Personally, I believe that your mindset and attitude to life are key to your success in life and business. Your mindset will be particularly important if you are looking to transition from corporate to entrepreneurship. This transition will throw various challenges your way and how you deal with them will determine your success and happiness.
Dr. Carol S. Dweck an American psychologist, suggested there are essentially 2 types of mindsets. The fixed mindset and the growth mindset. You’ll find more on each type of mindset below.
Those who are supporters of the fixed mindset school believe that intelligence and your abilities are carved in stone. They believe that you can do little to improve your abilities. This in turn creates pressure to prove over and over again that you have a good level of intelligence. Feedback on an activity that you are performing is basically a way to measure your ability, a confirmation of your intelligence. Success is the result of your innate ability and intelligence and not the result of the effort put in. Imagine the amount of pressure you put on yourself or others with this mindset. At every turn, you will ask yourself, “Will I succeed or fail? Will I be accepted or rejected?,…”
Having this mindset leads people to focus on the outcome and create a performance-oriented approach to your goals. If you don’t get the results you wanted, you beat yourself up and assume that you are just not good enough as you believe intelligence is carved in stone.
Growth mindset advocates believe that your basic qualities and intellect can be cultivated through effort. In other words, even though your initial talents might differ, they believe that you can grow through effort and learning. People with this mindset don’t see failure as a reason to stop. They accept and learn from failure. They tend to like a good challenge and focus on the process of learning rather than the outcome. They see outcomes and feedback as data points to learn from. The result of this is that you will measure progress and move forward. People with this mindset believe that a person’s true potential is unknown and therefore that it is not possible to know what can be accomplished by passion and effort.
Did you know that Richard Branson, one the richest people in the UK, developed Virgin Cola and Virgin Vodka. Both of these ventures failed. Or that Steven Spielberg was rejected multiple times by the university of Southern California for an admission to cinematic arts.
As you can see there are opportunities to learn and improve when you come from a growth mindset.
Fixed vs Growth mindset
To illustrate the difference, imagine an example. You are working towards making a transition from corporate to entrepreneurship. You have been working on this amazing business idea and you are not at the stage where you are looking to sell whatever service or product you created. Full of confidence you go out and present it to a variety of people. After a week you have had three No’s. What would you think?
If you had a fixed mindset you might think one of the following thoughts.
- I am not cut out for entrepreneurship
- I am not smart enough
- I am a failure
Following that you would most likely feel sorry for yourself, give up, not try again and put your dreams back in the closet. Because if you don’t get out there, you can’t fail.
If you had a growth mindset you might think one of the following:
- What can I learn from this so I do better next time?
- I want to do better next time, did I leave anything on the table?
- What is the opportunity to learn from this?
Thinking this will lead to action. You might start analysing what went well and what did not go well. You will look for opportunities to improve and create a plan to execute on those opportunities.
It is important to stress though that you can be upset and feel the feels when things do not go as expected. People with both mindsets will be upset and that’s ok! The only difference is that people with a growth mindset do not label themselves as failures and stop going for it.
If you want to work on your mindset and want to make progress in your transition connect in a no strings attached call.