you can ask them something specific about their company or about a particular challenge or obstacle and how to overcome it, you are more likely to receive a valuable, practical answer.
Employee to entrepreneur
Some people begin their professional lives as employees, but live feeling as if something isn’t right. You may have experienced it yourself: the sense that you want more autonomy, more freedom, and that you were not born to be told what to do.
Neither Joe Valente or I felt that we have ever had an “employee’s mindset”, almost as if we were born to be entrepreneurs.
Joe explained: “Starting from school, I didn’t like to get told what to do. So, if you don’t like that, it’s no good working for anybody.”
Similarly, I never had what I would call a “proper” job, unless you count the 10 minutes of cleaning work I did when I was 14, or the various bar jobs where I mainly wanted to chase the women on the other side of the bar. I’m basically unemployable!
However, just because Joe and I have always had the urge to govern ourselves in the business world, it doesn’t mean that we haven’t had to carefully develop our entrepreneurial mindsets. For me, the books I’ve read, the practices I’ve learned, the mentors I’ve taken on and the obstacles I’ve overcome have all contributed to the mindset and thought processes I have today.
With the right dedication, the right motivation, and the right guidance, you can develop an iron-clad business mindset to prepare you for any challenges that you, and your company, can encounter.
The journey to your unique mindset
Everyone’s route to their own bulletproof entrepreneurial mindset will be different, and every entrepreneur needs to begin working on improving theirs, now.
Quite often, the best place to start is by reading or listening to more entrepreneurial interviews and books on business and inspiration. Whether it is Lord Sugar’s life story or Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, as Joe Valente enjoys, or, like me, the books of Dr John Demartini, Brian Tracy, or the autobiographies of the world’s most gifted and successful entrepreneurs, there is inspiration to be found everywhere.
Immerse yourself in the minds of other unique and admirable entrepreneurs, lovingly accept that you seek more money, work on mastering your emotions each day, ask the right questions and carefully develop your unique mindset.
Every great business is a reflection of the entrepreneur who founded it.
Stable mindset, stable business.
How do you develop your business mindset? What interviews with entrepreneurs, podcasts or business books have helped you most? Let me know in the comments, or tag me into a conversation on Facebook!
If you would like to read about how to get more done in less time, and read more answers to your questions about entrepreneurship, you can find my book Life Leverage here.
Learn ways to improve your mindset by silencing those doubtful voices here.
"If you don't risk anything, you risk everything"
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