2 Reasons Smart People Struggle: Part 2

Last week I wrote about the two main reasons I have found that smart people very often struggle in their own businesses. Just to recap, they are:

Being successful in your own business requires…

  1. A Different Skill-Set
  2. A Different Mind-Set

Last week I wrote about the fact that being a successful entrepreneur requires quite a different skill-set than being successful in a career or job. And, several readers posted comments that they could definitely relate with what I wrote.

Today, I want to talk about point #2; the fact that being an entrepreneur also requires a different mind-set than working in a job or career.

So what exactly do I mean by “mind-set?”

Well, let’s start with a dictionary definition:  Mind-set (or mindset) is a noun that means an attitude, disposition, or mood” or “an intention or inclination.”

Your mindset is how you THINK about things and what you BELIEVE.

When I wrote my book, The Career-at-Home Mom I felt this was such an important topic for women running their own business, that I actually devoted three chapters to mindset-related topics:

1) Managing Your Mindset

2) Acting in Spite of Fear

3) Overcoming Challenges

I still believe these are three crucial areas around mindset that can make, or break, your business success, so I’d like to touch on each of them here.

Managing Your Mindset: Believing in yourself and what you have to offer – Self Confidence is Key

In my opinion, self-confidence is THE most important marketing tool you have as a service-based business provider. If you don’t believe in what you do 150%, and in it’s ability to make a huge difference in your clients’ lives, you’re going to have a really hard time convincing anyone else.  You must believe it first.  This is something I struggled with early in my business because I had grown up with a mindset where I always felt I had to “prove” myself.  As a result, I always worked extremely hard, because I felt I had to justify what I was being paid.

I also had a bit of an employee mindset that had me believing that my time was worth money, therefore I felt I had to justify the time I spent working for a client, in order to ask for money.

Contrast this to an strong entrepreneurial mindset where you know the value you offer, and it is NOT tied to how much time you spend. People are not paying for your time. They’re paying for an outcome. And quite frankly, the faster you can help them achieve that outcome, the more it’s worth, because in this day and age of instant gratification, people want things fast and easy. So the faster and easier you can make it, the more it’s worth.  However, this flies right in the face of that employee mindset of being paid for the time you put in.

I often hear people say they want to stop trading time for money, yet they have a mindset that is tied to this belief, so no matter what they do, they can’t seem to break from the time for money trap. What they don’t realize is they FIRST need to work on changing the underlying mindset or belief.

Acting in Spite of Fear

Let me let you in on a little secret: all those “successful” people you are admiring, they get scared, too!  The only difference between them and the people who are still playing small or struggling to find success, is that those people who are successful are willing to act in spite of the fear…they are willing to move THROUGH it and they don’t let it stop them.

Being willing to keep taking consistent action, move through fear, and practicing what I refer to as “Ready, Fire, Aim” (a concept I learned from one of my first mentors, T. Harv Eker) is what has enabled me to be successful in multiple businesses. Have I made a few mis-steps or “mistakes” along the way? Of course I have – and I’ve spoken quite publicly about many of them. It’s simply part of the journey.  So much so, that I don’t even like to use the word “mistake” because it’s not really accurate.  When things don’t work out as you expect, plan, or want, that’s all it is: something not working out as you expected. It’s not necessarily wrong or a mistake. Very often, it’s those “mistakes” that we learn the most from, and that propel us forward the fastest.

When you can learn to look at everything as perfect just the way it is, and instead of labeling things as mistakes, simply ask “What can I learn from this?” you and your business will grow much faster, and you will find success. Just know there may be a few speed bumps along the way!

Learning to embrace this mindset will literally transform your business and your life.

Overcoming Challenges

If you’re expecting the path from where you are now, to the success you’re envisioning to be a straight, uneventful line, I hate to burst your bubble, but that’s just not how things work.  A few years ago, someone pointed out to me that a rocket ship on it’s way to the moon is actually off-course more than 90% of the time. However, by consistently making small corrections, it does eventually get to the moon.

Can you imagine if that rocket ship thought like most of us? And every time it got a little off course, it threw up its hands and said “Why is this happening to me? Why can’t I just get to the moon easily and without any challenges or obstacles?”  Sounds silly I know, but in effect that’s what we’re expecting. We’re expecting to step into something we’ve never done before, and very likely something we are not totally equipped to do on our own, and be able to do it quickly and perfectly and without incident.

I know a lot of this is easier said than done

In all the years I’ve been working with people to create and market their own businesses, I have come to realize that starting your own business is probably the greatest personal development journey you will ever embark on. ALL of your “stuff” comes up in the process. That’s why I’ve been studying mindset for over six years and it’s a big part of the coaching I do. Yes, I teach people the steps they need to take to design and market their business, but I also know that you can take all the right steps and if your mindset isn’t right, you still won’t achieve what you want – Yes, YOU can actually be your biggest obstacle!


About Debbie

Debbie worked in marketing for 32 years and ran a successful coaching and consulting business for 19. Now she helps people find greater happiness and success by learning how to Follow Inspiration.

4 comments on “2 Reasons Smart People Struggle: Part 2

  1. Hi Debbie
    Thank you for your wonderful post here. I agree completely and see these obstacles crop up in discussions with so many small business owners. Your advice is wonderful!
    Thanks again

  2. Hi Debbie
    I am researching different styles of writing on the net and I just wanted to let you know that I thought this was beaut. A great read with some really good advice. Thank you. I am looking forward to reading more!


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