As an entrepreneur, you are faced with a twofold challenge: 1) Running a business; and 2) Deepening your expertise in your field. You could be the world’s most incredible pointillist or project manager, but if you can’t close sales or keep up with invoicing, your business suffers.
At a recent event we hosted with a small group of startup founders, cognitive psychologist Amanda Crowell discussed the three mindsets that could be holding you back and how to overcome them using brain science.
- Getting comfortable with “productive failure”
There are two kinds of failure: one is productive, the other destructive. “Productive failure is when you try something new and you suck at it,” explained Crowell. “But then you do it a little better the next time, and over time you become the person people come to for advice about that thing.”
Crowell says she spends half of her time as a coach for entrepreneurs helping them to engage with productive failure — minus the drama. But a willingness to fail and learn is key. The brain is an efficiency machine: it will not let you engage in activities where failure is more likely than success.
This means you actively sideline yourself when it comes to things that aren’t your forte — it can manifest as procrastination or self-sabotage, such as postponing a much-dreaded sales call until 5:15pm when you know your potential customer just left the office.
To be continued…