The most common mistake first time business owners make is going into their journey with the wrong mindset. These days entrepreneurship has sexy connotations and everybody is clamoring to start their own business and become their own boss. While there is nothing wrong with this, there are helpful and unhelpful mindsets to have when anyone is just starting out.
Entrepreneurship is a gritty fight day in and day out. Without sounding too pessimistic, it can be incredibly boring and tiresome at best or menacingly scary at worst. Those people who go into their projects with the right mindset have an advantage.
To start your first business, there are three main tenants to follow in order to maintain the right mindset.
Tenants of a Healthy Business Mindset
Tenant #1: Enjoy the process, not the results
I’ve seen it too many times before. A new entrepreneur is so excited about their project and all the things it is going to allow for them to do. Within 6 months they’ll be millionaires and before you know it, they’ll be selling their business to Facebook for billions.
This is how many new entrepreneurs think and it is detrimental to their mental health and success. The more they dwell on the results, the more they are desiring a positive outcome. Desiring something positive, such as business success, is in itself a form of suffering! It’s spending life wishing for something else.
Instead, new entrepreneurs must learn to love the process of building their business rather than the results. It will help transform them into different people that are more focused, determined, intelligent, and capable. These personality traits that change as a result of being involved in a new business are worth more than the result anyway.
Tenant #2: Don’t do it for you
There are two different ways that new business owners can think about their venture. The first way of thinking is to try and create a life that only requires four hours of work per week, pays all the bills, and even gives some pocket money leftover. Lately, these projects are even better if they are “passive” meaning the owner doesn’t need to do any work at all!
This is completely the wrong mindset and is quite a selfish way of looking at entrepreneurship. Instead, consider how your creation in the world is making an impact on your customers. What are you doing for your customers that is worth paying for? These are the kinds of questions that create a customer-centric business versus a lifestyle business for selfish reasons.
Not only is the customer-centric option going to be more successful, but it is also going to be more fulfilling. There are dozens of ways to make money, but it takes something that contributes to the wellbeing of others to be rewarding.
When my partner created a nootropics and smart drugs website called Nootropedia, it helped hundreds of people to become better informed about these cognitive enhancing drugs. One person called and shared how nootropics helped their daughter avoid seizures and helped another recover from concussions. This is more rewarding than any amount of money.
Tenant #3: Business is not all fun and games
Because most people have fanciful business stories in their minds, many get the impression that starting their first venture is going to be easy or fun. While there will be plenty of fun moments (especially if you master the other two tenants), business comes with many difficulties that most people don’t realize at first.
For one thing, a business owner is in charge of everything, which means leadership never stops. Something needs fixing at 4 AM and they have to be there to make it happen. Most of the time, being the “boss” isn’t as glamorous as it might seem, either. It consists of doing many menial and repetitive tasks, challenging decisions, and a whole lot of heartache.
With these tenants in mind, ask yourself whether your latest venture is being founded for the right reasons. You might not like all of the answers that you find, but it will be better to have this exercise before it is too late. Even if your mindset is currently lacking according to our list, there are things you can do to change it and succeed anyway.