The motivation for creating this blog post came after watching this 6 minute Youtube video which now has over 4.4 million views.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you should definitely check it out.
In this blog post I spoke to eight growth mentors and got their take on what growth mindset means to them, why it’s important to success in business and life, and tips on how to develop one.
Let’s preface the advice by pitting the growth mindset and fixed mindset into a 1:1 comparison table to put things into perspective…
|Growth Mindset||Fixed Mindset|
Oz Merchant - Founder at Wellistic
I define a mindset to be the lens from which I view the world. A growth mindset is an empowering lens from which I can see how to better myself and my business
How to develop a growth mindset, lets dive right in!
Having a strong mindset is not a status quo, but rather a journey.
“Most of the times the difficult part is to retain the mindset and just not quit,” says serial SaaS founder and professional Jazz musician Mike Rubini.
Mike continues, “ There are several things I personally do for that, one of the best things you can do is taking care of yourself first so that you operate at your peak state. This will both make yourself a better human being and a better founder.”
“Especially at the beginning we are doing everything ourselves and often times we fall into the trap of thinking that the greater our input, the greater and the better the output will be. That’s just not true. We all know what to do: work less but more focused, eat healthy, move, sleep well (do not work at night), get inspiration from nature and life experiences.”
Having a strong mindset is not a status quo, but rather a journey: most of the times the difficult part is to retain the mindset
If you want to grow, you’re going to have to get uncomfortable.
Nothing worthwhile comes easy, which is why discomfort shouldn’t be avoided, but rather embraced and welcomed.
Manish Balakrishnan, an experienced startup mentor and VC consultant said, “discomfort in of itself is a pretty good barometer to measure if you are stretching yourself. Growth mindset is defined as a collection of traits which manifest itself in founders who have a genuine curiosity, a willingness to learn, are comfortable being uncomfortable and resilient to the core.”
If you are comfortable with what you are doing you are not pushing the boundaries enough
Gunter Richter, a management consultant with 20 years experience under his belt, also echoed a similar sentiment. “Having a growth mindset can be a challenge. It’s often easier to stick with the things you know and follow the path of least resistance. Be conscious of this, and seek out activities that will challenge you, force you to learn new things, and to grow your skills.”
Speed is also an important facet of developing a growth mindset, especially in the startup scene.
“Having a growth mindset is all about thoughtful prioritization at speed,” says Cara Hogan, content strategist at Zaius. “Every marketer in a growth stage company has a million ideas and a million more things to do, but not nearly enough time or resources to do it all.
“You need a firm grasp on what is the most important and will move the needle most for your business. Do those projects first, and you’ll be more productive, more efficient, and — most importantly — more focused on work that really matters.”
“Inquiring whether a belief or behavior operates as an asset or liability is crucial,” says Wellistic founder Oz Merchant. “This distinction provides them the perspective to feel renewed confidence in their strengths or an opportunity to examine blind spots holding them back.”
Oz added: “Eleven years ago, I embarked on my most important venture, something I called “Project Me”, a journey of self-exploration to reexamine all my beliefs and decide if they are worth keeping or not. It’s an ongoing journey. I’m still a work in progress.”
Oz Merchant - Founder at Wellistic
Entrepreneurship provides the perfect opportunity to learn more about ourselves, as a business, especially in the early days, is a reflection of our strengths and weaknesses. It just takes the courage to explore
Oz adds, “I think as an Entrepreneur or CEO, self-reflection and openness to change become the cornerstones of success. It’s easy to get caught up in a bubble of your own ideas which reinforce your own beliefs. We have to work extra hard to question existing beliefs and seek out new external sources of fresh information to integrate into.”
Here are three simple ways Oz recommends to stay out of your own bubble:
- Read books outside of your normal preference — topics that don’t typically get your attention
- Attend meetings where you meets people outside of your typical customer or client base. For example, if you typically engage with HR of financial institutions, then make it a point to speak to professionals in procurement or support in industries like healthcare or construction
- Watch and reads news from opposing viewpoints to capture a richer perspective on world happenings
In the end, it comes down to whether you have a genuine desire to really know yourself and your limits. Red pill or blue pill? You decide.
To which Oz makes a very interesting point that “entrepreneurship provides the perfect opportunity to learn more about ourselves, as a business, especially in the early days, is a reflection of our strengths and weaknesses. It just takes the courage to explore.”
“To me, a growth mindset is a constant effort in becoming a better person,” says Maciej Galkiewicz, decentralization enthusiast and CEO at Ragnarson. “It’s an endless road, not a goal to reach. It’s what you do with your life every single day.”
When Maceij thinks about changing the world and what it takes on a personal level, his mind travels to his morning rituals. “If you want to build a successful company and change the world, you need to make your bed first. I believe it’s tremendously helpful when your personal matters are taken care of.
Maciej Gałkiewicz - CEO at Ragnarson.com
Think about your self-development, relationships, physical and mental health, and finances. Your daily habits are key in putting your life on the right track.
Maciej adds: “Once you have your life under control, I suggest learning as much as you can about the world around us. It’s pointless to do something against the laws of nature.”
“Keep extending your interdisciplinary knowledge and develop mental tools which will help you in making sense out of the complex system we live in. It’s impossible to play well if you don’t comprehend the rules of the game.”
You should also stay curious about what’s going on in your industry.
This is what Vlad Calus the founder of Planable has to say: “I’m subscribed to some of the best newsletters in the industry like The Hustle and Coffee Brew to find out what’s happening in the tech world. I’m reading everything non-fiction on business development, startups and marketing.
“I’m also following hundreds of great people, CEOs, makers, investors, writers, bloggers, and marketers who I’m learning from.”
Vlad Calus - Co-founder of Planable.io
As for building up your growth mindset, I believe that the best way for it is to be constantly learning.
Developing a growth mindset is something that you have to do on your own. It takes grit, persistence, and the type of inner strength that can only be forged out of adversity. But talking to a growth mentor can absolutely help you on your path!
What is a Growth Mentor?
Growth mentors are like an amalgam of all three of Anthony Khan’s mentor types, (1. Peer Mentors, 2. Career Mentors, 3. Life Mentors) but they’re able to go further because they don’t just focus on one area.
- Growth mentors don’t just tell people what to do, because they know that that’s not how people grow.
- They help you to grow your knowledge and your abilities through dedication, hard work and the thirst for self-improvement.
If you, as a mentee, have a growth mindset and you’re able to find a mentor that can support that, you’re in the perfect place to continue to grow… and grow and grow!
Keep your head up! You got this!