Is your mindset holding you back?


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Follow these 10 growth mindset strategies for small business success


It doesn’t matter how skilled you are in your area of expertise, if you get in your own way, you may not be achieving the success you so rightly deserve. You see your mindset actually impacts both yourself and your business positively or negatively. I should know…it’s a battle I win and lose daily.


You see, I know you have made a bunch of sacrifices to create this small business, and of course success is the desired outcome… Setting healthy systems in place to support your mindset is advantageous. So while this may sound a bit woo woo to some, hear me out and you may walk away with something that will help your personal mindset and business growth.


1.    Frame Challenges as Opportunities

Let’s face it, it’s not business without experiencing some hurdles along the way. However, dwelling on a problem can cause unnecessary stress and actually hamper your productivity. When faced with a challenge, it is important to take a step back, and process it, without acting on your emotions in the first instance. Simply asking “What? Where? When? How?” can lead to resolutions to issues and new approaches if faced with it again. If emotional, talk with a business peer for perspective. Remember to frame challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, improve and adjust.


2.    Look for the positive in every situation

Did you know that our brains are hard-wired to look for threats and focus on them? This survival mechanism served us well eons ago, when we were hunters and gatherers, as there was a real threat of being killed by something or someone. Obviously, our natural instinct did not evolve as quickly as we did. Therefore, maintaining positivity is a daily challenge that requires concentration and attention. Be mindful of staying positive to overcome the brain’s tendency to focus on threats.


The good news is that the old adage “fake it till you make it” can be applied, and soon you will focus on positive things without even trying.  If you focus on your vision and practice gratitude for a few minutes a day, that will help.



Ask yourself what your vision for the year is, your ‘why’, it will naturally lead you in a healthy direction and attract people to you.

Have you read the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne? If not, it’s worth a read. Visualisation is one of the most powerful mind exercises you can do.

“The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe.”

Whether you believe that or not, I suggest you try a vision board, preferably at the start of the year. This will help you through the more challenging times, by looking at your goals, vision, and positive focus areas for your business and personal life.



Practising gratitude is also a powerful growth mindset tool. A simple mantra or daily affirmation can help shift your mindset from a negative or fear based mindset to a more positive outlook.

Here are a few of mine to inspire you:

  • I have grit and I don’t quit
  • Growth happens when I step out of my comfort zone
  • I listen to my intuition and trust my inner guide
  • My mind is full of brilliant ideas
  • I make a positive difference in the world by simply existing in it
  • I am enough
  • Mistakes are an opportunity to grow
  • I am grateful for the life I am living
  • I am grateful for every opportunity that comes my way
  • I am grateful for my mentors, friends, collaborators and supporters
  • I am grateful for my inspiring clients and being their behind the scenes secret weapon


Growth Mindset Quote

3.    Seek Feedback from People You Respect

Everyone has an opinion, some opinions will help you grow, some will not. So choose someone you respect, like a mentor or peers, to give you feedback, and remember you are not seeking their approval, you’re looking for growth opportunities. Every piece of feedback you receive is an opportunity for growth.


4.    Learn Something New Everyday

By learning something new every day, it breaks our normal behaviour patterns, gives us a range of perspectives to draw upon, helps us adapt to new situations, feeds innovation, builds confidence, and creates new neural pathways for our brain to grow.

Ralph Waldo Emerson words it beautifully; “Knowledge is when you learn something new every day. Wisdom is when you let something go every day.”

Let go of the things that don’t serve you, and remember learning is a lifelong journey, not a destination.


5.    Compare yourself to yourself, NOT others

The poem Desiderata was stuck on the inside of my bathroom door when I was a child. Since this was a place where you were naturally forced to stop and sit, I read it every day, and I have to say my mum was on something…

There is a line saying: “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” To this day, I find much comfort in this statement.


To support and encourage others is such a powerful thing. To be inspired by others, to learn from others is too. But when it comes to comparisons, do it with yourself. Where were you one year ago? Where do you want to be in one year, and how do you intend to get there? What worked? What didn’t? Track progress, change approach as needed, and celebrate the wins.


6.    Hold yourself to account. Plan, Commit, Do

Set yourself a SMART goal, place it somewhere you can see regularly, and track your progress. I use a Trello Board and Google Calendar. Be disciplined, the best way to do this is to find a regular time that works for you, and make it achievable. I am currently working on personal fitness goals with a morning walk, while listening to personal growth audio books simultaneously. Two birds with one stone. It’s only for three days a week currently. I will maintain this until it feels natural, and I WANT to do it. Then I will build on it, by adding days. Possibly when I’m fitter, I could hold some business meetings on the move… At this stage, this is unrealistic, as I’m pretty sure my clients don’t want to hear my unfit heavy breathing on the other end of the phone!


7.    Do the HARD thing first.

How rewarding is that feeling when you action a challenging piece of work, and know it’s an easy street for the rest of the day.

As Mark Twain phrased it “eat the frog first”.

If you action the biggest and most important task first, there is no opportunity to procrastinate over it later, and you’ve set yourself up for success, leading to happy hormones and increased productivity for the remaining work day.


8.    Find a Mentor or Join an accountability group or both

A mentor helps you to identify your strengths, set your goals and strategies to help you grow, and hold you to account, so action occurs.

The same can be said for an accountability group. Peer accountability increases productivity and leads to higher achievement through inspiration, motivation, support and empowerment. An accountability group helps you stay on track, provides different perspectives, which can help innovate, and most importantly, they can celebrate your wins with you.


9.    Avoid shiny object syndrome

Shiny objects are so alluring that we tend to chase them without forward planning, but rather dive straight in. Generally, this leads to loads of unfinished projects, as a new and better idea entices you.


While growth mindset encourages embracing change, shiny object syndrome means you chop and change too often without enough evaluation of benefits, planning and goal setting. Let me give you an example. A review group advised me that an app would be the best thing for my business. Shortly after, Google implemented a new tool to create an app…ooh so shiny… but… is this what my customer avatar wants or needs? What value will it add? What would it contribute that my website does not? So…it is currently sitting in the cool ideas bucket, along with many other shiny things, and will remain there until a need arises and an evaluation of benefits proves it’s worthy of implementation.


10.                   Grow at your own pace

You are the only person who leads your life, with your distinct circumstances. So to compare yourself to someone else’s pace is an injustice, especially if it is not motivating, but rather makes you feel inadequate, or that you’re not achieving success. Remember your why and swim in your own lane.


Ultimately, developing a growth mindset will help you to plan for the future and avoid common pitfalls. A growth mindset improves productivity and performance, so you can gain a greater sense of who you are, what you stand for, and where you want to go in business and life.



Versatile VA provides outsourced marketing support for small service based businesses. Book in a discovery call today, to learn how we can support your business towards success. Or book now for one-on-one mentoring, content marketing planning or strategy session. NEW Workshop available, book now for a virtual Canva vision board workshop to create your vision for the new financial year.



About the author – Deborah Ricketts

Hello, I’m so glad you dropped in to read my blog articles. I’m Deborah Ricketts, founder of Versatile VA, a virtual assistant (VA) business, launched in July 2018.

My team and I are passionate about supporting small service based health and wellness businesses within Australia, who are experiencing the juggle to stay on top of it all! We want you to know, you don’t have to go it alone.