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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Some things are inevitable in most startups and small businesses: There will be change that brings unexpected problems, and the number of problems increases faster if the company grows faster.

You cannot predict the actual problems, of course, but you can decide on your mindset beforehand.

People with a growth mindset believe they can constantly improve. This attitude requires dedication and diligence regarding your attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes over time.

A benefit of a growth mindset is learning how to build resilience and how to improve decisions during your success, opportunities, and challenges.

โ€œThe passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even when itโ€™s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset and allows people to thrive during the most challenging times in their lives.โ€

โ€“ Carol Dweck

A growth mindset encourages experimentation since there is often a reward for tryingโ€”such as learning something newโ€”and usually no serious risks. People with a growth mindset will constantly strive to find a better process, product, and resolution knowing the upside far outweighs the downside in most experiments.

How to Foster a Growth Mindset

First, you must believe in a growth mindset and its value. Perseverance in wanting to gain knowledge more than fearing disappointment is critical for success.

Consider these tips to create and optimize a growth mindset:

  • Strive to regularly learn and be challenged (e.g., take courses where you may struggle to keep up).

  • Try new things and embrace change (e.g., visit unfamiliar places, watch unfamiliar media, and meet diverse people).

  • Remain positive and view challenges and deficiencies as eventual opportunities.

  • Believe in your ability to grow, even when you cannot find the right answer to a daunting question.

  • Practice gratitude and acknowledge wins (e.g., โ€œToday, I faced my fear and tried something scaryโ€).

  • Read fiction to get ideas, which may prompt imaginative ways to impact markets.

  • Recognize that your desire to improve the business parallels bettering yourself.

Encourage attitudes like persistence and learning over traits like intelligence or cleverness because those traits are fixed while resolve can grow. Emphasize those attitudes in yourself and in others.

Since a growth mindset may not come easily, you may need to monitor your progress until this approach becomes more natural. Consider reviewing your progress regularly with examples of when you tried the method and when you missed an opportunity.

Potential Downsides

A growth mindset often leads to positive, long-term change, but can sometimes be ineffective, too.

Another potential downside is that the flexibility of a growth mindset may leave you indecisive: Thereโ€™s always the opportunity to try something new. To offset the potential for inaction:

  1. Revisit the companyโ€™s vision and values, which should guide your decisions.

  2. Determine the ideal outcome and how you will measure success.

  3. Realize that a decision needs to be made in a set period of time because there is a tradeoff between perfection and action i.e. A perfect solution never tried is useless.

As your startup grows, so will the challenges. People with a growth mindset will mean they evolve with the business, reach the best outcomes, and quickly adjust as necessary.

Key Takeaway: A growth mindset allows your team to persevere through various challenges and focus on improvement. Address real problems while mindful of potential opportunities.


* Check the post on Solutions Approach

** For the post on Fractional Leadership

Photo by Vladislav Babienko who can be found here.

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