Develop a growth mindset: 3 questions for small business owners

Editorial Team

6 min read
Glasses, pen, and notebook

There’s no getting around it. It’s tough running a small business. Amidst the constant busy-ness of business, SMB merchants are often stressed, time-pressed, and pulled in every direction by things and people demanding attention.

But experts agree that it’s important to maintain a growth mindset, even when it feels like there’s little space to think beyond the next minute. This post will help you build that strategy with some tips and some practical tools to stay ahead of the game.

How mindset affects your success

Why does mindset matter? Because it predicts achievement, as Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck discovered.

In one study she conducted, Dweck offered children a choice: either redo an easy jigsaw puzzle or try a harder one. Some children chose to redo the easier puzzle to ensure they succeeded. For them, success meant feeling smart. Other children, however, chose to work on the harder puzzle. For those children, success meant growing smarter by tackling a more difficult puzzle. These children demonstrate the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

In years of research, Dweck has discovered and confirmed that success depends on mindset. As a business owner, it’s imperative that you take steps to develop a growth mindset–because mental growth equals business growth.t to success—a growth mindset.

How to develop a growth mindset

You’re a busy business owner. How do you stay stress-free and create the space and time you need to embrace a growth mindset? While redesigning your mental model might sound difficult, transformation can actually be as simple as asking yourself three questions every day.

1. What do I want?

This first of three morning questions serves to remind you of the “what” and the “why” of your business and grounds you to your purpose. Some variations on this question include:

  • What drew you to the business you’re in?
  • Why did you start your business?
  • What is your favorite part in the adventure of being a business owner?
  • What does your ideal work day look like?
  • What do you absolutely love about the job?
  • What keeps you coming back for more?

These questions can help you tap into your inner business owner mindset. You’ll be more mentally prepared for challenges, and feel inspired to embrace big-picture thinking.

2. What or whom can I help?

This question refocuses you on your purpose, on whom or what you’re serving, and reminds you how your business connects with your community.

Focus on the day at hand, and consider where you or your team may need the most help.

  • What decisions will they need you to make for them today?
  • How can you guide them to use their abilities to maximum effect for the business?
  • What might your customers need from you today?
  • What needs exist in your area that your business can fulfill?
  • Do people often travel through your community? If so, how do their needs different from locals?

Taking a few minutes in the morning to consider how you can best help your team, your customers, and your business sets your own expectations for the day. And it helps you prepare to be available, so you’re not blindsided when problems and people require your attention.

3. What should I focus on today?

Like choosing an intention for meditation, yoga, or prayer, this question helps you identify a focus and drive your day’s efforts towards that goal. Here are a few different ways to approach this topic:

  • What needs to happen for your business to run smoothly today?
  • What do you want to happen at your business today?
  • Can you find a balance of priorities that includes both needs and wants?
  • Can you identify a way to help employees perform better?
  • Can you solve a business problem you’ve been stuck on for a while?
  • Is there new merchandise to set out for your customers?

By asking yourself these three questions every day, you’ll be able to outline your game plan for the week. For example, today, you’ll focus on having your team set out new inventory, tomorrow you’ll have the team work on new merchandise displays, and the following day you’ll focus on encouraging the team to point out the new inventory items to each customer that walks through the door.

The wind-down question

One of the toughest realities for business owners is finding time to let go of the day’s busy-ness and wind down. But ending your day on a positive note is just as important as beginning with one.

A simple way to keep your mindset focused on growth is to focus on the positive outcomes of the day. Ask yourself: “What was today’s biggest win?” or “What did I learn today?”

Whether you’re in your car driving home, in the carpool line picking up the kids, or in the bathroom brushing your teeth, reflecting on the positive outcomes of the day can help clear your mind of the day’s frustrations and refocus it on the good you accomplished.

Practical tips

Of course, there’s nothing like simplifying your actual tasks to help you feel more accomplished and primed for a growth mindset. Here are a few practical time-saving apps and tips to help you with the nitty gritty so you can put your heart and mind where it counts.

  1. For Invoicing: Check out these apps, which can help you streamline and automate your invoicing process.
  2. You have enough to worry about without also having to manage your employees’ changing schedules. Time Clock by Homebase allows employees to swap schedules themselves, removing you as a middleman while retaining merchant control. It saves TONS of time.
  3. Clover’s Inventory has tons of features like bulk editing, alphabetized lists, and customized views  to help you stay on top of changing inventory. For even more streamlining, couple Inventory with integrated inventory support through the Clover App Market.
  4. While we’re on the subject of apps, check out this post that lists our favorite time-saving Clover apps.
  5. Finally, take some time over the weekend to download and read Clover’s ebook, 5 Tasks that can steal time from your business. It’s a short read that will save you oodles of time in the long run.

Putting it all together

Once your morning questions become routine, share them. Help your employees, colleagues, or business partners establish a growth mindset, too, by setting aside time once a day, once a week, or even once a month to discuss morning questions together.

Taking time to practice this new habit can transform your mindset, and, in turn, prepare you to lead your business and your team to the next level of growth.

To learn more about how a Clover POS system can help your business grow, contact a Clover Business Consultant today.



Popular Topics

Recent Stories

Please share your contact information
to access our premium content.