Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Cheryl Wood, @CherylEmpowers. Cheryl is a speaker and coach who equips new and emerging entrepreneurs with the tools to shift from frustration and uncertainty to clarifying, articulating and monetizing their message to build profitable, sustainable businesses. More info at http://cherylempowers.com
SmallBizLady: What is a mindset and what’s the benefit of having a successful mindset in business?
Cheryl Wood: A mindset is a daily mental state. It’s the part of your subconscious mind that manifests the things you think about. Having a successful mindset to run a profitable business is to become more aware of your ability to control your thoughts and, thus, the things you manifest in your business. It causes you to be open-minded to new ideas, to be more creative and innovative, and to tap into your ability to create client solutions. Most importantly, it strengthens your awareness that failure in business is not the end; it’s just a learning curve.
SmallBizLady: How can a poor mindset hinder growth for small businesses?
Cheryl Wood: The mindset that everything must be perfect to move forward and execute on business goals – the timing, the circumstances, the resources, the connections. Business owners often believe their venture will fail if things aren’t perfect. In actuality, it’s “movement” in spite of things not being perfect that best positions you to create the circumstances and find the resources to succeed in business.
SmallBizLady: What are the beginning steps for creating a successful mindset in business?
Cheryl Wood: Step 1: Repetition – constantly repeat your goals and what you want to achieve in your business even when you don’t believe it’s possible; repeat it until it “clicks” in your subconscious and it has no other choice but to believe.
Step 2: Reinforcement – reinforce your beliefs in what you have the power to achieve with positive words, thoughts, actions, and association. There’s no room for an inch of negativity as you are moving towards your goals including your own self-chatter.
Step 3: Re-engineering – re-engineer the way you view challenges, setbacks and roadblocks that threaten to stand in the way of achieving success. View them as stepping stones and building blocks instead of hindrances. Ask: What do I stand to gain by enduring this challenge in my business? What powerful lesson can I learn from this roadblock that will serve my clients?
SmallBizLady: What impact does positivity have on a successful mindset?
Cheryl Wood: Positive thinking is a practice that can help a business owner align with their thought patterns more consciously. Rather than being a victim of your own negative or self-limiting thoughts, positive thinking lets you take control of your thoughts and choose them minute-by-minute. As you start to become aware of negative thoughts, you can consciously replace them with equally positive thoughts. If you find yourself thinking you will never be successful, consciously affirm that you have as much potential to be successful as anyone. Rather than tearing yourself down, choose to build yourself up with positive and empowering dialogue that keeps you moving forward.
SmallBizLady: How does mindset affect pricing in a small business?
Cheryl Wood: Your pricing and fees are a direct reflection of how you internally feel about the impact of your services and products and what you believe you’re worthy of. Many business owners underprice because they undervalue what they bring to the table. When you value the transformation you create in the lives of your clients, you won’t chase clients. You will attract them.
SmallBizLady: How can business owners shift their mindset from scarcity to abundance?
Cheryl Wood: You must acknowledge that even if every customer in the world wanted your services and products, you wouldn’t have the manpower or capacity to service them. That thought process serves as a catalyst for recognizing that there IS ENOUGH… for you to be competitive in the marketplace and confidently stay in your lane without trying to dabble in everything or feel the need to aggressively focus your energies on competing with others instead of focusing on mastering your craft. Abundance allows you to be a specialist instead of a generalist in your industry.
SmallBizLady: Since fear starts in the mind, how can a business owner succeed in the face of fear?
Cheryl Wood: The only prescription for fear is action. Whether it’s a fear of not being good enough, fear of rejection or fear of failure, the only way to succeed is to act. And in order to act you must acknowledge and face the fears head-on. It’s a losing battle for business owners to try to suppress fear because each time you take another step forward there will be another fear. The objective is to avoid being held hostage to fear. Rather, stand in your power to acknowledge when you feel fear and develop the courage to move forward in the face of fear. The more you practice this, the more you recognize what fear looks and feels like and how to face it, embrace it, and move beyond it. You will then develop the courage to ask for the sale, bid on the contract, request the joint venture, or charge what you’re worth.
SmallBizLady: How does a successful mindset prepare business owners for opportunities?
Cheryl Wood: Having a successful mindset prepares a business owner to create opportunities, position yourself where opportunities are, and be prepared when opportunities arise. It allows you to focus on “being ready” versus “getting ready” and to recognize when to act on an opportunity instead of sabotaging the opportunity.
SmallBizLady: Does association affect a business owner’s mindset?
Cheryl Wood: Jim Rohn said it best, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It’s a rule of thumb that the people you surround yourself with affect your mindset. As a business owner, your time is your most valuable asset — you can’t replace it, rewind it, or ask for more of it. It is critical to spend time with people who are forward thinkers and who understand your drive and commitment. If you want to be a successful business owner, spend time with successful business owners. They think differently and act differently than people who are happy with a 9-to-5 and a steady paycheck.
SmallBizLady: Should business owners with a successful mindset take risks or play it safe?
Cheryl Wood: Definitely, take risks! Having a successful mindset means you blaze the trail, not follow it. A successful mindset means you are willing to do what’s uncomfortable, unfamiliar and unpopular. Risk taking pushes you to new heights and stretches you. A risk could include picking up the phone to call another business owner you’ve been wanting to collaborate with, requesting a meeting with a decision maker of a company, or doubling your prices to reflect the value you add. If you never take risks, you deny yourself of the many possibilities.
SmallBizLady: What characteristics are strengthened by having a successful mindset?
Cheryl Wood: The 10 primary characteristics that are engaged and strengthened when business owners develop a successful mindset are: Optimism, Self-Belief, Vision, Passion, Focus, Drive, Resilience, Persistence, Courage and Determination. These characteristics never lie dormant in the life of a successful business owner.
SmallBizLady: What habits are necessary for having a successful mindset?
Cheryl Wood: Just as you would implement certain habits for training to successfully run a marathon, you must implement habits that will produce the results you want in business. To become profitable and financially successful, your habits must include consistently creating a plan of action, being productive not busy, getting organized, and being intentional and focused while avoiding overwhelm, procrastination, and lack of clarity.
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.