E53: The Mindset of an Entrepreneur Pt. 2

Sometimes, you have to take yourself out of the equation and remember that your quest to build your business is bigger than you. It's a mission to provide for your family. It's a mission to change how individuals who look like you are perceived in your community.”

- Asha Wilkerson, Esq.

Episode Summary:

When it comes to running a successful business, developing the right mindset can be just as important as your education or your experience. That’s why, in this two-part series, we are diving into an entrepreneur’s mindset and looking at some of the various factors that drive success.

In part one, we focused on mindset work, from adopting a growth mindset to facing your fears and holding yourself accountable for how you choose to respond to setbacks. Today, in part two, we look at some of the practices that successful entrepreneurs employ, including taking consistent action, asking questions from a place of openness and possibility, and believing in the mission, even when you don’t believe in yourself. You won’t want to miss this episode!

What You’ll Learn On This Episode:

  • [00:57] Recapping part one of The Mindset of an Entrepreneur
  • [02:23] The importance of staying consistent, even when you feel impatient
  • [05:00] A key quote: “Confidence comes from taking consistent action.”
  • [05:44] How to ask better questions that are positive and open-ended
  • [08:07] The benefits of problem-solving from a place of openness and possibility
  • [09:03] Why successful entrepreneurs believe in the mission, even on bad days
  • [12:49] Rounding up part two of The Mindset of an Entrepreneur

Resources Mentioned:

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[00:00:02] AW: You’re listening to the Transcend Podcast. I’m your host, Asha Wilkerson, an attorney by training and an educator at heart. This podcast is all about empowering you to build a business and leave a legacy. Here’s the thing. The wealth gap in America is consistently increasing, and while full-time entrepreneurship is not for everyone, even a side hustle can change your financial landscape if you’re intentional about using your business to build wealth.

I’ve run my own law firm for over ten years, and in that time I’ve helped countless California businesses go from idea to six figures. On this podcast, we talk about what it truly takes to build a sustainable business and find financial freedom. Let’s dive in!


[00:00:46] AW: Hey, hey. Welcome back to another episode of Transcend the Podcast. I am so happy that you are here. Today, we are doing part two of The Mindset of an Entrepreneur. A couple weeks ago, I released an episode called part one, The Mindset of an Entrepreneur. The three things that I talked about during that episode are having a growth mindset, not a fixed mindset. I was going to explain, but if you didn’t hear it, go back and listen to it a couple of episodes before this one.

You need to be resilient as an entrepreneur. You have to be one of those toys that I saw as a kid that had the, it was a clown or something like that. It had this weight in the bottom and then you would punch it and it would get back up. That’s how you have to be. When you get knocked down you have to just pop right back up as an entrepreneur. The third thing you have to do is take ownership of the decisions that you make. Take ownership of the outcome. Take ownership of where you are trying to go.

Today, we’re talking about the next three things that I have of the mindsets that entrepreneurs actually embody or the things and the practices that we have. I will tell you that, when I first started out as an entrepreneur, I did not really have the mindset of an entrepreneur. I didn’t know any of this stuff. This is all stuff that knowledge that I have acquired along the way, muscles that I have built along the way, areas where I need to improve that I have determined along the way. It is by no means a list of, if you have these, you’d be perfect and, if you don’t, then you’re never going to make it. It’s not like that at all. These are my observations from my own experience and from coaching business owners just like you in their entrepreneurial journey.

Today, this will actually be number four, in terms of the mindset of an entrepreneur is to stay consistent, stay consistent. Now this is challenging, sometimes. It is really challenging. I will I will speak from my own perspective. I am impatient. I want to know that the new social media strategy that I’m trying, the new email copy strategy that I’m using or implementing, or the new outreach that I’m doing, I want to know that it’s working right away. I want to know right away.

Oftentimes, when I don’t see that immediate result, I stop or I change, or I switch strategies, or I do something that makes me become inconsistent. But in the areas where I have kept going, day after day or week after week, being consistent, those are the areas where I have seen growth. It doesn’t mean that it happens overnight. There have been areas – I mean, I’ve been a business owner since 2011. When I took a break from practicing law in 2017, I think it was. That was six years in, and I was probably about a year into my break. I was still getting calls for plaintiff side employment law. That’s what I had done before.

Now when I was looking for those calls in my business, they weren’t coming as frequently as I wanted, but I stayed consistent with the actions. It was a couple years later when I decided I was going to take a break that those calls kept coming and they were coming more frequently, because I had been consistent in priming that pipeline for a couple of years before. But at the time, I thought it could be working better, maybe this isn’t the best thing to do, but I kept going and then if I would have still been practicing it would have absolutely paid off.

Same thing with social media. There have been so many times and I have wanted to quit my Instagram account, because I am just not a huge fan of being on the platform. I like looking at other people’s stuff, but I don’t think to take pictures or to document what’s going on. I’ve worked with a number of different people to get my social media together. Finally, I’ve got a great partner in Sarita. Gracias, Sarita. She is absolutely amazing. I feel now we’re starting to get the vibe. But I’ve had Instagram since I don’t know when, right? But it’s the attempt to show up consistently, to pivot, to take feedback, and to see what can happen when I just keep showing up. That doesn’t mean now, keep showing up and doing the same thing over and over, like beating your head against the wall if it’s not working, but it means being consistent in the actions and the effort that you were putting forward.

Another quote that I love that is from one of my business coaches in the Neuro Coaching Community is that “Confidence comes from taking consistent action.” Confidence doesn’t come before consistency or you can’t expect it to come before consistency, but think about some skill that you learned, maybe as an adult, or maybe a sport that you played. What do you do when you are an athlete? You practice over and over and over again. Eventually, your skill develops, and then, eventually, you know that you’re going to be able to make that shot on goal nine times out of 10. You’re going to be able to hit that three point or nine times out of 10. But the confidence comes because you were consistent in your practice. So, stay consistent. That’s number four.

Number five, is ask better questions. My friend Arianna, who was a part of the Transcend Community, reminded me the other day, a couple of weeks ago now, to read this book called Change Your Questions, Change Your Life, and it is a fantastic book. I recommend that all of you read this book, even if it’s not for business, just for your own education. It’ll help you through life. I listened to the audio version on Scribd. So go ahead and find it or go to your local library and get a copy of the book or the audiobook, but Change Your Questions, Change Your Life. The trick is or the challenge is to ask better questions.

I as an attorney, who learned how to take depositions learned how to ask questions to pin the deponent, the witness, into an answer, because I needed them to say a particular answer that would be the truth, but I needed to get a really clear direct question and a direct answer, so I could prove my case or I could disprove the other party’s case.

I am not used to asking questions of open ended possibility. Also, just in my own life, I don’t do well when things feel up in the air when they feel insecure. If I’m working with somebody in business or in interpersonal relationships and something feels it’s a little uncomfortable, I tend to ask questions to get to the answer that I think is going to come, but when I’m feeling uncomfortable, the leading question that I’m asking is not one that’s framed in the positive.

It’s, “Well, what are the chances that this is going to work out? How many times has this failed before?” It’s not, “How can we make this work?” It’s not, “What are all the ways that we can support ourselves through this process?” Right? Those are very different types of questions. When you’re asking questions of yourself, of your business, when you’re encountering a problem, when you’re encountering a disconnect or a little rift in the relationship with whoever you’re working with, yourself or somebody else, ask an open-ended question. Ask a question that’s going to try and lead to the brainstorming of outcomes. What do I need to get here? What are the different possible routes we could take to get here? What are the possibilities? What kind of resources would I need? Not, do I have enough money to pay for the resources? But what resources might help me solve this problem?

When you start asking and problem solving from a place of openness and possibility, you expand your mind to the myriad of resources that are available. When we stay stuck in our perspective, we’re looking just from our own mindset, from our own perspective, from our own vantage point. But if we can open that up, then all of a sudden we become receptive to all of the possibilities that are out there that we may not have thought about before, but the way you ask the question either gives your brain the space to brainstorm or it tells your brain to find an answer. If you knew the answer already, you probably wouldn’t be stuck. So, ask questions in a way that gives your mind the space to expand and to explore. You don’t have to find the answer right away. Just ask the question and ask as many questions as you can.

Now, the sixth part of The Mindset of an Entrepreneur is believing in the mission. I can tell you again from personal experience and any entrepreneur that you speak to will back this up, I know. You’re not always going to be excited, and you’re not always going to feel confident about what it is that you’re doing. You’re going to have good days and not so good days. You’re going to have good mornings and not so good mornings. Good minutes, and not so good minutes. But more than believing in yourself, is believing in the mission.

The reason why I say that’s more than believing in yourself is because there will be times that your belief in yourself may waver and that’s normal. That’s a whole other podcast of how do you build belief in yourself. But if you believe in the mission, I have found this to be helpful for me. When I’m not sure if I can do it, but I know that this mission that I’m on, to help Black and brown folks build businesses and build financial legacies, I know that that mission is bigger than me. It’s something I feel like I’ve been called to do. I’m answering that mission. I’m answering the question of the call of that mission. I’m not answering the question of whether or not I believe in myself or whether or not I’m good enough to do this.

Sometimes you have to take yourself out of the equation and remember that your quest to build your business is bigger than you. It’s a mission to provide for your family. It’s a mission to change how individuals who look like you are perceived in your community. It’s a mission to spread joy in the world. It’s a mission to, whatever your mission is for your business, believe in that and remind yourself that this mission is worthy of being pursued. Eventually, the belief in yourself will come, when you believe in what you’re working for. That is also expansive in your mind, and you’re not stuck by what you can do. It puts the focus outside of you. I think about – I saw this one time. It might have been the Gottman Institute. The idea of how you solve problems or conflict with the person you’re dating. Gottman is a dating psychologist, therapist, something like that.

I like this example, because if you’re thinking about a triangle that has two bases at the bottom, right? It’s person A and person B are at the base. Oftentimes, if we’re fighting, let’s say, it’s you and your business on one part, and then the goal you’re trying to get to or the problem you’re having. So, you and the problem you’re having are at the bottom of the triangle, and you’re going back and forth with each other, like, “This is the problem.” The problem’s like, “No, it’s you,” right? But if you think about it as a triangle and you take the focus off of you two as the base points and put it up towards that third point that is above yourself, now that you and the problem are no longer the issue, now you can both focus on creating a solution that gets to that outcome.

Maybe the analogy works a little bit better in relationships, person A and person B are no longer looking at each other as the problem. They can look to this third point as the issue and how do they attack or solve that issue to get to where they want to go? It just shifts the focus. I think you all followed that. I hope you all followed that in terms of that example, but don’t think about the problem so much, right? This is that sticking point. I don’t know how to use this software to do what I’m going to do. Okay, well, here’s the thing that we’re trying to solve. So, forget about this particular software, but take the problem up and above yourself so that you can actually work towards the problem and it makes it just less personal and easier to work towards. I really hope that makes sense.

Okay, part two of The Mindset of an Entrepreneur is to stay consistent. You have to stay consistent. It is a grind to get up every day or to put effort every day or every week into your business. That consistent effort, that consistent practice, whatever it is for you, however it looks for you is the practice that will pay off, because we’re not always going to feel doing the things, but it’s the habit of doing the things that will get us there. Ask better questions. Are your questions leading? Is it taking a deposition like me or like I used to until I read that book? Or are your questions open and expansive that invite brainstorming for problem solving an opportunity.

Then lastly, entrepreneurs, believe in the mission. Believe in the mission. You have to be so committed to the mission that you will support yourself and do whatever it takes to make the mission come true. Not whatever it takes like you’re going to burn everything down, right? But give yourself the resources that you need to make your mission come true, because your mission is so worth it, so valuable, so worthy, and you are committed to that mission.

All right y’all. That’s what I have for you today. Thank you again for tuning in. I will see you next week.


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