Changing To a Growth Mindset

Posted by The Icehouse on 22/11/2022 10:00:00 AM

Through our programmes and conversations with our network and alumni, we're hearing ever louder concerns from a surprisingly underrepresented group. More and more highly successful entrepreneurs who have built hugely successful businesses are finding themselves at a crossroads.

These are the business owners and leaders who have done everything they set out to achieve, but have hit a brick wall. They have business awards, money, and the lifestyle they want. However and justifiably, success has altered their thinking, they have everything they need, but they have been treading water for a while.

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Some tell us that deep down, they knew they had stagnated, despite the success, and were going through the motions. Others tell us that participating in the Owner Manager Programme (OMP) gave them the best possible nudge after realising they were stuck in a fixed mindset and not one of growth.

On OMP, we like to challenge owners to change to a new growth mindset, based on them as owners in the business, setting new challenges to stimulate change and to keep themselves interested.  

Nick McDonald, founder of Likeable Lab, had that eureka moment during OMP, and just one line of advice from David Irving (The Icehouse's co-founder) 'was worth all the money [of OMP] for me.' "I am comfortable, I have got a good business, and I make enough money and I do not need to make much more,” says Nick.

"I do not even have to work that hard. David said, 'you do not need the money, you need the challenge'. That was the gold. So that realisation for me was huge. It was the realisation that it's not all about the money. I need the challenge as well; otherwise I get bored."

Successful owners tell us they drifted into a fixed mindset without realising it; avoiding challenges, dialling back on the effort, ignoring feedback. The list goes on – jaded, never rejuvenated.

Changing to a growth mindset is about embracing new challenges headlong, being persistent in the face of setbacks and seeking inspiration from others to reach even higher levels of achievement. Sound familiar? These are all the attributes that drive entrepreneurs to succeed in the first place.

How do you get it back if you think this might be you? Part of the solution is remembering what made you want to do what you do in the first place – and how you did it.

"Basically, it comes down to designing your own boat – while sailing it. If only you could step off the boat and not be submerged in an overwhelming sea of matters large and small…" explains Deb Shepherd, a founding faculty member of The Icehouse Growth programmes and OMP co-director.

Entrepreneurs and owners start out because they want to create a lifestyle of their own, to be in control, and make a difference. Pivoting the business, buying a new one, shifting towards more philanthropic or community-based work, or even preparing better for a future exit or succession. Whatever your renewed motivation, rethink your new challenges and build your growth mindset around that.

Need help? Programmes like OMP can be a catalyst for monumental and exciting change, to jump on a continuous conveyer belt of learning and development – and to encourage others to join in your success.

Sit down and create a new mission statement, set new goals, refer back to old ones, redefine your purpose, establish a new routine, build a great team around you and go. Sounds good.

Furthermore, fixed-mindset business owners have businesses with fixed mindsets, and this feeds down to employees. Employees who identify their business as underpinned by a growth mindset are 34% more likely to feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment to the company they work for and 49% likelier to say that it fosters innovation (Harvard Business Review).  
"Every time a business owner asks me what OMP all is about, I tell them, 'You'll become a different person throughout the five-month journey. You'll begin to see blind spots, identify opportunities and see things differently’," says Anthony Gold, former Customer Growth Partner at The Icehouse.  
"Your partner, family and peers may see changes in you because you're shifting your focus from day-to-day operations to going through a transformative experience, expanding your consciousness to a more strategic growth mindset – working 'on' the business and shifting your lens from what's wrong with the business to what's possible."  
The Icehouse often tells its programme participants, 'What got you here, won't always get you there'. Take the time to consider your next big milestone and how shaping a new mindset can help you find it.

For information on programmes, workshops and business coaching services from The Icehouse, click here.

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