Before I started my first business, I had the same mindset that a lot of startup new business owners have – that I have one chance to get it right and it has to be perfect from the start.
But of course that doesn’t make sense and you are never going to be perfect, never mind perfect on day one.
It happens because new entrepreneurs are afraid of being “called out” as new and of showing their inexperience so they want to try and avoid that by having thought of and figured it all out before they launch.
When I was business brokering, I ran into the other end of the spectrum – business owners who had essentially given up. They no longer cared about making things beer, coming up with new ways to do things, or changing with the market.
They figured if it worked ten years ago, there’s no reason it won’t work now.
You still see this all the time – the CPA who wants you to mail or fax something instead of having an online portal, the business that doesn’t have a website, the business that only takes cash or check…dinosaurs who are hurting themselves by not being up to date with their business practices.
So what is the right mindset to have as a business owner? There is only one and it’s perfect, easy to do, and will never let you down…
The ONLY business mindset…
The one and only mindset to have when you are a business owner (in my opinion, maybe not so humble on this point!) is to strive for continuous improvement.
What does that mean in actual practice? Simple- each day try to be just the tiniest bit better than the day before.
- Read all your customer reviews and anytime there is a less than perfect one- see if they have a valid point or two where you can actually improve to prevent that complaint in the future
- Review your processes occasionally to see if there is room for improvement in any of what you do- to either make things easier or prevent problems that aren’t complete one offs
- Ask for and listen to feedback from employees on things that would help them make their jobs easier
- Review where you are spending big chunks of time and see if there are ways to automate/delegate/change the process to improve the efficiency
- Review what your competitors may be doing and see if anything they are offering is something it would make sense for you to offer
- Check in on industry blogs/websites/podcasts to see if there are new trends/developments that may be beneficial to consider for your own business
Basically, as a business owner, you will run into challenges with your business every single day. You can let them make you stressed and angry or you can look at it as an opportunity to make that problem better. You may not be able to fix it entirely, or you may not be able to fix it all today, but if each time you run into it you can figure out how to make it a little less of an issue then eventually it won’t be a problem at all.
If you tackle each day as a chance to make one thing easier, faster or better in your business then each day will be a little better.
On the other hand, if each day is a just a series of disasters and you feel like this is just your destiny to deal with then of course you’ll get burned out and nothing will ever get better.
Or, if you decide one day you’ve “had it” and try to fix everything all at once with sweeping across the board changes, chances are you’ll do as much harm by trying to fix everything at once as you’ll be helping.
If you have the mindset of “every day we’ll try to just do a little better” then the task is not overwhelming, you can enjoy small wins and ultimately all the small improvements will add up to a much better overall business. It will never be perfect, because that’s impossible, but it will be as good as it can be with still just a little room for improvement- which you will keep working on.
Owning a successful business is a journey, not something that happens or is ever arrived at for good. Therefore, the way you think about it has a lot to do with how enjoyable and profitable that journey is for you.
So ask yourself, starting today and every day after, what one thing can I do today to make things run just a bit better here?
You’ll see that one habit will be a huge gamechanger for your business and your own mental well being!