Think about all the successful people on television, whether he or she is a world-class athlete, business owner or maybe a movie star. What do you think attributed to their success(s)?
One of the biggest factors that decide whether or not we can be successful is mindset.
How to Have a Successful Mindset
If you’ve always been in the processing of self-improvement or entrepreneurship this definitely is not going to be your only time hearing about having the right mindset to be successful. Whatever status or position you’re in, we all need some levels of mindset on showing up day after day even when challenges comes our way. If you are a mum, you cannot just decide to not take care of your child today because you do not feel like it today. Or if you are an employee, not hitting the goals or even doing the tasks you are employed to manage would likely get you fired as well.
The same goes for entrepreneurs and business owners, but with a slight difference. The difference is that you need a stronger mindset than an employee because you are dealing with waves of challenges and you are constantly making decisions on a daily basis. Especially as a newbie entrepreneur, even the decision on what kind of tasks to be working on affects you, because you could be spending time on the less money making activities, and you do not have a “guaranteed” income as with an employee. Even a simple decision like what to work on, over time, when you look at your peers, who are earning a bigger salary than you are, will make you feel like you made the wrong choice to step into entrepreneurship.
People with strong mindset often focus on what they can change and affect instead of events they can not longer influence. Throughout the course of working with my students, I guide them and pause them at important events where they have to make crucial decisions that will affect how their business moves along. Regardless of whether we made the right decision or not, always tell ourselves “I didn’t know better, and now I know.”
To begin crafting the right mindset for success, we go to the simplest and most familiar activity that we all have come across, and that is showing up. I’m sure you have been a student or an employee before. What do you do every single day? You show up! And that’s all you need to do. Show up to your business every single day, regardless of whether you feel like it or not. To do that, start carving out time for your business, and always stick to it. Treat your business similar to a job, where you have to show up everyday, or you will not be paid.
When I first started my very first e-commerce business, I carved out only about 90 minutes to two hours of my time every weekday nights after I’m back home from work. I end my day at 6pm, and I reach home at 7pm, where I start working out till 8pm, and that’s when I have my dinner. I only start working on my business from 9.30pm to 11pm or so, when I would start feeling sleepy and I go to bed. I spend more time on the weekends as I wasn’t married then, and had less things going for me.
I didn’t spend crazy amount of time on my business everyday, I just spend what I could. And things snowballed, which allowed me to eventually leave my job, and pursue e-commerce full-time.
You could emulate my routine, or even refine it for your own. If you have less time than me, then maybe allocate 30 to 90 minutes everyday including the weekends as well. It is perfectly fine to do that. However, you must always show up to your business.
Consistency and the Compounding Effect
It is never about how much time you spend on your business. It is always about the consistency that you have in your business. If you decided to lose weight, and you spent 7 hours in the gym today but not return to the gym until the next week, compared to you going to the gym everyday for only an hour. Which do you think would get you better results? Of course it’s you going to the gym everyday for an hour!
The Compounding Effect refers to the additional growth or additional interest, resulting from the compounding effects of – for example – interest on interest, which is common in the investment world. The Compounding Effect happens only when consistency is achieved. When money is consistently in an investment vehicle untouched, it is able to compound with interest on interest. When you apply your time or effort on your business consistently, it is able to compound. The reason why companies are willing to hire you in a job, is because the activities and tasks you are completing for them, is leading towards a compounding effect as you are consistently working for them, 8-9 hours, 5 days a week. Over time as you work for them, the company makes more money than what they are paying you for.
In your e-commerce business, think of you putting in 30 minutes a day on building your website. Wouldn’t your website be up for people to visit now? Maybe without you doing anything, you would be getting 1 sale per year, and that’s common because you’re a new website. The next day, you put 30 minutes into promoting your website, and now you get 2 sales per year. And you do it again, and now its 3 sales per year. Then it’s 5 sales, 8 sales, 15 sales, 30 sales. It starts growing more rapidly as you continue on because customers who have had a good experience with you start sharing with their friends and families and they also start leaving reviews on your website about the fantastic products and experience they have had with you. Your website now ranks page 1 on Google for the products you sell, and the ad you ran on Facebook now has thousands of likes, comments and shares. As you continue the process you realise things start to get out of hand, as the growth is no longer within your control anymore. And then it gets to 5000 sales per year, allowing you to quit your job. You now have more time to spend on your business, resulting in way more sales. It sounds like a crazy journey, but that’s what the e-commerce business is about, crazy exponential growth, however, this Compounding Effect only happens when you achieve consistency.
Clarity and Focus
Have you heard of the shiny object syndrome? I was sadly afflicted with it years ago. I was involved in many different money making schemes years ago. Networking marketing, affiliate marketing, Adsense and so on, well, I’ve been involved in them. I did alright in some and failed in some as well. That was when I came across e-commerce. It wasn’t the perfect business model, but it was perfect for me in many ways. From then on, I decided to toss every other business opportunities I was involved in, and I dedicate myself to mastering this venture.
Throughout the course of my entrepreneurship journey, I have lost focus as well. At one point of my business, I started 4 new ventures in quick succession. It ended up terribly, as of all the 4, only 1 did well, and I had to take losses financially, I lost credibility and trustworthiness with partners, and all the time that I’ve spent on the failed businesses. If I had the time to focus on them 1 by 1, I would definitely be able to turn them into success stories today.
The way to stay focus is to say “no”. The word “no” is actually a really powerful tool, and it makes people perceive you in a manner that is firm, strong and confident, and those are the traits of a successful business owner. In today’s world, there is just too many opportunities to make money that people are failing due to lack of focus, whereas before the internet, search engines and social media, people didn’t even have a chance to make money unless they were in a job.
Saying “no” also turns away all the business and money making opportunities out there. It makes you focus better, delves deep into the particular venture, industry, product and customers that make you create a business that is loved by your customers and they stay on with you for years to come because of all the value you have given to them. Without focus, success will not be able to manifest itself.
Business is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
For me, I feel that these 3 are the most important traits of having a successful mindset. Looking back through my journey, I’ve never realised that being successful is about working extremely hard. Business is a marathon and not a sprint. Simply grinding ridiculous hours on your business will have minimal effect and will affect you heavily mentally and physically. I’ve always believe that businesses are vehicles to help us to get to our destination and never about us pushing and dragging it to our destination. Let us allow our businesses move us while we steer them to our destination and enjoy the ride.