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Guide to your Business Mindset

August 27, 2012

Government studies say only half of start-ups will be running in a decade. That means the chances of success could go either way. Usual causes of business failure include lack of planning and not enough capital, but did you know that our own behaviours can play a role?

To give you a better idea on what attitudes you should watch out for, here are several types of unhealthy mindsets in business.

Fear in business

Fear is a basic survival behaviour that occurs in response to certain stimulus, like a perceived threat. This emotion actually serves an important function: it provides us the ability to recognise danger, giving the urge to either run away from it, or meet it head on.

When attacked by a predatory animal, fear becomes a valuable asset as it helps one survive. Admittedly, fear compels us to do well when presenting a vital business proposal, but it can work to our disadvantage.

Functioning out of fear could strongly influence their point of view and make them operate out of want and powerlessness. For instance, salespeople might give away information that they shouldn’t for fear of losing a deal to a rival. Or when negotiating, fear could push you to quickly give in. Fear in business could hurt your company in the process.

Risk-taking in business

Taking risks is sometimes necessary in business, but it can also be self-defeating. This hazarding can be caused by several different factors but it can usually be attributed to either the intense need of money or excitement.

How many times have you heard this before? A business owner wants to take outrageous risks on dicey schemes that have nothing to do with his main business as a way to make his life more exciting. Or how about share and commodity traders hastily purchasing stocks and eventually losing large amounts of money because they sought the thrill?

There may be no such thing as a sure thing in investment, but a degree of caution should be exercised.

Desperation in business

This is similar to the fear mindset. Functioning with a desperate behaviour in business can lead to difficulties because a desperate person might try to please everyone. Granted, making the extra effort than is expected is good customer service. However, going way too far to get or maintain business could look as if we’re needy and there are individuals who would take advantage of that.

Fighting unhealthy mindsets

So how do you get out of this rut? One way to grasping our unhealthy business mindsets is to look into our deep-seated convictions and examine their validity. Here’s a technique for doing so:

Reflect on your beliefs about money and write them all down. Do not omit or edit anything. Give yourself a minute to jot down every answer that you can think of. Some of your beliefs may stun you.

For instance, there are people who have contradictory ideas, believing that people with plenty of money are greedy and successful. If you think that people with plenty of money are greedy, but you consider yourself generous and resent greedy people, you might have some difficulty making money.

If you look immediately at a venture’s potential to make money without first having a grasp of your own business mindsets, you are possibly setting yourself up for disappointment. Money is what runs all businesses, and your behaviours will manifest themselves when you manage your own.