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Terry Barber: The best mindset for a successful business owner

Terri Barber/For the Daily Press

Did you know that you can have the best knowledge and most experience about business and still fail because you don’t have the right mindset?

It’s true! There are countless books and articles that address this very concept. Check out the study by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck regarding the “growth mindset.” Fascinating!

Coaches and athletes across the world can attest to having the best training, the best people, the best game plan but still lose because they had the wrong mindset. We’ve seen it happen with our own teams or favorite teams we cheer for. Yet, how often as business owners do we forget, fail or choose not to address this critical part of business success.

Over the next few weeks we will explore what characteristics make up the best mindset for a successful business owner. Let’s begin by grouping them into the 6 Do’s and Don’ts and examine how each impacts the success of a business owner. They are as follows:

6 Do’s6 Do’s

6 Do’s

• Directional

• Purposeful

• Teachable

• Flexible

• Forceful

• Forgetful

6 Don’ts6 Don’ts

6 Don’ts

• Fearful

• Perfectional

• Blameful

• Distrustful

• Mystical

• “Defeat-full”

DirectionalDirectional

Directional

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman statesman and philosopher“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman statesman and philosopher

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman statesman and philosopher

Imagine climbing into a sailboat and putting up the sail and letting the wind take you where it wants. While it might be a thrilling ride, will it be a successful one? Will you survive? Where will you end up?

So many business owners do just that. They have no direction or destination for their business; essentially surrendering command of their business over to fate.

It’s your business. Own the ship — ownership! Pick a destination and chart the course for your business.

You might argue that there are too many factors outside of your control that will sink your business. True, but there are many factors that are in your control or can be used to your advantage if you have a destination and know your route. When sailing, you can’t control the weather, the wind, waves or wildlife. Yet, if you know where you are going, you can chart a course to get you there safely by avoiding factors outside your control and/or taking advantage of these same factors to help you reach your destination — think tacking the wind.

Pick a direction and chart a course for your business and quit surrendering command of your business to others or fate.

PurposefulPurposeful

Purposeful

“I've never felt like I was in the cookie business. I've always been in a feel-good feeling business. My job is to sell joy. My job is to sell happiness. My job is to sell an experience.” — Debbi Fields, founder and spokesperson of Mrs. Fields Bakeries“I've never felt like I was in the cookie business. I've always been in a feel-good feeling business. My job is to sell joy. My job is to sell happiness. My job is to sell an experience.” — Debbi Fields, founder and spokesperson of Mrs. Fields Bakeries

“I’ve never felt like I was in the cookie business. I’ve always been in a feel-good feeling business. My job is to sell joy. My job is to sell happiness. My job is to sell an experience.” — Debbi Fields, founder and spokesperson of Mrs. Fields Bakeries

Why are you a business owner? Why are you in the business you are in? Is it to make money or to be your own boss? If so, your why isn’t big enough to be successful.

Your why is your life-purpose expressed through your business. It is the energy that sustains you when times are tough and the hours are long. It’s what keeps you focused and on track for your destination when surrounded by noise, distractions and difficulties. Your why must be deep within you.

Your why must also be bigger than yourself. It is that vision that inspires others to want to join you in this grand opportunity. Most people desire to be part of something bigger than themselves including customers. Without your why, you are just another business wanting to part your potential clients from their money without care or consideration for them. These businesses fail!

We will continue our exploration of the 6 Do’s and Don’ts characteristics of the best mindset for a successful business owner in upcoming articles.

Terry Barber is co-owner and founder of Ardent Leadership & Technology Solutions, Inc. and your local certified business coach for the world’s No. 1 business coaching firm, ActionCOACH. You can reach him at terrybarber@actioncoach.com.Terry Barber is co-owner and founder of Ardent Leadership & Technology Solutions, Inc. and your local certified business coach for the world’s No. 1 business coaching firm, ActionCOACH. You can reach him at terrybarber@actioncoach.com.Terry Barber is co-owner and founder of Ardent Leadership & Technology Solutions, Inc. and your local certified business coach for the world’s No. 1 business coaching firm, ActionCOACH. You can reach him at terrybarber@actioncoach.com.


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