In the process of building our company, Practice Makes Perfect, I’ve realized there are three different mindsets – going in the right direction, not now and being wrong — I’ve adopted that have been vital to my success.
By adapting these mindsets, I have learned to sell a great product and lead a high-performing team.
For those entrepreneurs just getting started, here are the three mindsets more in-depth, along with tips on execution.
1. The ‘this is the right direction’ mindset.
The right direction mindset is necessary when decisions have to be made with time constraints. It is an especially important mindset at times of uncertainty, which for every entrepreneur I know, this happens a lot. This mindset works well when the team or company is smaller and you’re making decisions within your realm of expertise. You also need this mindset to take your vision from ideation to existence.
That said, be careful getting too caught up in this mindset as your team grows. You will have other smart leaders (if you’re hiring correctly), and the right direction needs to come from the group. In my experience, it isn’t the right answer that typically works out. The answer or direction the group believes in, whether it is flawed or not, tends be the right answer.
2. The ‘no’ doesn’t mean ‘no,’ it just means ‘not now’ mindset.
First of all, you can’t take “no” personally. Getting rejected is part of the entrepreneurial journey and learning process. I remember counting noes at one point early on in my journey and noticed that I was receiving 97 noes for every 3 yeses. We kept moving and didn’t let the negativity distract us. Instead, as we focused on getting more noes, we realized that eventually we would get yeses.
In the beginning, many of the noes really were “not nows.” In future years, we converted several people who had previously said “no” to “yes.”
Be careful not to get too carried away. No definitely does NOT mean yes or maybe. If you push too hard, you can alienate other people and sever relationships. Instead, I’d suggest when people say no that you give them some space and later ask them for feedback on why they said it if it wasn’t inherently obvious. Use questions like: “Why did you decide against purchasing our product or using our service?” and “What would make you or would’ve made you a yes?”
3. The ‘I was wrong’ mindset.
It is one thing to strive for excellence; it is a completely other thing to never admit when you’re wrong. No one wants to work for someone who thinks they are perfect and never admits when they are wrong. It shows a strong sense of insecurity and lack of awareness. The worse thing about being wrong and not owning up to it is that it sets the wrong precedent internally. If you, as the leader, don’t admit when you’re wrong, then others internally may never do it either. This means people will not be growing from their mistakes. At times, small issues may snowball into even bigger concerns.
There are also positive outcomes to admitting when you’re wrong. For one, it shows a bit of vulnerability. It humanizes you. Also, owning your mistakes can be very powerful for company culture and getting help.
Be careful not to get too carried away with admitting when you’re wrong. Not many would want to work for someone who was always wrong..