Checklist: Do You Have a Business Mindset?

Building a small business depends on many things, but one is essential: how ready YOU are for it.

After all, YOU are the one who cares the most. And it’s the only thing that’s totally under your control.

You can’t influence the global economy, the banks, taxes... but you can prepare yourself to deal with all of that. So how prepared are you?

Here’s a quick checklist of the mindset stuff you should get in order:

Are you ready to think for yourself?

Letting others think for you is a matter of comfort: it’s easier, and there’s not much responsibility involved. But it probably won’t get you very far.

It’s great to listen to the experts and to the more experienced ones, to learn from them, but don’t let them control your destiny and your dreams. Take some time to research, document, think about your idea. It will put you more in control, and it will help you to ask the experts for exactly what you want.

Besides, it’s your ship, and you’re the one who knows which way you want to direct it. Every one of us knows our own path the best. So take everything you hear with a grain of salt.

How strategic are you about your business activity?

Once you step into this world, there will be many networking events you will be tempted to attend, or job deals you’ll think you should jump on.

Don’t. Be picky. Your time is invaluable.

It’s great to want to learn something new, but do you really need it right now? Any training session you’d like to attend costs money, time, gas, babysitter... The same goes for taking any deal: don’t do it just because you think "any client is better than no client", because it’s often not the case.

Before you decide that you want to jump on an opportunity (to network, to learn, to close a deal) ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Is it aligned with my vision?
  2. Will it contribute to the profitability of my business?

But you still need to network

If you’re too introverted or lack networking confidence – get over it. Work on improving your social and networking skills , because you need to be in touch with what’s going on in your industry, and the people already in it can be invaluable.

Be aware of your emotional ties to your business

How much are you emotionally involved with it? Probably a lot, and it’s great, emotions fuel passion and motivation – but you have to understand what exactly these emotions are if you want to be in control of all the situations when you’ll get emotional in your business.

Pay attention to what triggers your emotions (be it expecting too much and getting disappointed when things don’t go your way, or getting angry at a coworker or...). Be aware of how you feel and investigate why do you feel that way.

It’s the first step towards recognizing which emotions are keeping you from doing good business, and learning how to control them.

Take care of yourself first, then take care of your business. It’s the only way to do it right.