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Business Mistakes are a Part of Mastery

If you own a business or have been thinking about creating one, it will be important to discover positive influences and ways of thinking, so you can continue on your forward trajectory in business and increase income doing what you love.

Let’s jump right into the topic of success, with emphasis on “mistakes as mastery.”

Do you wonder what it takes to be successful in business? And do you worry that maybe you don’t have that special something that comes with creating a thriving business enterprise and being the master of your own destiny and source of your own wealth?

Business success is, in large part, about hard work. But it’s also much more than that. You can be the hardest worker in the world and throw your whole self into producing for your business. But if you don’t have a head for business success, then your effort can end up in frustration, repeated mistakes and loss.

Let’s not forget, though, that mistakes are a part of mastery. From the very first challenges you faced as a human being, you’ve been making mistakes. As a baby you likely learned to walk. But before you walked, you had several goals to tackle one by one.

The very first item you had to check off your physical mastery checklist was holding your head up. Then, sitting up unassisted became your next goal.  Next came crouching, then standing, then crawling… and finally, walking.

Doing a simple thing that you now take for granted, like putting one foot in front of the other to take yourself for a walk, definitely didn’t come in a day, did it? It happened in progressive, gradual steps. That’s the case with just about everything in your life… and also, in your business.

Just like that small child who stumbles and falls and then rights him or herself in the process of learning to walk, so will you face your challenges in business building. Eventually those mistakes will become lessons. Many will be lessons in what not to do… which will lead you eventually to what you should be doing. And that will culminate in success.

So that is definitely a mindset to have. If you want to start thinking about what it takes to become a successful business owner, then you must convince yourself fully that failure is not an option — in as far as failure as we tend to think of it – an end, a final closing.

But failure doesn’t have to be the last act. Instead it can be a stopping point along the way. You’ve probably heard that old proverb, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” If failure is perceived as a stepping stone, then each time you “fail” you are merely learning what doesn’t work so you can now determine what does work and then do that.

As mentioned, success starts with a mental shift. Part of that shift means deciding that you won’t let failure hold you hostage. Instead, you will learn and grow from your mistakes. Beyond the refusal to accept failure, there are many other modes of thinking embraced by successful business owners. These you might figure out over time, through trial and error in your business endeavors. Or, you can get a head start on how to think and be successful by reading this series of tips.

Successful People Embrace the Big Picture

A broad vision is often the key to success when you have your own business. The key, of course, is taking that wide-view angle that you have on the world, and learning to harness what’s there to help you reach your goals.

After reading this, try to become more aware of those moments when a limited mindset stops you, and what can you do to change that so you can experience greater success in your business.

There are two ways to think about the challenges that you face in life and business. One way is to maintain a very narrow viewpoint and limited perspective. The other way is to become a big-picture thinker and shift your perspective.

Thinking small holds us back and limits us. How so, and what does “thinking small” even mean?

When we only see a challenge from one point of view, we are more likely to give up if our first attempt at facing that challenge doesn’t work out.

To be a big-picture thinker means to have a holistic view. When we think holistically, we recognize the interconnectedness of all things. If you view life and the world as a web of connections linking all people and experiences back to yourself and your own situation, you can view the problem from different angles.

The approach you take depends on how well you’re able to shift your view to a new angle. Do this once, and you’ll get a feel for how holistic thinking can help you help yourself. Continue to practice shifting your viewpoint and coming up with different angles to approach a problem. This will help you accomplish what you need to in less time, and in a way that satisfies all involved parties. That’s a huge part of using big-picture thinking to succeed in business.

Let’s take an example from online business to explore the big picture and how to think in a way that manifests wealth and success.

Many business people start out by viewing their competition as an enemy of sorts. They react emotionally to whatever the competition may be up to and they formulate their actions based on the fear and possibility of that competition being a threat to their own success.

As far as internet-based business, this fear compounds on itself because of the nature of how the internet works. We can easily become obsessed over whatever our would-be competition is up to. We might look them up on the daily and track their every move. We could lead ourselves to believe they’re swiping our trade secrets or borrowing our ideas.

Thinking this way not only limits us in our actions and words out of fear… but the mode of thinking itself is rooted in a scarcity mindset. Scarcity thinking is about believing that there’s not enough to go around. If we’re worried constantly about our competition taking away business from us, it’s based in a perception that there exists only a finite amount of potential business transactions we could conduct or revenue we might generate. But this simply isn’t true. The possibilities are limitless when it comes to creating revenue in your business.

When we’re stuck in a limited, fear-driven, scarcity mindset about our business competition, this is how we tend to think. We want to be stingy about sharing. But if we don’t share, how do we get known as an expert in our field? Here are some things we might worry about sharing too much of:

Sharing too much information.

You may fear as a business owner that if your information or your trade secrets drop into the wrong hands they can be stolen by people in similar businesses as yours and who do what you do. Some business owners who stay stuck in this limited mindset be stingy about sharing their ideas. Or they might hold back on what they share publicly, for fear that their competition will begin doing exactly what they do.

The big-picture version of how you might want to think in this situation is that it really doesn’t matter and to a certain extent (barring flagrant plagiarism), if your competition starts lifting your ideas or copycatting your communication style or modeling your product line.

In fact, if you look at most every industry and marketing niche and business niche you will see nothing but a long line of copycats and spin-offs. These are people borrowing ideas from each other, molding those ideas in new ways and evolving concepts that originated from some other person in business who came before them.

What that means is that business evolution is inevitable. So if you are in this game to make money then you won’t restrict your own potential by worrying that other people might rob your ideas or try to mimic what you do. Instead, move into the big picture of possibilities. What if instead of viewing your competition as an enemy, you started to see them as a collaborator?

Sharing leads.

There are many ways to benefit by becoming an affiliate of someone else’s product. If another business out there does something similar as you do, you can team up with that company. In fact, you  can even work out an arrangement where you’re promoting some of their products in exchange for a commission.

In this case, it would be very beneficial to share ideas and to be transparent in your business communication. Even if your competition turns around and riffs on what you do, there exists many opportunities to develop joint ventures with their company, and other companies like them. And in that way, you can piggyback on each other’s ideas to create income that compounds on itself.

That’s a great example of big-picture thinking in business that can set you free. Thinking in this way keeps you poised for creative possibilities. Big-picture thinking helps you suss out income potential when an opportunity comes along, rather than living in fear of some other company out there stealing your slice of the market share.

Working on Relationships Rather than Sales

Whether you’re in online business or run a physical brick and mortar enterprise, you’re likely well familiar with that feeling of being totally preoccupied with sales and the numbers. Some business owners become hyper aware of each time an order comes in. They may stress and worry and even freak out if something goes wrong with the order and the customer ends up requesting a refund or opts out of whatever they initially committed to.

The small minded, limited thinking business owner is more likely to get caught up negative experiences when it comes to customers and customer satisfaction. With each botched transaction that needs fixing, they become more resentful and on guard for the next person to come along who might try to take advantage. They might begin to view that pesky customer who wants a refund as an enemy who should be avoided.

Of course, there can be times when you actively decide to end a relationship with a business associate or client. This could be a toxic client. Or, perhaps you and the client simply don’t see eye to eye and would be better not working on projects together.

But even if you are ending a business relationship and have agreed not to transact with each other again in the future, remember that larger lesson. You should still seek the big-picture perspective, even in a case where you and the client aren’t seeing eye to eye and have agreed not to partner up for projects.

In this case, the big picture is the long-term relationship with your customers. Sometimes you might want to cuss out your customers and just tell them what you really think of them. But in keeping with a professional demeanor and polite courteous communication, even if an order goes south or a refund must be issued, even if a contract ends or a client chooses to go with another provider, you still have an opportunity to revisit a conversation again with them down the road.

Business owners should remember that they will evolve in their understanding of how daily business conduct plays out. Their clients and customers as well can evolve and shift their perspective from more from a scarcity mindset to one that is open to taking second chances and exploring the possibilities from a different angle.

So in other words, just because you weren’t able to make that person happy today with whatever you promised to deliver in your business, doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to deliver value to them in the future. You should also be reminded that even people that we don’t play nicely with may have friends that they can refer us to at some point, provided we end this particular transaction with them on a positive note.

Where does big-picture thinking take you? To more possibilities, more connections, more experiences, more growth, more revenue and more success. But remember too, as you hone your big-picture thinking skills, that this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years to evolve your business and your mindset.

If you have been in business for several years you may have gained some insights. This could could have you looking back on your former business persona and recognizing that you might have been considered more of a rookie or had a more childlike and limited mindset when it came to doing business.

Emotional Intelligence in Business

Anyone who wants to elevate their life experience should learn how to control their emotions rather than letting emotions control them. However, this is especially important if you have your own business.

Try to think of situations in your own business dealings where emotional reactions may be limiting you. Determine how you can become better at acting on reason and planning rather than impulse.

Success minded business owners know how to function at a more advanced level of emotional intelligence.

We talked about how our limited mindset can affect business relationships that we have with other company owners and prevent us from knowing real success. So let’s bring an emotional component into that concept.

Let’s say that you start out launching your new company as a young person maybe in your 20s or 30s. You’re new to the business game in general. As a youngster and rookie in both business and life, you may start out applying all of the same rules of your personal relationships to your business relationships.

This too is an example of tunnel vision that can limit your business success and potential for creating wealth. This is because business relationships are distinctly different from interpersonal relationships that we may share with family members, partners and close friends.

In fact, even though business is more challenging, you’ve got firm boundaries in place that may not exist with family and friendships. So that’s a definite advantage.

That said, it can be beneficial to communicate with clients and business associates on a friendly level. In fact, you can even initiate non-work-related activities into your business life. This can include evenings spent enjoying drinks or entertainment with clients or company vendors, or maybe treating employees to a sporting event such as a game of golf or “class trip” to somewhere fun, like a casino.

Even though enagements like these bring you a few notches closer on the friend scale with people you do business with, it is’s still important to maintain that professional distance. That means controlling your emotions and not letting them affect how you react to common challenges with customers and vendors and other people you work with in your business dealings when they crop up.

Here are some ways to have better emotional control in your business dealings and keep that big picture mentality at the forefront of everything you do.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

It’s not healthy or productive or a marker of success to take things personally when it comes to your business. Let’s say that you have a client who brings a good chunk of your monthly income by booking repeat hours with you on a set schedule. You thought that everything was going well and that the client was making progress with your services helping to deliver needed support.

One day, however, you get the dreaded call or email that keeps consultants and coaches awake at night with worry. The client or customer will be scaling back on their purchases with you… or, maybe they have even decided to break off the relationship. This will lower your monthly numbers and could hurt your bottom line if you don’t find a replacement client, stat.

Many business owners, especially ones who are still relatively new to the game, may take it personally that the client decided to end their monthly commitment. This could culminate in a negative reaction from you – one that you would ideally not want to show to your colleagues. Your reaction might even color your communication to reveal emotions such as anger, indignance, confusion and other emotions that are inappropriate to express in a professional setting.

How to develop your emotional intelligence to avoid these types of reactions?

One, take a step back. If a client deciding to terminate a contract with you or scale way back on the amount of business they do, it can feel like a gut punch. However, you don’t need to convey that to the client and in fact if you do, that will reveal a lot about you to them in terms of your competence as a leader and guide. So if you can control your reaction, you’ll be better off. But you may need to explore the source of those feelings and why that client’s actions feel like such a threat and punishment to you.

One possibility is that you may have done the classic putting-all-your-eggs-in-one-basket move that many business owners do. They land a gig with a good paying client and then they relax a little too much in the knowledge that their income from this client is going to sustain them financially.

If you hold back on what you would like to say to the client who cut back hours, and instead explore the real source of why you’re feeling the way that you feel, then you may come to learn that you have made a bit of a mistake. Your business mistake will need some correction if you intend on avoiding situations like this in your business future.

Another way to shift into the big-picture mindset with your emotional challenges that crop up in business is to recognize the truth of what’s happening. Do not make assumptions about what your clients maybe feeling or what the reasons are for them choosing to step away from a professional relationship with you.

It’s possible that the client’s choice to discontinue your work together has nothing at all to do with you. It may be due to a financial challenge that they’re facing. Or, it could be the result of a conflict that they’re experiencing in another area of their life. Maybe this conflict doesn’t permit them to continue work with you without a lot of friction from outside parties.

Another potential roadblock that the client may be experiencing is that they are facing a looming difficulty in their lives that’s currently demands all of their attention. Perhaps they have recognized that they are unable to put in the work needed to see results from your partnership. Being realistic about what one can and cannot accomplish at any given time is actually a wise way to be.

Any of these possibilities could affect your business associate’s decision to stop working with you. The bad news, of course, is that you will now have to make some adjustments and fill the gap where they once supplied income for you.

The good news is now you are learning a valuable lesson in the importance of having multiple income streams to fall back on when situations like this arise. Short term, you’re taking a hit financially — but it’s a relatively small hit that you can recover from.

Long term, this can revolutionize the way you do business. You’re opening your mind to a learning experience and figuring out that saying goodbye to a good client or one that you thought was a good client is not the end of the world but instead could mark a new beginning as far as income possibilities. You had a client, now you need to replace them — maybe a coaching product is in order, maybe it’s time to grow your list… and you’re on to the next big money-making scheme.

Another way that you can leverage your emotional control and raise your status as a big picture thinker aimed for business success is to open the channels of communication with the clients or customers who have opted to discontinue working with you. Timing also affects this. It could be a good opportunity to develop your skill of knowing when the time is right to act and when it is best to hold off on taking any action.

Again, not knowing the source of the client’s decision to cease your work together makes this difficult.  But it’s something that you should be looking to learn. It’s worth talking candidly with the client, in order to make this into a valuable lesson that you are not likely to make again and that, if it crops up again, you will be able to handle with grace and ease.

Again, the better you become at raising your emotional IQ and shifting your perspective from a limited, scarcity mindset to a big picture thinker, the more likely that you will be able to gain back the business of this person in the future because they are left with a positive impression of you.

No matter how you develop your business mastery, the most important part is to have fun! Loving what you do will help you build your business and become a more engaged and thoughtful entrepreneur.

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