From surviving, to thriving in business with an open mindset by Chris Finn

Working as a coach with small businesses, I’ve often found some recurrent themes of what helps some businesses thrive, and some survive. When you first start-up a new business, you are filled with energy. Motivation, inspiration, and creativity can be found in abundance. Fast forward ten years, after you’ve ridden some waves of quiet spells, a pandemic, and a whole host of changes, that same enthusiasm, energy and creativity can be hard to find. What replaces it can be more of a stale mindset. You stop learning, you move from an open mindset, to a fixed mindset.

Open versus fixed mindset

An open mindset is one of creativity. A fixed mindset is closed to new, novel ideas, and innovative ways of thinking.

A closed mindset misses out on opportunities. An open mindset comes from a place of confidence. A fixed mindset comes from a feeling of insecurity.

A fixed mindset is busy firefighting. So when someone approaches you with change, perhaps a new idea, you don’t see the potential advantages and return of investment in your time and energy. You don’t see change as a priority.

Instead, you might enter a state of resistance – a fixed mindset where you only see problems. Not opportunities or solutions.

Sometimes people enter a state of defensiveness when a new creative idea is presented. But to think that we have nothing to learn from someone else, is a fixed mindset, and is a defensive state where we feel insecure.

If your business is struggling, or there is room for growth, it is actually, really quite natural to think “yeah, but I’ve tried everything”.

Resistance to change

Have you ever seen one of those programmes where someone like Gordan Ramsey goes in and helps fix a struggling restaurant? Often, the business owners have asked him to go in, or at least agreed to it, yet are sometimes very resistant to the ideas he has. Even though he comes with a fair amount of credibility.

You can easily spot those with an open mindset, and those with a fixed mindset. And those with an open mindset always do better.

The thing is, that we want to think that we have tried everything. Otherwise, we are admitting that there is something that we haven’t tried, thought about, or actioned.

In other words, we don’t like to admit that we could benefit from some support, mentoring, or coaching.

But can we really expect ourselves to be good at everything in our business. Especially if you are an entrepreneur, you have so many different roles to work in. Can you really be gifted and skilled at marketing, sales, social media, admin, accounts, and all the other ‘hats’ that running a small business entails?

Of course not. Chances are that when you started your business you felt that the business would match your particular skillset. Yet, as a small business you have to learn so many different skills that might not interest you, and might not play to your strengths.

That’s where a coach might be able to help you. Coaching is different from mentoring and consulting.

Coaching, Mentoring, and Consulting

Mentoring is gaining support and guidance from someone who has been in your shoes and is further down the line. This support can be helpful in providing encouragement and advice.

Consulting is basically hiring someone to come in and tell you how to solve a problem.

Coaching is where someone like myself, will help you tap into your own creativity and energy, releasing your mental blocks and seeing new opportunities for inspiration, growth and innovative ideas.

Coaching is about helping you tap into your existing strengths, and develop any areas of weakness, building confidence and growing professionally, and personally.

Having said that, although coaching isn’t primarily about sharing my ideas, if I do happen to have a lightbulb moment, I do of course share this too. Last month one of my ideas that I shared with a small business, increased their next month’s earnings significantly.

I specialise in mindset, having a Masters in Psychology and training in business coaching, I help people and businesses get the best out of themselves. I’ve helped people start businesses, and reignite existing businesses.

What is mindset?

Mindset is how open we are to change. Or how closed we might be. At its most unhelpful, our minds can enter a state of what we call ‘functional fixedness’. This is where we don’t see what opportunities are right in front of us.

Mindset is the difference between surviving, and thriving.

Think of Blockbuster. Like me, do you remember Friday nights and walking to the local Blockbuster video store to choose a video or DVD to rent for the night? Then LoveFilm came along. You didn’t need to leave your house. You could get a DVD posted to you with a return envelope.

When LoveFilm became more established, Blockbuster struggled to survive, losing most of their business to the new business model.

But couldn’t blockbuster either have matched LoveFilm’s business model, or perhaps, is it a stretch of the imagination to think that Blockbuster could have come up with the innovative idea themselves?

Then when the streaming services started such as Netflix, LoveFilm went under. But what if LoveFilm had adapted and changed with the times?

The way I see it is that new businesses have something that old businesses don’t have. A creative mindset. That energy, inspiration, and motivation to provide a service that people want, or need in the current times.

And we can all get that back.

So, I wonder, why did you start up in business? What was your vision?

How has that vision changed over time?

How has society, and your consumers changed over this time?

What have you been doing that no longer generates interest, sales, or value for your customers?

What would you start doing if you were fresh, and starting a brand new business today?

Would you like some help with that?

If you would like to tap into your own creative mindset, and you are open to exploring where you might grow, you can book a free coaching session with Chris at Chris Finn Coaching. You can contact Chris via his website https://chris-finn.com or email him at info@chris-finn.com or call him on 07515 478034.

Chris would be happy to come and meet you and spend a couple of hours seeing where some opportunities might lie.