The secret of success for self-employed professionals is developing a growth mindset.
What does that mean?
Let me define the opposite – fixed mindset.
In a fixed mindset, we believe our basic qualities, such as intelligence or talents are set. We believe that we were born with certain talents that determine who we are and what we can achieve in our lives.
In a growth mindset, we believe that through dedication and hard work we can develop our talents and skills sets. We are open to learning and more resilient.
For instance, many of us believe that we are born with a fixed artistic talent. We believe that some people are born with that ability and other don't have that gift.
Our minds are blown away when we see some people grab a pencil and sketch beautiful images that inspire and amaze us.
However, our minds can be blown away even more, when we discover that we can also learn to draw well.
I know it's hard to believe, but just visit this website – http://drawright.com/gallery.htm – and see the before and after drawings collected from 5-day intensive drawing classes that follow the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain method.
Many of us are very open to learning. We even consider ourselves life long learners.
So, we have a growth mindset in many areas of our lives.
Yet, we also carry some fixed mindsets in other areas that can prevent us from being successful in our businesses.
For instance, think about sales.
Very few service professionals see themselves with a gift for sales, and they believe that they will never be good sales people.
Yet, if we challenge this belief as a fixed mindset and embrace a growth mindset, we can learn how to become more successful and helping more people as we sell our services.
Mindsets are beliefs—beliefs about ourselves and our most basic qualities.
If we believe that our qualities are fixed, they will remain unchanged.
If we believe that our abilities can be changed and improved, we will increase our potential exponentially.
Yes, we have to have dedication, focus, and effort.
With passionate practice and learning, we can achieve our goals.
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And, these concepts are backed-up by many research studies.
If you want to learn more, read the book Mindset.
The author, Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist, describes decades of research on why people succeed or fail, and how the fixed and growth mindsets play a role in this process.
Other links referenced in the podcast:
How to change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset (UPDATE 2019: the site mindsetonline.com no longer exists)
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink
Book Yourself Solid® … Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling by Michael Port