Everyone wants to be a revolutionary. Most entrepreneurs dream of taking their company to its peak potential but don’t know how. Do you just put in the grind and work hard? Is that all there is to it? Not quite.
Getting to the top one percent in any niche requires something a little extra.
It requires that you push yourself and your company with a drive that leaves your competitors in the dust.
Sadly, many leaders are fine with moderate success. They aim high, reach a good spot, and then become complacent. Let’s explore why you shouldn’t do that.
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The Dangers of Staying Stagnant
Carpe diem is a motto for a reason. If you do not seize the day, others will. In the world of business, being complacent simply won’t do. A good leader knows that the only direction to move is forward.
Not backward, and in fact, not even staying in the same place.
Stagnation will hurt your business way more than taking educated risks.
Yes, it feels safer to maintain the status quo, but if you want to achieve something big, you need to adopt a growth mindset.
“But we are already moderately successful. Why do we need to risk things?”
There is truth to this sentiment. If you are happy with where you are, then more power to you. You can close this page and move on with your day.
However, if even a small part of you wonders what the next level of success looks like, read on.
The Slow March to Irrelevance
Without growth, there is a lack of innovation. Your employees aren’t inspired and motivated. Morale and job satisfaction start to slow down.
You might be aware that you are missing out on missed revenue opportunities because you didn’t seize the moment. Customer relationships start to wane, and the reputation of your brand becomes a fond, but far-away memory to your clients.
This decline may take years to notice before it is too late. Fortunately, it can be addressed.
The Beauty of a “Growth Mindset”
Conceptualized by Carol S. Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, the term has become something of a buzzword in corporate.
It has also gained something of a negative connotation in the vein of toxic positivity. Many managers tell employees to adopt the “growth mindset” to deal with unrealistic workloads, which can be frustrating, to say the least.
However, as a leader, a growth mindset is an essential element. It gives you that extra edge that allows you to surpass your competitors.
What Does This Look Like?
Well, let’s look at a common situation. You have a great idea or a new direction that you want your startup to act on. Unfortunately, you don’t have the capital.
You realize your investors aren’t interested in the idea, but you believe in your gut that it can be a game changer. How do you approach raising capital?
Unsecured Funding Source notes that such situations will often require you to look for alternative sources of capital. These include crowdfunding, invoice financing, equipment financing, and unsecured loans.
This is precisely where a lot of entrepreneurs get cold feet. They shy away from the thought of unconventional strategies or taking unsecured business loans. They let that fraction of doubt overtake the ambition they had extreme confidence in until then.
Someone with the winning combination of ambition and a growth mindset would have taken a loan and believed in their vision.
A growth mindset would also allow you to learn from the experience. More often than not, even high-risk decisions give you returns in their own way.
However, it would be disingenuous to believe that all high-risk decisions are going to be worth it. They won’t.
But, the more proactive you get, the more you gain a leader’s intuition on what is likely to work.
This is not a skill you can learn from a sleek online course or workshop. It requires real-world action.
Combining Ambition with Wise Decisions
So how does one practically gain these skills? How do you apply the concepts of a growth mindset and ambition to keep going higher? Well, here are some points to get you started.
1. Define Your Vision
The biggest mistake that many new leaders make is winging it. They may have seen their role models make off-the-cuff decisions and try to imitate them. Once again, remember that they have a lot of experience. They have done the leg work to be able to operate in such a manner.
As a leader, you need to clearly define your vision and use it to guide you. Not imitate others.
2. Make Goal Setting a Habit
This is perhaps the most underutilized hack that business leaders use. A lot of people know about the importance of goal setting.
However, the mistake they make is setting a few key goals and then forgetting about making new ones. Goal setting is a dynamic process that requires you to constantly tweak and adjust your approach.
When you incorporate objectives and goals into your life, you will be shocked at how much is possible.
3. Start Taking Those Risks
This is perhaps the scariest step, as it requires you to put your reputation on the line. You might feel that people are watching you and that failing will make you look like a fool.
On the contrary, you are more likely to be branded a failure if you show signs of being too scared to make tough decisions.
There are people not as smart or intelligent as you who are able to win the respect of their peers even after making bad choices. This is because they demonstrated decisiveness and a willingness to put themselves on the line. People respect that quality far more than a leader who is afraid to take risks and wants to stay safe.
Reaching the top one percent is not a place for the insecure, self-doubter. At one point, you have to take a good hard look at yourself. Become your harshest critic and note all your tendencies that get in the way of success.
Remember, you have to really want to do this. Getting to the top is not something you achieve by being “good enough”. It requires placing all your cards on the table and going all in. Take the time to reflect on the implications this may have on your personal life, mental health, and overall lifestyle.
On the plus side, if you succeed, you have the potential to change the world. Can anyone really pass up on that?