At first, this summer didn’t look promising at all.
I lost my summer job before I even had the chance to start it.
“Sorry, we have a few budget cuts,” they told me.
In retrospect, I am truly grateful that so many “bad” things happened to me.
(Although if you would have asked me three months ago, I probably would have told you otherwise.)
The loss of my summer job led me on a more adventurous path: namely, the decision to start my own teaching-based business.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning to see how my transformation became possible.
What really stopped me from starting my own business
I never saw myself as a business person.
I always thought you had to be great with numbers, love Excel, and be super serious whilst spending the bulk of your time in meetings.
I didn’t want to be any of those things.
“I’m not a number’s person, thus I’m not a business person”. Hence I never saw myself as a business owner. It’s as simple as that.
But I did enjoy teaching people what I knew, and help them make the most of their life. It’s less sleazy, more fun and not to mention rewarding.
The folks over at Copyblogger Media base their entire business around teaching people what they know. So, I signed up for their Teaching Sells course, and almost without realising it, my idea of a business person started to change.
Maybe it was okay if I didn’t love numbers, Excel spreadsheets and hour-long meetings after all?
What changed everything
I was stuck in a fixed mindset for far too long. Standford psychologist Carolyne S. Dweck describes the fixed mindset as a mental attitude where we believe that our genes determine our level of success.
Either we have it or we don’t. Either we’re a business person, or we’re not.
The fixed mindset stops us from moving forward. We can’t become business people; it’s something we already have to be.
From a personal growth perspective, I saw how restricting and painful this approach was. Sure, people have traits and preferences (read: stuff they’re good at), but running a business is a learnable skill.
Instead of hiding behind my conception of what I thought a business person ought to be, I started using my strengths and complemented my weaknesses. I said to myself:
“I don’t know how to do this… yet.”
Put simply, I adopted a growth mindset.
The word “becoming” never struck my lips until I shifted my mindset. And that’s when things finally started to take off…
A funny side-effect
I’m a writer by trade, so you’d think I’d know the power of words by now. I was wrong and this summer has taught me a valuable life lesson.
The moment I called myself a business owner, I started to act like one.
I got registered at the tax office, created and launched my first online course, and started networking with other people.
The biggest takeaway for me is that identity follows action.
How do you see yourself?
When you start calling yourself a business owner, you start to act like one.
And that’s the major difference. That’s where the magic happens.
It doesn’t matter if you want to start your own business, become a full-time singer, or finally finish writing that book you keep in your drawer.
Work on becoming the kind of person you most want to be by changing how you see yourself.
It can change everything. It can even change your summer.
Are you also stuck in a fixed mindset? Have you had similar experiences? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
What to do next
I’ve come a long way since I first started my business this summer. Here are some suggestions:
1.) Sign up for my free toolkit. You’ll get the Everyday Rules ebook with the best tips on how to live a more fun and meaningful life, and a 10-part ecourse delivered straight to your email.
2.) Buy my inexpensive ebook. I share my best tips on productivity, motivation, and personal growth.
See you around 🙂