If you've been around here for a while you've likely heard me say that even the best strategy in the world won't work without the right mindset - and I wholeheartedly stand by that.
In this episode I dive into CEO Mindset - what it is and how to cultivate it, including 4 key attributes every business needs to embody to become the CEO of their business.
Having the right mindset will change the game for you and is something I encourage you to work on every single day - it can be hard work, but gosh it’s worth it.
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Hello and welcome back to Unpack This,
Today I wanted to dive into CEO mindset, if you haven’t heard this term before, I’m super excited to be bringing you this episode and introducing you to CEO mindset - because it is a serious game changer.
If you’re part of my community on socials or if you’ve ever listened to a mindset episode of the podcast before you will know that I truly believe even the best strategy will not work, if you do not have the right mindset.
So lets start with understanding what mindset is…
Our mindset is often formed by a set of beliefs that influence how we think, feel and behave and often refers to the way we might see our own intelligence, capabilities and personal qualities.
So to help me explain this a little better for you, I want to introduce or reintroduce you to the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset.
Now, if you’re already familiar with these terms, bear with me while I run through them, and then we’re going to dive into some of the juicy stuff.
After years and years of research and study, Carol Dweck, one of the worlds leading researchers on motivation and mindset coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence.
Those with a fixed Mindset, also known as a Perfectionist Mindset might give up easily, and see minor setbacks as permanent failures, they often avoid challenges to prevent the possibility of failure, and often decide that you’re either good at something or you’re not, and they often don’t look at the opportunity for growth.
On the other hand, those with a growth mindset usually believe intelligence and talent can be improved, they fail forward - meaning they learn and grow through the experience even if it doesn’t work out for them the way they want, know that past results do not have to equal future results, and know that time, effort and practice equal mastery of a new skill.
So you can see why, as business owners we really need to embrace and adopt a growth mindset.
Starting and growing a business usually requires us to think a little differently, and forces us to do things we’ve probably never had to do before, we’ve maybe even never thought about before, decisions we’ve never had to make before and pushes us outside of our comfort zone every single day.
CEO Mindset means making that decision, that you are the CEO of your business and then stepping up to, and showing up in that power, as the CEO, daily.
It means taking complete ownership of everything within our business and understanding that we are always responsible for what happens next.
There are always going to be things that happen outside our control - it could be anything from algorithm changes, platform updates and tech issues, you could have someone impersonating you and trying to scam your community, you could lose product through a collaboration, someone won’t pay you for work you’ve done, people won’t turn up to scheduled appointments or meetings - unfortunately so many things happen even if when we’re as prepared as possible and we’ve done all the right things.
Being the CEO means looking at what’s happened, the good and the bad, and making decisions that are going to drive your business forward and get you to where you want to go.
I can tell you right now, when I first started my business I absolutely did not have a growth mindset, and it’s definitely something I am still working on today.
When I went into business for myself I genuinely thought it wasn’t going to be that hard, I’d been working in marketing for over 10 years, I’d worked with small brands who were just start ups, that had very small marketing budgets, and I’d worked with international and global brands that had marketing budgets from hundreds of thousands into the millions.
I’d been involved in and so much exposure to so many big business decisions around growing brands and businesses, that I thought going into my own business I knew what to expect.
However when the decision was mine it was actually so much harder to make - when I was the employee the final decision was made at the top, I could put forward ideas and suggestions, however the final decision was theirs - so if it didn’t work, I didn’t have skin in the game in the same way. I still got my paycheck, and we moved on to the next.
Putting myself out there, having a very big, very real opportunity for failure, failure that I would make mean something about me, it absolutely paralyzed me.
The fear of failure, the fear of being seen, the fear of judgment ruled me in the early days.
I struggled to take action, I’d overthink decisions, I’d procrastinate on things where I just didn’t really feel like I knew what I was doing - and it was so much harder than what I thought it was going to be.
Doing this mindset work was what really started to change the game for me.
That meant working with a coach who called me out and challenged me, who helped me reframe my limiting beliefs about myself. I read the books, I did the hypnosis and meditations - but more importantly, I’m doing the work. And I continue to do the work daily - I am currently working with someone who supports me and is helping me take it to that next level again.
I know that to get to where I want to go, I need to keep growing, I need to keep moving, some of my decisions have gotten bigger and harder, to get to the next level I need to wholeheartedly trust myself and back every decision - which is why mindset will always be so important in our business growth and throughout our journeys.
I put things out there that I am not 100% happy with while reminding myself that done is better than perfect.
I don’t let decisions sit, I try and focus on making them quickly - there’s giving things careful consideration and then there is overthinking. Overthinking is usually ruled by fear, negativity and anxiety.
I believe your mindset could make or break your business -
Lets pretend we have 2 different business owners in front of us.
Business owner number one shows up every day and constantly compares themselves to others, thinking things like ‘I’m no good at this, this is impossible for me to learn, I can’t do x because I don’t know how, it doesn’t come naturally to me’ or waiting until they’ve perfected something or have all your ducks in a row… Who waits to take action and is afraid of what people might think - the good and the bad.
And then we have business owner number two who shows up every day and stays in their own lane. This person just does the thing, they might know they’re not the best at it, maybe they don’t feel like a natural on video, but they do it anyway and just get it out there. They look for opportunities to collaborate and connect with people further ahead of them, they take chances, they make the best decision that they can with the information they have available to them - even though they don’t really know how it’s going to pan out. But they’re prepared for that, and if it doesn’t work out, they’ll try something else.
You can really see, if these two business owners were side by side, they started at the same time, who is going to get in front quicker, who is more likely to build a thriving business.
Before I wrap up this epsiode I want to leave you with 4 things you can begin to do today that are going to help you develop your CEO mindset.
And they are:
Number one - always being at cause. This was one of the first things that we covered in my NLP training, and that is to ask yourself, how am I at cause for this?
This is not only for the not so great, perhaps negative things that happen, but also for the good and the insanely good.
It could be a decision that you made that changed the trajectory of your business, it could be a decision that you didn’t make, that meant you missed out on a really awesome opportunity. Being at cause means taking ownership of everything that happens in your business.
Number 2 - switching from reactive to proactive. This means thinking and planning ahead, it means executing your strategy with intention and purpose. Making decisions from a calm and considered place - rather than emotional and chaotic.
Number 3 - Identifying your perfectionism. When are you holding yourself back? Where are you telling yourself that you’re not smart enough, talented enough, good enough - are you procrastinating. Identifying perfectionism is the first step of moving through it.
And finally, number 4 - removing failure from your vocabulary. Knowing that there is no such thing as failure, only lessons. We learn so much quicker when we fail forward, when we learn by doing, by taking action. Avoiding failure usually means you’ll be playing small.moving slow while trying to protect your ego.
Having the right mindset will change the game for you and is something I encourage you to work on every single day - it’s hard work, but gosh it’s worth it.