Today we are going to talk about how to get a business mindset.

First, I’m going to share with you the two words that if you focus on them, will make you successful. Next I’m going to share the big mistake that most would-be entrepreneurs make and how to avoid it. Lastly, I’m going to share some different resources that I’ve learned from over the years that helped me grow an INC 5000 company from home.

I remember when I was making the transition from working for someone else to starting my own business, there was often times that I would struggle with really seeing or having a business mindset and how different that is. You see as an employee, most of the time, I was spent seeing what can they do for me like how do I get more vacation hours or how do I get higher pay or how do I get ____. A business has you do exactly the opposite direction. It’s what can you do for your customers that’s makes a successful business mindset.

What are the two words you need to focus on?

The two words that you need to grab onto and keep in the forefront is two words, provide value. What does it mean to provide value? Provide value is you as a business owner and as someone who’s thinking about business, you’re constantly looking for what problems can you solve. If someone struggles with sleeping and you produce a supplement or you produce a training or a coaching or a meditation that helps them with sleeping, that’s clearly providing value. You could argue that that’s some of the best value possible because of someone the difference between someone who gets a good night’s sleep and someone who doesn’t is life changing.

Provide value is the mantra that you need to be saying over and over and over to yourself. Whenever you aren’t accomplishing what you want in your business, step back and ask yourself am I providing enough value? Could I be providing value differently? What value could I provide that maybe my competitors don’t know or don’t do? How can I stand out in the way that I solve problems or help my customers achieve their desires? This is a very, very big difference between how most employees think and how most business owners know that they need to think.

What is the biggest mistake would be entrepreneurs make?

The biggest mistake would be entrepreneurs make is they try to change their business mindset before they build a business. That may sound funny, that may sound strange but did you really prepare your mindset and then go and learn to ride the bike or did you just get on the bike, fall over and kind of learn as you go? Business is one of those things that no one interested….. I don’t care if you have an MBA. I’ve seen a lot of MBA’s that were horrible at owning a business) this is not about you having the perfect mindset and then you launch a business. It’s about you continuously improving how you think about business while doing the business.

The business, whatever that may be and depending on the size of business that you’re doing it comes down to a couple major principles: pipeline and perspective.

Number one, Pipeline is your business, is selling something. It’s selling consulting, it’s selling weight loss shakes, it’s selling cream and selling, whatever. You’re selling something or you’re not a business. Pipeline is how many people you’re reaching out to, following up with, setting appointments with et cetera. For the realtor, how many open houses are they doing, how many showings are they doing, how many listings are they getting, how many people are they following up with that they met at networking events, how many networking events are they going to, so it’s your numbers. Pipeline, if you want to have a better business mindset, you need to be actively building your business, not just sitting back and thinking about how best to be a business owner but actually be a business owner. Pipeline is very, very critical.

Number two, perspective. How do you spend the majority of your day in your mind? What is it that you’re thinking about, what are you focused on? Are you focused on all the things you don’t know or all the things you don’t like in your life and in your business or are you focused on the things you actually want? What does an amazing business look like? It’s interesting, I’ll run into a business owner and they’ll say, “hey I want help with building my business?” and I’ll say, “how will you know if you’re successful or not?” A lot of times they’re like “well we will make a million dollars.” They’ll throw that out there. “What would your life look like if you did?” Nine times out of ten they can’t answer that question. If you haven’t filled the gap in your mind of what a successful business looks like to you personally then it’s very unlikely you’re ever going to hit it. Very unlikely.

I remember when I was selling advertising and we had a really sweet deal for restaurants. The advertising that I was selling, it’s called captive audience advertising. So we would actually put these little mini billboards above the urinal and on the back of the bathroom stall, captive audience. Now to restaurants, it was a really good deal because they wouldn’t pay anything, we would put up these ads for free. We would place their ads all around town, at mailboxes, at apartment buildings, at different things that didn’t compete with the restaurant. For a restaurant, it was really a no-brainer deal. We are putting it in a place they’re not using and we are getting their advertising all over town. I remember this brand new barbecue place I went to and gave him the pitch (which I’d never had a restaurant turned me down) and they said, “oh do I have to sign a contract?” I’m like, “well yeah we cover the cost of the material so we like to know you will be doing it for two years.” I think it was two years, it might have been a little bit longer but for two years you’re just guaranteeing that we would have our ads up there because we are spending the money. They say, “oh well we are a new restaurant, we don’t even know if we’ll be in business in two years.” Well yeah, they weren’t but you know that mindset. I mean if you don’t know if you’re going to be here in two years, you are not going to be.

You have to figure out what success looks like to you personally and you have to believe that you’re going to be here in two years or else you have already lost before you have even started.

Let’s hear from you.

Before we move forward, I want you to think about the time before you ran a business and maybe you’re at a different level now or maybe you’re just getting started. What was something you had to fix in your business mindset? I would love to hear your comments. What’s something that you had to maybe unlearn or learn for you to improve your business mindset? I would love to hear from you. Let’s see it in the comments.

Resources that helped me over the years.

Lastly, I want to share some of my resources that helped me over the years. I remember when I was still working for a county government, reading Jack Welch, Straight from the Gut. Jack, rest in peace, he passed away a few years ago, his book Straight from the Gut was such an eye-opener and I just enjoyed it. It was so good, but there was a line in there. See, I worked for county government and I remember just like a month before reading this book, they gave everyone in our department a 12% increase. Which is super nice. I’m like, “yeah this is awesome, man, 12%.” Well me the workaholic got 12 percent, Joe that sharpened his pencils all day and literally never did anything got 12 percent, Howard who we don’t know what he did all day got 12 percent. So, it’s a little diminishing when you’re the workaholic, the workhorse and you know there are other people that were workhorses too but it’s a little diminishing when everyone gets the same regardless of their performance. 

I remember reading in Straight from the Gut, Jack Welch said, “across the board increases or across the board decreases is a company’s inability to address weakness.” Think about that, that’s because they’re too scared to give this person this and that person this so let’s just give everyone something. Anytime you see a board where the entire board gets a reduction in pay, that’s a company’s inability to address weakness. I guarantee not everyone deserved it. I bet there are people on there that deserved an increase, some that didn’t. That was one of the resources. If you’re trying to have a more powerful business mindset, that might be a good resource for you.

Another one was Michael Gerber’s, The E-myth, just so powerful. I remember there’s a line in that book, The E-myth, that says the reason a McDonald’s franchise rarely goes out of business is because it was ran, it was designed to be ran by the person with the lowest level of skill and that stuck with me. We try to make all of our training not at a level where people don’t understand but at a level where anyone can do our training. It’s one of the the reasons that we share so many different options in prospecting such as cold messaging et cetera because we know that someone without influence, that may be the only way they built. Very powerful resource for you as well.

Last one I’ll share with you one of my all-time favs, definitely top three Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Now Rand is a very controversial figure and so most people that don’t like her stuff have never read her stuff. In Russia, she watched her father get his store taken away from him by the communists and between that and her other life experiences, kind of had her create a certain level of philosophy and her book was absolutely mind-blowing to me. When I was reading Atlas Shrugged which is a pretty large book but I read it in four days because I was so just engrossed in it. She used language that I didn’t know existed but it was how I had thought many times. It’s one of the most influential books that I ever read, highly recommend it, Atlas Shrugged. They do now she’s since passed away they have an Ayn Rand institute. I’m friends with the CEO, friends with the chairman of the board and highly recommend you look into some of her stuff. Now some of it may be difficult for you to grab on to, you may disagree with her on certain things but she was an absolute champion of freedom of choice, an absolute champion of freedom of speech, a champion of individual rights and someone that more people should study.

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Ray Higdon

Play Bigger. Make An Impact.

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