4.7 min readBy Categories: Entrepreneurship0 Comments

“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.”  – Abraham Maslow (“Hierarchy of Needs”)

The main reason entrepreneurs get stuck – a reason that almost every tips and insights list, workshop, and entrepreneur class completely omits?  Mindshifts.

Mindshifts in the course of your journey create the required breakthroughs to get to your next level of success. These mindshifts are inner perspectives achieved through experiences that give you an AHA about something and you’ll never be the same.

What are mindshifts?

Mindshifts are pivot points in your journey when something you didn’t know that you didn’t know becomes apparent and you see the way forward differently. They transform your relationship to your process or set of tasks. And without them, entrepreneurs end up like Sisyphus, pushing the rock up the hill and taking forever to move forward.

Here’s an example:

Have you ever taken a baking class of any kind from a professional baker? I took a few classes at Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola (one of the best in the world and a gold mine because of it).

The process of putting together some of the fancy desserts – puff pastry things, amazing cakes, and dessert breads – involves a lot of the same precision as regular baking but with some advanced techniques to combine ingredients and different orders of putting things together. That was all a matter of process and skill.

The mindshift came when they put the creation in the oven. No temperature setting (!) No timers(!) This is for BAKING (!)

Professional bakers pay attention to smell and what’s happening along the way. They have a completely different relationship to the process so they pull it out when it’s done, period.

That changes all kinds of parts of the process. Most importantly, it means you have to pay attention, not just set a timer and come back and check on it. But that’s what it takes to do complex baking.

The mindshifts for entrepreneurs

As entrepreneurs, we have several important mindshift opportunities that present themselves along the journey. We can choose to shift our perspective through a transformational moment or experience or we can bear down and follow the skill-oriented steps that we’ve learned about.

I’m here to tell you that without the mindshifts, the entire process, or that particular stage of it, will become frustrating, long, and challenging to achieve success. Lots of time, money, and energy are used up because one of these mindshifts has not happened.

In the next few essays I’ll explore each one of these a little more, with stories about the before and after as I experienced them with my clients.

In the meantime, here’s a brief overview of each one that I’ve identified so far based on my work with all types of entrepreneurs: high growth, small business, and solos.

  1. Clarity on your unique gift you bring to the table. This is your true north and impacts everything about your business. Usually, a problem that arises in the product or service, or in marketing, or in your sense of satisfaction comes from not doing this work thoroughly.
  2. Understanding that you’re creating something of service to someone else’s problem, gap, or annoyance. A lack of significant revenues, profits, or customers is because of this most often. And scaling anything depends on this mindshift. Always.
  3. Choosing a focus in the face of a million different aspects of your business that you feel you MUST get done. Instead of task lists, getting up at 4am, working 7 days a week and 90 hour weeks, you see a path forward that keeps you healthy and leads to success.
  4. Deeply integrating that you are in a reciprocal relationship of value exchange with your customers. An exchange, not a give and take. They feel the potential and impact of their problem solved, gap closed, annoyance alleviated and you get compensated so you feel a sense of reward for good thinking plus the resources to stay in business.
  5. Trust in yourself and your expertise. You shift to accept, acknowledge, and revel in your mastery in this lovely business you’ve nurtured and grown. You KNOW things others don’t and those things you know make a difference in the world.
  6. You let go of some of the aspects of your business – aspects you care about – to invite growth and others to make those aspects their own.
  7. And lastly, you once again explore your talents, desires, capabilities at your core to continue to invent or reinvent parts of your work. Nothing stays the same and this mindshift opens a door to the future of you and this business together.

How do mindshifts happen?

These mindshifts don’t happen intellectually or by reading the descriptions above. They are truly shifts of perspective where your mind may smoothly move through that shift, or jolt into it, or suddenly see something new. Specific types of experiences make this possible. Transformational experiences. They may be something just a bit out of the ordinary along with an openness in you simultaneously occurring. Or they may be a life-changing event, like the ones people experience after near-death events and subsequently make major changes in their lives.

We have more to say about each one of these shifts, and any more we discover, in additional essays.

Mindshift-based entrepreneur program

We offer an Entrepreneur Journey program that both creates the potential for transformational mindshifts as well as deliver frameworks for building your business wisely and mindfully and successfully.

“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”  – Joseph Campbell

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