? How to Improve Your Mindset as a Small Business Owner

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Discover effective strategies to improve your mindset and drive success as a small business owner.

IE 395: How to Improve Your Mindset as a Small Business Owner with Brooke Elliott

How to Improve Your Mindset as a Small Business Owner with Brooke Elliott

Brooke Elliott is a “Champion for Change” in her coaching and consulting business. She lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and is a wife and mother. 

Two years ago, she started her business, Be Complete, and is a keynote speaker, coach, talent developer, and culture consultant. She is dedicated to empowering leaders and organizations to become catalysts for change.    

What is an entrepreneurial mindset? How would you define it?

Your entrepreneurial mindset is your ability to succeed in the entrepreneurial world. There are several aspects to this, including personality traits, skill sets, attributes, and attitudes. 

If you invented something that you know you are supposed to share with the world because it would change people and they needed it, you would have a passion to ensure that everyone had access to your invention. 

That means that your vision and passion have to be solid. You have to have a solid foundation that is connected to who you are as a person. 

What is your “why” and your purpose? You have to have the willingness to take risks, fail, and have the ability to be resilient. 

How resourceful are you? Are you willing to create relationships so that you can market your invention? A lot of different things fall under the entrepreneurial mindset to ensure that your business is sustainable and you have the right attitude and support to be successful.

 An invention doesn’t have to be a physical product. It can be a course or e-book. 

You have to put your products out there to give your audience solutions or you are being selfish. It is hard for us to do because we see so many other people putting things out there that we fail to see how we are different from others. 

We hesitate because someone else has something similar. The entrepreneurial mindset allows us to know that the products we have and what others have are going to be different because we have a different voice behind them. We have to be confident in that. 

Your products and services are different because of what you uniquely bring to the world.         

What strategies can I use to overcome negative thinking patterns?

We have an inner critic or saboteur that enters our mind and tells us not to move forward on things, that we won’t win, or that we will fail. 

The first part of this strategy is recognizing that we have an inner critic in our mind. Once we are aware that something in our mind has caused a negative thought or emotion, we have the opportunity to take control of that. 

Awareness and recognition are an important part of that. During childhood, no one told us there was a saboteur or inner critic in our mind. 

When we become upset and experience negative emotions, we need to recognize that and take control as quickly as possible. No one ever told us this. 

When this happens, it affects how we react, how we communicate, how we collaborate, and our ability to focus for up to a day and move forward in our business. Becoming aware of the inner critics is step one.

Positive intelligence and mental fitness are important. That includes a meditative aspect of focusing on something different than what is in your own thoughts, brain, and negativity. 

You will need to replace the negativity with positive things like gratitude, moving forward utilizing your strengths, or reflecting on what you have learned in situations that can fuel you forward. 

What inspiring actions can you take that will both fuel you forward and positively impact those around you as well?  

We can often get ourselves into a negative spiral and need to recognize this and get ourselves out. Think of something positive and make it about that and what you can learn from it. It changes the trajectory of what you are thinking about.            

How do I cultivate resilience in the face of challenges?

Two phrases we often hear are “When is the next shoe going to fall?” or “It is what it is.” We need to cultivate resilience to move forward. 

Brooke believes it comes down to faith and the fact that everything happens for a reason or things are meant to be. 

But resilience is a mindset. The mindset and strategy that you take to move forward requires tools in your toolbox. One of those tools is self-discovery; knowing who you are, your unique attributes, and what you bring uniquely to the world. 

What are your talents and things that nobody else can do besides you? Knowing those things cultivates confidence in ourselves and our abilities. We recognize that no one else can bring things to the table in the way that we can. Self-discovery fuels confidence.

Being able to manage your saboteurs when you are faced with challenges is another tool. When we can control our mindset, we have a great attitude, we believe in ourselves, and we are confident.

This is positioning. You have to know how you are unique. It gives you the confidence to be able to stand in the greatness of what you do and the voice that you have.             

What are some effective techniques for managing stress and anxiety?

As entrepreneurs, we are dealing with the ups and downs of our businesses while we are moms and wives. We have the craziness of the kids and life changes. We have a lack of sleep and challenges in our businesses that cause anxiety. 

You must implement strategies to calm yourself down and move forward successfully with a great mindset.

Box breathing is a stress relieving technique where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and breathe out for 4 seconds. Breathing calms our body and clears our mind. 

Meditative practices and mental fitness to replace negative thoughts are other options. Focus on the details of a tree and consider the colors or leaves. Distracting yourself from what is happening helps your mind relax.

Another great thing to do when you start to feel anxious and overwhelmed is to set better boundaries. We need to be able to focus on the most important things. A lot of times, we say yes to too many things, and that brings about anxiety for us. Setting great boundaries helps. 

Here are a few suggested book titles to help:

  1. The One Thing – Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan
  2. The 12-Week Year – Brian P. Moran
  3. The 4 Disciplines of Execution – Chris McChesney and Sean Covey   

Getting great sleep helps manage stress and anxiety. This is fueled by exercise and a good diet.  It is a cycle. You have to control what you are fueling your body with to fuel yourself forward. 

Make sure you spend time doing what you love in your life. Entrepreneurs are guided towards our passion and our purpose. We are fueled and have the energy to give to that. 

We need to spend some time doing the other things we love. Great distractions help us. They bring positivity to our lives so that we can move forward without the stress and anxiety overwhelming us. 

The biggest thing that people struggle with is boundaries. While we can access our phones for social media, emails, and all of the other things we are supposed to be doing, it can cause frustration with your kids or cause a lack of conversations with your partner, among other things. 

Balance isn’t something that exists. It is more of a pendulum. Sometimes, you put more energy into your relationships, and other times, you focus on your business. You have to be okay with that. 

It comes from setting boundaries and being flexible to know when you need to adjust those boundaries. When you go through major life issues, you have to be okay with knowing that your boundaries for that season will be different and have to shift. Maybe the business is just on autopilot. Being able to understand that it is necessary and okay with it is important. 

Another thing we struggle with is comparing ourselves to others.

How can I stop comparing myself to others and focus on my own journey?

Saying to yourself, every single day “There is no competition because I am uniquely me.” You cannot appreciate that without going through the journey of self-discovery. 

If you don’t know what makes you unique, sets you apart, and differentiates you from other people who do the same thing, you need to find that thing. No one brings to the table exactly the processes that you have adopted. 

No one brings to the table the person that you are, the energy and experience that you bring, why you bring it, your personality, strengths, and all the different things that make you who you are specifically. 

First, adopt the mindset. Go through and take the time to know who you are. Take various assessments to learn about yourself and look at the common things to see what resonates and what doesn’t. 

Continue and grow in your self-discovery. Be a continuous learner. It doesn’t just stop with a one-time thing. You don’t take an assessment once and believe those ideas for the rest of your life. You have to continually invest in yourself. 

That self-investment and personal development are very important. Believe in yourself and remind yourself every day that there is no competition. 

How can I build self-confidence and belief in my abilities?

Be willing to fail forward, step outside of your comfort zone, and just do it. If you have this vision of yourself and what that looks like to bring your unique talents to the world, just do it! Just step out of your comfort zone and try it. 

Even though we see things as failures, it doesn’t mean that they actually are. We are growing and learning. 

Seeing things as learning opportunities and being able to step outside of our comfort zone regularly will build our confidence. That will grow your belief in your ability. 

You may decide what things you like and enjoy and then continue to do those things versus realizing that some activities don’t make sense to do moving forward. This will help you be able to discern the things that are bringing fulfillment to your life and others as you step out. 

 Use visualization techniques to visualize yourself in whatever realm of success you want.

  • Who are you are surrounded by?
  • What resources do you have?
  • What types of things are you doing?
  • What is your attitude?

Visualization helps you decide where you should be in the future. You can do this annually, monthly, or weekly. What actions are you going to take to see yourself in reality in that place? 

Building self-confidence also requires you to surround yourself with people who support you in your journey, share your vision, and are going to pour positivity into you instead of taking it away or giving you negative energy. 

It means you will have to be vulnerable and share it with people that you know you can trust. Support is really important. 

Being involved in the community to get local support is huge to help your mindset and your confidence in moving forward. 

Celebrate the baby steps. When you celebrate the small wins, it allows you to reflect on where you have come from and appreciate the fact that you are doing it. You are taking the steps on your journey. You need to recognize what you are providing. 

When you put all of these things together it helps build self-confidence. It is a commitment that you have to be willing to make every single day.  

Pick any one of these strategies and begin to implement them. You will see a difference. That uncomfortable feeling that you are having because you are trying something new is growth. As long as you fail forward and grow from it, you will continue to grow your business. 


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