As entrepreneurs / small business owners, there are what feels like millions of hoops we have to jump through. But when it comes to building up our business, the hoop that can inhibit our success the most is our mindset. Hoop jumping is exhausting! As is all forms of cardio! Ughh, cardio. Let us help you eliminate one hoop: here are three subjects that may require a mindset shift.
The “side hustle” mentality
You may not be in a position to go ‘all in’ on your fledgling biz. Your dream job may not be your full-time job. We get it, we’ve been there. But if you want it to thrive – you need to approach it as though there’s no alternative but for it to thrive! Act like you don’t have a safety net. Ditch the ‘side hustle’ narrative, and think of it as your front and centre hustle!
Making this shift in mindset can be as simple as changing the language you use when you describe your business. Stop underselling it! ‘it’s just my little jewellery / photography / consultancy business’… Stop dismissing its success! ‘I got lucky.’ This takes a conscious effort, especially for women, who are statistically far more inclined to downplay their accomplishments. But work at it friends, persistence pays! Adopting a growth mindset will help you flourish in work and play. (If you want more deets on a growth mindset, we have a fab podcast episode for you).
You are impressive! Your business is impressive! The people need to know! When you’re running a small business, you need to be its biggest cheerleader and PR extraordinaire!
Now time for some tough love, we are big advocates for honey and vinegar in equal measure. Stop treating your business as a hobby. Success and longevity in business is not stumbled upon. Puzzles, gardening and adult colouring books are activities to dabble in if you get some spare time. You do not dabble in growing your business if you get some spare time. Structure the time you spend on business development: schedule it into your week. Yes, literally take out a glitter gel pen and block out dedicated chunks of time in your calendar (the gel pen is not essential, but vehemently encouraged). This is important, even if your overflowing commitments mean you can only squeeze in 30 minutes per week. It all counts!
No glory in going it alone
Something that’s widely experienced, but rarely voiced is that small business owners and entrepreneurs walk a lonely road. They perform multiple roles, work long hours, often with no distinct boundaries between work time and personal time. And they do it by themselves. Tea room vents, office Christmas parties and the comedic relief of meme exchanges in team group chats are luxuries they do not enjoy. Yes, we have the support of family members and friends – but they’re not in the trenches with us.
A wise man once said, ‘we’re all in this together’. Yes, that wise man was Zac Efron circa 2006. Anyway, reach out dammit! Join online communities* and go to networking events. Yes, I said it ~ networking events ~. I know what you’re picturing: confined in a small hired space…feet stuffed into pumps at a 45-degree angle…nervously patting down the peeling edges of the paper sticker name tag featuring your name sprawled in biro…all while trying to snag enough tooth-picked olives in between bouts of small talk to absorb the one too many glasses of cheap champagne you’ve downed. But trust me, networking events have come a helluva long way! Curate an empowering crew around you, who have walked in your shoes. And those shoes do not need to be the 45-degree pumps! You’ll find the right fit for you: there is now a plethora of niche networking event series’ around.
If you’re Brissy based, we love The Belle Evolution. They describe their events as ‘un-networky, networking events [that] are about letting your hair down, having a laugh and starting a real and raw conversation about business challenges that are directly affecting women.’
There are no prizes at the end for having done it all by yourself. But what awaits you if you go it alone, according to the research, is occupational loneliness and burnout. And from social connection sprouts the brainstorming of ideas to support each other’s businesses, collaboration, content trading & learning opportunities!
Take finances out of the too hard basket
Let’s talk money, honey. Being money wise as an entrepreneur/small business owner is far more nuanced than navigating Excel. Don’t get me wrong, colour-coded spreadsheets spark my joy. But the best decision you could ever make for your financial health is this: kick your daily barista-made iced-lattes. We jest, it’s learning! Educate, then caffeinate!
Getting your head around money matters can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task. Did you know that Australia has one of biggest financial literacy gender gaps in the OECD? But just like we at Foundd are passionate about taking the legalese out of legal services, there are a bunch of engaging resources that take the façade out of finances. Read books (Unf**k Your Finances), blogs (She’s on the Money) and listen to podcasts (The Australian Finance Podcast). And then apply that knowledge to your business’ financial strategy.
Seek out holistic, commercially-minded knowledge. For example, contrary to common rhetoric – being frugal is not best in every situation. Some things are worth the extra pineapples. For example, curating a great team is a worthy investment. And if the salary funds aren’t there for a great candidate – hold off. Yes, it’s sucky - that means more work for you now. But you’ll lose more time and pennies hiring, training and then letting go of someone who isn’t the right fit.
*FYI – another wise man once said, ‘you’ve got a friend in me’. Yes, that wise man was an animated doll voiced by Tom Hanks. But seriously, you do have a friend in me! Join Foundd’s Facebook community, Build Your Empire.
Soon you'll be reciting your expected monthly profit, expenditure and net income like you do your coffee order. Not only will your business be inevitably more successful, but feeling in control of your finances is super empowering. Even more empowering than you feel when wearing matching underwear, or have organised your spice cupboard!
Tweaking your mind set means you’ll have one less hoop to jump through. You can now devote that time to hula-hooping! A far more fun hoop-related activity.
***Disclaimer. Please read!!***
This article is for general information purposes only and should be used solely as general guidance. It does not and is not intended to represent legal advice or other professional advice.