Your mindset and the stage of your startup

Everyone goes through different stages in life based on situations, shifting perspectives, and external factors. The same is true for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

During the life cycle of any successful business, founders spend a lot of time crafting their business model, organizational structure, new products, and more.

Which mindsets are valuable during the different stages of entrepreneurship, and which stage are you going through now? Let’s take a look.

A “drive” mindset can steer you from start to success

When you first develop your business idea, it’s easy to feel passionate about it. You have an urgent desire to make it a reality. When you talk about what you want your startup to achieve — whether it’s addressing a social problem or helping target customers — others can see and hear your enthusiasm and conviction. Your mind buzzes with creativity while your body has energy to work long hours.

This is an important mindset because it motivates you to get started and follow through. You’ll need that drive for later stages of your business too. The drive mindset can fuel you to take necessary action if your launch is delayed or other unexpected barriers appear along the way.

A “persistence” mindset will help you rise above voices of doubt

At the same time, you need to have a persistence mindset. That’s because barriers or setbacks may last longer than your drive does.

When obstacles arise, it’s common to find people who doubt your ability. Newer entrepreneurs and even more experienced ones doubt themselves from time to time. But if you’re determined to build what you’re planning, then you can get beyond or simply ignore such influences. Adopt a mindset that won’t let you give up. You know you can clear those hurdles, and you’re fully committed to launching your startup.

Every entrepreneur should cultivate this kind of mental fortitude, whether the challenge is a lack of experience, not enough funding, or legislative roadblocks. How you overcome those setbacks sets you apart as an entrepreneur.

A “quitting” mindset can hit any entrepreneur who lacks support

Every stage of entrepreneurship can spark the desire to quit. Even if you’re a successful small business owner with loads of persistence, you probably still struggle at times. You may even get discouraged by setbacks or riddled with doubt after making a few mistakes, especially when people don’t flock to your product as fast as you’d hoped. It doesn’t help to know that many businesses fail within the first year.

This is when you remind yourself that you relish the risk, challenge, and purpose involved in the startup process. To handle this mindset of entrepreneurship, it’s beneficial to use a partner, business advisor, or mentor as a sounding board. Talk over these issues with a trusted confidante to remind you why you should be persistent. With hard work and creativity, you can survive the quitting mindset.

A “vision” mindset can guide the future of your business

Vision is an essential mindset that entrepreneurs need no matter what stage of business development. It helps you identify opportunities that others miss. Your vision generated the idea for a viable business in the first place, and that vision continues to guide you through each stage, even when those around you still don’t see the path.

To develop your vision mindset as an entrepreneur, step back, acknowledge the struggles and successes to date, and focus on the bigger picture. This vision encompasses both opportunities and challenges so you can strategize the best way to capitalize on them.

Use that foresight to adopt specific tactics based on your predictions and assessments of future trends.

A “mission” mindset helps engage the team

You know what needs to get done to achieve your vision, and you employ the drive and persistence to launch your startup, pivot if necessary, and direct decision-making. This is your mission, which may be built on a dual purpose, combining a social cause with sustainable financial success. Or perhaps you’re focused solely on solving previously unsolvable social problems. As such, you feel compelled to make a positive impact and leave a lasting legacy of definitive change.

More important, a mission mindset helps anyone who joins your team because they’ll develop a greater understanding of why your business exists, where it’s going, and the role they play within it. Your team can also adopt that mission mindset so they can help you achieve it.

Stay action-oriented to achieve entrepreneurial success

Across all stages, top entrepreneurs proactively execute on what drives them. From the moment you have an idea in the initial stage of entrepreneurship, it’s imperative to take action by seeking feedback and conducting extensive research. Execution is the key to getting past barriers in every stage.

Your drive to act will inspire the talent you hire no matter what the stage or situation. A formal business plan or other documented description of your vision and mission can help direct the team. A detailed roadmap with tactics, a time line, roles, and responsibilities will motivate your team to push through challenges and turn that business idea into a sustainable company.

A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked for TV, newspapers, radio, and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s written for, Fast Company, NBC, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and Business Insider, among others.

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