The 5 essential mindsets you need to succeed in business

19 April 2017

Matt Malouf

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

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 five 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.

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).

When you identify the top three to five tasks you love to do, the ones you’re exceptionally good at and are the highest earning tasks in your business, you can turn around and eliminate practically everything else. That’s because 80 per cent of your business results actually come from your efforts in those areas.

5. Don’t sweat 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 is most important. You don’t have to be right all the time to create a very successful business.

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, with the right preparation and mindset, your confidence won’t need to be faked.

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