This article comes from Entrepreneur.
No one is born a success. “Greatness is not this wonderful, esoteric, elusive God-like feature that only the special will ever taste,” actor Will Smith once said. “It’s something that truly exists in all of us.”
Practice and preparation are foundational amongst successful people. Along my journey as an entrepreneur and advisor, I have uncovered eight simple and practical mandates for growth that will support you through your journey. By sharing them with you, I hope you can use them to accelerate your development faster and less painfully than my very own journey.
There is an abundance of research that directly relates a growth mindset to success.
Professor Carolyn Dweck from Stanford University spearheads such research. She summarizes a growth mindset as the belief that an individual’s most basic abilities and skills can be developed through dedication and hard work — brains and talent are just the starting point.
This means that if you believe that your talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies and input from others, you are developing a growth mindset. You will achieve more than those with a fixed mindset because you put more energy into learning and you worry less about looking smart.
Organizations that embrace a growth mindset culture report employees are far more empowered, more committed and more innovative, and work more collaboratively to achieve the organizations’ objectives.
We are a mixture of both fixed and growth mindsets. This mixture continually evolves with experience, and a pure growth mindset doesn’t exist. Not acknowledging this will form a false growth mindset, which will not help you seek the benefits you seek.
It’s hard work, but individuals and organizations can gain a lot by deepening their understanding of growth-mindset concepts and the processes for putting them into practice. In addition, it gives them a richer sense of who they are, what they stand for and how they want to move forward.
Start learning to listen. Too many people fail to listen and, by doing so, fail to learn. Listen to your customers, employees and industry peers. So much is missed because entrepreneurs are so caught up being busy. I have witnessed people missing out on valuable intelligence on too many occasions because they weren’t paying attention; they were distracted and did not listen. There are many other benefits to listening, such as releasing tensions, displaying empathy, building trust and demonstrating respect.
Learning to learn is a significant component of success. We live in a world driven by connectivity, and this has provided us access to the world.
I have become obsessed with learning because the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. I constantly find myself asking more questions and wanting to uncover more about each topic I research. It’s exciting and I batch my diary for learning. I make sure I have the time allocated each day.
Self-awareness is critical to your recovery and your ability to adapt and take advantage of the opportunities presenting themselves every day.
Entrepreneurs must always be thinking about reinventing a process, a system, their team and their product. Customer acquisition shouldn’t be a practice when you don’t have enough customers; it needs to be a constant along with many other variables. Practice customer acquisition when you have too many customers to build a more profound and richer experience. You can only do this if you are continuously improving yourself.
The problem is that everyone gets busy, and most of the time, it’s because of growth or failure. But that’s ok, being busy is not your enemy. Time is your friend — it’s how you use it and what you do that matters.
People whinge about limited resources and poor cash flow all the time but typically, everyone started with nothing. It’s up to you to create opportunities, develop a thirst for learning and improve yourself.
This means that when you fail, start again. Intelligently reinvent yourself and your business. This means knowing who you are and what you represent.
I know. You think you have no time and have no idea where you can find more. Start by looking at why you have no time. Pause for 10 minutes and write down the exhaustive list holding you back from control, freedom and balance.
This process alone will help you realize that you have more time than you think. On average, my new clients uncover about five hours of extra time just by undertaking this exercise alone.
Time is your friend. You need to own it. Unfortunately, so many people I meet are run by the clock. They live their life around their schedule — a schedule they set — but then they put up all these barriers to justify why they haven’t got time.
Time is our most precious resource. It’s irreplaceable, so why do we waste so much of it doing things that don’t serve us? When you respect and understand the value of time, you can learn and work faster. You realize there is no substitute for speed and failing quickly is a valuable tool for learning.
Start to do, delete, defer or delegate as much as possible. This will free up your time, giving you more freedom and more control.
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