Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jennifer Blanchard from jenniferblanchard.net.
(Jennifer graduated from Trailblazer back in 2012, and this month she celebrates her 5 years of self-employment – huge milestone! When we asked Jennifer to think about what she could have done better while blazing the trail, she immediately came up with one thing…)
You know when you start a journey and then years down the road look back and think about the beginning? That’s where I’m at right now. I’m coming up on my 5 year anniversary as a full-time entrepreneur.
That was a dream I had for so long—to work for myself doing stuff I actually care about and believe in. And I made it happen. Five years ago on March 20.
A big part of what helped me make that happen was the Paid to Exist program, Trailblazer. It gave me the tools and the confidence I needed to do the full-time entrepreneur thing.
And looking back on my journey so far, there’s one thing I wish I had known at the beginning. One thing that is a major part of being a successful entrepreneur, and one thing that many entrepreneurs, and especially newer entrepreneurs, don’t have.
A success mindset.
I’ve been pretty success-minded my whole life, going after my goals with full force and achieving them. And I’ve always had an underlying belief that I can do anything I set my mind to.
But it wasn’t until I got deeper into being an entrepreneur where I discovered something kinda mind-blowing: Success is 90 percent mindset and 10 percent the actions you take.
It’s true. It’s also the thing that can hold you back if you’re not aware of it (and many new entrepreneurs aren’t).
I wish this article had been written back in March 2012, when I was jumping head-first into being an entrepreneur. But since it wasn’t, I hope that you can learn right now what it took me years to finally figure out.
Mindset. Is. Everything.
What Is Mindset and Why Does It Matter?
Mindset is a combination of the beliefs you hold and the thoughts you’re thinking on a daily basis.
Having a success mindset gives you confidence, motivates you and makes you more willing to do the work, it gets you in alignment with your goals, and it allows you to set yourself up for the success you ultimately want to create for yourself.
But if your mind is full of limiting beliefs and negative thoughts, then you’ll end up working against yourself, even subconsciously. I did this for years. I had no idea how negative my internal programming was until I hired a coach who helped me see the light.
Since then, I’ve been focused on uninstalling all my old limiting beliefs and negative thoughts, and reprogramming new ones that support me in achieving the goals I have. It’s super important to do this.
What your mind believes, it can (and will) achieve.
The Four-Minute Mile
Olympian Roger Bannister wanted to run a mile in four minutes. But there was a problem… no one had ever done it before. When he told people about this dream they laughed. They told him it was impossible.
But Roger believed.
So every day he would practice running on the track, but he also practiced running the mile in four minutes in his mind. That’s right—he would sit down every day and visualize himself running a mile in four minutes.
And in 1954, he achieved it.
The craziest part is, 47 days later, someone broke his record. And many others after that also ran four-minute miles.
The thing that was once deemed impossible became possible because one person achieved it. And he achieved it because he believed he could and he used the power of his mind to create it.
You can use this exact same power that Roger used to create the business and life you dream of, where you get paid to be you, all on your terms. This power resides inside you right now.
How To Cultivate A Success Mindset
The #1 thing I would do if I could go back to March 20, 2012 and do things all over again is create a mindset practice that felt good to me and then do it every single day, no matter what. So that’s what I’m going to recommend for you.
You have to create a habit around having a daily mindset practice. This has to be non-negotiable. Even when you don’t feel like it. (Especially when you don’t feel like it.)
Your practice doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to be consistent and it should feel really good to you.
Here’s what I do each day:
- Freestyle journaling—to clear the clutter, come up with ideas, whatever’s on my mind when I wake up that day
- Set intentions for my day and my life—I write out “I am” and “I have” statements in the present tense, to program new beliefs and thoughts into my mind. I write things, like: I am a best-selling author, I am living my dream life, I have habits and discipline out of doing what matters each day, etc.
- Visualization—I put on some meditation music and then I visualize my dream life and business as if I already have it. I do this for 5-7 minutes.
Feel free to use my practice as a jumping off point for creating your own. And if you want additional ideas, here are some other ways to work on your mindset:
- Listen to self-hypnosis audios
- Do journaling exercises
- Take a walk and repeat affirmations in your head
- Write out a list of success beliefs and read them out loud to yourself each day (or record yourself reading them and then listen to the audio every day)
- Daydream about what you want and who you want to be
- Write your ideal day (and life) out in a journal every day
You can do any combinations of these practices. Try a few of them out and see which ones resonate with you and feel the best. It’s the feeling part that matters most.
You have the power to create any life and business you dream of having. The power exists in your mind and you can begin using it today.
I hope you’ll take this post to heart and create a daily mindset practice of your own. I don’t have regrets, but if I had a magic wand, I’d definitely go back to the start of my business being full-time and gift myself with the knowledge that mindset is the key to everything.
About the Author:
Mindset is everything. There is an amazing book by Carol Dweck entitled “Mindset” that lays out the reasons why having a proper mindset is the key to unlocking inner potential. She says that there are two different mindsets in the world.
1) Limited mindset
2) Growth mindset
It is in the growth mindset where the most successful live. They do not say that things can’t be done but rather ask how can they do them. They look at problems as not problems but either questions that haven’t been answered or solutions that have not been found. They understand that an unanswered question only exists because the right question has not been asked.
Your post hit the proverbial nail on the head. Mindset is just about everything. As you said, you can’t find whatever your definition of success is with only mindset. It involves a little thing called action.
Great post Jennifer. I bounced over to your site and liked what I saw there too.
Jane Love says
Awesome post Jennifer. After reading this, i checked out your site and loved it as well.
And you are right. MINDSET is everything.
Christopher Marcus says
I prefer to think of this as a mind-style change, or mind-habit change. The tools mentioned above are extremely valuable, but they need to be applied with the attitude that this is about changing EVERYTHING in the way one thinks, every day, every moment. It’s kind of like reaching a new ideal weight – that entails awareness all day about what you eat and how much (or how little) you move. I tried using many of these tools for years but without much success until I decided that they simply had to become priority no.1 and I began, for example, to journal consistently in all my breaks, writing down positive (but realistic) ways to see the world that made me feel better than all the automatic negative thoughts that my mind happily defaulted back to after my morning meditation.
The thing I’m still a little ashamed to admit about all of this, is that I didn’t get to the point where I prioritized mindset-change enough until I had had several mental breakdowns. It had to really hurt, apparently, before I found it in me to change. So I do hope that anyone who reads this will take up these tools and use them diligently. That may not only lead to more success, of whatever kind they want, but also to more peace of mind. And without that basis nothing else really matters.