CEO Confidential

5 essential mindsets you need to succeed in business

It’s said that Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If this is true, then most business owners are insane. They turn up day after day to do the same job the same way, yet they hope to get improved results.

Business owners often fall into the trap of working too deeply in their business rather than working on their business, believing this is the only way they can maximise profit.

Adopting the right mindset is an important starting point because, when it comes to our business, our behaviour is driven by our emotion. Unless we adopt the right mindsets and have a different attitude and outlook, then we’ll only play out insanity.

Let’s look at the 5 essential mindsets you need to win at the game of business:

  1. Learning to Say No
    Success is often built on a reflex habit of saying yes to opportunities or requests that come our way. If you say yes and can’t follow through — not because you don’t want to or intend to but simply because you don’t have the time to do everything you have said yes to — then you inevitably let the person you said yes to down. Learning to say ‘no’ in the right way will accelerate your success and is a must to successfully implement the stop doing list system.

  2. Less is More
    There’s a common misconception among business owners and entrepreneurs that by doing more work they become more successful. I don’t know where they learnt this — when you look at successful businesspeople, the opposite is most often the case. Most business owners end up majoring in minor tasks that have minimal or zero financial or emotional return to them or their business. Don’t fall into the trap of equating success with the biggest to-do list: less is more.

  3. Investment, not expense
    There are two different mindsets you can have when you look at costs: expense or investment. An expense mindset means having a short-term outlook and seeing everything purely in terms of dollars spent. Often the first thought when asked to make a decision is ‘I can’t afford that’ without considering the future payoff and recognising the long-term benefits of spending that money. When you look at decisions with an investment mindset, you open yourself and your business up to a whole new world of possibilities. Often business owners who adopt an investment mindset are clear about where they are going: they are moving forward towards their goals and are strategically growing their business, rather than letting their fears hold them back.
  4. The 80/20 Principle
    The 80/20 Principle states that a minority of causes, inputs or effort usually leads to a majority of the results, outputs or rewards. Taken literally, this means that, for example, 80 per cent of your results come from 20 per cent of your efforts (and conversely the other 20 per cent of results come from the other 80 per cent of efforts).

    Identifying the 20 per cent of tasks that will get you the 80 per cent of results comes back to identifying your genius, which is covered in chapter 5 of The Stop Doing List. When you identify the top three to five tasks you love to do, you’re exceptionally good at, and are the highest earning tasks in your business, you can turn around and eliminate practically everything else — because 80 per cent of your business results actually come from your efforts in those genius areas.

  5. Don’t Seat the Small Stuff
    It today’s busy business world, many business owners and entrepreneurs get caught up in the small stuff and don’t spend enough time on what most important. You don’t have to be right all the time to create a very successful.  Put simply, all of the decisions you make as a business owner can be put into three categories: minor, major and mega decisions. Minor decisions are the day-to-day decisions that all business owners are required to make (e.g. the decision to purchase a new printer). Major decisions are larger decisions that tend to cost a bit of time and maybe money. A mega decision is a big business-critical decision.

Adopting these essential mindsets is critical to your success. Study them, apply them and understand that they are a must. The right strategy with the wrong mindset will always fail. Ultimately, you want to be confident when you implement the Stop Doing List system. What’s more, with the right preparation and mindset, your confidence won’t need to be faked.

Have you read: Matt Malouf‘s new book, The Stop Doing List: More Time, More Profit, More Freedom (Wiley)

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Matt Malouf
Matt Malouf is an internationally-acclaimed speaker, business coach, author and entrepreneur whose mission is to help business owners build amazing businesses that enable them to live a life of freedom and fulfilment.
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