There isn’t a day that goes by without someone emailing me, calling me or texting me to ask me for advice about how to get their business off the ground. In all honesty, questions are useless unless one is prepared to adopt a mindset that asks the ‘right’ questions.

So what is the sort of mindset that ensures entrepreneurial success? It’s actually much simpler than you might at first think.

One element of my expertise, one that I keep being asked to coach and mentor people around, is helping new business owners get their business or start-up off the ground.

For some, they’ve been stagnant for so long, sitting around the same turnover year after year, after year. They have no idea how to increase it and in the old rules of business – Grow Or Die (G.O.D.), they’re dying. So here is a most simple key. Shift your mindset from ‘taker’ to ‘giver.’ What does that mean exactly?

To develop the mindset that will meet a growth vision, the business owner must do just that – they need to ‘GROW’ their mindset. Most new business owners have typically come from a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) and still have an ’employee’ mentality. My job is to help them to develop a business owner mentality.

Here are a couple of distinctions for you to make this perfectly clear:

Employees typically have a mindset which matches their annual income. They do what is expected of them for the income they negotiated in the first instance, and seldom more. Some will work a bit more to ensure they get to keep that income and some do more still to be considered for a higher paying role. They have a ‘taker’ mindset. All their actions are based upon their expected or desired return and no more. I’m sorry, but this mindset just won’t cut it in the entrepreneurial world and certainly not fitting with what is required for a start-up. Start-ups need rocket fuel and lots of it.

They have to almost bend over backwards to get a new client or a new sale – particularly these days in such a price sensitive and service hungry market.

Business owners have a mindset which eclipses the ’employee mindset’ by a mile.

They will go that extra mile because they know as a start-up, they have to stand out, make an impact and get business or sales in the door or they don’t get to eat. They have a ‘giver’ mindset and give it everything they’ve got. Typically they will give more of everything. They add value; they work longer hours; they think about business on the weekend; and are always thinking about how to do things better, faster and cheaper. They think in ways that a ‘taker’ mindset just won’t.

When I started my first multi-million dollar business (and of course it wasn’t that when I started it), I worked well into the night when all the employees were at home having dinner with their families and watching the Time Vampire (TV). The large majority of employees read the newspaper at the weekends to relax. I read it to look out for business opportunities. At functions and social gatherings, the employees would talk about stuff, I would talk about business. Now an employee mindset will read all of this and perhaps make an immediate judgment that my life was boring, or that I was boring. In my view, far from it. I got to drive nice cars, live in beautiful houses and went on brilliant holidays around the world – but not at first. You see we started at the bottom (we were ranked in 352nd place), but by the time I sold the business, we were number 12. That is what comes from a ‘giver’ mindset.

So if you want more, give more. It’s that simple.

Rik Schnabel
Life Beyond Limits