I know I won’t be able to sell that many guides, so why should I create an automated system of delivery?
This question lost me in my tracks. I was suggesting to an online teacher how he could revise the system to deliver his digital guides to his customers so it’s automated, not manual.
And then he asked me this rhetorical question which essentially meant, “I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can’t ever sell as many guides. Why bother changing the system?”
Is it possible to X10 your income? Can you impact more than 15 students you teach via skype? Can you reach more than the people who are currently following you on social media?
Not when you’re tied to the same mindset. It would be cheaper and more convenient for everyone if my son always wore the same size shoes.
Stay the same.
The irony of that is it is actually possible for your business not to grow, just as it is possible to reverse the natural growth process and make it ugly.
I’m not talking here about the choice not to grow. That’s a story for another day.
But I’m talking about the mindset that puts pressure on your skull to keep your brains from expanding.
I’m talking about the things we do to dwarf our business, to cut its potential, to imprison its meaning in the binding mindset of money-making.
Meaning is not about money, power, or prestige. It’s not even about creating a fun place to work. The meaning of “meaning” comes down to making the world a better place. Guy Kawasaki.
Don't ever dwarf your business with the limitations of your mind. Cultivate your mindset growth.Click To Tweet
Our “dwarfing” mechanism.
Remember lotus feet in the 11th century China? Women’s feet would be bound, bones broken, skin peeled off just to keep them small. When I look at those pictures today they look grotesque. I always wonder how those women must have felt.
And yet we do that every day in our businesses – we limit ourselves by telling ourselves the lies we’d heard elsewhere. They support our insecurities, they keep our creativity at bay, they pamper our incompetence and venerate conveyor belt production.
Just do what everyone else is doing. Or better yet – don’t do anything.
- Don’t share that post until it’s perfect.
- Don’t comment on people’s blogs – it’s just stupid.
- Don’t learn about this automation tool because you aren’t a techie.
- Don’t hire anyone because you can’t afford it.
- Don’t launch a product because nobody will buy it.
- Don’t try this strategy because it’s not going to work for you.
- Don’t write emails because people think you’re a sleazy salesman.
- Don’t dig deep into the core of your business because it takes time and hurts.
- Don’t be overly creative because nobody is going to pay you money for it.
- Don’t teach Grammar – it’s not hype. Teach _______ English – that’s what people are paying the big bucks for.
Your business can be bigger than you think.
I wasn’t a popular kid in high school. In fact, I was a bit aloof. I only had one friend, and we both were into books and our imaginary worlds that “lived” inside our wardrobes (that was before we read C. S. Lewis’s The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe).
A counselor at our school had noticed this and one day, and out of the blue, she wrote a note and gave it to me. She wrote a simple sentence that changed the world for me. It’s still in one of my journals in my parents’ home.
“Great things are ahead of you.”
It may have been a cliche, but it changed the way I looked at the world. I realized that I can choose great things. I can create great things.
But most importantly, I can build something greater than I see around me.
So how do we get ourselves ready for that? How do we unbind our feet, free our minds and charter our business trajectory into the whole wide world around us? How do we dare tell ourselves, “I can and will sell more books?” It may not be today, but I will do something today to make sure I will reach more people tomorrow.
And even more a year from now.
We need to take the limitations off of our minds.
5 Strategies to Cultivate Growth Mindset.
Invest into your mindset growth. Not just in a new pair of headphones or a new piece of software – invest into your mindset so it can think differently. What use is the new headset on the old mindset?
Implement. As teachers, we love learning. Not always do we implement though. Implement until you see results.
Consult. I can’t even tell you how much more quickly I achieve what I want if I choose to consult with the right people. Obviously, not consulting on social media or dropping random questions here and there, but with a person who can help propel your business forward. I spent years doubting and deliberating about my niche. I needed advice, focus and encouragement. You can’t generate it. You need an outside opinion to help you get unstuck.
Ask for feedback. Not everyone can give you the feedback you want and need. You want detailed feedback. Not the feel-good mumbo-jumbo. Not the negative blame-game. You need constructive, thoughtful, thorough feedback on how a person has benefited from your program, course, coaching. It motivates you and inspires you to create more helpful products/courses/classes.
Hire. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but there you have it – hire. What I managed to do in 2 months with help I wouldn’t have done in 12 months on my own. Determine your weakness or what’s lagging behind, or what can improve your brand, and once you can do it – invest.
What happens when your mindset begins growing.
Let me tell you this. Among many others, there’s one thing that’s going to happen when you begin growing. Growing beyond your peers, your immediate “competitors,” even the “more successful” players within your market.
People will question you. They will look at you crazy. They will think you’re losing your marbles.
“Who’s teaching that these days? Nobody needs writing! Go do an English course for the Biggest Loser fitness trainers in Japan! – they’ll pay!”
Arguing won’t work. But this temporary loneliness of creating something outrageously beautiful, unique, and custom-made can dread you. It will feel depressing. It will feel like nothing is moving, and the numbers in the bank account don’t support your drive.
But it will get better.
Nothing that comes from your heart is going to fail. Nothing that is created with passion is going to go unnoticed. No matter what money-making machines are yelling. Always choose…
Meaning over money. Impact over income. Transformation over conformity.
Always choose meaning over money. Impact over income. Transformation over conformity.Click To Tweet
Don’t let the critic silence you. Don’t let the dwarf trick you.
You can do a lot more than you think. You can do great things.
Want to shift to teaching languages in a completely new format? Check out my workshop:
I remember myself a year ago, after a few fails and more bruises from running a business – I decided to try another format, another strategy. Again.
I told myself, you can work smarter. You can teach only those whom you choose to teach. You can make more impact. You can reach far more people than the hundred you’ve taught 1:1 over 5 years.
Documenting that journey in one of my books and releasing it on my 35th Birthday was the hardest and most vulnerable thing of all, but it unleashed that incredible power inside me that I never knew existed.
I conquered my lack of confidence. And along with me so did dozens of my readers all over the world. This is where changes begin, and like the ripple effect, they will continue to spread.
You, too, can do great things. If there’s one step you know you need to take, but you’ve been putting it off because of your inner critic, make that step today. Write that email. Publish that blog post. Complete your free guide. Don’t limit yourself.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
The post was updated in April, 2021.