The advantage of highly successful entrepreneurs
With all things being equal, how do you separate yourself from similar services? From a consumers perspective, the difference between your accounting services and a competitors may not be immediately obvious. Find highly successful entrepreneurs to model. Those firm owners clearly explain what makes them different and why it matters.
Mellody Hobson and her single mother were frequently evicted from homes. As a result, they were always on the move. Mellody gained independence at a young age, developing strong survival skills and resiliency.
Those homeless experiences continue to haunt her, although she’s now the president of Ariel Investments, a prestigious Chicago firm. She refused to adopt a victim mindset. Rather, living in poverty influenced her success. Because of that, she’s an advocate for financial literacy and investor education.
Mellody possesses grit, a combination of passion and perseverance. Entrepreneurs with a growth mindset don’t believe it’s necessary to be born gifted. They develop the necessary skills and qualities that give them an edge. A growth mindset improves resilience and builds confidence.
Nature or nurture
Don’t rely solely on your technical skills. Your mindset influences everything you choose to do, or not do. When your mindset’s fixed, you believe you’re born with certain qualities. Why put in the effort to succeed if it’s not going to affect your success?
When it comes to business development, highly successful entrepreneurs do things differently than everyone else. Mindset influences their actions. As Carol Dweck wrote in her book MindSet: The New Psychology of Success, growth mindsets “believe that you can grow.”
Which of the following mindset qualities do you possess?
- Motivation. As a growth minded entrepreneur, you don’t settle for good enough. Instead, you strive to consistently do your best. Imagine what would change if you consistently sought excellence. Highly successful entrepreneurs possess a deep desire to continuously improve and innovate. They frequently challenge the status quo; thereby, raising the bar for their industry standard.
- Initiative. Many accounting professionals avoid confrontation. That’s because they value other’s approval. So they adopt the status quo, even when they believe a better approach exists. Driven firm owners, on the other hand, don’t wait for permission to do things differently. As influencers and thought leaders, they continuously seek new ways to excel.
- No Excuses. Success requires your full commitment. However, it’s really uncomfortable. Simply viewing obstacles as problems limits your options. Highly successful entrepreneurs approach obstacles as challenges to overcome. Their drive to succeed overrides their desire to remain in their comfort zone.
- Determination. All challenges possess solutions. Challenges, however, test your commitment. Notice which thoughts create doubt. Their underlying beliefs question your abilities. But what if you altered your perspective to view them as golden opportunities? The entrepreneurs I work closely with identify their limiting beliefs, We review those beliefs. Do they hold you back or limit your potential? If so, then replace your old belief with a newer one that’s better suited to your current reality.
- Strengths Based Approach. Build an accounting firm which emphasizes your strengths. I refer to your innate strengths as superpowers, giving you a competitive advantage. Those qualities separate your services from similar firms. Then as your firm grows, develop a team who plays at the things you struggle with. For example, hire an office manager to take client calls and manage your emails.
- Extra mile. Going the extra mile means doing whatever it takes, especially when obstacles arise. I realized that if it’s uncomfortable, then I ought to be doing it. Because of this insight, my response changed. Rather than pulling back, I now step into the discomfort. Often, I discuss the challenges with my business coach. I figure out the resistance, reframe my perspective and then create an action plan. Growth occurs from working through those obstacles. Consistently stretch yourself. Even when no one is looking. Challenging activities improves your engagement and focus.
- Tough Minded. Highly successful entrepreneurs and elite athletes share many similarities. Both consistently strive to expand their skill set and capabilities. Growth minded entrepreneurs acknowledge the discomfort of stretching themselves, but that doesn’t stop them. Your mindset loves novelty. Take calculated risks and discover ways to push beyond your comfort zone.
Your vow to succeed
Maybe you’ve always watched others succeed from the sidelines. You opt for safety rather than risk. Fortunately, a growth mindset is not a birthright.
Similar to new techniques and skill sets, you develop a growth mindset. It could have been easy for Mellody Hobson to remain in poverty, given her circumstances. No one pressured her to succeed. She chose her path. As a self-made business woman, she’s recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Consider your level of commitment to your business. Are you satisfied? If yes, that’s great. If not, then choose to adjust it.
A growth mindset requires an open mind. Rather than perfection, pursue excellence. And yes, realize you’ll make mistakes along the way. Growth occurs because of your mistakes, not in spite of them.
Who can you learn from? Seek out inspiring role models. And notice how they put these principles into action.
Seek out success
Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. Connect with other growth-minded entrepreneurs, business coaches and mentors. Discuss ways to grow your accounting firm. Ask for feedback which improves your effectiveness.
Be on the look-out for opportunities. They exist everywhere. Focus on the solutions, not the problems. Highly successful entrepreneurs rise up to challenges. And when it’s appropriate, they’ll take calculated risks.
Commit to your vision and your desire to make an impact. Recognize the possibilities as much, if not more, than the negatives. Don’t let the old, familiar excuses stop you any longer. View challenges as growth opportunities.
A growth mindset sets you up for success in all aspects of life.
Success extends beyond your skill set. Learn the underlying mindset principles.
- Clarify. Clarify what you want to achieve.
- Specific. Be as specific as possible.
- Steps. List the necessary action steps. You won’t know all of them.
- Innovate. Improve your current systems and processes. Make them more effective.
- Expand. Add a new stream of revenue, a new source of clients or referral partnerships.
View this through the eyes of a student, infinite learning opportunities exist. Too many accounting professionals eventually become bored. As a result, they fail to follow through once the novelty wears off. Success, however, favors a steady effort rather than an all-out approach.
Have you noticed other accounting professionals who aren’t as skilled surpass you? You’re not sure why their accounting firm appears more successful than yours. Their mindset gives them an edge, acting on growth opportunities.
Constant overwhelm and over-thinking delays your success. Similar to highly successful entrepreneurs, decide to rise above the noise. That’s because success happens from the inside out.
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