Why can’t we just ramp up sales, find new clients and customers and get to one million in revenues that way? Do we really have to deal with confidence issues, limiting beliefs and unconscious thoughts? We do. Because the unconscious drives the show. When fewer than three percent of women are getting to one million in revenues (and fewer than one percent women of color), it’s obvious something isn’t working. Mastering mindset is actually the big mama elephant in the room for most of the women I’ve coached, mentored and swapped entrepreneurial war stories with.
Success in business is 75% mindset and 25% skillset and network. Otherwise put, who makes it is often a question of confidence, not competence. It’s not that we can’t overcome mindset challenges, but we struggle to figure out how. Very few women are mastering mindset, and that is what is tripping us up time and time again.
Many of the graduates of MDW Masterclass said that the work we did on mindset had the greatest impact on them. Of course you need the hard skills like managing your finances and acing sales and marketing to go big. But you could master every single one of the “hard skills” and still get stuck if you don’t figure out the mindset piece. If you are still reading this blog then you probably know exactly what I am talking about.
What mindset means to me
When obstacles come up, successful entrepreneurs are able to adopt a “water around rocks” attitude, one of the keys to having a Go Big Mindset. There is always a way around the boulders, no matter how big. When you become aware of your own mindset patters, you can change your thoughts, beliefs actions and results, which means you can get different outcomes.
- Resolve inner conflicts that could be sabotaging your success
- Have an abundance mentality instead of a scarcity mentality
- Own your ability to prevail in every situation
- Think big and achieve your full personal and professional potential
Sounds great, right? I wish we could all just click on a hyperlink and have that! I’ll work on that. In the meanwhile, here are some ways you can take a look at your own mindset and make some simple changes that may have big effects. These are drawn from my training as a master practitioner in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). I’m going to give you the very short version.
The mind is like a computer…
Think of it this way, on your computer, you have programs running that you can actually see—your email, word processing, Facebook, whatever. These are like what’s going on in your conscious mind—the conversations you have, the decisions you make, the actions you take.
But you’ve also got programs running that you can’t see—your operating system, your virus protection software, the programs that make your mouse and speakers work. These things are like your unconscious mind, driving the show from behind the scenes. Your operating system determines the conversations, the decisions, the actions you take. Our unconscious thoughts can also prevent us from taking the next step in becoming the biggest, boldest versions of ourselves. They can cause us to lose documents, behave in glitchy ways and generally muck things up.
Sometimes our programs need to be updated. For instance, I wrote a lot about grit in Million Dollar Women. Grit is essential for starting and building a business. But once you want to scale up that business, meaning you need to delegate more, manage teams and potentially raise money, grit can get in your way. You are no longer being asked to be the gal who can do it all and keep a smile, you need to be a leader. That calls from some new internal programs to start running and maybe to let go of the grit story, even though it got you here.
So how do we access these old “programs” and replace them with new ones?
It starts with understanding the mindset that is currently driving you. Let’s take the example of a woman who is running unconscious programs that she won’t ever be a financial success. If you think you won’t be, then it’s pretty much guaranteed that’s your destiny. Whether or not you feel like you can often goes back to early conditioning, as in the first eight years of your life. Henry Ford had the famous line that sums it up pretty well: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you are right.”
I was raised by a single mom who struggled financially, and this created my own intense love-hate relationship with money. I wanted to earn money, but I also couldn’t shake that feeling I had as a kid that we weren’t going to have enough money to pay our bills or pay for my college education. That mindset made me very good at working hard, and turned me into a highly productive person. I got scholarships, started a film production company, and later founded Little Pim, and raised funds from family and friends to get it off the ground. In other words, it worked for me for a long time…until it didn’t anymore. When I was ready to “go big” and raise venture capital, I needed a new mindset about finances, one where I was in control, making seven figures or more, and leading a high growth company.
I’ll tell you a secret: though I am living in the 1% in New York City with multiple sources of income and abundance all around me, I still get anxious about money. That “scarcity” program still tries to run me even though I don’t need it anymore. Being aware of it simply means I’m able to catch myself in one of those thought patterns and make a different choice. And that gives me the power to stop the program and act in a way that serves me, instead of a way that sabotages me. It’s not a superpower—it’s something we all can do.
Just remember that it takes a while to rewire your brain; you have to reinforce the message to the unconscious mind that the old program is defunct. It takes time and patience and working on it with mentors, coaches and peers. And while practice may never make perfect, it will drastically change your experience of yourself and the results you can achieve.
BE-DO-HAVE vs. HAVE-DO-BE
Most people operate from the mindset of HAVE-DO-BE, which sounds something like this: “If I only HAD more [money or time or love or formal education], then I could DO [go on vacation, find a partner, have a more successful business, ], and then I could BE [happy, successful, feel loved].”
But when you want to quickly reach your goals the fastest way to accelerate change is to embrace the exact opposite of that. It’s called BE-DO-HAVE, which looks like this: “I want to BE [happy, successful, loved] so I need to DO [create more joy, behave like a successful person would, generate love] and then I will HAVE [happiness, success, love].”
It’s a much more empowering way of being in the world, where you start BE-ing the person you want to become, Do-ing the things that person would do and soon enough you find you Have the things that person would have.
How BE-DO-HAVE worked for me
I wanted to be the CEO of an internationally-known, multimillion dollar company that taught kids a foreign language. What would she be doing? She would be ramping up marketing, fundraising in order to hire more people, and recruiting the best of the best. This is where I drew on another favorite quote: “It’s easier to act your way into thinking differently than to think your way into acting differently.” Sometimes you need to just start doing the thing that terrifies you and your thoughts catch up along the way.
Once I started learning how to fundraise, studying what successful CEOs do and went out and raised angel and venture capital, I learned how little money was being invested in women-led businesses (less than 4% of venture capital). That really ticked me off. I wanted to see that change in my lifetime.
What would someone who was BE-ing an agent of change be DO-ing? She’d be in the trenches teaching other women how to raise money. So I started small. I taught a group of eight to ten women on weekends in my Little Pim conference room. Then Morgan Stanley saw what we were up to and eventually became a partner, hosting the workshops.
Because of the women I met and was inspired by in the fundraising workshops, I decide to write a book to reach even more women. Over three years I had helped 75 women raise over $15M for their businesses and when I sat down with my future publisher, she said she was offering me a sizable advance because I was “an expert.” She saw me that way because I was teaching—I was doing. I didn’t feel like an expert yet, but she saw me as one.
So in the process of BE-ing the person I wanted to be, and DO-ing the things that person needed to do, I became that person and the outer world matched me where I was, inviting me to go further than I ever would have thought possible. Pretty cool.
So let’s say you want to BE the CEO of a PR firm that charges $30K per month instead of $5K per month. What would that version of you be DO-ing? She might be looking for new places to network, places where she could meet people willing who pay those rates. She would probably be looking at her deliverables and making changes to deliver the kind of excellence that warrants those rates. She would probably invest in herself and join an entrepreneurs group or professional development course. She might start a blog and become a thought leader. And as she did those things, she would come to discover that she can have exactly what she wants.
The only thing that changed? Her mindset. And starting to BE and DO the person she wants to become.
Be the biggest version of yourself
All of my coaching work exists, from this blog to my book Million Dollar Women to the Masterclass I teach, because I want to help women entrepreneurs be the biggest, boldest version of themselves. So whether you want to run a multi-million dollar company or double your revenues from $150k to $300k this year, know that you can rewire your thoughts for greater success.
The next round of Masterclass starts soon and has limited space.
To book a FREE 45-minute Accelerate Session with me, and see if Masterclass is right for you, sign up here now before they’re gone.
Stay brave and keep practicing BE DO HAVE!