The world changed virtually overnight when COVID-19 entered our lexicon. The distinguishing feature between business owners who crack it and those who drift along, and fail… is mindset.
There are 17 mindsets that I have observed, working with more than 2 500 business owners as well as on 43 businesses that we have invested in. In this blog, we will talk about 7.
#1 Attitude to outcome
Mindset, or attitude, is the only thing that you have 100% control over. It governs your behaviour which manifests your lived experience in the world. If your business is failing, it’s not your brain, nor your position holding you back, it’s the wrong mindset. And changing it is 100% in your control.
#2 Truth in Action
We live in a world of great uncertainty. Truth in what works and what doesn’t only comes from deliberate action. If you don’t act, you will never know. If you follow someone else’s advice in big moves, you will most likely fail. If you don’t, you will never understand how and why you succeeded. That builds an uncertainty trap that becomes very hard to escape. I have seen many people make big money on opportunistic deals. Their efforts to repeat the process failed consistently. This happened because the construction of the deal, the timing, the circumstances and the many, many failed deals leading up to the successful deal that they were invited into – was lost on them. Opportunistic deals are just that, once off. I have also seen how these deals affect people’s confidence. In an opportunistic deal, you believe that the money you make is the only money you will ever make, and that luck was on your side. Contrast this to the the grind of building a business, the multiple failures and hard lessons that eventually lead to success. These are your lessons and can never be taken away.
Lastly, there are so many variables in the world today. its impossible to find a sustainable formula for success. for this reason, many small, consistent steps make for a better, more sustainable outcome. In Kung Fu, I was taught to jump from a 3-meter height. It began in year one learning how to jump and land from a 50cm box. In year five, I landed perfectly from 3m having practiced it over 5,000 times a year. without that practice, the first jump would’ve broken bones and spirit.
#3 Earn your Rights
Two years ago, I addressed an audience in Detroit, Michigan. This is in the American rustbelt heart land. There was an audience of about 200 people. One audience member got very agitated with me. I stated the fact that we are never victims if we hold the right mindset. Blame is an excuse and it’s avoidable if you act, since action empowers you to take control and create a new reality for yourself. He angrily objected to this. His grandfather had worked for Ford Motors and so did his dad who followed in his steps. He too, then followed and worked for Ford until he was let go. That was 5 years back and he and his family were struggling. I debated delicately with him. Being unemployed is a terrible circumstance. I argued that he was in control to the extent that he had the ability to re-skill himself. And that he could do this largely for free through the internet. Re-skilling would keep his skills and capabilities relevant to the digitising industrial space that he lived in and wanted to work in. A tough approach but, the only approach.
#4 Excellence in your Domain
In early March 2018, I went to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers play the LA Lakers in Cleveland, Ohio. Le Bron James played for the Cavaliers then. He was incredible to watch. He is also one of the oldest players in the game and the sixth highest paid athlete in the world. He invests deeply in himself to maintain his status as the best basketball player in the US. He spends $1.5m on maintaining his performance levels. He has coaches for everything from gameplay to joints, nutrition to recovery. He eats, lives, thinks and dreams basketball and never, ever, veers away from it. He has his 50, 000 hours and 5,000 mistakes behind him because of that. He also has a natural talent and affinity. Find something you love, and you’ll excel too.
#5 Play the Percentages
Kevin van Dam is a happy person. He fishes freshwater bass for a living. He makes $10m a year. he has the fastest boat on the competition circuit, the most rods, reels and lures when fishing on the water and he has mapped the freshwater lakes of America to keep ahead. The 39m registered bass fishermen in the USA love this man because he always, but always keeps on winning. He wins because of his obsessive, compulsive, perfection disorder. It means he takes no chances in a very competitive sport. He seeks, finds and works hard to shave an additional percentage point here and there to favour his performance. Those many small constant improvements stack up and give him a constant 4% to 7% advantage per competition. He does this because without it he would lose $10m a year.
#6 Trained Brain
Training your brain is becoming increasingly necessary. Like a muscle, if you don’t use it you will lose it. The gig economy already means that here, in SA, we can access some of the biggest talent in the world and if you can’t compete, you won’t eat. The winning attributes for the future include creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. Process work, technical work and any other work that can be delivered by software and computers on phones and robots will make you irrelevant. You simply won’t be able to compete.
These attributes place you far out of reach of the software and robots that are your future competitors.
Recently, I had a feisty debate with a Rabbi. The whiskey was being poured, the conversation was accelerating and we debated for some time the idea of Paniym. This is a Hebrew word for two faces. He argued that you have a public face which is public property and a private face which is yours to keep. Because you live and work in the world and because opportunity comes through people, your face is public property. It should create the best experience for whomever you meet and engage with to create the best outcome for yourself. It’s about being conscious and in control. You generally only have one shot at creating a likeable, engaging impression, one that would favour your being invited into opportunities or finding favour for your proposals. We are human and we work with people we like.
I consistently see these mindsets live and in play with the successful business owners that I work with. These mindsets are available to us all, choose them, use them and improve your chances of success.
You will experience these mindsets live, everyday you work with us at Aurik. Our work with you will see you working with many talented facilitators. Their behaviour and their actions will reflect these mindsets. Mindsets that will become part of how you think, act and build your business.