Year One Mentality

by | Mar 2, 2021 | Personal Development

My mentors taught me that your journey doesn’t begin the moment you start your business. It begins the moment you start taking the business seriously.

The distinction may seem small, but it represents a significant shift in mindset.

You could go into business excited about the possibilities:

  • Maybe I’ll get rich
  • Maybe I’ll earn my personal freedom
  • I’m going to buy myself a Beemer!

Or whatever it may be.

That initial excitement can carry you a long way.

But for most, it probably won’t trigger their ultimate success.

There’s a maturity that comes from experience. I’m not talking about realistic thinking, though. I’m talking about accurate thinking.

There’s a maturity that comes from experience. Share on X

Realistic thinking has a way of being unrealistic at the best of times. Usually, it has you setting your sights on what you think is reasonable, and there is nothing reasonable with choosing business or a creative passion to begin with.

So, if you’re not choosing a reasonable path at the outset, why set your sights on what you think is a reasonable outcome? Business and creative passions require that you be unreasonable because the longer you stay with your passion, the more you realize reasonableness is just a story you made up – an illusion of the mind.

Accurate thinking is being aware of both the massive upside potential as well as the seemingly insurmountable challenges you may face on your business journey.

Expecting the best and preparing for the worst is accurate thinking.

Expecting the best and preparing for the worst is accurate thinking. Share on X

And so, we eventually graduate from delusional excitement. And we’ll likely have learned many lessons on that path. There will have likely been more than a few letdowns too.

This is often where business becomes a grind. You can’t just graduate from excitement to accurate thinking in a vacuum. There are levels in between.

And as business becomes a grind, you may not see any results, even as you set your best foot forward, every single day.

At this point, it’s altogether too easy to draw the conclusion that all the time, effort, and money you’ve invested in yourself or your business was a waste. Nobody likes you, and even your dog thinks you’re smelly and gross. May as well pack up and go back to the dirty dumpster alley.

This, I would argue, is the right time to return to year one mentality. Pretend that you know nothing and become hungry for growth again. Move from hobby level commitment to business level commitment. Close the escape hatches, shut the backdoor, burn the ships, and move forward (and even fail forward) no matter what.

Shift your thinking from:

I hope this works….


This must work or else!

Who cares about what happened to this point? You weren’t in the game!

Now that you’ve burned the ships, you’ve moved from starting a business to being serious about your business. And that is the mindset you need to succeed.

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